The Aira range from Roland features some great little instruments that emulate some of their most famous instruments from the dance, trance and techno eras. The documentation for them all tho’ appears to be sadly lacking and what there is is rudimentary at best. It also appears to me to be all over the place. Some parts are in the support section of Roland’s website, some are in the product section and there’s lots of useful info tucked away of some of Roland’s international websites as well. Frankly, it’s a mess and I’ve started this site to try and pull some of this together.

In addition, there are tons of vids on Youtube on the Aira range, including some nice, albeit, quite dry stuff from Roland themselves. Having to dig thru’ all this to find out how to, say, change the TB-303 tuning info for the TB-3 is painful, at best. Hopefully, this will help and not add to the pain!

The Aira Range

Currently, there are nine hardware devices in Roland’s Aira series, not including the effect modules for use with System-1 modular synth, and additional add-ons available as software updates. Presently I only own three of the range, so am just concentrating on them for the moment. The MX-1, and possibly that System-1m are on my wishlist tho’ so you never know.


DJ-808 DJ controller created in conjunction with Serato which incorporates a drum machine based on the TR-8 and Vocoder based on the VT-3, plus built-in effects.

Drum machine with 606, 707, 808, 909 instruments
4 built-in effects
Dual Platter

System 8 Synthesizer

The System-8 is the big brother of the System-1 featuring the dual oscillators of the System-1 plus a sequencer, more effects and additional filtering options and additional plug-out slots:

49-key keyboard
Dual Oscillator plus sub-oscillator
Single, dual and pulse LFO
Three plug-out slots
Distortion, Delay and Reverb Effects


Aira EFX Modules

EFX The Aira EFX modules are Eurorack compatible effects units that provide effects such as delay and distortion. Four units are available and these are all customizable using the Aira Modular Customizer app:

Demora – Delay
Torcido – Distortion
Scooper – Scatter and Looper
Bitrazer – Bit Crusher

System 500 Modular Synthesizer

The System-500 synthesizer consists of 5 Eurorack compatible units that build into a full modular synth. Available separately or as a complete system, including a rack. The individual units are:

512 – Dual VCO Module
521 – Dual VCF Module
530 – Dual VCA Module
540 – Dual Envelope Generator and LFO
572 – Phase Shifter, Delay and LFO


The TB-3 Touch Bassline

TB-3 The TB-3 is a monophonic synthesizer designed by Roland to closely emulate the sounds of the original TB-303. At the same time, they have enhanced the capabilities of the TB-3 over and above the original device. The TB-3 features:

134 Bass, Synth and Effect sounds
64 definable sequence patterns, of up to 32 steps
Controllers for Cut-off, Resonance, Accent and Effect
Stereo out and MIDI

The TR-8 Rhythm Performer

The TR-8 does for classic Roland drum machines what the TB-3 does for the TB-303, giving the TR-808 and TR-909 new lease of life (with the TR-707 and 727 available as a purchasable update). The basic TR-8 has:

16 programmable drum patterns and kit arrangements
Reverb and Delay effects, plus external sidechain
Volume and sound control per instrument
Stereo out, assignable out and external in


The System-1 Plug-out Synthesizer

System-1 The System-1 is a small 25-key synthesizer that offers some nice synthesis options from nice fat basses to warm strings, all configurable via numerous knobs and sliders on the top. It offers:

2 main oscillators, a sub oscillator and noise generator
4 voice polyphony
Reverb, Delay and Crusher effects
Stereo out and MIDI

In addition, the System-1 has Roland’s Plug-out concept which allows VSTs to be loaded into the synth, effectively making the System-1 a dual-synth device, although only one can be used at a time.

The System-1m Plug-out Synthesizer

The System-1m is essentially the same synth as the System-1 minus a keyboard but with the addition of a number of input and outputs for connecting to modular systems, some of which Roland offer as part of the Aira range. System-1m

The MX-1 Mix Performer

MX-1 A multi-channel mixer that connects all the Aira gear plus any other kit you may have laying around.

18 input and output channels
Assignable delay, filter, flanger and bit-crush effects
6 audio inputs, stereo aux send and return
4 USB host ports for other Aira devices

The VT-3 Voice Transformer

The Aira Vocoder

4 voice changer options
10 sound character settings and 9 controllers
XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs


The SBX-1 Sync Box

SBX-1 Multi format synch box for practically any device.

Support synchronization via Dyn sync, MIDI, USB, CV