Novaline Roland SH-2 Plug-out Soundset

SH-2 Novaline


    Today is April Fool's day, 4/1/2020.  I am writing this from home because our state has ordered everyone to stay at home due to the Corona virus.  I'm not happy about being ordered to stay at home, but I am obeying nonetheless.  No, this is not a joke page just because I wrote it on April Fools' day.

    To celebrate me getting 100 internship hours done, I decided to buy the Novaline Roland SH-2 Plug-Out Soundset.  I was hoping maybe this soundset would have a creative nickname, like the System-8 "Sunburst" set they made, but oh well.

    So I purchased it.  Here is my review.

Novaline via Mystery Islands Music Website

    I first became aware of Novaline when he put out 4 soundsets for the Roland System-8 on the Aira microsite.  Overall, I liked them a lot, so when I discovered that I could go get more sounds for the SH-2 for my System-1/8 PLUG-OUT slot, I decided to buy them and try them out.

    Before I go on, know that I enjoyed the Mystery Islands Music website.  Purchasing this product was very easy, and overall the experience was great.  It's a good price, and there are sound samples of various presets.

Loading Into my System-1

    Loading these into my VST and then into my System-1 PLUG-OUT slot was very easy.  I won't explain the whole process here, but it's easy, and there were no surprises.

Sh-2 Novaline
          Naming Convention

    The only thing I didn't like was how there are four or so "heading" slots in the presets that separate the leads from the pads, etc.  I don't see why anyone would do this, because that doesn't do me any good when I use the product.  The patches are already labeled as to what they are. Indeed, the labels already waste text size that could be abbreviated, like using Roland's "LD" for "Lead", "PD" for "Pad," etc.  The heading "patches" are configured as "dead" patches that make no sound, which can be annoying in a live use situation.  But this whole thing is a minor nuisance, and I can rename all the patches and move them around if I want.

How They Sound For Church

     Given that the SH-2 is monophonic, I usually use it for leads on my System-1.  My System-1 currently resides on the 2nd level of my two level keyboard stand.

     So I fired up my System-8 to provide backup, set my TR-909 VST to an appropriate tempo, and decided to test the sounds out for the lead on Greater Things by Phil Wickham.

    Of all the patches included, which are for EDM/Trance and not for Church, eleven are very good for use in the lead on Greater Things, and nine are acceptable for this purpose but aren't perfect.  Note that I am not trying to copy Phil Wickham: I am just trying to find presets that work for that song in church.  There were maybe two of them that were excellent for this lead line, and one that sounded like an exact replica of the sound.

    Almost every lead patch in this soundset will work for church.  There are a few that were too aggressive or detuned for church, but this is an EDM/Trance soundset, so that's to be expected.

    One of the patches, I forget which, sounded almost like the lead from the song Slow Drip by DeLorra, which is one of my most favorite synthesizer lead sounds.  As well, I liked the "LEAD GHOST" patch: it was smooth and should work really good in church.  I guess I might rename it "LD HOLY GHOST." </sarcasm>

    The pads aren't really "pads" in the sense that I'm used to.  I expect to have at least 4 notes of polyphony to play pads, and this is one note, but with the oscillators at different intervals so you can almost have a pad.  But to be fair, at least one or two would work well in church for supplementing pads, or as pads.

    Finally, there is a bell-like sequenced patch that sounds good for church.

    I have not yet tried them out in service.  I will probably have to ask my worship leader if some of the sounds are too intense.

    To be fair, I noticed the sound meter on these patches peaking on almost every patch.  These patches are configured to be quite "hot" in terms of sound output.  To use them in church, I would probably have to edit them to adjust how loud they are.  On the SH-2 VST, there's a volume knob in the lower left corner that I can probably adjust to normalize them for church.  But in terms of overall volume level, they're all very loud.


    Overall, I'm happy with my purchase.  There are quite a few musical sounds in this collection, even though it is marked as an EDM/Trance set.

    I can totally see myself using this soundset if I go busking, as it's got a lot of useful patches.