Roland AIRA System-1 Plug-out Synthesizer and SH-101 Soft Synth

Roland's AIRA System-1 Plug-out Synthesizer is now available, and the first software "plug-out" SH-101 is revealed.

Roland AIRA System-1 Plug-out

Like the other AIRA system synthesizers, System-1 combines the company's latest component modeling technology with analog modular flexibility. It carries Roland's new "Plug-out" system, where extra synth-engines can be loaded into the hardware to expand the possible sounds you can get, much like multiple presets.


Roland's new "plug-out" system has caused quite the buzz because of the convenience it brings. And now that the first soft synth plug-out was announced to be free for System-1 owners, it makes the concept even more interesting.

Although System-1 carries the name of the popular System-100 modular synthesizer, released by the company back in 1975, it is worlds apart in terms of technology and functionality. Behind this old-school analog-sounding synthesizer is a digital heart, designed for convenient integration with your studio and stage rig.

Giving this digital instrument its analog voice is Roland's Analog Circuit Behavior technology. It provides spot-on modeling of all analog synth components, Variable filter, envelopes, LFO, and more. Because the components where modeled, the controls respond much like the analog gear that they are based on. With the help of this technology, the company claims that this synth delivers sound that's tweakable and analog-like, and with the positive response that their getting, they appear to be telling the truth. Check out this video that demonstrates the technology:

Other Features:

  • Multimode filter with -12dB to -24dB/octave lowpass and independent highpass controls
  • Onboard delay and reverb effects
  • Crusher knob for adjusting distortion effect
  • Tone knob for adjusting the overall sound of the synth
  • Tempo sync functions allow you to lock your LFO and delay effect to the beat
  • Advanced arpeggiator with Scatter mode for creating moving patterns
  • USB connectivity for both audio and MIDI data
  • MIDI clock syncing with external gear.

All these technology is packed inside the company's most compact 25-key synth to date. For something so small, it has a massive number of physical knobs, buttons, sliders with LED indicators, amounting to 73.

The first of the "soft synth plug-outs" is revealed to be a digital reproduction of the popular Roland SH-101 synth. It is designed to be loaded into the AIRA System-1 hardware to expand its sound, and it also works as a regular instrument plug-in. It is slated for a late July release, and will be free to download for all System-1 owners. Check out the demo video of the upcoming SH-101 plug-out:

The AIRA System-1 Plug-Out Synthesizer is currently retailing online for $599, which is quite affordable considering the sonic potential that the Plug-out system will bring in the future. For more information and the complete technical details, you can head over to Roland.

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