With AIRA, Roland pulled off its biggest PR coup. With reface Yamaha attempted to do an AIRA. But is Roland now doing a reface? Mysterious keyboards, teaser videos and, more to the point, what are we talking about?
Above is a still from the new Roland Boutique video. Mysterious eh? Not quite… There is no doubt that Roland’s AIRA campaign was a masterstroke in PR. It had the world’s music technology press falling over itself – and, yes, us included – in excitement over a range of mystery products that was eventually revealed to a select few in a secret room at NAMM a couple of years back.
The AIRA range turned out, in part, to be almost as good as the hype and has sold well for the company – certainly as well as, if not better than, any of Roland’s releases in a farily lacklustre previous decade of releases. Yamaha then tried its own secret room with reface, last Frankfurt, so could have been seen as, ‘doing an AIRA’.
Only trouble was we weren’t even allowed to say we’d been in a secret room, let alone what was in it, so the hypre didn’t get going until the launch proper this summer when Yamaha revealed its range of mini classic keyboards.
Now in Roland’s latest campaign, they appear to be doing another AIRA – teasing bits of a new Boutique range with videos snippets – but also ‘doing a reface’, as the company’s new range of (what looks like) mini keyboards is pretty obviously either cutdown or re-imagined versions of the Jupiter 8, JX-3P and Juno-106 shown at the start of the video.
So we took a still, upped the exposure and, yes, they are clearly mini keyboards…
We are excited, don’t get us wrong, but as great as remakes of classics are, we’d kinda like to see the originals remade like Korg has done with its own MS20 synth (various of) and ARP’s Odyssey. Anyway let us know what you think.
In more solid news Roland has unveiled the latest synth, the DS88 complete with fully weighted keyboard. Full press release is here http://www.roland.co.uk/products/juno-ds88
And there’s also a remix compo where you cann win some great AIRA gear here!