Roland System 1 Plug-Out Synthesizer Video Demo

Here’s another sneak preview of the Roland Aira System-1 Plug-Out Synthesizer.

The System-1 combines features of hardware synths and MIDI controllers in interesting ways. In the video, product specialist Brandon Ryan explains the new tech behind the System-1, the new Roland software synth plugins and Roland’s ‘Plug Out’ technology.

32 thoughts on “Roland System 1 Plug-Out Synthesizer Video Demo

    1. I love the sound and concept, but I want to see a full size (at least 49 key) version that’s minimal 8-voice polyphonic and has a more traditional pitch/mod control. I’m getting tired of seeing brilliant synths made only for dance music tweakers; can we please get a *performance* version, hopefully one that’s affordable?

  1. I thought it was a demo of the plug out thing, nothing new here.
    In the mean time I found a alpha juno 2 for 150€, now that is FAT!
    Super easy to repair the keys, really really recommended for everyone on a tight budget(and not), does warm pads, deep and crazy bass. Even funky percussive chords!!!
    I even came out with a patch sounding like No Quarter electric piano part!!!!

    1. I LOVE my Juno 2! It sounds so fat and tight too. I have a free editor for it that works well in my DAW.
      And for knob tweaking, I bought the Novation Bass Station 2.
      Those two synths work well for me. I can recommend them to anyone
      As far as the new System 1 is concerned, I’d have to test it live before I can say anything.

  2. Rack it yes.Happy with my jp 8080 but more roland rack gear yes.
    Just bought the voice box and tb clone.very nice gear.

  3. I don’t think Roland has made a mistake here and to be honest, their gear is usually pretty hardy. Thumbs-up for that Juno-luv. Been there! We have to accept semi-crappy keyboards up to a point because for many buyers, they’re triggers more than traditional playing keys. I “hated” this in the past, until I accepted that buying a main ‘board that felt good was up to me. I encourage you to dig until you lay hands to one that clicks for you. At that point, treat the rest as modules. That’s why there’s a MiniNova and others like it. Think of it was a compact synth with a courtesy keyboard. I might like this Aira more if it offered a model of a Juno-2 with a second oscillator and another envelope & LFO. Its a modest yet bitchin’ synth.

  4. at least they’re getting a decent low and low-mid sound from their modelling at this point. i’m sure they’ll keep working till it lives up to the promise of their project, if not in this product, then in the next ones. waiting for the jupiter-class sounds to emerge in this age, cus i can feel it coming along here.

  5. Wow a lot of talk and very little music. The thing sounds pretty cold to me. But maybe that’s the preference of the musician, I’d have to hear a lot more before considering buying it.

  6. I’m just wondering when the plug-out will actually work. Every demo so far the scatter and plug-out are yet to be seen, yet they are the main selling points of the synth. Not a good sign…

  7. I think it sounds pretty good, wonderful even.

    And even if you don’t care too much about the plug out aspect of it, which I am anxiously anticipating, the second most affordable fully knobtastic VA costs like 3-4 times more.

    This is a winner.

  8. LAME… Totally mislead by someone at Synthtopia posting this, very disappointing maybe the Synthtopia is getting kick backs showing videos like these. This is an Advertisement for Guitar Center telling us to go to there website/or store for more info or most likely per-order the System-1 that is not even ready, the above video shows a “prototype” not in full working order even!.

    1. Well, find us a video from Roland that isn’t sponsored by GC and maybe your complaint will be warranted. Sometimes big corporations get the first look, and stamp ads all over it like this one, but that doesn’t mean reposting is guilt by association.

      1. Well missed the point completely of my post, it was concerning the misleading title of the synthtopia post that is “Roland System 1 Plug-Out Synthesizer Video Demo” and guess what there was NO demo of the Plug-Out system in the video! He mentioned it thats it if you call that a demo well nuff said. No showing the how to interface with a computer let alone a fully working Plug-Out. The System 1 unit shown is not even ready like the guy from roland said! So yes the video was nothing more than a plug for Guitar Center to buy your System 1 from.

        And as far as other videos not GC pushing roland AIRA products.
        Here’s 2 videos, one of many on youtube not sponsored by GC concerning new AIRA gear.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHi_F1PoUwU

        So is my opinion “warranted” now and if so can I get a receipt with that.

    2. “Totally mislead by someone at Synthtopia posting this, very disappointing maybe the Synthtopia is getting kick backs showing videos like these.”

      The Synthtopia has been at it for 10 years and still no kcik backs for sharing videos. Kicks to the balls, occasionally, but no kick backs.

      FWIW, the previous System 1 video that we featured (http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2014/03/09/roland-aira-system-1-synthesizer-demonstration-and-review/) was from Miles at Sonic Sense and the video from NAMM was filmed by us (http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2014/02/14/introducing-the-roland-aira-line/).

  9. Im confused… the plug-out idea seems nice….but what’s the point of having an hardware controller with no aftertouch and 2 octave keyboard? It even lacks a pitch/modulation joystick ffs.

  10. all talk no demo…well okay tiny buzzy crap…and it’s still not finished so this looks like the w.i.p. demo unit is still doing the rounds…so for what i’ve heard sounds about as convincing as my roland Gaia…not exactly a step forward…in fact the keys look horrible to play on this and the video jog wheel…um…not sure!

    proper demo please otherwise this is starting to look/sound like the akia rhythm wolf 🙂

  11. Was lucky enough to get my hands of a prerelease prototype for a few hours a while back.
    It sounds infinitely better than the GAIA in person with a rather nice filter to boot.
    It sounds more like a JP8080 with much better bottom end, filters and overall snappiness – the envelopes are super fast indeed – pretty easy to get sounding like a 101 / 202 / SH09 out of the box – the actually synth layout is not a hundred miles away from an SH2 truth be told.
    Personally I’d love but you really need to hear it in person to appreciate the sound quality.
    96khz 24bit on output with super high resolution encoders and zero filter stepping I might add.
    I think a lot of detractors are going to be very surprised buy this when they gets their mitts on one.
    Oh and it has Pitch bend and Modulation on the outer ring of the Scatter Dial for those wondering and can do PWM/Ring Mod/FXM and audio rate LFO modulations simultaneously.

  12. So if the software engine can be changed, how are they dealing with the hardware knob labels? If they are all unlabeled, that would be maddening. And if they are “mostly” labeled correctly, with odd variations per software load out, that would also be maddening, though somewhat less so.

  13. Any features that aren’t on the software model will not light up at all so you know their functions are disabled. If the model has no pitch envelope for example the AD section will not light up.
    No secondary envelope for the filter, that won’t light up. Single oscillator like a SH101 – only one oscillator available and so on and so forth.

  14. So the System-1 native synth represents every possible function at the highest possible polyphony available by the DSP?

    Any of the Plug Outs would then have to be synth models that conform to the functions of the existing front panel – or less. So people will be excited (and playing money?) to load up a Plug Out that turns off sections of their System 1? Only Roland synths? Only 4 voices, even if it’s a Juno model?

  15. I still don’t understand what this “Plug Out” thing is. Is it just Roland’s version of Access’ Total Integration (T.I.)?

    1. Seems fairly limiting. Depending on the cost of each load out, it might make the most sense to only buy the one configuration that used the most hardware, or buy a different synth that cost the same or less than all the load outs combined, but that offered more capability.

      1. It really depends on how you define ‘limiting”.
        I know they haven’t decided as yet what’s going to happen with the Plug Out’s – possible voucher option for one included on purchase with the synth. Personally, if the plug out included was an SH101 and the modelling was as good as the TR8’s is I would say it was a bargain (especially given the price point).
        I doubt they’ll do Juno plug outs for this configuration – more likely SH101, SH09, SH2, Compuphonic (Jupiter 4) would all be doable within the framework as it now stands. That said it can get pretty close to an SH09 with the standard System 1 configuration. The prototype i used had the scatter function working also which works solely on midi data (it isn’t audio buffer related like the other units) and it dopes some very clever not scrambling tricks with the arpeggio.
        There is a really unique sweet spot on the bit reducer that makes everything sound very formant like also and the delay behaves like an analog / tape delay with lots of wow, flutter and warble.

        Pro’s to me where –

        1. size and form factor – especially for gigs.
        2. the bottom end is seriously huge (like richter scale kind of huge)
        3. no aliasing of artifacts on both the oscillators and the filter
        4. one knob per function control – all the knobs feel extremely sturdy
        5. fxm (basically amplitude modulation) , PWM, Sync and ring mod available at the same time.
        6. high sample rate and resolution of all encoders and modelling functions
        7. I didn’t actually miss velocity truth be told on this unit (but I have other keyboards for aftertouch)
        8. it doesn’t sound typically Roland and can be quite aggressive in the extreme
        9. at the price point I felt it sounded better than a DSI Mofo and has 4 voice poly
        10. the sound – you’ll probably either love it or hate it.

        Personally I found it to be perfect marriage of older SH series analog synths, the JP8080 (with better filters and much better bottom end) and the more contemporary sounds we hear in modern EDM, House, Tech House and so on.

        It all depends on what you want in a minus $700 synth – the build quality is rather sturdy and the key bed is nicer to play than you’d expect also (springy with a decent amount of resistance and not flimsy in feel).

        Note I am an older guy (mid 40 something) and have used a lot of gear over the years) – I’m not so much of an analog purist and use a mix of sampling, real analog, S&S, FM, and granular based tools.
        Whilst I source most of my sounds from hardware I process them a lot within the digital domain.
        I could see this fitting in quite nicely in a minimal live rig but your mileage may vary, it would in all honesty bring something different to the table for me at least but everyones needs are different.

        Lastly I am in no way affiliated with Roland just for the record.

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