Roland SH-3A

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Roland sh3a main.jpg
SH-3A with case
Technical specifications
Oscillator1 VCO, 1 White/Pink Noise Generator
LFOLFO1 has sawtooth waveform, LFO2 sine or square and delay slider, Sample-and-Hold with level and sample time sliders. LFO's can be assigned to VCF, VCA, VCO.
Synthesis typeAnalog Subtractive
FilterResonant self-oscillating lowpass filter w/ frequency and resonance controls
Attenuator1 ADSR
Aftertouch expressionNo
Velocity expressionNo
Storage memoryNone
Keyboard44 keys

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.

Contrary to common belief, the initial version "SH-3" did not infringe on the transistor ladder-filter patent of Robert Moog. It used a diode filter like the EMS VCS 3. The SH-3A does use a transistor ladder-filter and as a result can generate Moog-like sounds.

Notable SH-3A users[edit]


  1. ^ "Roland SH-3a | Vintage Synth Explorer". Retrieved 2018-07-13.

External links[edit]