The TB-3 gets a MASSIVE 4.5/5 stars!
"A new take on the 'bassline' concept, the TB-3 packs plenty in for the money and has wide appeal""! - Future Music
“Forget NAMM 2014, the show really has been stolen” - Andy Jones (published Jan 26th after seeing AIRA in secret room at NAMM 2014)
“I have to say that first impressions are that the TB-3 and TR-8 look just stunning: a real homage to the originals but bang up to date” - Music Tech.net
“But for those of you wondering if it's good enough to live up to the hype - I say yes in this case - Roland 1 - Critics -0” - Sonic State
“This is the future of electronic music—and it's for everybody” - GIZMODO
Are you looking to explore the crazy and colourful world bass synth? You'll probably know of the incredibly popular and world-renowned TB-303 by Roland, well think of its unique and incredibly impressive characteristics... now put them on steroids! The all-new TB-3 Touch Bassline is one gnarly bass synth offering articulate and authentic sound, that has been mindfully developed to ensure easy usability when used live and in the studio. Take a good, hard look at the TB-3 Touch Bassline Synthesizer from Roland now!
Roland have been at the forefront of electronic synthesizer instruments ever since they introduced the SYSTEM 100, 100M and the SYSTEM 700 way back into the 1970s. These may seem to be old-timers, but they sure knew how to push the boundaries and have been used by many ground-breaking artists from that time, still being used today!
Quickly fast-forward to the present day and you will find Roland, once again, take centre-stage with a brand new bass synthesizer that the world will have never seen before... Let us introduce Roland's TB-3 Touch Bassline!
Dance music had an explosive response to the TB-303 world-wide, completely embracing its wild and responsive personality. Acid House music is completely defined by its sound and we can even go as far as to say that its invention in the 1980s can be seen as one of the most influential moments in dance music history!
Equipped with a multitude of new features and excellent playability, the TB-3 glows like an extra terrestrial and offers other-worldly personalties too! Red and Green lights showcase the pressure-sensitive touch pad, which is used to create patterns and to communicate with the unit within a live-playing environment. Pitch and volume can also be manipulated in the same way you can make changes to your filters and modulation with the press of your finger!
Its featured Step Sequencer is so easy to operate, enabling super-easy switching from pattern creation and performance set-ups! Slicing, Reverse, Gating and other effects are just a few differing sound edits that can be found within its 8 Scatter function, simply triggered also using the Touch Pad.
What Roland say about the TB-3 Touch Bassline:
Based on the wildly influential TB-303, the new TB-3 Touch Bassline is a performance-ready bass synth with meticulously authentic sound and intuitive controls engineered to play.
It’s the TB… Evolved.
The Lineage - Nobody could have anticipated what would happen to the world of dance music when Roland’s now-legendary TB-303 was embraced by inventive musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Since the 1980s, the TB-303 has been a staple of electronic music. It is the defining sound of Acid House and has since been the marquis instrument on an array of groundbreaking electronic dance tracks. It’s not only been used to write songs, but it has songs written about it. In fact, the release of the TB-303 has been heralded as one the key events in the history of dance music. Not bad for a little silver box.
The Sound - Launched in 1981, the TB-303 continues to be an indispensable bass synth for dance music. We have meticulously analysed the circuitry of the TB-303 piece-by-piece and down to the individual circuit behaviour.
Using Analogue Circuit Behaviour technology we have fully reproduced both the saw-tooth and square wave oscillators as well as the -18dB/octave ladder low pass filter used in the original TB-303, capturing that unmistakable cutoff and resonance character.
In addition to the faithful reproductions of classic TB tones, the TB-3 is packed with 134 sounds that live and breathe. Bubbling synth basses, hard distortion basses, trippy delay sounds and drippy effects. They’re all here - and then some.
The Feel - A TB bass line not only sounds unique, but it has its own trademark feel as well. The TB pulses. It drives. It bubbles and it percolates. That’s why we worked so hard to faithfully reproduce the Accent, Slide, and Step Sequencer behaviour of the original unit.
But our vision went beyond simple reproduction.
The truth is, the step entry on the original TB-303 was difficult to use, the keyboard was difficult to play, and special maneuvers were required for the shuffle functions. So we experimented with a variety of prototypes in our quest to create the optimal TB interface.
The new TB-3 is equipped with a brightly lit, green and red, pressure sensitive touch pad that 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 a breeze to play.
• Envelope modulation and decay can be controlled with a single finger
• Switch patterns, transpose, and chain patterns with finger gestures
• Internally partitioned at keyboard intervals so it’s easy and natural to play in realtime
• XY PLAY (X: Continuous pitch change, Y: Volume, Press down on pad: Modulation)
The TB-3’s evolved Step Sequencer is a snap to use and allows seamless switching between pattern creation and performance. Of course, an attractive aspect of the original TB-303 was how it would sometimes generate unintended sounds as the user maneuvered through its complex and cryptic pattern creation operation. In order to inject that element of chance and discovery, the TB-3 has automatic pattern generation and random pattern modification.
The TB-3’s Scatter function features slicing, reverse, gating and other effects, instantly creating variations, stutters, and glitches that would normally require painstaking editing in a DAW. Complex, per-step functions are triggered easily with the Touch Pad and a single finger. Keep things fresh and interesting with 8 different types of Scatter variations and 10 levels of Scatter Depth – all controllable in realtime and in perfect sync.
Just like the original:
• Meticulously crafted using a pristine unit, original spec sheets and archival data
• ACB technology models each component and every aspect of the original TB-303 sound
• Faithful recreation of the original saw and square oscillator waveforms
• Elements that characterise TB-303, such as attack, slide, and tie have been fully reproduced, including how they interact with each other
A few more things
You can connect the TB-3 to your computer via its USB jack for USB bus power and to send and receive Audio and MIDI data.
The TB-3 can receive MIDI clock information to sync with external devices including other AIRA series units.
- Pressure sensitive Touch Pad
- 134 captivating sounds including effects-processed waveforms.
- Bank A: Original TB-303 sounds
- Bank B: Aggressive bass sounds that use 4 oscillators and effects
- Bank C: Aggressive lead sounds that use 4 oscillators and effects
- Bank D: A rich array of SFX sounds that use 4 oscillators and effects
- Dedicated Tempo control with Shuffle and Tap Tempo
- Control built-in effects with smooth, responsive knobs
- 7 segment, 3 character LED display
- Seamless switch between pattern creation and performance
- 16-step indicator lights to aid in pattern creation
- Pattern support for up to 32 steps
- Easy access to Shuffle control for bass lines that groove
- Enter steps manually or record realtime on the Touch Pad
- Change Step Count during playback to create different length phrases
- Random pattern generation and pattern modification
- Pattern copy