Roland officially unveils the System-8, a huge 8-voice polysynth

Roland has launched the Aira System-8, an 8-voice polysynth that features not one, not two, but three Plug Out options on board.

The news was released as part of Roland's epic 909 day presentation - a 24-hour, live streaming extravaganza. You can see the synth in action in a video preview from Sweetwater.

As with the rest of the Aira range and latest crop of Roland releases, the System-8 will be powered by the company's Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, and Roland is partnering the new hardware with Plug Out versions of the Jupiter-8 and Juno-106.

The architecture of the System-8 is similar to that of the System-1 with the familiar Mixer, Osc1 and 2, LFO, Pitch and Mod sections all here, but there are also some additions. These include a third/sub oscillator, a 16-step sequencer, upper/lower key split, CV/Gate out and the three aforementioned Plug Out buttons.

The System-8 will be available in October 2016 with a list price of £1239/€1499 and will come bundled with the Jupiter-8 Plug Out synth, while the Juno-106 version will arrive in Spring 2017. For more information, head on over to the Roland website.

System-8 features

  • Versatile performance synthesizer with advanced ACB technology and 49 full-size keys
  • Internal sound engine delivers classic analog tones and dynamic modern sounds with analog vibe
  • Hosts up to three Plug-Out synths; Jupiter-8 included and Juno-106 (coming Spring 2017)
  • Advanced low-pass, high-pass, and side-band filters with high-resolution controls
  • Massive real-time control with dedicated knobs, sliders, and buttons

  • Polyphonic step sequencer with classic TR-REC style interface
  • Arpeggio, vocoder, and polyphonic Chord Memory functions
  • CV/Gate outputs for interfacing with modular synths and vintage gear
  • Large selection of onboard effects with hands-on controls
  • USB audio/MIDI interface and control surface mode

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.