Introducing Roland’s S-1 Tweak Synth

Hardware for the masses: The Aira Compact polysynth is inspired by the legendary Roland SH-101.

Japanese manufacturer Roland has announced the S-1 Tweak Synth, the latest member of the Aira Compact family.

The small, ultra-light S-1 is described as a “potent micro polysynth inspired by the legendary Roland SH-101”:

Jam with the snappy basses and expressive leads you’ve loved for years. Then launch your music into uncharted territory with futuristic wave manipulation, onboard sequencing, and unique performance features designed for modern creators. With its inspiring hands-on controls and intuitive workflow, the powerful S-1 delivers a fun and satisfying experience for beginners and serious synth adventurers alike.


Roland says their “Analog Circuit Behavior,” or ACB tech, “provides the authentic tone and response of the SH-101,” a sound that’s smeared all over music from the ’80s and ’90s. The SH-101 sound is maybe most identifiable to listeners from tracks like A Guy Called Gerald’s “Voodoo Ray,” Aphex Twin’s “Polynomial C” and Madonna’s “Ray of Light.” Robert Hood’s landmark Minimal Nation album prominently featured the SH-101 and even named a track after it.

Here is a bank of sound demos:

And Roland’s intro video:

Following the release of their minified “boutique” line of instruments, Roland has been creating these tiny, lightweight and low-priced machines as part of their Aira Compact line. In addition to the S-1, Aira Compact features the T-8 (a combination of the TR-808 and TB-303), the E-4 “Voice Tweaker” and the regrettably named J-6 Chord Synth, based on the Juno-60.

As with the others, the S-1 Tweak Synth is priced to move, with a MSRP of $199.99.