Watch Roland Engineers Discuss How The AIRA Emulates The TB-303

Roland’s latest videos all but confirm that the AIRA series will consist of virtual analogue units based on the company’s vintage classics.

UPDATE: scroll down for a clearer photo of all four AIRA products.

Two new videos from Roland offer even more hints about the hotly anticipated AIRA range. In the first video, embedded above, Roland engineers discuss Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB), a proprietary digital system for emulating analogue gear.

Yasuyuki Watanabe explains: “The first priority was to study the behaviour of these analogue instruments, and try to carefully recreate it. However, in today’s music styles, there are certain elements which have to be created digitally. So in order to achieve a harmony between these elements, we chose to use digital gear to recreate these analogue instruments.”

One scene shows Roland engineers comparing the original TB-303 with a new unit which we believe will be called the AIRA TB-3.

Comparing the original TB-303 with the new AIRA TB-03

Comparing the original TB-303 with the new AIRA TB-3

In the second video, below, we get a teaser of all the products in the AIRA range, believed to be the TR-8 drum machine, VT-3 voice transformer, TB-3 bassline synth and a full-size synth which draws on the sound of the SH-101.

The videos offer the biggest clue yet about Roland’s design philosophy for the AIRA series: “With this project, we really focused on analogue instruments. However, this does not mean we simply wanted to reproduce the analogue gear, rather that we wanted to create a new technology to produce new electronic instruments which meet the needs of today’s music scene.”

We’ll find out more when they’re unveiled at Dancefair in a week’s time.

UPDATE: Thanks to @mountvienna and @themistac on Twitter for this photo of the “System-1, TB-3 (Touch Bassline), VT-3 and TR-8″ (click to enlarge):

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  • Date: 7th February 2014
  • Jakub Wrote:

    You linked wrong first movie.

  • Attack Wrote:

    Thanks Jakub. We fixed the link just after we published but you were too fast for us ;)

  • Ali Wrote:

    Is there any update for 909 version?

  • Attack Wrote:

    Ali, at this stage we believe the TR-8/TR-08 will be capable of recreating both 808 and 909 sounds.

  • UnboxMeTooPLease Wrote:

    Can we watch the Aira being unboxed like the Korg? I would be happy to watch marketing videos all day long.

  • Mike Wrote:

    I want a Roland engineers uniform more than I want the new gear.

  • Steve-O Wrote:

    @Mike agreed, those jackets are great

  • Carl R Wrote:

    ACB Just another fancy name for virtual analog, do they really get it?I am more excited about receiving my Korg volca through the mail, then this release….

  • Chris Wrote:

    Before this post, I was interested in the Aria. Oh great, Roland have finally listened to their fans and are creating the next generation of analogue drum machines, we all thought.

    Now we know it’s just a virtual analogue, this really kills the buzz out of the release. VA is good and of a decent quality, but a lot of VA stuff can be recreated in software rather than needing a standalone keyboard or external box.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still want to see and hear what this can do, but not going down the full analogue route to answer Korg makes me wonder if they are listening to their fans…

  • Cian T Wrote:

    Virtual Analogue = No one cares………So disappointed by this……

  • Aloha Wrote:

    I think is cool because 808, 909 & 303 are really cool these days, but come on guys.. Virtual Analog? why don’t you just release some sort of NI’s Maschine or Ableton’s Push with its classic sounds and its done…
    I really don’t get the point of making this VA thing.
    In the beginning I was exited about Aira.. now i’ll keep my Volca with Maschine which they actually make a lovely couple.

    Peace.

  • Chucky Wrote:

    Leave it to Roland to screw this up. If you want to emulate a 303 you can buy a TT-303. Sadly Roland doesn’t get it. Substitute “Aria” for “MC-x0x” and it’s like deja vu.

  • Fraser Wrote:

    Should be “Watch the Roland Engineers talk out of their asses”.

  • vivi Wrote:

    tsssssk everyone depise those, but you’ll see how they will buy it anyway, always the same thing …Virtual Analog = new (maybe even more we don’t know) and new = fear
    Analog Analog fuck it, we gotta move

  • Tad Wrote:

    WTF – ROLAND WAKE UP!!! MAKE A REAL 808 909 303 101 – You could sell them for $1000 EACH!!!