The Roland Aira Modular effects series has taken the idea of customizing internal routing and firmware on modules to another level. Instead of flashing an update through some complicated method and menu diving, the Aira devices can be rerouted using an app on your computer or mobile device (yes, iOS and Android). This functionality is what sold many people on the power of the Aira modules.
The Aira Modular Customizer app includes 15 additional virtual modules (with more on the way) which include an LFO, ADSR envelope, Ring Modulator and more. These virtual modules can be routed into the signal flow of the effects module to alter or expand upon the basic functionality of the effect. One area that this became a specific issue for myself was with the Scooper bi-polar filter, which is not usable with a dry signal passing through the Scooper; the effect has to be enabled and a loop recorded and playing back to use the filter.
I wanted the filter to be separate from the Scooper effect, so I added the 12db filter in the customizer, and routed the signal in and out through input/output 2. This allowed me to “inbreed” the Scooper (route it back into itself for expanded functionality) to use the filter as an effect on the dry signal, then routing that through the effect.
Of course, this led to deeper contemplation. What else can this device do?
I discovered that by using the built in LFO in the customizer, we can turn the Aira modules into self-contained oscillators, or entire synth voices when we employ a filter, envelope and amplifier. The LFO conveniently follows and properly pitch tracks 1 Volt per Octave CV signals. In the video above, I walk through the creation of a simple Aira oscillator and oscillator-filter chain. From this basic starting point, you can begin to find deeper uses for the Aira effects, potentially creating entire compositions using only routings inside of one Aira module.
What interesting routings are you crafting on your Aira modules? Download the patches used in the video above, right here!! (Hint: If you don’t have the Scooper, simple click “Select Main Module” under the Preferences in the Aira Customizer and click on your module. The routings should remain intact and functional!)