Superbooth 2023: Roland’s S-1 Tweak synth is like a polyphonic SH-101 that you can fit in your pocket

Superbooth 23: Roland has added another synth to its Aira Compact range. The S-1 Tweak Synth takes inspiration from the classic SH-101 and joins the T-8 Beat Machine, J-6 Chord Synthesizer and E-4 Voice Tweaker in the family of diminutive instruments.

While the S-1 uses Roland’s Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology to recreate the SH-101’s sound, it goes beyond its monophonic design to offer four voices of polyphony. And, while the simplicity of the 101 has been retained, there are a number of new sound design features, too.

You get dedicated oscillator, envelope, filter and LFO sections, and you can adjust the effects with dedicated knobs. Said effects include choruses, delays and reverbs, some of which are derived from classic Roland synths from yesteryear. The 26 multi-function pads, meanwhile, can be played like a keyboard or used for step sequencing.

If the square, saw, sub and noise oscillators aren’t enough for you, you can also use the pads for drawing your own shapes. Osc Chop enables you to cut waveforms into sections to create metallic timbres, and you can also use the noise oscillator as an independent riser to create sweeps and pulsing sound effects.

The 64-step sequencer offers up to 64 patterns, and classic creative features such as motion recording, adjustable probability, the ability to create sub steps, velocity control, shuffle and portamento are here, too. The inclusion of a D-Motion controller means that you can tweak sounds simply by moving the S-1 around, and you can throw in fills and other moments of improvisation inspiration with the Step Loop function.

The S-1 Tweak Synth is available now priced at $200. Find out more on the Roland website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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