Roland have really milked their online market with a series of teasing videos leading up the official launch of their brand new Roland Aira series of analog hardware, which happened last weekend (15-16 February, 2014) at the Dancefair in Amsterdam, Holland. On a side note we can’t help but notice what a key location Amsterdam has become for dance music related symposiums after our visit to the Amsterdam Dance Event last year.
Roland without doubt has an enviable pedigree in dance music, their TR-808, TR-909, TB-303 all but defining electronic music back in its infancy. Today the 909 kick drum is still by far the most used kick in dance music so you can imagine the sense of anticipation that has filled the ‘net-waves’ with the news of the new Roland Aira series.
What Roland has moved to do is ensure that all these new analog instruments retain everything we’ve always loved about their outboard gear, but with the modern twist of full integration with the digital too. Their new technology is called Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) which they claim will accurately capture the sound and feel of living, breathing instruments, including some of Roland’s most revered classics.
“AIRA combines the organic sound and behaviour of ACB with modern effects like Scatter and thoughtful USB integration with computers and DAWs. Through inspiring, highly playable designs, AIRA products deliver a seamless creative experience that shatters the boundaries between production and performance.”
Roland South Africa anticipates the arrival of stock toward the end of April 2014.
The Roland Aira Range:
The magic of the TB-303 with new sounds and modern, performance-ready features
Based on the wildly influential TB-303, the new TB-3 Touch Bassline is a performance-ready bass synthesizer with authentic sound and intuitive controls engineered to play. The TB-3 contains the unmistakable character of its predecessor, wrapped in a modern package with a pressure-sensitive touch pad that makes both playing and programming a total joy.
Sounds with character and loads of controls in a PLUG-OUT capable synthesizer
Back in the 1970s, Roland launched the SYSTEM 100, SYSTEM 100M, and the now almost mythical SYSTEM 700. These modular and semi-modular synthesizers are heralded to this day for their flexibility and character of sound. In the spirit of its predecessors, the SYSTEM-1 breaks new ground with remarkable flexibility and access to a vast palette of tones with the bold, unmistakable character associated with Roland synthesizers for nearly four decades.
Authentic TR-808 and TR-909 experience in a modern, performance-ready instrument
The TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age. Genre-defining sounds, classic effects, unprecedented live pattern manipulation, and solid, intuitive performance controls. It’s the TR…evolved.
Easy voice transformation with vocoder, lo-fi effects, and synths you can sing
Aggressively processed vocals are common in electronic music today, but producing these effects easily and reproducing them live has been a challenge—until now. With the VT-3 Voice Transformer, you can smoothly alter pitch and formant in real time to introduce heavily processed vocal sounds into your studio tracks and stage performances with zero hassle. On top of that, the VT-3 looks great and works seamlessly with other products in the AIRA series.
Checkout the first impressions of these artists as they talk about their experiences with Roland instruments their first impressions of the AIRA gear: Arthur Baker, Ricardo Villalobos, A Guy Called Gerald, Rain Man, Netsky, Oscar Burnside, Boys Noize, Dr Meaker, Hardfloor, John Heckle, Hisashi Saito, and Akkord.