The evolution of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Machine

How many people remember when KRS-ONE sang “The TR 808 is coming… Bright and early in the morning!“?

The Leak… [updated]

Well, KRS was speaking of BDP cohort D-Nice (former beatbox official for BDP turned Emcee) but in 2014 Roland may just be singing this song with regards to the AIRA – “The evolution of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Machine.” What do we know about this evolutionary 808 machine? Not much but here is a tease from Roland that should wet your appetite a bit.

I’d say Korg’s and Arturia’s power punch of analog resurgence opened Roland’s eyes to what electronic musicians really want. As Roland says “New and exciting things” are afoot. Does that mean Aira will not be a faithful recreation but some sort of play on the 808 instead? We’ll all soon see. Rest assured, if the AIRA shows up at Winter NAMM 2014 BBoyTechReport will bring it to you direct. Stay tuned.


Thanks to the homie Coz on for digging up this bit of info from OP-1 Forum

I got to play with prototypes back in November. Non disclosure agreement expires now that the Aira site is up. All 4 Aira machines are digital, but will use modeling technology rather than PCM. The TR-08 has 909 sounds as well. They are not software controllers. This new division of Roland is dedicated to hardware since software has taken a huge chunk of their sales. Pieces are solid and well built. Pricing will be extremely un-Roland (low) from what they told me. I’m not going to quote them here, though. Aira units are geared toward live performance rather than recording. One of them will have a very promising functionality. I really can’t say much more in a public forum, but feel free to inbox me with any burning questions. Only 2 of the 4 prototypes were operational, TR-08 being one of them. Played with them for about 45 mins. Great fun.

And for those that don’t know… here is the D-Nice song that I hear in my head when I think of the TR-808 is coming.

Stay tuned here for more info

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