Roland TR-8 AIRA Firmware Update 1.1 Review & Demo

In this video, massivebeatzz takes a look at the Roland TR-8 AIRA Rhythm Performer Firmware Update 1.1.

Here’s his take:

••HOTTEST NEW FEATURES :
-Manage your kit and pattern library with easy backup & restore over USB
-Edit both A and B parts without stopping the sequencer
-Lock the content of a pattern so you experiment with it without changing
-Scatter will enable for one cycle and then automatically disengage

••MIDI MATURES AT LAST:
-MIDI velocity is variable by the accent setting
-Local On/Off and MIDI Controller modes determine how MIDI data is sent and received
-Select kits using MIDI control change messages.
-Scatter On/Off, Type and Depth can be controlled via MIDI control change
-Record patterns in real-time from external MIDI devices.
-Disable sending of all MIDI messages
-Toggle whether or not TR-8 responds to PLAY/STOP messages

••WHAT ELSE?
-Customize kits by adjusting the gain of each instrument to suit your individual style
-Rolls are now easier to engage, offer more control, and sound better overall
-Alternate unlatched trigger mode engages only while “On” button is held down (really?)
-Get back in the groove by instantly starting a pattern from the top

••OMISSIONS?
There’s two main ones in my book:
-For once being able to copy part A over to part B (or vice versa) of a Pattern is one of the most popular requests I found listening to forum discussions (and my personal #1). Indeed, making modifications of something that already works by copying & tweaking the copy is just second nature to most of us.
-Second, being able to change the sampling rate of the audio interface part (via USB) to something other than 96khz, such as 48khz and 44.1khz is needed. Building multiple (up to 14) audio tracks from the TR-8’s streams will weigh in heavily on HD space and bus bandwith. And frankly, sometimes an existing project is already running at a lower sampling rate, so down sampling would occur anyways. Reduced latency might be another benefit of it!
Though it’s wonderful to know that the internal SR is 96khz (big thumbs up for that) it’s time to allow some flexibility in DAW mode!

••Conclusion?
Great to see that ROLAND is indeed taking user requests to heart, and – so far – not making it a “you bought it – we’re done now” kind of product (abandonware). Lots of new features and fixes, so current owners see their investments protected, and potential buyers will get a cutting edge device when they buy! Way to go.

[Be sure to watch in 1440p or 1080p to enjoy the crystal clear rendered text and images we put up for ya!]

©Massivebeatz Productions 2014 (Massivebeatzz)
All Video / Audio content owned. All rights reserved.

See our post on the Roland AIra updates for full details and the Roland site to download the updates.

11 thoughts on “Roland TR-8 AIRA Firmware Update 1.1 Review & Demo

  1. Great updates! The TR-8 is looking more and more interesting.

    The limited pattern memory is the big thing that bothers me. And is there really no song mode? My 10 year-old electribes had that.

    1. Still trying to understand any benefits to this over a EMX1SD other than availability. Just can’t let go of mine.

      1. They really are different beasts.

        The EMX has more voices and can do synth parts. But, if you want to tweak stuff live, the TR-8 has a knob for everything. And when it comes to recording, the TR-8 will run circles around the EMX, recording individual channels straight into your DAW.

  2. Very digital sounding 🙁
    Personally I think that the whole Roland Aria line of products is just digital crap.
    But than again, what do I know… People will buy this shit because it is labeled by Roland 😉

    1. At least put a bit more effort into your trolling. So lazy.
      If by some chance you are serious, you probably need to see an ENT and give up the hobby.

  3. Had a go at the System One today.
    Listen people, seriously, Roland is ripping you off, even though the price may seem reasonable.
    The keyboard ond that thing is just atrocious.
    Wobbly as hell, with notes often double triggering.
    Looks really classy in pictures, but trust me, in real life the unit is very poorly made.
    Roland should have made a rack or desktop unit instead and spend the money for the keyboard on better parts.
    The sound is alright, in fact much more analog sounding than the SH201 and Gaia.
    Just pretty sure Roland is soon going to let every S1 owner down by not releasing new plug-ins.
    Most units will be recalled anyway, because the keyboard on that thing really is a shocker.
    Overall the unit is very cheap looking and feeling, so I guess you get what you pay for.

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