Roland has finally released full details of its much-anticipated new AIRA range.
Finally, after an agonisingly drawn-out teaser campaign, we can reveal full details of the AIRA range, a series of virtual analogue instruments modelled on Roland’s vintage analogue classics.
While the fact that all four AIRA models are entirely digital might not appease the analogue purists, the very competitive prices might just swing the balance for anyone who’s still on the fence.
The TR-8 Rhythm Performer drum machine is a virtual analogue unit which is able to recreate the sounds of both the TR-808 and TR-909:
The TB-3 Touch Bassline synth is inspired by the TB-303 but features a large Kaoss Pad-style touch sensor on the front panel for an easier approach to step sequencing:
The AIRAs will sit in an interesting position in the market. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that they’ll be significantly more expensive than Korg’s analogue-based Volca series. But they’re also quite a lot cheaper than products like the Acidlab Miami, x0xb0x and BassBot TT-303 which emulate the Roland classics with analogue circuits. Will musicians be won over by the virtual analogue sound engines of the TR-08 and TB-03 when you can already buy excellent software emulations from the likes of D16? Time will tell.
The TR-8 and TB-3 will go on sale next month, priced at £399 and £249 respectively. The VT-3 will be priced at £159. The System-1 will follow shortly afterwards, price still TBC.
Find out more at Roland’s AIRA mini-site.