Roland Announces ‘Aira House Originator’ Events In NYC, Minneapolis, Atlanta

Roland_AIRA_House_Originators_SeriesRoland has announced a series of Aira House Originator events, in NYC, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

The events will feature Roland’s AIRA Crew and a local originator of a style or movement in electronic music. The ‘originators’ include producers Frankie Bones, Freddy Fresh, DJ Pierre (Phuture) and others.

The events are designed for musicians and music aficionados to be able to learn about both the history and technology of electronic music production and performance. 

The events will look at how artists and key Roland electronic musical instruments (like the TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303) shaped techno and house music. Attendees will also have the chance to get hands-on with Roland’s latest gear and even win a Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline, signed by the ‘Originator’ artist at each event.

Details on the events below:

Thursday, November 6, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
In association with Sam Ash.
Featuring Frankie Bones & AB Logic tag
team AIRA set.
Sam Ash Music Store
333 W 34th St
New York, NY 10001

Friday, November 7, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
In association with Turntable Lab NYC.
Featuring Frankie Bones.
Dubspot, Inc.
348 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10014

Saturday, November 15, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
In association with The Phutur3 & The Music Room.
Featuring DJ Pierre.
The Music Room
327 Edgewood Ave
Atlanta, GA 30312

Sunday, November 16, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Featuring Paul Birkin, Freddy Fresh, Woody McBride.
Slam Academy
1006 S Marquette Ave Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Additional information, and more events as they are announced, at

20 thoughts on “Roland Announces ‘Aira House Originator’ Events In NYC, Minneapolis, Atlanta

  1. I hope DJ Pierre brings a real TB and a real SH-101 and shows how AIRA is but a digital one dimensional black and white Xerox picture of the real thing.

  2. this is awesome, i miss minneapolis, so much beautiful techno love in the twin cities, much love and stay warm guys!

    i feel like roland really nailed it with the tr8, the tb3 is awesome for the non 303 like sounds like some of the multi osc and plucked type of sounds it has too

  3. I think a lot of players could learn from these guys’ truth – they took some cheap ass gear and figured out what they could make it do, becoming icons while they did it.

  4. Roland really wanted to make a huge impact with AIRA but they screwed up badly. Compare the number of comments here to a Volca thread, which used a lot less fanfare.

    1. WTAF?

      The Aira line has been the most tales about intro from Roland in years, they seem to be selling well and the people I know that have bought the TR-8 or TB-3 love them. What part of that do you see as a screw up?

  5. I have the tb 3, and the vocal processor when I can get it back off my music tech studying nephew.
    All the Aira stuff is good and simple to use . That is Rolands legacy , easy to use gear and good sounding stuff.
    I like raw crude electronic music, Dj Pierre, Bam Bam , (wheres your child?) Interference Model 500,Vodoo Ray, Space Face SUB SUB. Drexciya, Take your mind to another level, LFO, Acid House and dj’s like the legendary GUNTER SAXENHAMMER and his tamazapan cot death ensemble.
    Roland are owed by us all , they are again making gear that will be used and abused by the proletariat.
    One of the plus sides for the likes of me and my mates ( I am almost 50 and was in Manchester in 88, got my first twelve out in 93 ) is that the second hand market will be flooded with cheap gear again.
    No need to worry about getting a 303 clone.
    I have long since sold my 303 , I have an xoxbox, a Bass Bott, and I bought a TB 3 , as its funkey , small and means I have more than enough accent and slide machines.
    Roland good on you , if the System 1, had hundreds of memories I would have bought that . Instead I picked up a tetra.
    My Roland jp 8080 will do me for now .
    This period in music history is the best time for synthesizers.I was told Rolands share price or books have benefited from the new Aira range. Now its time for a rackmounted 106.
    A worn out tb 303 for 1500 pounds, KISS MY ARSE.

  6. anyone who really cares about classic analog synths is behind the times.. I don’t know what or who you are trying to cater to but it isn’t the young crowd..

    just stop it with all this crying. T-Rex is cool too but you don’t want them walking around

  7. If you miss one of these events, sleep well knowing you’ve missed nothing. I went to the Atlanta event. Started an hour and ten minutes late. Pretty disorganized, got nothing from it I couldn’t get from you tube – even less actually.

    I got a feeling the Roland guys are laughing about traveling from bar to bar and working a couple hours and collecting a check.

    Once again demoing a 4 on the floor dance beat at 128. Booooooring. The Tr8 will do way more and can be so much more musical.

    I had an original 808 and happen to think the TR8 nails it and adds to it.

    I have the TR8 – great live machine except no on/off footswitch and the lights are annoying.

    1. HI Bill K.

      Thank you for your feedback and for attending AIRA House in Atlanta. First of all, we’re sorry the event did not meet your expectations or left you feeling disappointed. Please allow me to offer a few points and observations.

      The AIRA House event was from 5-7pm and did not actually start late. The first hour was to allow everyone to socialize and to get hands-on with the two full AIRA rigs that were there for attendees to play with and ask questions about. They included SYSTEM-1s, TR-8’s , SH-2 PLUG-OUT etc. The second hour was for discussion and some demonstration. It’s worth noting that this Atlanta event was a special “Originators” event with DJ Pierre and focused particularly on the TB-3. The acid style pioneered by DJ Pierre is partially characterized by four-on-the-floor, so this is kind of to be expected.

      We also went an extra half hour and opened the floor to any questions for DJ Pierre or any requests to see or hear about any features of any of the AIRA products. Basically an open forum as everyone has different levels of knowledge and areas of interest. At that point we were prepared to talk about anything – or show any features or any aspect of any of the AIRA products.Then a lucky attendee won a TB-3 signed by DJ Pierre himself – and most attendees received free access to the Kevin Saunderson and DJ Pierre sets later that night.

      As to your feeling that we are laughing about “travelling from bar to bar”, it could not be further from the truth and it’s worth noting that it takes a rather significant investment of time and energy, outside of the event itself, to arrange, transport, setup, coordinate with artists and venues, etc. And many of us have families and primary work duties and lives back home. And, while we find it extremely fulfilling to get out and see the people and talk about the gear we love, it’s certainly not a game to us. We pour hours and years into developing and bringing these products to market and we take it very seriously indeed.

      Throughout the rest of the night, we had quite a few attendees express how much they enjoyed and appreciated the event. Having said that, we take your feelings and feedback about your experience to heart and hope that we can provide an event in the future that will be more suited to your desires and expectations. It certainly won’t be the last time we are in Atlanta and, when we are, we hope you’ll come out and see us again.

  8. Thanks for the response. From the audience, it was 3 guys at a table with one or two bar phrases repeating while somebody manipulated filters. None of us could see what was going on. With a set up that includes computers and screens, why not have a camera on the products so the audience can see what’s going on? Why not talk about the “under the hood” features a little? I think the products are very cool although missing a huge chunk of the potential market since demos concentrate on EDM and hip hop. Turn on the TR8 and start with quarter notes on 1, 2, 3, 4. Snare? 2&4. No odd meter beats, no funky beats, no demo of grooves available with strategically placed delay.

    There was a section of the presentation that seemed to be proud of the limited pamphlet a buyer gets instead of a proper manual. $500 should get a buyer a manual in my opinion. Why not have a printed handout at the events covering all the hidden features? Why not specifics on future upgrades and dates of release? Give people some tidbit they couldn’t get if they had stayed home. Since you mention all the trouble you went through coordinating with the venue and setting up, why not also consider 50 people taking time out of their day making a 1/2 hour or hour drive to come check it out?

    As for the gear set up to check out, no one was really offering assistance at the tables. Once again just a one or 2 bar repeating pattern with everything synced up. I couldn’t even tell who the Roland reps were in the crowd until you sat at the table for the talk. Ordinarily at such an event, friendly smiling faces would be hanging close saying, “Let me know if you have any questions” or something.

    I wrongly assumed there might be a business card to pick up, to write an email question or two that might come up later. Not really a super friendly or accessible vibe. Maybe because of the dark basement setting.

    No comparison of the original 303 and 808 with the new products either. Personally I didn’t need that, having owned an 808 for a few years in the early 80s. I learned the VT3 does robot voices and other weirdness. Would have been nice to hear someone sing to hear what sort of musical things it can do. The
    synth was all but ignored – I’m sure it does a million other things but nothing inspired me to go out and buy one.

    By the way, a very cool thing is to mix the sound of a TR8 with an acoustic guitar or piano and set up a chill groove around 80 beats a minute. Oh yeah, but everyone is stuck on the 1 bar 120-130 pattern and a 16 note sequence on the TB3. Can the TB3 even do rests in between notes? Or a sequence that would include a verse and a chorus? Random changing pattern according to key?

    The musical depth of these machines goes much further than the demos. The panel was basically a live advertisement. No where in the notices of the event say there would be an hour of “networking and questions” before it started, and questions and hands-on demos on products would make more sense after the panel in my opinion. (The website for the Music Room listed the event at 2PM.)

    Sorry, I just thought the event was about 20% (or less) of what it could have been and the location was in a pretty funky area of Atlanta.

    I stand by my original comment that if you miss one of these, spend 20 minutes on YouTube and you can watch the Japanese video and some guy programming a boring one bar beat with a sixteenth note sequence at 128 beats a minute with a kick on 1, 2, 3, 4 and a snare on 2 and 4, and a hand swipe for 16th hats. …and you won’t have to worry about your car being broken into.

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