In this video, Nick Batt from Sonic State takes an in-depth look at the new Roland Aira System-1 synthesizer.
The synthesizer is unique in that it is essentially a hardware host that you can upload different software synths to, a hardware synth with ‘multiple personalities’.
Roland also plans to release multiple ‘Plug-Out’ synthesizers that can be loaded onto the System-1, with corresponding plug-ins that you can run in your DAW. This will allow the System-1 to act as a dedicated hardware controller for the DAW plugins, but also let you use the plug-ins (in their plug-out versions) while the keyboard is not connected to a computer.
This aspect of the System-1 is still to come, which is unfortunate, since it’s arguably the keyboard’s most interesting feature. It will be difficult to judge the System-1 until Roland delivers on the promise of Plug-Out technology, and multiple synth options become available.
The Roland Aira System-1 is expected to be available in late June, 2014, priced at £495 / $599. The first Plug-out synth is scheduled to be released at the end of July and is expected to be of the SH-101.
Roland has also announced the SH-101 Plug-Out software synthesizer.