You Shoot I Score

Composer Ned Bouhalassa's Blog

The Roland SH-5: Starship Synth

November 19, 2010

Every time I play with my Roland SH-5, I feel like I’m taking the controls of a spaceship of some kind! What an amazing chameleon, this mid-70s synthesizer is: soft, harsh, simple, complex, funky, spaced-out, out-of-control, sweet sounds can be easily coaxed out of it with a little love. The filters are particularly musical, rich, and the ability to mix 5 different sources allows me to create a whole range of tones. Of course, there’s no patch-saving of any kind, so every sound you create remains the same only as long as you don’t touch anything… which is impossible! So I hit ‘record’ and twist away madly, joyously lost in the ever-bountiful ocean of analog waves.

Here’s an example of what its filters sound like:



  1. The SH-5 was a great synth, unfortunately overshadowed by things like the minimoog.

    I haven’t heard anything about it in a while so was pleasantly surprised to come across this. Glad to see some other fans of the beast around the internet!

  2. Yeah, it’s pretty incredible! It can do so many things, it’s one of the best mono synths ever. There’s regular praise for it on VSE and Gearslutz!

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