Roland announces free SH-101 Plug-Out synth for Aira System-1

We knew it was coming, but now we have official specs and screenshots for Roland's new SH-101 Plug-Out synth, the first additional instrument to be compatible with the Aira System-1 hardware. This will be available free to System-1 owners soon.

The Plug-Out technology is designed to marry the best elements of hardware and software. So, you can use the SH-101 as a VST/AU instrument in your Mac or PC DAW (using the System-1 as a controller), but you also have the option of sending the entire model (and any presets you've created) to the System-1 hardware so that you can play it anywhere without a computer.

As for the SH-101 itself, this is based on Roland's Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology and promises to faithfully recreate not only the original synth's sound, but also the behaviour of its oscillators, filters and more. There are also additional features - new effects, for example - that weren't included in the original.

Check out the SH-101 Plug-Out's specs below and the video above to see exactly how it works. You'll find additional information on the Roland website.

Roland SH-101 Plug-Out specs

  • Total authenticity through face-to-face consultation with the original designers and relentless research beyond the original schematics
  • Meticulously recreated oscillator and filter behaviour - hallmarks of the SH-101 sound
  • Authentic behaviours including the unique interaction between low pass filter and envelope controls
  • Faithfully reproduces the unstable fluctuations that resulted from quirks in the SH-101's circuitry
  • Classic SH-101 synth sounds - bass, lead, noise, and sound effects
  • Software layout features standard gray model, as well as red and blue models originally sold as limited editions
  • Two envelope sections allow different settings for VCF and VCA while maintaining the option of classic SH-101 envelope behaviour
  • Reverb, chorus, delay and crusher effects that were not included in the original
  • Run as many instances as your computer can handle
  • Use System-1 as a dedicated USB keyboard controller with lighted knobs and sliders that show only available parameters
  • Plug-Out with System-1 lets you take an authentic SH-101 wherever you go, from mobile production to live performance
  • Transfer sounds between System-1 and SH-101 with Plug-Out
  • Supports Macintosh and Windows, and AU and VSTi formats
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.