Roland S-1 Tweak Synth ‘A Cutting-edge Pocket Polysynth’

Another of Roland’s vintage big-hitters gets a super-small reboot. Roland S-1 Tweak synth is like a polyphonic SH-101 that you can fit in your pocket.

At Superbooth 2023, being held in Berlin May 11-13, Roland is introducing the S-1 Tweak Synth, described as “a cutting-edge pocket polysynth”, inspired by the classic SH-101. Roland has added the synth to its Aira Compact range and joins the T-8 Beat Machine, J-6 Chord Synthesizer and E-4 Voice Tweaker in the family of diminutive instruments.

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

You also 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, 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 included. 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.


  • ‘Legendary Sound’ – S-1’s ACB polyphonic sound engine produces a sound bigger than its size
  • ‘Wild Sound Design’ – Wave Drawing, Oscillator Chop, and Riser lets you create sounds never heard from an SH-101
  • Performance and Sequencing Tools – D-MOTION, Motion Recording, Step Loop, Probability
  • Connectivity – Use AIRA Compact’s unique I/O to enhance a gadget set up, chaining audio and sync between gadgets and to DAW, tablets, and smartphones
  • 64-step sequencer and 64 pattern
  • Motion recording, probability settings, sub steps, velocity, shuffle, and portamento
  • D-Motion controller creates sound changes by moving the synth
  • Step Loop function lets you create live fills and on-the-fly rhythmic improvisation
  • Arpeggiator
  • Portability – Compact, thin, light, and Li-Ion battery-powered

The S-1 also includes a wide selection of classic Roland effects to enhance sounds. Users can add dimension with choruses derived from the iconic JUNO and JX-3P synths, introduce spaciousness and movement with manual and tempo-synced delays, and add studio-grade reverb effects.

The AIRA Compact instruments are designed to be used individually or together to create a compact rig. From one master unit, multiple AIRA Compacts can be mixed and monitored with headphones or an external speaker system. It’s also possible to interface with computer DAWS, mobile music apps, and hardware instruments via USB-C or MIDI.

The Roland S-1 Tweak Synth is available now priced at $199.99. Find out more on the Roland website.

Leave a comment

Name: (Required)

eMail: (Required)