December 4th, 2014

The Roland SH-101 and its last breath

My Roland SH-101 is off to be repaired today after it basically sonically collapsed in on itself. The man doing the resuscitation is Ed at Fluctus Labs here in London. I hear good things about him, reasonably priced, he is nearby and already seems like a good guy. I feel like my 101 is going to the right person.

Before the 101 gets sent off I wanted to have a last little play on it using the only thing that is stable enough, and that is the amazing self-oscillating resonant filter… that think is superb. Today’s upload is resonant bass and fx.

Back when I was 17/18 and owned one before (when they were cheaper), I used to make most of my kick drums, bass sounds and melody parts on the 101, but it is only until now that I have really noticed that Roland sound that spans most of their good machines and the similarity to the TR-606 and TR-808 kick sound. The envelope has that similar click and the tone is very typically Roland. I guess back then I pretty much only had Roland gear, and with the exception of getting the Nord Rack 2 and Nord Modular G1 later, which pretty much took over the role of the Roland stuff at that time, I suppose I didn’t know any different.

Something that has really stood out to me while gradually getting back the equipment I sold, is how different it sounds with wiser ears. I seem to recall as a nipper, these machines were more just tools to make music on. When it come down to making tracks it was a case of reaching into the tool box for your favourite screwdriver.

I guess today there has been a little bit of myself meeting an old friend, both in the machines and myself as a teenager, recording track after track onto crappy worn out cassette.