by Robin Vincent | 4,7 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Roland newsletter

Roland newsletter  ·  Source: Roland

Roland newsletter

Roland newsletter  ·  Source: Roland


Rumours are flying about another SH-4d synth since a leaked image suggests there could be another one on the way. Not everything is as it seems. Here’s the real story.


Roland SH-4b?

We love a good product leak. The idea that Roland could be releasing another product in the range of the SH-4d is an exciting prospect. Roland has form for this sort of thing, with the MC-707 and MC-101 as a good example.

The discussion centres around a photo posted to the Roland AIRA Facebook group, which clearly shows the recently announced SH-4d sitting on a tabletop. Next to it is an unnamed product with several design similarities, leading many to speculate that this is a smaller version of the SH-4d. Kazuhiko Gomi, who posted the photo, called it the “SH-4b prototype”. This has caused some people to suggest it’s like a “Bassline” version of the SH-4d. Personally, I think it’s a typo.

What is that synth?

According to our man in Japan, the photo came from an official email newsletter, “Behind the scenes at Roland”, written by a former Roland employee, Kaori Tsuboi. The newsletter talks about the development of the SH-4d and its place in Roland’s history and synthesizer product line.

Roland newsletter

Roland newsletter

But what’s really important here is the Japanese text on the photo:

  • Image text (left): “The finished SH-4d”
  • Image text (right): “Prototype made by a new hire”

The email goes on to say:

“Synth geeks, equipment geeks, fun musical instrument geeks, DJ performers, etc. have all been so eager for this new product, but who do you think made the prototype in the first place? In fact, it was made by newly hired engineers in their first year at the company during training!”

So what we’re seeing in the photo is not a new version or different product in the range, but a prototyped step along the way to the Roland SH-4d. So Kazuhiko Gomi was right, it is a prototype, but of the SH-4d, not an SH-4b.

Roland has confirmed to us that the newsletter does not mention a bass variation of the SH-4d, and it has no plans for one. Of course, they could just be covering their tracks and neatly side-stepping a leak.

Image Sources:
  • Roland newsletter: Roland
  • Roland SH-4d: Roland
Roland newsletter

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3 responses to “Roland’s mystery SH-4b synthesizer revealed”

    Vibes says:

    Really annoying that you muppets waste time and money writing this entire clickbait article. It’s not a new mystery product, as your article explains. Grow up and stop being so desperate for clicks that you write garbage like this.

      Robin Vincent says:

      I thought it was fun! It was in response to other news articles floating around wondering about it – hence the “mystery”. We’re just trying to enjoy ourselves mate, otherwise we might as well be swallowed up in the mighty whirlpool of pointlessness.

    Goland Instruments says:

    Lokks more interesting then big official release :/

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