Roland launch S-1 Tweak Synth: The Latest AIRA Compact Instrument
Roland has recently announced the latest addition to their popular AIRA Compact family of pocket-sized instruments, the S-1 Tweak Synth. Inspired by the legendary Roland SH-101 from the 1980s, this powerful micro polysynth is designed to offer modern music creators a range of unique performance features, futuristic wave manipulation, and onboard sequencing.
The S-1 Tweak Synth is built with the latest generation of Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, which delivers the authentic tone and response of the SH-101, a classic monophonic synth that is known for its characterful sound and simple, direct-access panel. The S-1 extends the original’s design with four-voice polyphony and a slate of innovative features for next-level music creation.
The S-1 is packed with hands-on controls, making it a sound design and performance powerhouse in miniature. Musicians can create lavish tones with oscillator, envelope, filter, and LFO sections, adjust effects with dedicated knobs, and dive into deeper design tools with quick combo button presses. The synth features 26 multi-function pads on the bottom section of the panel, which provides access to a keyboard with a two-plus octave range, a step sequencer interface, and a wealth of creative options to spark fresh ideas.
The S-1 is designed to push classic SH tones into new dimensions. Users can build from square, saw, sub, and noise oscillators or craft custom waveshapes on the step pads using the powerful OSC Draw function. OSC Chop unlocks even more harmonic potential with the ability to cut waveforms into sections for a labyrinth of metallic timbres. It’s also possible to use the noise oscillator as an independent riser to add sweeps and pulsing sound effects.
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With its 64-step sequencer and 64 patterns, the S-1 is perfect for on-the-spot music capture and song development. Users can record live with the onboard keyboard or switch to step mode for detailed note entry and editing. Motion recording, probability settings, sub-steps, and other features like velocity, shuffle, and portamento are also available to bring sounds to life.
The S-1 is designed with features to inspire dynamic performances. The unique D-Motion controller creates compelling sound changes simply by moving the synth, while the Step Loop function is perfect for live fills and on-the-fly rhythmic improv. There’s also an onboard arpeggiator and the ability to transpose patterns to instantly add harmonic richness to jams.
The S-1 includes a wide selection of classic Roland effects to enhance sounds. Users can add shimmering dimension with lush choruses derived from the iconic JUNO and JX-3P synths, introduce spaciousness and movement with manual and tempo-synced delays, and envelop sounds with studio-grade reverb effects and a variety of adjustable parameters.
The AIRA Compact series of instruments offers musicians a range of intuitive music tools, inspiring sounds, and friendly tactile controls. Musicians can realize complete compositions with a single unit or expand their possibilities by connecting and synchronizing with other AIRA Compact models. From one master unit, multiple AIRA Compacts can be mixed and monitored with headphones or an external speaker system. It’s also possible to interface with computer DAWS, mobile music apps, and hardware instruments via USB-C or MIDI.
The S-1 Tweak Synth is available now in the U.S. for $199.99.
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Image credits: Roland