AIRA System-1 Presented At Dancefair - Video

More information on models, price, availability      17/02/14

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This weekend at the Dancefair in Utrecht was the first public outing of the AIRA range. If you've missed it - the new range of analogue modelled instruments from Roland that uses their ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) technology.

We were fortunate to get hold of the TR8 - the new drum machine that models both the classic TR808 and the TR909 machines - see our review from Friday here.

We also looked at the TB3 Touch Bassline too - this is the TB-303 reimagined - with a new touchpad interface.

Anyhow, the System-1 has been much awaited too, though we surmise by the lack of available review units, that its not quite as far along as the other models. With 2 oscillators and four voices, its got plenty to tweak, but what makes the System-1 more of an interesting proposition is the fact that it has the ability to run an addition synth model using Roland's own Plug-in format.

Presumably this will be uploaded via USB  - the first model is yet to be confirmed but a source tells us that its a close run thing between SH-101, SH-2 and System-100.

We also hear (totally unconfirmed) that one plug will ship with the unit and additional models will be in the range of $99 - but again this is not confirmed.

The System-1 will be dropping in June with street prices of £499/$599

We hope to get more hands-on soon.

Many thanks to Eric from ChampsOriginalTrend.com for getting the footage.

 

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17 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Musel    Said...

Aehm, where is the Mod wheel, pitch bender?? The PLug out concept is interesting and sound was also ok, but remembering Varios and V-synth, the question is how many roland classic Plug Ins really will be available in the end. I assume the keyboard is velocity sensitive, but doesn't have aftertouch. anybody can confirm this?

17-Feb-14 08:28 AM


seb    Said...

No velocity, no aftertouch, no pitchbend, no modwheel... the big question is WHY?? to keep the price low? At least they removed the annoying D-beam..:)

17-Feb-14 08:59 AM


Tesla    Said...

I can see why they choose to showcase this synth at dancefair. This is going to be the new " go to " anthemic trance synth. I'm sure that tiesto's ghost producer will buy 3........

" prepare for the supersquare "

:P

17-Feb-14 09:21 AM


zvukoprocessor    Said...

"the fastest LFO in the world"

speed of light fastest or even faster?

no pitch bend and no mod wheel... WHY???

17-Feb-14 09:32 AM


Synth_Fan    Said...

Well, with a 2-octave keyboard, there isn't going to be much performing on this in any case - so the lack of pitch and modulation wheels or of velocity and aftertouch is essentially irrelevant.

It is clear that these are aimed squarely at the dance market (or is that 'super squarely') - but it's a pity that more general musicians - live performers, media composers and more generic electronic composers are not catered for too.

I would hope that, like Moog moving from SubPhatty to Sub37; that Roland would eventually release a 37 or 44 note version of this with the modulation and improved features.

I just can't see that many dance artists buying this - they are the 'synth in the computer' generation. Roland are looking to make a new market here and that's a risk. Meanwhile they seem to be leaving their traditional market behind. Even so, I think they have missed a trick with excluding media composers as a viable market.

If this device can respond to aftertouch, velocity, pitch bend and modulation that will partly make it a more generic device - but I see no evidence of how that can be catered for (are there shift functions not visible on the control surface to set up velocity, aftertouch and LFO control options??).

17-Feb-14 09:40 AM


Nanners1    Said...

I'm not interested in these, but Roland have other products out that are catering to the more traditional musician. This is obviously pointed directly at the dance floor (is it just me or has that whole scene become immensely boring and untalented?). This is not kit for players...it's kit for programmers and sequencer guys. So take it for what it is and quit bitching. If you are not interested, if you are not part of that scene...check out the other kit (workstations) Roland are releasing. I'm quite happy with were the synth a computer stuff is going...it's starting to get good. Just plug a keyboard in and play the thing! I can't take my macbeths to the beach!

17-Feb-14 10:14 AM


Marcuss    Said...

jezus christ this is the worst demo ever. Except if you are a HARD STYLE TEK(CH)NO I WANT TO TWEAK HUUH SQUALCHY SOUNDS BLABLABLA user, then great. But come on guys, these sounds are retarded.

17-Feb-14 10:24 AM


SUBTRACTIVE NOBODY    Said...

So is it pronounced Air-a or Ir-a? Can Roland do anything that is intuitive and makes sense? I feel like they've fallen and they can't get up! I don't even feel like I know what this thing sounds like with all the verb and delay drowning the ACB technology. Is it just me, or does a lot of this synth seem just a bit gimmicky?

17-Feb-14 10:26 AM


Nanners1    Said...

@ Marcuss. Not "retarded" just overexposed and overused and done to death and back. It was different at one time because it was all about exploration and using new sounds in a musical way. Now it's all about imitation and letting the play button to the work for you. It's just long out of context... like classic rock. thank Goodness that era was dedicated to vinyl.

17-Feb-14 10:30 AM


overdone    Said...

- So is it pronounced Air-a or Ir-a?

I'm thinking "Roland Error" :-)

17-Feb-14 11:16 AM


Champ    Said...

@Marcuss

Believe me that David (the guy doing the presentation had a long long schedule which already got delayed. He skipped the only break he had to do these videos so we're very happy that he took the time to do this. :) There simply wasn't enough time to cover everything on the units. I'll bet Sonicstate will receive the units pretty soon and cover them all more in-depth.

Cheers, Eric

17-Feb-14 12:49 PM


Marcus Eoin    Said...

If you're going to do a demo for a synth based around simulated analog technology then start with showing WARMTH, FATTNESS and CHARACTER. All I heard in this demo was harsh, cold, metallic overly effected (delay, reverb, bitcrushed) sounds. Start with the raw waveforms with no FX please then work into the more modern style patches.

I can't wait for Nick's demo. He actually knows how to demo a synth without trying to sugarcoat everything.

17-Feb-14 01:14 PM


falafel overload    Said...

This looks a bit unfinished, and sounds unfinished, so it must be unfinished. It needs, as everyone else here has said, a pitch/mod wheel and velocity at the least at that price.

17-Feb-14 02:44 PM


HADT    Said...

Says enough if you need a lot of fx to make sound it good.

18-Feb-14 06:28 AM


BAD MiND    Said...

For everyone wondering about Pitch Bend, it's in the wheel (shared with Scatter)...

18-Feb-14 01:25 PM


oredon    Said...

Do I hear hiss every time the audio from the synth comes up?

20-Feb-14 11:46 AM


Dolphono    Said...

It's pronounced EYE and RA.

System 1 is an outstanding concept. Uploading a VST into a "real" mini synth is a cool idea. System 1 type products could double as a VST dongle. I believe Roland just feeling out the market with the System 1. Hopefully this is the future for all Roland products.

27-Feb-14 01:27 PM


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