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Our latest Youtube tutorial has been posted, focusing once again on the power inside the new Roland Aira Modular effects series of modules. In this video, we explore more possibilities with the Aira Modular Customizer App which we looked at previously in our last video, Roland Aira Modular Oscillator Mod. This time we take things a step further, by using the built in LFO and Noise Generator to craft Kick Drum and Snare Drum/Hihat sounds.

Scooper Drum Machine frame 1

Regardless of which Aira Modular effects module you are using, the same steps will apply. By routing a simple Envelope to both the pitch (or rate) of the LFO as well as the Amp, we can quickly create a classic synthesized drum sound. With a bit of tweaking, that sound becomes a recognizable Kick Drum or Tom tom. This is the same premise behind our first video, which demonstrated how to make a similar Kick Drum sound using the Sputnik Modular Oscillator.

One thing we didn’t mention in the video is using the Release stage of the Envelope to add some more tonality to the Kick Drum. By dialing up the Release stage to around 12 o’clock (with the Wave shape set to Sine), we can start to get into the realm of a classic 808 style Kick Drum. Dial the Wave shape towards the Square or Ramp waves for a grungier, punchier alternative. You could also skip the filter that we included, and instead use a Tone module to further color the noise-based Snare Drum.

Scooper Drum Machine frame 2

What modules are you using to get your drum sounds? Will this functionality make the Aira Modular devices more useful? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to learn more about Drum Modules and Synthesis? Check out our Sound Design 101 course at Voltage Control Lab!

Roland Aira Modular Drum Machine

4 thoughts on “Roland Aira Modular Drum Machine

  • September 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    It seems that roland could have focused more on making a multi purpose module with an interface Taylored to these under the hood modules instead, would have made a lot more sense… seems like a lot of r&d went to waste on some rather limited (due to the interface, not feature wise) modules.

    • September 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Could be, but I think the Scooper and Demora are pretty solid effects on their own. The Scooper is the first Roland product I’ve bought in about 15 years! There are apparently a lot of new virtual modules coming soon, hopefully another editor page as well… I think they are feeling things out in this market. Who knows what’s next after the 500 series with Malekko?

  • January 28, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I love these modules. And with Roland adding extra sub modules for extra sounds and patches, it all makes for a really exciting comcept!

    • January 28, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Exactly! I think they are pretty well designed, lots of fun to play with!


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