Roland has introduced the S-1 Tweak Synth, the latest addition to the AIRA Compact family of pocket-sized instruments for modern music creators, which also includes the T-8 Beat Machine, J-6 Chord Synthesizer, and E-4 Voice Tweaker. Inspired by the legendary Roland SH-101 from the 1980s, the S-1 is a potent micro polysynth with futuristic wave manipulation, onboard sequencing, and a range of unique performance features. With its inspiring tactile controls and intuitive workflow, this powerful instrument provides a fun and satisfying creative experience for beginners and serious synth adventurers alike.
The S-1 merges retro spirit and advanced capabilities in an ultra-compact package ready to travel anywhere. The latest generation of Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology delivers the authentic tone and response of the SH-101, a classic monophonic synth embraced for its characterful sound and simple, direct-access panel. Extending the original’s design with four-voice polyphony and a slate of innovative features for next-level music creation, the S-1 makes it easy for musicians at any level to explore the power of synthesis through a friendly, uncomplicated interface.
Filled with hands-on controls, the S-1 is a sound design and performance powerhouse in miniature. Users can create lavish tones with oscillator, envelope, filter, and LFO sections, adjust effects with dedicated knobs, and dive into deeper design tools with quick combo button presses. The bottom section of the panel features 26 multi-function pads, providing access to a keyboard with a two-plus octave range, a step sequencer interface, and a wealth of creative options to spark fresh ideas.
The S-1 is primed to push classic SH tones into new dimensions. Users can build from square, saw, sub, and noise oscillators or craft custom waveshapes on the step pads using the powerful OSC Draw function. OSC Chop unlocks even more harmonic potential with the ability to cut waveforms into sections for a labyrinth of metallic timbres. It’s also possible to use the noise oscillator as an independent riser to add sweeps and pulsing sound effects.
With its 64-step sequencer and 64 patterns, the S-1 is made for on-the-spot music capture and song development. Users can record live with the onboard keyboard or switch to step mode for detailed note entry and editing. Motion recording, probability settings, sub steps, and other features like velocity, shuffle, and portamento are also available to bring sounds to life.
The S-1 is packed with features to inspire dynamic performances. The unique D-Motion controller creates compelling sound changes simply by moving the synth, while the Step Loop function is perfect for live fills and on-the-fly rhythmic improv. There’s also an onboard arpeggiator and the ability to transpose patterns to instantly add harmonic richness to jams.
The S-1 includes a wide selection of classic Roland effects to enhance sounds. Users can add shimmering dimension with lush choruses derived from the iconic JUNO and JX-3P synths, introduce spaciousness and movement with manual and tempo-synced delays, and envelop sounds with studio-grade reverb effects and a variety of adjustable parameters.
About the AIRA Compact Series
The growing lineup of AIRA Compact instruments lets anyone jam, perform, and develop ideas on the go with friendly tactile controls, inspiring sounds, and loads of intuitive music tools. Users can realize complete compositions with a single unit or expand their possibilities by connecting and synchronizing with other AIRA Compact models. From one master unit, multiple AIRA Compacts can be mixed and monitored with headphones or an external speaker system. It’s also possible to interface with computer DAWS, mobile music apps, and hardware instruments via USB-C or MIDI.
Availability & Pricing
The Roland S-1 Tweak Synth is available now in the U.S. for $199.99.