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The Roland SYSTEM-8 Update Brings New Filters and Oscillators for V1.20

The Roland SYSTEM-8 Update Brings New Filters and Oscillators in V1.20
The Roland SYSTEM-8 Update Brings New Filters and Oscillators in V1.20

The Roland SYSTEM-8 has been updated to Firmware version 1.20 and loaded with a bank of new sounds to show off the new features!

The Roland SYSTEM 8 is inspired by four decades of legendary Roland synths. As a popular option for performing musicians, the SYSTEM-8 includes a complete array of direct-access controls which give intuitive access to every function and parameter. Three PLUG-OUT connections also allow users to access the sounds of classic Roland synths via software plugins.

For June 2018, the SYSTEM 8 has been updated to Firmware Version 1.20 which hugely expands the palette of sounds that can be created.

Roland System 8 AIRA Plug Out Synthesizer

The SYSTEM-8's Firmware V1.20 includes a raft of new features for June 2018:

  • 2 new FM Oscillators (each with 6 variations) in the SYSTEM-8 Mode. The first variation has six FM waveforms produced by two sine-wave operators; the second variation features a combination of three sine-wave operations and two triangle-wave oscillators.
  • 5 new filter variations added to Sytem-8 Mode: Jupiter-8 (high/low-pass filters), Juno-106 (high/low-pass filters), 2 Formant filters, and a Harmonic filter (using feedback to vary the overtones)
  • Overdub mode has been added to the step sequencer
  • Various bug fixes

To complement the update, Roland has also released a new sound bank to show off the new range of available sounds. Both updates are available to download separately*.

These new digital tones provide a whole range of sonic potential and provide access to new electric pianos, harmonics, inharmonics, bells, and vocal/formant characteristics.

To find out more, see our product page for the Roland System 8 AIRA Plug Out Synthesizer at Gear4music.

Chances are, if you're reading this article you'll already be au-fait with the Roland SYSTEM-8 and interested in its latest Firmware. But, for users who are new to this monster synth…

What is the SYSTEM-8?

Roland System 8 AIRA Plug Out Synthesizer

The Roland SYSTEM-8 is "Roland’s most powerful AIRA Plug-Out synth" - Future Music

Designed by the Roland AIRA division and using Roland's ACB (Analogue Circuit Behaviour) technology, the Roland SYSTEM-8 can recreate the essence of classic analog synths from Roland's back-catalogue. SYSTEM 8 also features PLUG-OUT technology - a range of software plugins (up to three) which expand the range of sounds available to include classic Roland recreations. The SYSTEM-8's power lies in its full complement of performance-oriented controls; rather than dipping into endless computer menus, the SYSTEM-8 provides direct-access controls for every function and parameter.

Analogue Circuit Behaviour

Roland's ACB technology has been designed to recreate the historic sounds of analog synths. This sound-engine provides eight voices of polyphony, three oscillators (including a sub-oscillator), and smooth filters with ultra-detailed resolution. The SYSTEM-8 is inspired by the rich sonic character of the SYSTEM series, yet can produce modern sound for today's sound designers.

PLUG-OUT Expansion

Three PLUG-OUT connections allow the SYSTEM-8 to load up to three software expansions. These plugins enable the recreation of classic Roland synths - two are included straight out of the box including the JUPITER-8 and the JUNO-106. More PLUG-OUTs are available and, when the SYSTEM-8 is running in Performance Mode, the sounds can be blended with the internal sound-engine to create "super-synth" patches with layered voices, custom splits, and more.

Performance Tools

To complement the inspiring range of sounds available, the SYSTEM-8 also includes a 64-step sequencer with a familiar TR-REC interface and dedicated playback controls. An additional Arpeggio function features quick-access controls to change patterns, while the Chord Memory function lets you trigger full chords with a single key. The SYSTEM-8 also features a built-in vocoder for even more performance expression.

Sound Creation

Three filters are included to generate your sounds, while a range of filters let you shape your tone. Direct-access controls let you intuitively work with every function and a full complement of effects lets you put the final creative touch on your tones; including drives, delays, reverbs, modulation, and much more.


The SYSTEM-8 is an expandable system and its CV-GATE outputs allow you to work with external gear. The USB connectivity lets you use the synth as its own audio/MIDI interface to connect to your DAW.


Future Music magazine gave the Roland SYSTEM-8 4.5 out of 5 stars!

"…based on this excellent native engine alone, the SYSTEM-8 is well worth the price of admission. Throw in the Juno, Jupiter, the audio interface/CV capabilities, the sequencer, a decent vocoder (plus audio inputs with dedicated FX) and it’s hard not to be impressed!"

To find out more, see our product page for the Roland System 8 AIRA Plug Out Synthesizer at Gear4music.

By Matt Wilkinson


*Users can download the updated Firmware and the new sound bank from the Roland website:

The sound bank will overwrite the existing SYSTEM-8 bank, so users should save a backup of their patches first if they wish to keep them (or use Roland Cloud as a librarian).

Posted on 3 Jul 2018 11:49 to category : Instruments News

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