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Did Aira modular fail commercially ?
Old 4th September 2019
Here for the gear

Did Aira modular fail commercially ?

It looks like the Modular FX have failed.

The system-1m is still in production and the Torcido/Demora/… aren't anymore.

Yet, i'd like to know if there are evidence of a commercial failure (even if manufacturer rarely communicate about those) ?

Maybe it was just a small experiment that did well, but not enough to be kept in production

Thank you !
Old 4th September 2019
Gear Guru
Derp's Avatar
I can't imagine Roland fared well with this. They weren't in production for long at all. Shame because they're actually some of the most powerful modules out there once you open up the hood and start customizing. I think the biggest problems were price and form-factor.

The price was really high for some cheap Roland repackaging. The same items as pedals would have likely cost $100 to $150, so it shows that they were trying to milk Eurorack guys of their apparently bottomless wallets, and most just weren't having it. I got most of mine when they were discontinued and everybody was blowing them out for $150.

And the form factor was wonky. It's an uneven amount of HP at a time when that wasn't common, and the power situation was nuts. I have mine powered by their own power supplies because they suck down so much juice that relying on your rack's power supply isn't practical.

Their System-500 partnership seems to be doing alright because they had a second wave of modules come out. They're kinda pricey for what they are, so that can't be helping, but there's no denying that they're high-quality and sound great. I think a lot of the push for that system was from Malekko's end, though.

As for System-1m, I bought in, but it's not something I brag about. A crippled System-1 for more money isn't a big seller. That there's enough buyers to keep making them is a bit of a shock to me, but then again, they're also still making the Gaia after nine years, so who knows?
Old 5th September 2019
Roland seem to make cool products, then walk away from them.
I think the FX modules were widely misunderstood in the modular community.
It probably didn't help that they needed their own external power, and couldn't be easily installed inn yer standard Eurorack.
Still, it was an innovative idea - DIY design your own module through software interface. Almost no one did. And Roland continually get criticised for never innovating.
On the 500 series - I think the key point is that Malekko made it happen.
I know a few Roland employees who were enthusiastic Eurorack owners 15+ years ago, and at every new product brainstorming they pushed heavily for Roland to make some Eurorack modules. So, it wasn't Malekko's idea, but I don't think Roland were going to actually do it until Malekko brought it up, with an offer to collaborate.
Old 5th September 2019
Here for the gear

Thank you for the inputs !

I plan on making a video on them because it's crazy the amount of stuffs you can do with these — it's also an audio interface with DC coupled IO (Yup, it almost has a built-in ES-8 ) and it's also a midi to CV interface)

I wanted to make sure why it was discontinued. Nobody knows for sure (except roland executives),

but any input is welcome
Old 5th September 2019
I think it's a pretty fair guess that the FX modules didn't sell well, especially at the original price. And after time Roland decided to concentrate on their 500 Series Eurorack - which they have continued to support and launched a second series of modules for.
Old 5th September 2019
Gear Guru
Derp's Avatar
Originally Posted by Tumulte View Post
it's also an audio interface with DC coupled IO (Yup, it almost has a built-in ES-8 ) and it's also a midi to CV interface)
There's a lot of really cool tricks hidden in those boxes. I started with the Scooper so I could have a racked replacement for my KP3's glitch effects. What caused me to buy them all was this instruction guide on how to make your own little drum sound generator. That allowed me to figure out that in the software, you can patch them so that they become MIDI-controlled oscillator banks. My plan was to get them all, reconfigure the software, and have 4-voice multitimbrality with sample-accurate tuning in the modular system. I ended up not sticking with it (Roland's USB-controlled MIDI is crap when you're using older software), but I still love playing with the configurations. Even when I'm not in the studio, I'll boot up the Aira app on my phone and play around so I can patch it in when I get home. When I first got the Scooper, the LFO's on my Kraftzwerg were always patched into it. Now, it's got its own internal LFO's cross-modulating each other and controlling the Scatter controls, plus a distortion I can switch on and off.
Old 7th September 2019
Lives for gear

I love the aira modules enough to have 3/4 from the firesale (couldn't get the demora!)

One thing they are great for is a vcv rack audio interface, being DC coupled and all.. an aira module can become a free clouds.. kinda!

Roland stopped updating the app which doesn't work on latest Android, in typical form :/

I hope they continue with digital euro but seems unlikely
Old 10th September 2019
Lives for gear
re5etuk's Avatar
I assumed system1/m had ceased production and that they’re only still available in stores because people aren’t buying it new anymore.
I bought mine 2nd hand and it was in as new condition. They still seem to pop up 2nd hand .

I’ve got 1x fx units left , but I retreated away from eurorack a while ago , it’s been boxed up for months.
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