The new system is billed by the company as “modular for the masses”.
Although the system is digital rather than analog, each module features CV/Gate connections making them compatible with existing modular gear. As expected, the heart of the AIRA Modular is the System-1m, a rack-mountable version of its System-1 plug-out synthesizer, while the range also features four standalone effects units compatible with Eurorack modular systems.
The four effects units to be announced include the Torcido distortion module, the Demora delay module, the Scooper scatter module, and the Bitrazer crusher module. As well as analog connections, each module can be reprogrammed via computer, smartphone or tablet. This is done by a custom application that lets you repatch submodules using a drag and drop interface that lets you choose what parameters are assigned to each knob – once you’ve created a patch, you’ll be able to share them with other users of the same module.
Though the AIRA Modular isn’t analog, Roland also has something up its sleeve for purists with the announcement that it is developing the System-500, an all-new fully-analog modular synth based on the classic System-700 and System-100m. Designed for Eurorack, Roland promises ” classic Roland sound with all the advantages and reliability of a modern instrument.”
There’s no word yet on the pricing or availability of the AIRA Modular, but the System-500 is expected to be released in Q3 2015. You can find full details at the Roland AIRA website, and check the system out in the video below.