Roland AIRA Artist Interviews

Roland has released another teaser for the upcoming Aira series.

The latest video features artist interviews from Artists Arthur Baker, Ricardo Villalobos, Hardfloor, Netsky, Dr Meaker, A Guy Called Gerald and Boys Noize, who talk about their experiences with Roland instruments and discuss the joys and challenges of performing electronic music live.

Roland has not officially announced details yet, but at this point has only released a series of teaser videos for the Roland Aira line.

60 thoughts on “Roland AIRA Artist Interviews

  1. What is the point of this clip?
    these are random interviews about 30y old gear unrelated to the product, and it should give credence to this new shyte?
    The logic of it is so bizarre.
    So much for not rehashing the old stuff. This is standard practice of having your cake and eating it.
    “We dont want to emulate the past (mostly because we forgot how apparently) but we will gladly exploit the image and status of the classic gear.” What you get is stuff like the mc seriese and sh202
    I would gladly be proven wrong.

  2. Every time I see these Aira teasers, with everyone gushing about the beauty of the 808, 909, and 303 sounds, I keep wondering why Roland ISN’T making analog devices with the Aira line.

    It’s like, “Remember how much you loved our old machines? Don’t worry – these new ones won’t sound anything like them.”

    1. but the thing is … the 303. 808 and 909 actually sound pretty cheesy. they became iconic in spite of themselves mainly due to being the right time, which is to say in an era before computers were powerful enough to serve as samplers and synths. the “iconic” gear of today is software. what defines this era of sounds? NI Massive, FM8, Sylenth, Synthsquad, etc. probably in 30 years we’ll be seeing a wrinkly burned out old skrillex waxing nostalgic about how iconic fm8 is in some dubstep documentary. these people getting all misty about crummy old gear remind me of washed up nerds reminiscing about the glory days DEC mini-computers and programming in Fortran. Yeah, cool nostalgia trip and we should all know our history but … if you really need 808 sounds go buy a $20 sample pack…

      1. I dare to disagree. Nobody will remember Skrillex or any of his EDM or Dubstep mates in 30 years. But everybody will still remember the 808 and the Juno-60.

  3. I don’t want to sound like an *sshole but seriously Roland, these videos are turning me off. Release these things and let the potential buyers decide. With respect to all these beautiful musicians, I don’t really give a sh…. about what they think about the original TR series. seriously! I just want to see the new features, price, etc etc.

  4. Roland…give us the instruments for the masses!…we want an affordable analog 808/909!…or sell the patent to Korg…but do something!

    1. Didn’t Korg already do the affordable 808/909 with the Volca Beats? The reason those are $150, though, is that Korg simplified the design and used inexpensive materials.

      What people seem to be asking for Roland to release a new 808/909, with 80’s build quality, but to price it like the Volcas. Based on the Tempest and the Analog Rytm, an all-analog drum machine with great build quality can’t be done yet for under $1500-2000.

      1. yes it can, Roland is a HUGE company, they have better resources than Dave Smith and Elektron and can sell enough untis to keep the price down. MFB can do an analog drum machine with step sequencer for 250euro ..

        the Volca series is great for the price, Roland need to release something thats a step up from them but still affordable. smd’s make it possible for cheaper and more compact units, so it can have alot in a small package compared to 1980s.

        right now Im embarassed for Roland with this silly PR campaign but still hopefull they bring out something nice and not stupidly priced

        1. It’s kind of sad that so many people seem to think that the only reason Roland/Yamaha/Korg can’t sell a brand new analog drum machine for a few hundred bucks is that they don’t know what they’re doing!

          By the way, the only MFB that’s remotely like an 808 is the Tanzbar, and it’s 800 Euro or more.

  5. “I remember in 81 I sat down, pressed a bottle to my lips, and took a sip, it was heaven!”

    “I’d never tried coke before, it was like this brown liquid, with an organic flow”

    “I unscrewed the cap and the bubbles went scooshing up, such a rush!”

    “You can’t beat that classic flavor.”

    PepsiCo Pepsi(TM) – “Guess what the fuck it’s gonna be!”

  6. I agree – these teaser vids are ridiculous and senseless. What, is this thing going to be a VA of all the classic Roland XOXes rolled into one machine, including sampling? I bought an original 808 in early ’83, for all the same reasons as everyone else. I’ve since sampled and sold it, and don’t really miss it. Nevermind – I’ve got plenty to do with the machines I now have and love – I can’t be bothered with wondering about this new thing from Roland. They’re waayyy late to the party.

  7. Originally I thought they were teasing 4 new products but the last two videos took it in an entirely different direction. Not sure where they’re going now….

  8. It’s like akai riding the coat tails of their past success and reputation with the mpc rennaisance. Why can’t these company realize that yes they will make money bringing out some cheap mass produced shit, but if they actually elevated the product over the classics of their past they would make so much more money and further solidify their reputation amongst musicians. Look at korg as your role model roland and akai..

    1. “if they actually elevated the product over the classics of their past they would make so much more money and further solidify their reputation amongst musicians. Look at korg as your role model roland and akai..”

      Korg’s big introductions in the last year have been reproductions of one of their vintage synths and the Volcas. Both are cool, but neither were better instruments than Korg’s vintage synths or Roland’s vintage drum boxes.

      I think the Aira line is going to be Roland’s response to Korg, but instead of going cheap, they’re going to try and make great electronic instruments at mass-market prices.

      It’s obvious from the earlier teaser videos that there are several machines in the Aira line and that they are big and covered with knobs. So we know they aren’t going to be cheap devices like the Volcas, they’re going to bigger and more powerful devices, more like the Electribe series.

      If these are Electribe-killers, they’re going to be in the $300-500 range, be based on analog-modelling technology and offer some extra bells and whistles. I’d love to see Roland prove me wrong – but the I’d be excited about an inexpensive drum machine that could run circles around the Electribes, too.

      1. You are a silly troll. The volca beats BD sounds much better than a 909 BD, by miles. And since the volca beats is much smaller and cheaper than the TRs and sounds just as good, except for the snare, they are innovative.

  9. For those who like hands on be programming this is likely going to be a must have piece of kit, if however you make your beats like I do IN-DAW using a mixture of breaks, one shot samples and pad played kits then this is unlikely to be very useful and a bit of a step back. Might be great for those dull EDM space jams you often see on here but a serious bit of studio kit?…. nah.

  10. Prediction: If all Roland has to talk about is it’s old gear, it doesn’t bode well for it’s new gear. Although Im sure these new boxes will all be SUPERNATURAL!

    A stronger position would be to show a product in it’s current working state to get people excited, but more importantly to get feedback on what still needs to be adjusted to meet consumer needs while there is still time to implement. I bet there isn’t much of a working product at this point, but more concepts. The “delivering on it” part isn’t something Roland is known for these days. They are more of a mix-n-match warehouse.

  11. I, like I suspect many others do, would like that they have the attitude of Porsche, for instance, and spend their time refining their classics quietly. Let others cover cheap imitation, Roland should be at the top end,
    like they were at the time, and not shiftily shifting fakes of their own gear. This is beneath a company with their heritage.

      1. Yup, I want these machines to come back to us 30 years later monstrously
        retrofitted like some sort of returned ‘V’ger'( like in the ‘Star Trek’ film),
        augmented with cavernous depths of function that only add to the faithfully
        original circuits and the subtle nuance of the sequencers, and do not detract
        one iota.

  12. Ok now I’m annoyed and bored.

    The next Aira thing I see, I’m ignoring..

    And reporting this rubbish!? Lame.

    Synth head, you’ve dropped the hint, You know what it is, so you’re just enjoying the moment. But seriously – playing these childish games, for a big multinational company? Doesn’t make you look good.

  13. Honestly, I wouldn’t really mind if this new box didn’t sound anything like classic analog Roland stuff, as samples of that and the like are a dime a dozen. Make it sound good. That’s the problem with most of the latest Roland VA stuff. If Aira is like Gaia, it’ll die a horrible death.

  14. To me it’s funny to read these posts. So many people are attacking these products before they are officially released. Roland is just doing their typical marketing thing: raising hype and giving us small hints what’s coming. Though I don’t have very big expectations still I will give them a chance and certainly I won’t condamn it beforehand. And please, it’s so boring that everytime this gets us to analog vs. digital debate. (Btw David Smith was a great guy to look fresh with his Prophet 12 hybrid)

    Roland’s big motto is “we design the future”. I think they won’t ever go back when they see something as old technology. Like someone said earlier, there’s room for this kind of philosophy too. I think the idea is good no matter if they cannot satisfy all of us. There are so many other companies getting their share of this new analog era.

  15. Normally I vote down just for fun on this site .
    But this is different,I agree with everybody this time.
    I think that Roland is going to fall harder than the last years by making everybody’s mind crazy with a turd that we can not see yet.
    Once they’r showing the turd and ask too much money for it they will get owned by us (nerds and idiots).

  16. The last thing they’re going to do is release a faithful analog hardware recreation of the 303/808/909. Other companies are doing them already and there just aren’t that many people that will spend $1500 for a copy when they can get the original.

    It looks like Roland is doing what they should be doing – coming up with new boxes that actually do something new, but that fit into their heritage.

  17. During all this Aira / Roland debating I suppose we have to consider that Aira isn’t designed with Us in mind – and by “us” I mean the ultra-critical gear lovers: which would at least partially account for why the marketing and ultimately the gear itself might feel like such a missed opportunity (or whatever) to our specific non-n00b wants and needs.
    It’s possible (probable?) that Roland is catering to the entry level wave of music makers who Don’t know the actual history of Roland gear (hence Rolands continued emphasis on reintroducing it during this Aira campaign).
    The figurative “we” might not want whatever groovebox or boxes Rolands got coming out but despite our passion We might not be who Roland is aiming to serve.

  18. this ‘ad’ was defiantly just plain strange…
    if Roland is not trying to do a re-release of the classic analog machines, then these ads are getting more and more confusing.

    “Remember/ever heard of this machine? We’re going to assume you never heard of it anyway: it was all analog and was designed to be a backing rhythm machine for practice/performance (fancy metronome), but ~10 years after its release it was taken into the hands of some artists that really got creative with a limited device, and became a staple of multiple genres of electronic music. 20 years after that it became a staple of every free drum pack on the web, and also was a popular reference in rap lyrics. After releasing nothing similar in design since, heres an all digital light up led device from that very same company that has, well, something to do with drums and sequencing and the future – BUT – please think of the 808 and 909 history while you consider buying this device.”

  19. If the crap with the “Jupiter”-80 just wouldn’t have happened. This board is as far away from a real Jupiter-8 as can be. It’s not analog, it has 4 sliders, a quite misunderstandable handling and… it produced naturalistic sounds quite well but… the only jupiter-related things are the coloured buttons. But they are even proud of it. That’s why I’m afraid, there won’t be real analog TRs but just emulations trying to profit from the name. How many TR-Clones are or were available already? Analog, sampled, as plug in? Probably 100. And besides a few none of them get it right. But will this Aira will do it better? Looking at the “Jupiter” I doubt it.

  20. I have to say…seing Boys Noize in this video got me more excited about AIRA. I agree with who talked about these being old. I really hope they give us a new product that’s tailored to the new days of music. There are plenty of samples of these old gears online. I have a $20 Ableton Live pack from Sonic Faction that perfectly emulated the 303, and even goes overboard with more effects.

  21. What nobody seems to mention is that the soundtrack sounds exactly like typical 808/303 stuff.

    That may not be cutting edge, but if they can do that and make it affordable, they’ll have a hit on their hands.

  22. So we know the AIRA line is a lot of the most coveted, discontinued and hard to find or expensive Roland and Boss units. We also know Roland strives to make big innovations.

    What we know:
    VT-03: VT-1 features in new case
    TR-08: Physical molded TR-808/909

    My predictions for the rest of the AIRA line:
    -RE-05: emulated RE-501
    -TR-08: Physical molded 808/909/606/CR-78/DR-55 sound with din sync
    -TR-03: Physical molded TB-303 with din sync
    -TR-07: TR-707/727/505/626 sounds with din sync
    -MC-02: Physical molded MC-202 with din sync
    -System 07: virtual System 700 (think Nord Modular) in a tabletop or rackmount with din sync
    -something the emulates vintage Boss spring reverb, flange, and chorus half-rack units

    All din sync units have some sort of Bluetooth-like wireless sync and two-way communication protocol. They make the specification open and free for other manufacturers to use as midi was. They have secretly collaborated with Korg and Elektron on the new Specification. All units feature midi and USB.

    iPhone, iPad and Android app with additional hardware dock piece acts as master sync, mixer, and audio recorder. Direct to SoundCloud/Bandcamp upload feature.

    1. Nick. I love you predictions. Can I just Add:
      JU-06: Physical molded Juno 60 with DCB/Midi and Arp Trigger input
      or is that pushing it?

  23. Let those 3 crappy machines die. They’re done with. Roland obviously stuck in a time warp.. Not forward thinkers.. 303 is garbage. If you like the acid 303 sound you should jump off a bridge.

  24. The only reason I read these posts to do with Roland and Korg is to see how much further they can lower the bar. It’s like watching a bad reality show or something. It’s all about the benjamins, as someone once said…

  25. Hey. I really love the sound of the original 909/808/303 gear, however, I am an bit concerned about this new product. If it is a Analogue box with the original sounds included and some FX (at the right price) it might be a hit as many still want that classic sound. However if it is a VA box I guess there are many other products to compete with.

    I really hope that Roland got a hit here, the legacy of the original products are huge, so the really need to “set a new standard” with ARIA. I read a “review” (not sure where) were some journalists got the opportunity to see the product in action. As he stated that his NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) with Roland was at jeopardy, he was totally blown away by ARIA. We will see soon:)

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