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Having teased the world with a range of new hardware, Roland has finally lifted the lid on their AIRA range, which is a series of virtual analogue instruments modelled on Roland classic hardware.

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The TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age.

With the TR-8, Roland have obsessively analysed and faithfully re-created every detail and nuance of the analogue circuitry of these legendary rhythm machines. The boom and snap of the 808. The thud of the 909. The robotic click of an 808 rim shot or a classic 909 snare roll. It’s all there apparently, as well as a rather nice looking kaos pad style display.

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The TB-3 is based on the wildly influential TB-303, the new TB-3 Touch Bassline is a performance-ready bass synth with meticulously authentic sound and intuitive controls engineered to play.

Using Analogue Circuit Behaviour technology Roland have fully reproduced both the saw-tooth and square wave oscillators as well as the -18dB/octave ladder low pass filter used in the original TB-303, capturing that unmistakable cutoff and resonance character.

In addition to the faithful reproductions of classic TB tones, the TB-3 is packed with 134 sounds that live and breathe. Bubbling synth basses, hard distortion basses, trippy delay sounds and drippy effects.

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The VT-3 is a remake of the Boss VT-3 vocoder and harmoniser, and transform your voice into synthesizers, synth basses, hard-tuned and lo-fi vocals and more. The VT-3 can also be subtle and musical, with built-in reverb, smooth Wet/Dry fader control and instant bypass.

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And finally, the System-1 is plug out synthesiser that can control plug-in versions of now legendary Roland synths, and those same plugins can be hosted in the SYSTEM-1 itself – with no computer required. You can even switch between the SYSTEM-1’s internal sounds and those of the hosted plug-in. They call this wizardry “PLUG-OUT” – and they’re pretty excited about it apparently.

Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.