Roland Aira In-Depth Hype Check

The Roland Aira line has been one of the biggest introductions of the year. But months after the introduction, people are still debating how closely the Roland Aira TR-8 and Aira TB-3 match the original Roland TB-303, TR-808 and TR-909 – and trying to judge the new instruments on their own merits. 

This video, via Paul Barker of DIN Sync, takes an in-depth look at the Aira TR-8 and TB-3. It’s a long video – close to 90 minutes – so, if you’re looking for a deep dive with the new boxes, this may fit the bill.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

14 thoughts on “Roland Aira In-Depth Hype Check

    1. Actually, the fact that the levels are inconsistent is important, considering how people tend to use the TR and TB range. Also the fact that the new Rolands are supposedly “modeled clones.” The levels and internal overdrive should technically be consistent between models… it has much to do with nailing the sound of the originals.

  1. Got to give marks for effort. I think by now, there is no hype remaining over AIRA. There is sufficient resources online to guide users make informed decision..

  2. Wake me when someone builds a time machine so we can put freshly produced models side by side. This debate is tired and fruitless…

  3. the 909 snare sounds virtually identical to the TR9 in this video, but the real one has a “ring” to it! you heard the ring, right? anybody?? it was there a second ago, I swear.

  4. Just got my TR8 and I’m very impressed with it. Of course it doesn’t sound exactly like a vintage 808 or 909, but it’s a tenth of the price of the real things.

    1. Exactly, you get what you pay for. Kinda. The problem with analog is just the scarcity and fashion that drive prices through the roof. Still, you can afford to go analog for very little money if you know where to look (Super Bass Station, Microbrute, Yamaha CS10, Kawai 100f, Korg Sigma, some Siel stuff…).

  5. I have the TR-8. It’s fun, but where’s the pattern backup? Only 16 patterns. I was really hoping for at least the ability to record MIDI notes from external sources, or better yet, an app that managed sequences and could transfer over USB and/or din. This is the only really oversight I have trouble with, and am strongly considered returning it for this reason.

  6. Good review. Pointless but great fun. No comparison between two ageing analogue drum machines and a sate of the art piece of tech! Like comparing a mini to the 2014 mini!!! They have the same name but that’s it. Gonna write to roland about the volume issue on the TR8. It really is annoying

  7. Personally, I expected to love the tr8 and had no interest in the tb3 – but when I actually got my hands on them to try out I found that the opposite was true.

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