This wouldn’t normally be news, but for whatever reason, the Roland AIRAs went flying off the shelves – missing any MIDI documentation. Ahem.

We covered a number of these details before, including a Max for Live patch for the convenience of those of you integrating with Ableton. The good news: the hackers were right, and got more or less the entire implementation via trial and error. So, this is still a good resource:

AIRA Secrets: Here’s How to Take Command of Roland’s TB-3 and TR-8 with MIDI

The TR-8, then, holds no surprises. I’m just hopeful we see extra functionality via a firmware update. Fingers crossed.
TR-8 MIDI Implementation Chart

The TB-3 is more interesting, particularly as I (keep) advocating it as a sequencer. As far as notes, it’s pretty limited – only 24-60 are transmitted, so you’ll have to do some transposition on your synth if you want something other than bass. But the Control Changes are all sent over MIDI:

11 PAD Y

TB-3 MIDI Implementation Chart

Clock is sent and received, too. So, for a bit of extra control and notes – with pitch bend – for monophonic lines, this thing should be rather nice. Also, the TB-3 you can use on its own, battery-powered, so you can jam away, then take the same line and plug it into another synth later. I saw one of the AIRA engineers working on his basslines while in a corner of the visitor space in a corner of Musikmesse.

Thanks to Miami’s @3REV on Twitter for the tips, among other folks who sent this in. And 3REV earns extra cool points for founding a roller derby. That should be fun with some acid techno.

  • DrFaye

    Just playing community editor for a second… there is a misspelling in “TR-8 MIDI Implementation Chard”

    Not that I got that out of me, just wanted to say thanks for posting such good articles. CDM is a daily read for me and many I know, and we definitely appreciate the quality of information here!

    • DrFaye

      Hah, and I spelled “Now” wrong in a post about a spelling correction.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Ha, thanks!

      Signs I need to get more leafy greens?

      mmmmm… MIDI chard!

  • http://www.3rev.net William Herrera

    You can use a Battery? I’m not sure about that as there is no Battery compartment in mine- However you CAN use powered via USB from your laptop. From the manual:
    “Connect the included AC adaptor here. Use only the included AC adaptor. Using any other adaptor may cause overheating and malfunction.
    * When connected via USB, power is supplied from the USB connection, so the AC adaptor does not need to be connected.

  • James Husted

    The standard USB power is 5V so that limits battery use also unless you can get a USB battery extender pack (for phones to tablets) that has enough amps to run it.

  • itchy

    so much hype behind the Aira, i played with it and it felt horrible especially the tr-8

    • Reeno

      I have it…it’s a great machine. (and I own a real tr-808)

    • dito

      are you selling the tr-808?

    • REENO


    • REENO

      if I were, I’d want $3,800 for it

  • Dave Whiting

    I don’t remember this much hype when the Roland SH32 came out.

  • Aaron

    “Flying off the shelves”, or just “shipped to retailers” without a MIDI Chart? I don’t see these things going back ordered or out of stock.. hell, the Guitar Center down the road has 3 TR-8’s left from the original 4 they initially got. The 1st being bought by a store employee.

  • J_

    the tb3 does seem interesting as a MIDI sequencer to me too. care to go into more depth about it? do those ccs get recorded per step? can you record the ccs, etc independently to notes? that would be great especially for pitch bend.

    tbh, i think roland missed a trick not offering external in on the tb3, seems like it would’ve been a kaosspad killer. still i hope the aira line lit a fire under korg to update the electribes. we need a sampling electribe with enough ins and outs interface with a few volcas and trons. :)

  • http://freezepop.net Sean Drinkwater

    Real talk: Any way to turn the blinking lights off? Haven’t seen a setting….

  • dito

    fix the 909 and 808 emulation of the bass drums

  • gordongate .

    The midi lag when the tb3 is not first in a chain is ridiculous.