Roland has been teasing us since before Winter NAMM with sneaky videos and tantalizing photos of their upcoming AIRA family of products. Today, the teasing ends and AIRA is officially unveiled! A new line of music-making gear based on legendary products that have become must-haves for many styles of music, the AIRA family features obsessively analyzed re-creations of the originals that faithfully replicate every detail and nuance of the analog circuitry, AIRA brings the classics into the modern age. Whether used alone or together, the AIRA family delivers the sounds music makers of all genres want with modern features, reliability, and style. The AIRA family includes four members:
TR-8 Rhythm Performer — Introduced in the 1980s, the TR-808 and TR-909 are often cited as the most influential drum machines of all time. The sounds of the TRs remain staples in today’s music, defining the sound of genres and remaining fresh more than three decades later. The TR-8 Rhythm Performer brings you full reproductions of the original TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines using newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology. In addition to all the features of the originals (up to 32-step pattern sequencing, 16 pads, and more), you can build hybrid kits containing whatever 808 and 909 sounds you desire, add per-step Gate Reverb and Delay effects, mix in external sources, seamlessly create patterns, real-time play any of for different rolls, quickly mute/unmute instruments, randomize patterns, use the innovative SCATTER functionality to “freak and tweak” your grooves, connect to your computer via USB, receive MIDI clock sync, integrate seamlessly other AIRA instruments, and tons more! It’s the 808 and 909 evolved.
TB-3 Touch Bassline — Created in 1981, the TB-303 Bassline was the defining sound of Acid House and other styles of electronic music. Using ACB technology, the TR-3 brings back the sound and feel of the TB-303: all those signature bass sounds are right at your fingertips! The TB-3 has 134 sounds onboard, with all the unmistakable character of the TB, including the 18dB/octave ladder low-pass filter. The new pressure-sensitive touch pad brings amazing performance capabilities to the TB-3, while the step sequencer makes it a breeze to create the patterns you conceive. The innovative SCATTER functionality features slicing, reverse, gating, and other effects, instantly taking the TB-3 to an entirely new creativity-inspiring level. Like the TR-3, the TB-3 features USB, MIDI clock sync, and seamless integration with other AIRA series units.
System-1 Variable Plug-out Synthesizer — Bringing back the sound and feel of Roland’s 1970s-era SYSTEM 100, SYSTEM 100M, and SYSTEM 700 modular and semi-modular synths, the SYSTEM-1 also breaks new ground with remarkable flexibility and a vast palette of ACB-based synthesized sounds. But there’s more — a lot more: Roland calls the SYSTEM-1 a “plug-out” synthesizer. This means the SYSTEM-1 can host software recreations of classic Roland synths. These “plug-outs” run right on the SYSTEM-1 hardware, so no computer is required. The first plug-out to be announced is the legendary SH-101, but this is just the beginning; expect many more classics to become available soon. An advanced arpeggiator is built-in, with SCATTER functionality allowing for incredible phrase variations. Modern effects like “Crush” bring a modern edge, along with USB connectivity, MIDI clock sync, and tight integration with other AIRA instruments.
VT-3 Voice Transformer — Processed vocals are a sonic mainstay of today’s music, and with the new VT-3, you get incredible vocal effects power! Singing synth effects, VP-330-style vocoder effects, hard-tuned effects, robot voices, lo-fi vocals, and more are right at your fingertips, with built-in reverb, wet/dry fader control, and instant bypass. Three presets let you store your favorite settings. Pitch and Formant each get their own fader for real-time control. An XLR combi jack provides phantom power for condenser mics, stereo outputs can be configured as wet/dry outputs, USB connectivity allows loopback recording to overdub vocals on existing tracks, and so much more. The VT-3 is meant to be played live, with real-time control, brightly lit controls, and fast, dead-simple operation.