AIRA System-1 Synth Can Host Plug-in Models

Brand new four voice/osc machine completes the picture      14/02/14
AIRA System-1 Synth Can Host Plug-in Models


Hopefully you will have seen our reviews of the AIRA TB3 touch bassline TB-303  type machine and the TR8 drum machine , if not, do check them out.

The other instrument in the AIRA range si the System-1 its a synthesizer which has its roots (according to the blurb) in System 100 modulars. Its capable of up to four voice polyphony too.

What makes it more than your average virtual analogue (using Rolands new ACB - Analogue Circuit Behaviour), its got the ability to run internal plug-in synths without the need for a computer they call it Plug-Out. Hmm, that sounds interesting - so can I run my Uhe Diva on it? Well no. It appears that you will need to load up Roland specific plugs, but it does make for an interesting hybrid of hard and software.

As it comes, the synth is its own master - a four oscillator machine with the specifications set out below, but in addition you can load in one of these "recreations of classic synths" as a hosted plugin. First to come is the SH101 - though presently this is not quite there yet. But there will be more to come.

It certainly has potential.

We hear that it will be around $599 street

But as it comes here are the specs of the System-1:

[Sound Generator Section]

  • - Maximum Polyphony 4 voices
  • - Registrations 8
  • - Structure Elements
  • SYSTEM-1 Mode:
  • LFO
  • OSC 1, 2
  • SUB OSC
  • NOISE OSC
  • ENVELOPE: PITCH, FILTER, AMP
  • MODULATION: RING, OSC SYNC, CROSS MOD
  • EFFECTS: CRUSHER, REVERB, DELAY
  • PORTAMENTO
  • PLUG-OUT Mode:
  • Depends on PLUG-OUT software
  • - ARPEGGIO
  • Type: 6
  • Step: 6
  • - SCATTER
  • Type: 10
  • - Connectors
  • PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
  • OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
  • PEDAL (HOLD) jack: 1/4-inch phone type
  • PEDAL (CONTROL) jack: 1/4-inch TRS phone type
  • MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
  • USB port: USB type B (Audio/MIDI)
  • DC IN jack

 

Pricing and availability TBC

 

More From: ROLAND
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23 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Adam Bailey    Said...

Ugly as hell.

14-Feb-14 03:03 AM


AndyKeys    Said...

So i was right !!!!

14-Feb-14 03:09 AM


Dutnakke    Said...

It's 2014 ......and 4-note polyphony!!??? On a 2-octave keyboard!!!??? Well - what else have you got?

14-Feb-14 03:25 AM


vcm    Said...

Hmmmm...in this video TB-3 sounds very nice, very smooth, maybe less aggressive than origianl 303...but not bad not bad :) also intersted in this effect unit that makes vocode sounds..When will you get it for review, Nick?

14-Feb-14 04:45 AM


Arsewipe    Said...

''and 4-note polyphony!!??? On a 2-octave keyboard!!!???''

Apparently you can use a DAW and have 4 independent monophonic lines going on... I have also heard with this new MIDI thing you can plug in an 88 note keyboard if you wish....

Still, at 500 bucks you are correct, it shouldn't be muiltitimperal or polyphonic, lets see if we can get them to remove the option......

14-Feb-14 04:52 AM


Samwise    Said...

Hang on Arsewipe, 4 note polyphony on a VA in 2014 for £500 seems a bit poor really. If it was analogue obviously it would be much more expensive I agree but it's not.

14-Feb-14 05:30 AM


rezazel    Said...

4-note-polyphony VA for 599$ - they've got to be joking....

14-Feb-14 05:53 AM


Synth_Fan    Said...

For me, this will live or die on its sound; and accept that some of its specs seem a little 'light'

But I'm glad it's 4 note poly - I will view it as 4 monophonic lines. I suspect that Roland know what they are doing here and that the sound will be truly excellent.

None the less, for this to work:

- the sound will have to be really strong

- the plugins will have to sound like the originals

- the ring modulator had better be good

- the LFO options and routing had better be flexible / extensive.

I like the concept; I expect the sound to be strong (and far better than GAIA) - but if the TR-8 is anything to go by, this circuit modelling technology seems to have a lot going for it.

I expect to see tentative uptake on these at first; but if the sound is strong they will be successful because the word (and sound) will spread.

The usual army of mindless 'Roland Bashers' posting irrational comments are already out in force of course (as some of the comments here and over on TR-8 review reveal) - looks like the have been sitting in anticipation to mindlessly knock these items; without having heard them properly or tried them out. the mind boggles.

I love the concept; and think its a strong move by Roland.

If you're new to synths - ignore them and judge each item on its merits.

14-Feb-14 06:15 AM


Totty    Said...

No velocity I see.

14-Feb-14 06:17 AM


cresshead    Said...

tr8 and tb3 sound good..not sure how 1:1 with the old stuff but i like the sound so that's all that matters to me..the VT3 is interesting...price on that? as for the system 1 doesn't appear to be ready yet...so has potential

14-Feb-14 06:35 AM


S R Dhain    Said...

Ive now seen all the vids and i want all of them...now! :-D

Good job there by roland...the price here is fine. It doesn't pretend to be anything but what it is, which is a host enclosure for all sorts of stuff. It's a bit reaching to refer to it in the same voice as the original system 100 series ( ive owned the 100 and 100m and id love to hear that sound WITH the patching flexibility in hardware...roland?), but as it all is, it looks and sounds sweet.

14-Feb-14 07:39 AM


Daniel    Said...

I just hope their emulation is as good or better than Togu Audio Line's versions - their new SH101 and Juno 60 VSTs are pretty damn good, the only thing i miss is the tactile interface. If they nail the sound this could be great, disappointed its only two octaves though, three with more controls would be worth paying extra for.

14-Feb-14 08:03 AM


Gustavo    Said...

I see this being popular with the guys actually producing dance music, so it may ultimately be a great move by Roland...but for synth aficionados, maybe not so much, specially seeing what the other options are.

14-Feb-14 10:41 AM


Synth_Fan    Said...

But imagine if the model:

- System 100 - SH-1 - Promars

and do a RALLY convincing job.

Won't that appeal to a lot more than dance artists. If Roland get this right, it cloudl be very exciting for us all.

14-Feb-14 01:32 PM


   Said...

So very keen to hear real demos of this. So far I've just heard that horrible noise and horrible reverb on the GAK site. Please be good... And can synth manufacturers stop building in superfluous cheap sounding fx?

14-Feb-14 01:59 PM


subsonix    Said...

I like the idea but I remember they said the same thing with the V-Synth (which I bought). They brought out a D-50 card, then a vocoder... and that was it.

14-Feb-14 02:44 PM


The Guvnor    Said...

I hope the 'plug-outs' are either free or really cheap to address the polyphony & multi-timbrality issues

14-Feb-14 06:08 PM


Schroeder    Said...

Hmm... be carefull - Roland VariOS comes to mind. So many promises and then dropped shortly after release.

And no velocity or aftertouch? - very vintage vibe indeed! - oh I see? - it's for djs and edm producers ;-)

15-Feb-14 06:21 AM


Anthony the cat    Said...

4 note polyphony max is disappointing (would have preferred at least 8) but what worries me is the 8 registrations. Does that mean this will only be able to store 8 patches/presets?

Answered my own question by checking the roland website. Yes, there are only 8 user memory locations. I had no idea involatile memory was so expensive nowadays.

I guess we have to break out the good old fashioned patch sheets.

16-Feb-14 06:31 PM


overdone    Said...

It might not look so ugly if it weren't for the "dead rubber, no push/give response" buttons.

Makes me think of the Korg Electribes and membrane computer keyboards from the '80s. Horrible stuff. I'm sure these feel a lot better, though. (cough)

17-Feb-14 11:18 AM


Brennan    Said...

the synth seems o.k just o.k but on another note Korg are talking about a remake of the ARP Odyssey synthesizer maybe time to wait

17-Feb-14 02:04 PM


jim    Said...

If the plug out synths are priced right and sound good that would be my only incentive. I hoping for JX-3p, JX-10, JP800 or some jupiter lite plug outs.

18-Feb-14 06:04 PM


new direction    Said...

If Roland wants to bring back some of their best selling instruments they can start with the Virtual synth by Analog Labs version of the JP8 & turn it into hardware(updated the same way they did with the TR08),do the something with TheDDR30 drums kit.

24-Feb-14 07:01 PM


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