Manufacturer's ID: SE-02
What we say:
The latest member of the Roland Boutique family is one to get excited about and marks the introduction of their Boutique Designer range.
The Roland SE-02 Analog Synthesizer is currently one of a kind in this new series and has a slightly higher price tag than the other Boutique models, but don't worry - it has plenty of huge features to justify it. The SE-02 is the only unit in the range with analog circuitry for a start. It maintains the vintage analog warmth of a classic Roland synth but also features USB and MIDI connectivity to make it as practical as possible for the modern producer. Its 16-step sequencer looks the part with its classic Roland design and will sync up to your DAW via USB, or to other external sync sources via MIDI or trigger input. If you love the analog sound but find vintage units too impractical to work with in the studio; the SE-02 is the perfect solution.
The audio input jack is also a welcome addition. Routing audio though some of the parameters on the unit is going to lead to some distinctive results and this makes the SE-02 much more than your average synth. With three types of cross modulation, an intuitive tempo syncing, nine waveform LFO, a ripping filter feedback loop, envelope sweeping and inverting, oscillator sync, a noise generator, and a tempo-syncing delay the options the SE-02 puts in front of you are quite astonishing for a synth within this price range.
A unit which has been flawlessly designed, the SE-02 has that definitive Roland look and feel to it. It has a vast variety of hands-on controls which give you a wide range of options in terms of sound design. But don’t worry if you’d rather just get started straight away, there are 384 presets ready to go as soon as you take it out of the box. Covering a wide range of genres and styles, these sound incredibly detailed and full and will certainly keep you busy! Once you venture into customising them and creating your own there are 128 available locations to store them. You can even record full tracks on this with up to 16 parts on each.
The SE-02 strikes us as the perfect balance between contemporary and vintage and is sure to satisfy die-hard fans of both. Its analog warmth and modern connectivity make it pretty unique and we think it’s potentially a glimpse into the future of compact, well priced synthesizers.
Beyond Typical Analog
The SE-02's monophonic synthesizer engine features three voltage-controlled oscillators, a voltage-controlled 24 dB low-pass filter, and a dual gain-stage amplifier. The oscillators have six different kinds of waveforms with the warmth and complex character associated with true analog VCOs. What’s more, these VCOs are temperature stabilized with automatic tuning, so you get all the benefits and none of the downsides.
The SE-02 is big and bold, with thick, rich lows and clear, vibrant highs—exactly what you think of when you imagine classic vintage synth tone. And while the SE-02 can create astonishingly great vintage sounds, it can do so much more. It has three types of cross modulation (XMOD), a ripping filter feedback loop, a tempo-syncing LFO with nine waveforms, envelope sweeping and inverting, oscillator sync, a noise generator, and a tempo-syncing delay.
While it’s a compact “go-anywhere” device, the knobs, switches, and buttons are sturdy and plentiful, giving you a vast palette of sound-shaping capabilities at your fingertips. Everything is hands-on and knob-per-function, with deep control and a logical, intuitive layout. To get started, you can choose from 384 expertly programmed preset sounds that cover a wide range of classic and modern tones. Tweak and modify these sounds or create something completely new, storing your own custom creations in the 128 available user locations.
A More Musical Sequencer
The SE-02 includes a powerful 16-step sequencer to add motion and dimension to your sounds. It can sync to external tempo via MIDI, USB, or trigger input, and per-step gate time, adjustable glide, tempo, and patch number are stored with each sequence. Creative performance features allow you to set shuffle, scale, direction, and first/last steps on the fly. Even synth parameters can be automated by sequencing changes—just press a step and move a control. And despite the SE-02s compact size, the sequencer is fun and intuitive, lending itself to both studio and live usage. You can store 128 sequence patterns and construct 16 songs, each with up to 16 parts.
The SE-02 is built solidly with a rugged metal top and quality knobs and switches. And despite having a control for just about everything, it’s small enough to take just about anywhere. Due to its Roland Boutique format, it fits in our K-25m or DK-01 accessory docks, so you can add an integrated 25-key mini keyboard or have various tilt options for easy access in a variety of live and studio situations.
The SE-02 also features convenient 1/8-inch stereo jacks that reduce cable clutter, plus full-sized, standard MIDI jacks for connecting any kind of keyboard you want or controlling the SE-02 remotely. And as with other Roland Boutique synths, Chain Mode lets you increase the polyphony by connecting two or more SE-02 units together via MIDI.
There are CV inputs for both pitch and filter frequency, as well as trigger in and out, so the SE-02 works great with modular setups and other vintage gear. You can route external audio signals through the filter section, and there’s even USB audio and MIDI capabilities to seamlessly integrate with computer-based setups.
About Studio Electronics
Studio Electronics is a leader in excellence and ingenuity in analog synthesizer design since 1988. Makers of the revered MidiMini, SE-1, ATC-1, Omega 8, CODE 8, Boomstar, and Tonestar, Studio Electronics produces premium-quality musical instruments, hand-built in the USA.