As most of you know from Instagram (we're following each other, right?), I bought Roland's Aira System-1 Synth this last week. I am in love with the sound, and more importantly, the one-knob-per-function interface.
This is easily the most exciting synth Roland has put out in my lifetime, and it's been a blast to own it. It struck me that not only does the System 1 make for a great standalone synth, but it works as an amazing midi controller for Mainstage. Here's why:
• the System-1 has a knob for almost every single important setting you need to tweak, and they're labeled extremely clearly.
• There's over 70 knobs, faders, and buttons on the unit, and I created a custom Mainstage template that has those same buttons represented on the screen, and pre-mapped. All you have to do is assign the corresponding settings in your VST instrument, and you have hands-on control of almost every aspect of your virtual synth.
• The System-1 connects to your computer via USB cable, so there's no extra cables to run. It can even act as your audio interface, sending your computer's audio out through its main outputs.