The Roland TB-303 literally shook the dance world in the 1980's and was embraced by musicians the world over making the now-iconic TB-303 a staple of electronic music. Now, a new generation of ground breaking synthesizers are born as part of the Aira range. The Roland TB-3 touch bassline performance-ready synthesizer takes the foundations that made the original so acclaimed and evolves this with today's technology and an interface that is not only innovative in its function but is also drop-dead gorgeous.
Using analog circuit behaviour technology, Roland have managed to fully recreate the saw-tooth and square wave oscillators as well as the -18dB/octave ladder low pass filter used in the original TB-303. Reborn is the unmistakable characteristics of the TB-303's cutoff and resonance. Adding to the recreation of the classic sounds, the TB-3 comes loaded with 134 sounds over 4 banks ready to impact your music with astonishing quality. Bubbling synth basses, hard distortion basses, trippy delay sounds and drippy effects are all present to name but a few.
Cool and clean interface
From the moment you unbox your Roland TB-3, what will grab you is that beautiful interface. The cool brushed metal, the red and green lighting, the clear layout, all add beauty to this beast, but it's not just about looks. The truth is, the step entry on the original TB-303 was difficult to use, the keyboard was difficult to play, and special manoeuvres were required to access the shuffle functions. Now, Roland have optimised the interface so that nothing gets in the way of your creativity. The green and red, pressure sensitive touch pad lets you seamlessly create patterns and interact with the unit during performance. In addition to pitch and volume, you can tweak filters and even control modulation by simply pressing down on the pad with your finger. It also makes the keyboard easier than ever to play.
With the new, evolved step sequencer of the Roland TB-3, you can switch seamlessly between pattern creation and performance. Of course in keeping with the original, the TB-3 also creates those unintended sounds as the user manoeuvres through its complex and cryptic pattern creation operation. And for instantaneous ideas, the TB-3 has automatic pattern generation and random pattern modification to inject a little chance and discovery into your music.
Making new connections
The Roland TB-3 now utilises a USB port to seamlessly transport both MIDI and audio data to and from your computer. It's also capable of receiving MIDI clock information to sync with external devices including other AIRA series units. The Roland TB-3 is a small unit that produces a massive sound and opens up all that made the original so ground breaking to a new generation, with new technology. Now is your time to own this inspiring reincarnation of a legend.
Manufacturer Roland Model TB-3 Dimensions(WxDxH) 240 x 173 x 57 mm Weight 820g Colour Black Controllers
- Cutoff knob
- Resonance knob
- Accent knob
- Effect knob
Internal Sounds 200 preset patches Polyphony Monophonic, 1 part Sequencer 64 patterns, 32 steps per pattern Display 7 segments, 3 characters (LED) Connectivity
- PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
- OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch TRS phone type
- MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
- USB port: USB type B (Audio/MIDI)
- DC IN jack
Included accessories AC adaptor, owners manual
- Compares to tb 303
The sound is pretty much indistinguishable from an original 303 in my opinion. There are lots of additional sound envelopes, which allow you to make some very modern, unusual sounds. Most people will buy the tb 3 as a cheap alternative to an original 303. If you've used a 303 you'll notice there a few differences where the tr3 differs, such as no pitch control knob etc, but all of the functionality is there, you just use the tr3 slightly differently. In addition the tr3 does have extras such as the new scatter feature, which allows for some interesting randomization.
In my opinion a great machine, with excellent and easy interface and programming functionality. Try one out and I'm sure you'll be impressed.
- Roland tb3
Write Your Own Review