4 New Roland AIRA Instruments Announced! TR-08 Drum Machine + TB-3 Touch Bassline, VT-3 Vocal Transformer, System-1 Synth (Updated w/ Reviews)

After months of teasers, Roland is ready to release four new AIRA instruments: the TR-08 drum machine, the VT-3 Vocal Transformer, the TB-3 Touch Bassline, and the System-1 Synthesizer.

Roland Aira Instruments TR-8, VT-3, TB-3, System-1

Four Roland Aira Instruments Announced

After months of teasers we are finally getting a bit more news about Roland’s upcoming Aira line of musical instruments. It seems that Aira will launch as four devices: the TR-08 drum machine, the VT-3 Vocal Transformer, the TB-3 Touch Bassline, and the System-1 Synth. All four instruments are modeled after classic roland gear such as the TB-303 and the TR-808. The four units are due to be fully revealed on February 15th, 2014.

Analog Circuit Behavior

The Aira series of devices is based on a new technology called ACB (analog circuit behavior) that is being touted as a new sort of modeling technology that emulates analog sound. Roland’s Yasuyuki Watanabe explains, “With this project, we really focused on analog instruments. However, this does not mean we only wanted to reproduce the analog gear, rather that we wanted to create a new technology to produce new electronic instruments. We wanted to create the next step in electronic music, and I believe that with ACB technology we just might have succeeded.”

Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn explains the excitement around ACB technology:

“Roland has revealed their approach to new component modeling of analog circuits. That may not please analog purists, but it could be a way to balance the versatility of digital design with the sound quality of the originals. And we’ve been waiting for Roland to do complete component modeling for some time. It’s a field that has rapidly advanced – Native Instruments’ model of the Monark was a good recent example, incorporating the latest research in filter design. It’ll be interesting to see what Roland’s take might be.” (Read more at CDM) 

Here is a 18 minute video review on the TR-08 + TB-3 Touch Bassline from Sonicstate.

Roland AIRA TR-8, AIRA TB-3 i AIRA VT-3 Demo

808 State’s Graham Massey on the Aira Series



“From the new teaser video it looks as if the TR-808 clone TR-08 will be joined by a small but brightly lit TB-303 clone, rumored to be a touch-screen device similar to Korg’s KAOSS pad (on the right side of the picture above), a proper synthesizer with keyboard (at the top, looking not a million miles away from Roland’s popular JP-8000/8080) and the VT-3 Vocal Transformer, an effects unit intended for the human voice.” – Fact Magazine


Close up of Roland Aira TR-8


Roland Aira TR-8


Roland Aira VT-3