Is Aira dead ?

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Is Aira dead ?

Postby Happy » 16:36, 20 June 2017

Would there be anything new for Aira ? In general, there haven't been much updates/grades for this product line for some time now, even not for the System 8.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby Synthtron » 16:41, 20 June 2017

I doubt it is dead...yet.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby HaveIt » 08:05, 4 July 2017

Aira has morphed into the boutiques I think. The TR-8 got a lot right but not so much the TB-3. The new Tron look and new ideas just weren't as successful. People mostly want nostalgia and small boxes. The cute factor seems very important although I do not know how you can operate some of the knobs.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby mimoid » 10:48, 4 July 2017

HaveIt wrote:Aira has morphed into the boutiques I think. The TR-8 got a lot right but not so much the TB-3. The new Tron look and new ideas just weren't as successful. People mostly want nostalgia and small boxes. The cute factor seems very important although I do not know how you can operate some of the knobs.


I think you are right, in the past the Boutique line and the AIRA line were treated completely differently (competitively) within Roland. Today however the Facebook pages are signed as Roland AIRA even when the issues are related to the Boutique range.

The AIRA range was originally intended for live playing in front of an audience or for recorded live performances on YouTube. The boutiques were miniaturized reproductions of old analog units, partially for nostalgic reasons. All this seems to have shifted now, with the Roland Cloud as medium for full-scale virtual reproductions of previous Roland hardware, and the Boutique as medium for brand new, affordable small foot-print units. The keyword here is "kawaii", Japanese for "small and cute".

I also have a feeling that the age of the huge "flagship" synthesizers are over. I find it hard to see Roland designing another physical V-Synth or JD-XA.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby rsaintjohn » 20:20, 4 July 2017

Worth noting: there are two separate divisions (engineering and marketing) in Roland that deal with synths and electronic music products.

One division (the original, out of Hamamatsu) focuses primarily on products like the JD-XA/Xi, FAs, XPS, Jupiters, Junos, Integras and the new RD-2000. The newer Roland Professional Group (RPG) handles the System-1s/500/8, AIRA, Boutiques and ACB tech. Roland VS is yet another group, the Roland Cloud group, and they're probably more tightly linked to the strategies of the latter than the former (note the difference between Axial and Cloud, for instance).

It's probably not a strict wall with Red on one side and Green on the other. And they certainly coordinate activities and resources. But the Boutiques and the AIRA lines aren't as far apart as you might think, or as green LEDs (or lack thereof) might indicate ;)

DJ808 and System-8 were only 10 months ago so it's probably too early to declare AIRA as "dead". But it does appear that the brand is being de-emphasized and the lines are blurring.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby Bodde » 09:03, 5 July 2017

I hope not. Still waiting for some new updates or expansions for the TR-8. Doubt if that ever will come.

When I bought it the sellers argument was that there would be regular expansions coming from Roland. But in all those year only one expansion (7X7) came. That's kind of disappointing. I think Roland is abandoning there products way too soon.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby Happy » 08:06, 7 July 2017

juts speculating, but it feels like the ACB team has transitioned into the software group (D-50) which provides the Roland Cloud based on DCB and ACB. The Supernatural based group (FA , Jupiter) probably is still separate but probably we will see (Integra/XV etc..) PCM and SN emulations in the cloud in the future as well using DCB. Around DCB Roland probably can build any kind of physical box with knobs and sliders as what they did with ACB for those who want a piece of nostalgic hardware or chose to release it as software offering only. Using the foundation of ACB and DCB software they can mix and match for many years to come. Then probably there is an analog team. Boutique is then just a form factor that spans all these groups. Aira might not be dead, but perhaps it will stay as the styling of products for Live/DJ with a mix of ACB, DCB and Analog. But will Roland expand the System 8, release some updates for the current Aira products or release any new Aira SYNTH ? Doubtful.So Aira might be dead SYNTH wise. Hopefully the ACB/DCB group will implement full Sysex on future products as what the SN group does.Until then I will never change my D-10 for a piece of software
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby jx3p » 03:15, 30 December 2017

so it's almost 2018 and Roland seems to let all the TR-8 and system-1 owners down, since there's been no updates, no more soundpacks for the TR-8 nor more plug-outs for the system-1 for ages.
We will have to see yet if and how many more plug-outs the System-8 will get, before the system-16 will arrive.

But instead Roland releases boutique devices now with a new better sounding generation of ACB and a cloud service where you have to rent the new "plug-outs" now and the 1st Generation AIRA buyers either go with that or are left with what they have.

I love my Roland devices but with this new philosophy they definately have lost me as a customer.
Well done!
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby FANTOMized » 17:50, 8 January 2018

I think we have to accept that the Aira line is developmentally dead and just walking to the finish line.

Just seems that Roland never put the necessary push on it to make it work and the progress they made otherwise allowed them to simply move on.

Would love for it not to be dead but if it is still a product they are developing then they need to start supporting it with some consistent offerings.
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Re: Is Aira dead ?

Postby Manic » 19:43, 8 January 2018

They just released several AIRA dj controllers and the SP404A which also seems to be a member of AIRA, so I don't agree AIRA is dead. The problem is that with the plug-out tech they create a lot of expectations of their products for years after they release them.. Since Roland is working on several new products at once and every new product creates more expectations (especially expandable products like the plug-out synths) they have more and more people demanding more and more from them. I can imagine it is really hard to please everyone. For example, people are even still expecting more drum kits for the TR-8, which is several years old already! Also people are hoping for more plug-outs for the S1 or more polyphony etc... that synth had been expanded so far already! The only thing I think is reasonable is to expect a few more polyphonic plug-outs for the System-8, but I am quite sure that is coming.

Just be patient and above all be happy with what they already offered us!
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