Roland SH3 CV Modification

Earlier this week I did a post about a band a stumbled across called Kline Coma Xero (read). I decided to give the man behind the band, Tony Williams an old school phone call. We did chat for a while and I discovered he also owns a Roland SH3 and recently modified it to work with CV/Gate. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while and he promised to post a video showing the mod so here it is above. The SH3 is a really nice sounding synth because it has a proper Moog filter in it (among other things). Moog sued Roland and in response Roland created the SH3-A which changed the filter design.

“A video overview of my Roland SH-3 which I modified using the KENTON SH-3a CV/Gate/Filter mod. I intentionally left off the filter mod due to the fact that the SH-3a has a different filter than the SH-3.” – Tony Williams

For more info: vintagesynth.com/roland/sh3

Roland SH3 and Korg KR-55

Roland SH3 and Korg KR55 by thingstocome

Today just a sample of a few channels of pure Roland SH3 and Korg KR-55 drum machine. Both are vintage analog and wonderful.

“The SH-3A is a monophonic analog synthesizer that was manufactured by Roland from 1974 to 1981. It is unique in that it is capable of both subtractive synthesis and additive synthesis. Two LFOs and a unique sample-and-hold section provided capabilities not found in competing self-contained synthesizers of the time. The SH-3A was Roland’s first non-preset based synth. It was unique for its time in that it offered mixable waveforms at different footages. The predecessor, the Roland SH-1000 could also do this but didn’t offer as much control as on the SH-3A. The rhythmic pulsing in the Blondie song “Heart of Glass” is an example of its sound. The initial version “SH-3″ infringed radder-filter patent of Robert Moog, and Roland revised their copy circuit after warned by Moog Music. NOTABLE SH-3A USERS: The Human League, Vangelis, Blondie, Chris Carter” – WIkipedia.org

For more info: thingstocome.com

Gummi Bears Make Music.

What’s my secret to making music? I let my Gummi Bear friends do it for me! Normally they are camera shy but today they let me take photos of them recording a song. There are 10 photos and captions in total so be sure to click “Continue…” to see them all!


Red and his twin brother (also named Red) team up to add more noise into the signal chain of an Electrocomp-101 vintage analog synthesizer.

Green helps Orange change the Control Mode to Envelope 1 on an Electrocomp-101 synthesizer.
Green helps Orange change the Control Mode to Envelope 1 on an Electrocomp-101 synthesizer.


Green and Red need some inspiration before they go back to making music so they lie down for a bit on a Roland SH3 synthesizer keyboard and stare at the studio’s acoustic cloud.


Yellow and Red team up and jam on a Vermona DRM1 MKIII drum machine. Yellow changes the resonance on the snare while Red messes with the highpass filter on the lazer zap.

Continue reading →

Listen to some pure Roland SH3 audio files.

I visit a great forum at vintagesynth.org to see what old toys people are using. There is a thread going on titled, “Roland SH-3 (not 3a) questions and value.” which I have been following. I own a Roland SH3 so I’m always curious to see how rare it actually is. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that Roland was sued by Moog over it’s filter design in the SH3 and shortly after released the SH3A.

Forum members have been contributing audio samples to see if there is a real difference between the 3 and 3A so I decided to upload a set for of my SH3 for everyone to check out. Each same is pure Roland SH3, no compressor or any effects. Recorded directly into a Motu 828 using Ableton Live. You can download the 24bit Wav files in a .zip or listen to the 320kpbs MP3s batch encoded using LAME and Techspansion’s great AudialHub.

The audio player will play each sample in succession:

You can download the high resolution Wavs by clicking here:
Roland_SH3-24bit_Wav.zip

Roland SH3 by Oliver Chesler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

You can also see some videos of the SH3 in action in my studio: click here

Come into my studio and see my Roland SH3.

I’ve been stuck in the studio catching up on several remixes and songs for my next album. I would never forget about my blog readers so while I was there today I shot three videos of my Roland SH3 in action.

The Roland SH3 was produced in 1974. It is more rare than the SH3A which was put into the market after Moog sued Roland for the original SH3’s filter design. This is one reason the Roland SH3 sounds so incredible. Rumor has it that less than 100 of these were ever made.

You can hear pure Roland SH3 accompanied by an Electrocomp-101 in two of my songs: Room of Posers and Sex Machine.

Be sure to check out the other two Roland SH3 videos I put up here:
http://www.vimeo.com/user442527