Sweetwater, the online music gear retailer, has posted demo videos of all four of the new Roland Aira Modular devices. Hosted by Roland US product representative Brandon Ryan, the tutorials are brief introductions to each of the new modules in the Aira Modular series. There is also a demonstration of the System 1M, the modular version of the Roland Aira System 1 keyboard.
One of the items mentioned in the video is the Aira Modular Customizer app, which lets you reprogram your module via USB or via a normal mono 1/8″ cable. This is one of the most powerful and controversial features of the Aira modules. Modular purists would suggest that hardware synthesizers are a way to get away from the screens and menus that permeate our lives, and I would tend to agree with them. However it is inevitable that these worlds will collide, with the ease of recording and increasing modular-to-computer interface options in the market.
The application offers a lot of options that would otherwise not be possible with the Aira devices. For instance, the Scooper includes a built-in filter that only effects the sample after recording a loop. It does not work as a filter on it’s own for the dry, unrecorded input. With a quick one-time edit to the application, you can change the internal routing of the module. It’s easy to simply add a filter, maybe do some creative routing, and all of a sudden, the dry signal can be filtered as well. It even allows for independent routing of the inputs and outputs, leading to a lot of interesting inbreeding (routing a module back into itself) possibilities.
You may also want to get the European perspective from Sonic State’s Nick Batt and Roland’s European rep, David Ahlund, who demonstrate the entire line of Aira Modular devices.