Roland AIRA Modular System Coming To Musikmesse 2015


Ahead of Musikmesse 2015 – Frankfurt’s international music technology fair, being held next week – Roland is teasing what appears to be a modular AIRA system.

No details have been announced yet – only the teaser, ‘Start Patching’.

Here’s a closer look:


The top half of the Roland Aira Modular System teaser image shows some similarity to the Aira System-1. And the bottom half of the image looks like four additional modules.

At this point, though, it’s not clear whether the new synth will have similar architecture to the System-1, or if the new Modular System just shares some styling similarities.

We’ll have full details on the new Roland AIRA Modular System when they are available. In the meantime – check out the teaser image and let us know what you think!

73 thoughts on “Roland AIRA Modular System Coming To Musikmesse 2015

      1. Same here, Played with them at AIRAHouse in Miami- can’t say anything till next Week. but I can say these Modules are the Shit and have some vey cool feature not found on anything else. for those worried about Digialal nes there is not a Zipper to be found (unless you want it) this stuff is that good.

        1. Cool features not found on anything else-:

          Lightshow that hurts your eyes.
          Plastic wobbly knobs.
          Plastic faceplate.
          Claims of it being new technology despite it already being done before many times.

          Regardless of them being any good or not they will undoubtedly prove to be extremely popular.

          Zipper sounds gone – wow! I wonder then why they left the zipper sounds go to market on their latest JDXi offering then??

          Shit is about right most likely!

          1. Meh-fist-of-eliz

            You know zero of what you just said. Just biased guesses on your part. Where the hell do you get the idea that they are plastic faceplates, etc? You know nothing….

            1. True, true, you are correct – i’m just guessing! And yes all opinions are biased. I apologise. They could of course be completely different to the rest of the Aira range and it is farcical for me to use these as any type of reference as to what one might expect -for they are the “hell” where I get my ideas from.

              I stand by my prediction that these will prove very popular though.

              …and that the green limelights will hurt my eyes 😀
              …and that the pots will be wobbly and plastic
              …and that the case will be plastic.
              …and that it really isn’t new technology. (ACB, Digital Crossover et al)
              …and that it seems wrong to have released the JDXi with filter stepping if your company is capable of eliminating this issue already.

              1. Yes – calling people derogatory names is pretty much the definition of a personal attack.

                If you disagree with a comment, offer an intelligent opposing viewpoint.

                1. If I had called him a “derogatory name” you might actually have a point. Referring to someone as elitist who clearly fancies themselves as such, and would identify themselves as such, is not derogatory. Telling somone they know “zero” about a subject is far more offensive yet that post is allowed.

                  1. God bless you Poo-gle! You know nothing of what you said, mores the pity. It was claimed that I know nothing of what I had said and guess what – it’s a true fact!

                    I do fancy myself though – just not as an elitist, as an elitist I feel like I become somewhat unattractive.

                    I just found another “leak” of the System-1m and lo and behold it appears that all of my predictions are indeed true. Plastic knobs (undoubtedly wobbly) like the rest of the Aira stuff. Plastic case. Green lights – ouch! And it is called the System-1m so nothing new – Rolands System-1 software vst stuff with some CV patchability. It’s more like a desktop module with CV ins and outs too since it won’t require a rail based power supply or case like the rest of the modular world! Oh, and the popularity speaks for itself, just look at all those votes! lol!

        2. cant wait for these modules that apparently do something not found anywhere else. do you count ‘the shit’ as a function?

  1. Finally Roland is doing something interesting. Thumb me down all you want but I’m so sick of gear emulating the past. Digital or Analog, whatever, just give us some new sounds to hear and new gear to tweak…

    1. Looks like the roland corp email to like your comment went out. For those who understand statistics, standard deviations and the like – it’s very hard to belive 92 people liked this without roland employees liking this…kinda like when i had 100 down votes for disagreeing with nick batts liking of the system-1

      1. I’m sure your right about the corporate email – which makes it even funnier that 100 votes or so is all that can be mustered by the might of the firm, lol! My grandma has garnered more support than that through a couple of well worded FB account posts and pics of her second place winning giant marrow at last years County Prize Vegetable Competition. Deary me.

      2. I’m a 28 year old graphic designer in Indiana. I have no Roland gear and have never been too big a fan. I prefer KORG…

    2. This is why I like the Prophet 12, PRO 2, and Analog Keys so much.

      Real modern synthesizers that respect the past, but are looking towards the future.

  2. When the Roland Aira line up just started to be released, the video add makers had all the real Roland synths in the background of the technicians work place, those have now come out as plug-outs and the system 100M was one of them and the only one not yet released as a plug out, until now it seems. These also look Euro rackable, quite possible the bottom smaller darkened units pictured are analog/digital hybird modules that can interface with other manufacture’s Euro rack modules.

  3. Assuming that Roland is about to announce 5 separate units – 4 digital/analog modules and a big Aira System 1 module – all in desktop format which can also be mounted in a eurorack case – what will they charge for the System 1 module?

    The key version just had a price drop to $500 US – would we expect a rackable desktop module to go for $400?

      1. Exactly – it’s like jeans and corduroy blazers. The patchable numbers are far more chic and hence far more coin!

    1. How is this your gateway into the modular world when you don’t even know for sure what it is? Just build a real modular system. Why are you waiting for Roland to announce another god awful digital rave product with genre knobs. Ugh.

          1. Bweeee-BwapBwap-Bwadop-Doh,


      1. It has patch points and from the looks of it it will have various modules. I cant afford one of those real modulars, a fake one will do just fine though. Bet you could never tell the difference sound wise.

    2. I have such wonderful wonderful news – everybody! This will be kns’s gateway into the modular world! ;D

    1. Roland marketing learned from the original Aira’s teaser shots – which anyone could brightness/contrast info from.

      The graphics guy really crushed the black level all the way down (or filled with pure black) so there’s no shadow detail to pull out. All that’s there are some compression artifacts and macroblocked noise.

  4. A lot of people badmouth Roland. Roland has made some fantastic gear. The V-Synth is an amazing synth, and hopefully the new JD-XA will be as well.

        1. I totally agree on the v-synth (not forgetting to mention the v synth gt). While there certainly are roland haters i think many of the people who are Rolands harshest critics are also their biggest fans like me – they suffer from high expectations and that’s why they continue to disappoint. I could really care less about what companies I don’t like put out. I critique roland so harshly because I want to buy their products. And nothing is more disappointing than buying something and feeling the need to return it within 24 hours (like the aira system 1)

  5. If all synth manufacturers stopped trading tomorrow, there is an enormous amount of
    equipment now available to satisfy all our synth needs.
    Roland are making budget and very good sound modules again at last.
    I know gear lust is a fraud really as it doesn’t help us arrange tracks and it can negatè the
    value of the great gear we might have already.For me this is the best period for synth manufacturing.
    For me the budget end is where its exciting.

  6. I am really unhappy with Roland.
    Who do they think they are trying to take all my money!
    Really cool stuff they have been coming out with as of late.

    1. ha! lol…. I was one of the detractors with the AIRA line when announced, but when I used the SH101 and SH-2, well, I admit I was wrong. They sound great. Sure, would love the “real” deal, but these emulations IMHO sound great. I don’t like the “tron” aesthetic of their design so much, but the System-1 sounds great, and with recall etc, …well I apologize for being so hard on them at first. I definitely am looking forward to seeing what this has to offer.

  7. I have been dreaming of something like this for years: a hardware interface to an integrated software modular system. It is the best of both worlds with no compromise for either. It solves the problem of cranky hardware without sacrificing the immediate accessibility of a good modular system. It can also solve the problems of polyphony in a modular problem and even many provide BOTH polyphony AND polytimbrality. Also, being software-based it could be upgradeable and expandable at minimal cost. Software innovation and audio flexibility with a modular hardware interface. And since the hardware is minimal (basically just knobs and a fast data bus of some kind, with midi thrown in it would not cost much to make. Software would be the main thing and there is virtually no production cost. So the whole system SHOULD be far less expensive than a modular of the same capacity.

    Roland should be careful to make sure the audio quality is excellent and they should also go BEYOND the standard VCO-VCF-VCA and ADSR, LFO and Sequencer modules. Make sure the system is expandable and has lots of additional modules like logic modules, a diversity of audio processors, samplers, complex waveform control, samplers, etc. like those highly innovative modules that we see flooding the Eurorack world.

    If they or SOMEONE will do these things, they will own the world.

    1. Not all synths have to be analog to sound good. I’m really fond of the system-1 sound. I’d like to see more poly, dimmer lights… and pretty much what Cap’n Bri said.

    2. Yeah it’s often the unusual modulars that are the most interesting like the verbos harmonic oscillator which I’m dying to get.

      Personally I’m always skeptical of anything that comes out with software as my experience is that it becomes obsolete and/or charges a fortune annually for upgrades and/or doesn’t keep up with the competition.

      I prefer well-designed long lasting hardware. Roland’s BOSS division do make some great hardwearing pedals and if this is bringing some of that hard wearing highly functional philosophy into the synth realm it will be very welcome, but it’s really hard to judge anything based on what they’ve given us so far. I don’t want to get my hopes up and then find out its just an overpriced variation on a system-1. Which I pretty much had an allergic reaction to the second I touched it.

      One thing I really like about modular gear is that it’s honest and function first. It comes right up and says “this is what I do, here’s every spec under the sun” they’re made of metal, they’re sturdy and built to last, they don’t need twinkly lights, they are honest, upright, quality products which has been the antithesis of the Aira line from my perspective (I’ll spare you the essay).

      I do hope roland have done something genuinely interesting, not just something the paid fanboy’s will gush over.

  8. I’m wondering if the bottom 3 might actually be identical to each other? Wouldn’t it be nice if hey had one or two styles of generic module with uploadable (plugout) module code.

    1. PSSSST: Don’t tell anybody – but that’s what Audio Damage is doing with their line of modules. They’ve all got the same basic hardware, but they load different firmware and change the panels.

  9. I’d love to see an analog Roland aria system with a sort of Nord modular software idea incorporated, make it poly, compat with all the plug-outs but with analog filters – that would spin my wheels big time 🙂

  10. I wish that roland brings something new like a sampler to the Aira family, to be able to live sample, mangle, and sequence samples would complete the Aira range imo.

  11. Now confirmed this is a Digital system with plug out software. Still very excited. As for the smaller modules no info as yet. Few people on Instagram sharing some shots of the main system and it look pretty cool indeed

  12. Just got me an Aira system 1 synth,
    love it. so much more powerful than an Odyssey. so that’s that one covered.
    The promars is awesome. I await the JP4 and 6.
    Modular ???? hmmmmm nah didnt get it then. don’t get it now
    why have lots of modules that only build to a polysynth.

    1. Well, there is no real end to the system in modular. It can be many things, sometimes simple, sometimes complex.

      But I think the differences are (at least) 2:

      1. You’re never restricted by a self-contained unit’s specs. Add more lfos, or oscs, or some kind of kooky modulation device and route them anyway you feel.

      2. A modular system is (relatively) unique to you. I’ve always liked that element. That’s philosophical and only speaks to certain people I suppose.

  13. $599

    The SYSTEM-1m is a semi-modular synthesizer with PLUG-OUT capability and a unique design that can be used as a Eurorack module, tabletop synth, or 19” rackmount unit. In addition to being a powerful standalone instrument, the SYSTEM-1m has external inputs and an array of CV/Gate connections that allow it to be re-patched and to interface with other modular synthesizer systems. The SYSTEM-1m’s CV/Gate connections combined with its ability to load classic Roland PLUG-OUT synth models like the SH-101 and PROMARS give it power and flexibility that is simply unparalleled.


    Semi-modular synthesizer with PLUG-OUT capability
    19 color-coded CV/Gate and audio connections with LED lighting
    84 HP Eurorack, table-top and 19” rack compatible using AC or Eurorack power
    Versatile oscillators with six waveforms, Crossmod, Ring Mod, Sync and Color control
    All parameters controlled with high-resolution knobs and sliders with LED indicators
    External input for processing external signals through filter, amp and FX section
    -12 dB and -24 dB filter types with independent high-pass filters
    Integrated tone, crusher, reverb and delay effects
    Tempo syncing for LFO and delay
    24-bit/96kHz audio and MIDI interface
    AIRA Link for easy connection to MX-1 Mix Performer
    Includes rack-mount adapter and braided patch cables

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