ROLAND AT NAMM
Roland has certainly got everyone’s attention with its intention to release a TR-808 successor called AIRA. Even musicians and engineers who couldn’t give a hoot about EDM recognise the TR-808 as a legendary bit of gear – if for no other reason that it’s been modeled, sampled, mimicked and key-mapped in every drum sampler and synthesizer since Brian Eno was a… well, about 30 years old, actually. Whether the Aira will live up to the hype remains to be seen – and heard. Roland has also announced the new FA-06 and FA-08 keyboard workstations. Essentially the difference between the two is the 61 and 88 keys design with the latter having an Ivory Feel G Keyboard. Otherwise both models promise to simplify the whole workstation workflow – which you might agree has gotten a little daunting with so many features involved these days – plus provide complete integration with your DAW of choice and allow it to switch instantly between live performance and being the central controller in any studio. So the FA keyboards have 16 performance pads, transport controls, numerous controllers and, with a USB connection, the ability to configure all these to your studio PC with the press of a single button – yes, just once Roland promises. You’ll find scant information about the Aira, but www.rolandconnect.com has plenty to offer on the FA-06 and FA-08, plus some new guitar goodies and the RD-800 stage piano, which 25 years on from the original and subsequent models since, takes the RD series once more to the next level.
Australian Distributor: Roland Corporation Australia (02) 9982 8266 or www.rolandcorp.com.au