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This week we are examining the Roland System 1M and the hidden oscillator wave shapes that came with the version 1.2 firmware update. Most units will likely already have the update installed, so if you have a System 1 or 1M, you should have these 6 extra shapes available already. The extra shapes expand what is already a complex, big sounding instrument.

The Roland System 1M semi-modular synth is a powerful package, featuring two detailed oscillator sections, a sub oscillator and noise generator, a fat filter section and much more. A modular take on the keyboard-focused System 1, the most notable differences are the Eurorack compatible patch bay at the top of the device, and the missing arpeggiator and “Scatter” functions.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 9.56.28 AM

From the Roland System 1 website (editor’s notes in italics)…

Noise Saw: A sawtooth wave with movement similar to an analog circuit. Ideal for making fat sounds.
Logic Operation: A waveform that uses a logic circuit to combine multiple waveforms.
FM (Sine wave): A frequency-modulated waveform.
FM+Sync (Sine wave): Syncs a frequency-modulated waveform to the OSC pitch to produce a scale.
Vowel: A waveform similar to human voice.
CB (TR-808 Cowbell tone): A metallic one-shot sound.

Simply use the Legato button as a “Shift” key, holding it while you turn the wave selection knob on one of the two oscillators to access these extra shapes. The color knob adopts a new parameter with each different waveform. All of the other functions on the oscillators remain, including assignable modulation of the color knob and cross-modulation of the two oscillators. This same functionality is available on the System 1 keyboard as well.

How are you getting interesting sounds from your semi-modular? Let us know in the comments!

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Roland System 1M Hidden Oscillators

One thought on “Roland System 1M Hidden Oscillators

  • June 15, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Very interesting note. I have a question about this sinth: if I send a midde C (via midi, cv/gate or USB) to the System 1m with his oscillators set at 8′, it plays a note C two octave higher. To have the same note I need set oscillators at 32′. Any suggestion ?


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