Roland Aira Series Review (T-8, J-6, E-4): A Backpack Recording Studio

Roland Aira Series Review (T-8, J-6, E-4): A Backpack Recording Studio Leave a comment

You won’t consider it, however in case you’re older than 19, you possibly can in all probability establish precisely what a classic, high-end Juno synth feels like. If you are craving that classic sound, you possibly can nonetheless discover it by haggling with weirdos on Craigslist and repairing historical circuitry, however it’ll value you in cash, time, and probably aggravation.

Not any longer: Small, inexpensive, rechargeable, and transportable, Roland’s new Aira synth line consists of the T-8 drum machine, J-6 synth, and E-4 vocal processor. You can sync them up with out a laptop computer to carry out dwell or use them with an audio interface to report classic-sounding hits. Together they value lower than a Macbook Air.

The democratization of music production gear is nothing new. Top 10 singles have been crafted in bedrooms and residential studios for many years, and producers like Finneas are making hits with gear that prices as a lot as a single day’s studio rental did within the early Nineteen Eighties. The Aira is simply the newest line to step into the land of old-school synths, drums, and vocoders for lower than the value of a Walkman off eBay.

The ’80s Called

Roland Aira T-8

Photograph: Roland

The T-8, J-6, and E-4 are available compact plastic instances with orange, blue, and pink backs. A small USB-C port behind every synth acts as a charging port (you will get about 4 hours of battery life if you wish to take these off-grid) with 3.5-mm midi out and in ports beside it.

On prime of every unit are two 3.5-mm sync ports (out and in, for pairing with different items in time) and blend in-and-out ports for sending audio via all three items with out a mixer. It’s a pleasant contact that permits you to play them abruptly. On the higher proper of every unit is a quantity knob, which is small however oddly satisfying to show.

Below that, they change into their very own distinct digital devices. I gained’t get into the best way to use them (Roland’s wonderful manuals and a few YouTube videos will take you additional than I can in a couple of hundred phrases), however right here’s what they do.

The T-8 acts as a 32-step sequencing drum machine, very similar to the traditional Roland 808 (learn: Kanye West’s favourite drum machine) however with extra sounds. It has controls for bass drum, snare, hi-hat, toms, and hand claps. You can even add a bass or keyboard line. If you just like the sound of ’80s radio beats, you’ll discover these right here, in addition to greater than sufficient tuning and customization options to write down EDM, indie, hip hop, pop, and different beats with ease.

Roland Aira J-6

Photograph: Roland

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