The System-8 is the top-end device of the AIRA range of groovy green music-making machines. It’s an analogue modelling polysynth with the ability to load up fully realised versions of other classic Roland synths. It’s a lot of fun but Roland isn’t done with it yet. Firmware version 1.2 brings some really decent new goodies and improvements.
The first addition is two FM oscillator variations. The first variation has six FM waveforms produced by two sine-wave operators, the second variation gets more complex with a combination of three sine-wave operations and two triangle-wave oscillators. These digital tones take the System-8 into areas it’s never visited before, with electric pianos, bells, harmonics and inharmonics with vocal and formant characteristics.
They’ve added five new variations to the filters. This brings in a Jupiter-8 high and low-pass filter, a Juno-106 high and low-pass filter, two formant filters and a harmonic filter which uses feedback to vary the overtones.
The final new feature is an overdub mode for the step-sequencer. Other than that there’s a bunch of tweaks and bug fixes.
The V1.2 update is available to download from the Roland website.