With roots in the very origins of electronic music, AIRA is a new series of products designed to meet the evolving needs of today's electronic musicians. In the studio or on the stage, AIRA brings genre-defining sounds and modern performance features to a new generation.
While computers dominate so many music production activities today, artists still seek inspiration through the sonic character and responsive feel of traditional analog hardware. AIRA products emphasize the spontaneous creativity and hands-on performance inspired by these vintage electronic instruments, while integrating neatly into today’s computer-based production environments.
Behind the authentic sound and responsive behavior of the AIRA products is the newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology. ACB faithfully captures the sound and feel of living, breathing instruments, including some of Roland’s most revered classics.
Beyond their impressive sound and modern versatility, AIRA products feature essential elements for active stage performers and avid tweakers. This means solid build-quality, straight-forward operation and striking good looks.
AIRA combines the organic sound and behavior of ACB with modern effects like Scatter and thoughtful USB integration with computers and DAWs. Through inspiring, highly playable designs, AIRA products deliver a seamless creative experience that shatters the boundaries between production and performance.
Based on the wildly influential TB-303, the new TB-3 Touch Bassline is a performance-ready bass synthesizer with authentic sound and intuitive controls engineered to play. The TB-3 contains the unmistakable character of its predecessor, wrapped in a modern package with a pressure-sensitive touch pad that makes both playing and programming a total joy.
The Magic of the TB-303 with New Sounds and Modern, Performance-Ready Features
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. Genre-defining sounds, classic effects, unprecedented live pattern manipulation, and solid, intuitive performance controls. It’s the TR…evolved.
Capturing the Originals
- Full reproduction of the classic TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines, based on original design spec sheets and detailed analog circuit analysis of many original TR machines, including Roland’s own pristine units
- Newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology allows part-by-part analyses and faithful recreation of tonality and behavior, including the smooth variations of tone that occur when you work the controls of each instrument
- Obsessive attention to detail, such as reproducing the original TR’s unique variations in tone that occur when multiple instruments are entered in accented steps
- Authentic 16-step sequencer with faithful TR-REC behavior, including A and B pattern variations and the ability to play instruments and record to steps in real time
- 16 stunning kits made up of 11 instrument types, including custom dream kits that use both TR-808 and TR-909 sounds
- Large Tempo knob with Tap Tempo button and continuous Fine and Shuffle adjustment knobs
- Control the intensity of the Accent function with a dedicated knob
- Per-step reverb and delay effects with dedicated knobs
- Mix sources connected to the External In jacks with built-in per-step Side Chain function for rhythmic ducking and gating effects
- Scatter lets you freak and tweak your grooves with real-time control and perfect sync
- 7 segment, 4 character LED display and 16 per-step pads with bold, full-color LEDs
- Real-time pattern creation up to 32 steps with on-the-fly step count adjustment
- Rec/Play modes have been eliminated, enabling seamless switching between step input and real-time pattern making and performance
- Real-time play of 4 different types of rolls (8th, 16th, VARI 1, VARI 2) and per-instrument mutes
- Pattern copy and pattern randomization for rapid, spontaneous creativity
- Two assignable analog outputs and full parallel outputs via USB for total mixing flexibility
Nobody could have anticipated what would happen to the world of dance music when inventive musicians on both sides of the Atlantic embraced Roland’s now-legendary TB-303. Since the 1980s, it’s been a staple of electronic music—it is the defining sound of acid house, and has since been the marquee instrument on an array of groundbreaking electronic dance tracks. It’s not only been used to write songs, it’s had songs written about it. In fact, the release of the original TB-303 has been heralded as one of the key events in the history of dance music. Not bad for a little silver box.
Launched in 1981, the TB-303 continues to be an indispensable bass synth for dance music. In developing the TB-3, we’ve meticulously analyzed the circuitry of the original TB-303 piece by piece, right down to the individual circuit behavior. Using Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, we’ve fully reproduced the TB-303’s sawtooth and square wave oscillators, as well as the -18dB per octave ladder low-pass filter used in the original, capturing that unmistakable cutoff and resonance character.
In addition to the faithful reproduction of classic TB tones, the TB-3 is packed with new sounds that live and breathe. Bubbling synth basses, hard distortion basses, trippy delay sounds, and drippy effects—they’re all here, and then some.
A TB-303 bass part not only sounds unique—it has its own trademark feel as well. The TB pulses. It drives. It bubbles and it percolates. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to faithfully reproduce the accent, slide, and step sequencer behavior of the original unit. But our vision went beyond simple reproduction. The truth is, the step entry on the original TB-303 was difficult to use, the keyboard was difficult to play, and special maneuvers were required for the shuffle functions. So we experimented with a variety of prototypes in our quest to create the optimal TB interface.
The new TB-3 is equipped with a brightly lit, pressure-sensitive touch pad that lets you seamlessly create patterns and interact with the unit during performance. In addition to pitch and volume, you can tweak filters and even control modulation by simply pressing down on the pad with your finger. It also makes the keyboard a breeze to play.
- Envelope modulation and decay can be controlled with a single finger
- Switch patterns, transpose, and chain patterns with finger gestures
- Internally partitioned at keyboard intervals so it’s easy and natural to play in real time
- XY Play—X for continuous pitch change, Y for volume, and pad pressure for modulation
The TB-3’s evolved step sequencer is a snap to use and allows seamless switching between pattern creation and performance. Of course, an attractive aspect of the original TB-303 was how it would sometimes generate unintended sounds as the user maneuvered through its complex and cryptic pattern-creation operation. In order to inject that element of chance and discovery, the TB-3 includes automatic pattern generation and random pattern modification functions.
The TB-3’s Scatter function features slicing, reverse, gating, and other effects, allowing you to instantly create variations, stutters, and glitches that would normally require painstaking editing in a DAW. Complex, per-step functions are triggered easily with the touch pad and a single finger. You can keep things fresh and interesting with 8 different Scatter variations and 10 levels of Scatter depth—all controllable in real time and in perfect sync.
A Few More Things
The TB-3 looks great, and is designed to work seamlessly with other products in the AIRA series. In addition, you can connect the TB-3 to your computer via USB to send and receive both audio and MIDI data, including MIDI clock information for syncing with external devices and other AIRA units.
Preset Patches: 134
User Patterns: 64
Maximum Step: 32 Steps (each pattern)