Roland introduces AIRA Compact Beat Machine, Synthesizer and Vocoder

 

Roland’s new Aira Compact range puts TR drums, 303 basslines and Juno synth sounds in your pocket. “Fun, affordable and easy-to-learn” line-up also includes a vocal processor.

 

Once again Roland’ Aira instrument range is being expanded with the launch of three ‘Compact’ instruments – the T-8 Beat Machine, J-6 Chord Synthesizer and E-4 Voice Tweaker, the company’s rich heritage.

 

Roland Aira products are completely digital. These are “fun, affordable, and easy to learn” boxes that are designed to be used either individually or together, in a similar way to Korg’s Volcas.

 

Again, Roland’s Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology is in play, and each model comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that promises plenty of run time.

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The T-8 Beat Machine is the most straightforward of the three. It is a mini rhythm factory, with six-track drum machine that includes sounds from the TR-808, TR-909 and TR-606. Additionally, there is a bass part based on the TB-303, taking the device tentatively into groovebox territory.

 

Other features include a sequencer – this can run to up to 32 steps – with features such as step loop, pattern shift and probability enabling you to add variation to your grooves. You can tweak your bass sound, and there are reverb/delay send effects.

 

Features:

 

  • Portable rhythm and bass machine with genuine Roland sounds
  • Six rhythm tracks with sounds from the influential TR-808, TR-909, and TR-606 drum machines
  • Bass track with sawtooth/square waveforms and hands-on controls derived from the TB-303 Bass Line
  • Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology faithfully recreates the tonality and behavior of vintage Roland instruments
  • Classic TR-REC drum sequencer with 64 user patterns and up to 32 steps each
  • Advanced rhythm programming with probability, sub step, last step, and velocity
  • Real-time recording and powerful performance features like step loop, mute, fill, reload, and pattern shift
  • Color and process sounds with delay, reverb, overdrive, and sidechain compression
  • Comprehensive connectivity with audio, MIDI, and sync I/O plus AIRA Link
  • Class-compliant USB-C audio/MIDI interface—no drivers needed
  • Lithium-ion battery with up to 4.5 hours of operation per charge
  • Sturdy construction and high-quality rubber pads
  • Connect to other AIRA Compacts and standard MIDI devices with optional BOSS TRS MIDI cables

 

Roland T-8 Audio Demos:

 

 

The J-6 Chord Synthesizer is arguably a more curious proposition – it blends a Juno-60 synth engine (presumably the same one as you will find in the new full-size Juno-X) with a chord sequencer. J-6 is a “portable synth toolbox” and is designed to be used by non-players – 100 chord sets are included, with each enabling you to trigger chords and create progressions using the built-in keyboard. You can also dial in variations- example arpeggios and guitar-style playing.

 

In fact, you could just use the J-6 as a synth. The J-6 like the other Aira Compacts has MIDI connectivity and 4.5 hours of wireless operation, though beyond choosing the sound itself. Editing is limited to filter and envelope controls. Again, there are also delay and reverb effects.

 

Features:

 

  • Portable song creation machine with professional Roland sound and features
  • Create with 100 chord sets spanning classic and contemporary music genres
  • Add arpeggios and rhythmic phrases to chords via nine styles with 12 variations in each
  • Programmable chord sequencer with 64 user patterns and up to 64 steps in each
  • Four-voice JUNO-60 synth engine with authentic sound realized through Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology
  • Includes 64 ready-to-play synth presets derived from the original JUNO-60
  • Filter and envelope controls for shaping synth sounds in real time
  • High-quality delay and reverb effects with customizable settings
  • Comprehensive connectivity with audio, MIDI, and sync I/O plus AIRA Link
  • Class-compliant USB-C audio/MIDI interface—no drivers needed
  • Lithium-ion battery with up to 4.5 hours of operation per charge
  • Sturdy construction and high-quality rubber pads
  • Connect to other AIRA Compacts and standard MIDI devices with optional BOSS TRS MIDI cables

 

Roland J-6 Synthesizer Audio Demos:

 

 

Lastly, the E-4 Voice Tweaker, a compact vocal effects box that promises everything from standard processors to full-on vocal transformers. There are pitch and formant sliders for instant gender switching and robot voice effects (among other things), and you also get the customary automatic pitching/harmonising and vocoder options.

 

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You can capture your performances with a 24-second looper, while the Scatter knob enables you to dial in slice effects.

 

Features:

 

  • Vocal performance tool with powerful voice transformer effects
  • Instantly shape the sound with pitch and formant sliders
  • Advanced vocal effects including Auto Pitch, harmony, and vocoder
  • Dial up unique rhythmic effects with the Scatter knob
  • Process the sound output with high-quality reverb, echo, tempo delay, and chorus effects
  • Low-cut filter and noise gate to eliminate unwanted sounds
  • 24-second looper with unlimited overdubbing, undo/redo, and automatic BPM detection
  • Supports external MIDI control of pitch, harmony, and vocoder functions
  • ¼-inch mic input with wide-ranging gain control
  • Headphones output with support for an inline mic
  • Comprehensive connectivity with audio, MIDI, and sync I/O plus AIRA Link
  • Class-compliant USB-C audio/MIDI interface—no drivers needed
  • Lithium-ion battery with up to 3.5 hours of operation per charge
  • Sturdy construction and robust controls
  • Connect to other AIRA Compacts and standard MIDI devices with optional BOSS TRS MIDI cables

E-4 Voice Tweaker Audio Demos:

 

The three Roland Aira Compact devices are available now priced at $200 each. Find out more on the Roland website.

 

 


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