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 Post subject: Roland TB-03 The new Acid emulator
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:42 pm
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Location: Des Moines, WA
I know most of us mainly make beats from samples from our SPs, but sometimes having a synth steps up your game a notch. And I’m sure most of you have heard of the legendary TB303, which goes for the price of a cheap used car these days. So even though Roland claims they never go backwards with their technology, they first released the Aira series of groove machines, then did the Roland Boutiques. And I had ordered a Behringer TD3 clone, but I got tired of never knowing when they were ever going to send it to me. So even though it is more pricy than the TD3, I bought a used TB-03 clone. And if you’re like me, wanting to get those acid squelches & screams from this, and got tired of waiting on a Behringer, I’m happy to report that this sounds VERY good. True, it’s digital, but your crowd won’t care. And unless you won the lotto or got a inheritance, why nitpick on a newer device?

Now. In the back are your midi in/out, a audio in, and another midi in, but you will need a mini 3.5 to midi cable for that. If you have any 3.5 to RCA cables, hook it up to the audio in of your SP, and then it really gets interesting when you use the effects on the incoming sequencer of the 03. With the SP404’s beat repeat effect, I was tweaking the acid squelches in ways I’ve never heard before.

Also, since it has a audio in, I sent my Volca Kick’s audio out into the 03’s audio in, and then I was cooking with gasoline! The original TB303 couldn’t do that. It didn’t however let you use the knobs on the incoming audio. So that’s a minor shame, but then again, you want to hear the acid from this.

They include a overdrive & delay knobs, for taking your bass as aggressive or subtle as you need. You can even hold down the function button on the bottom left & dial if you want a tape or digital delay, or which distortion type you like better. True, not the deepest included FX, but if you hook it up to your SP, you could spend hours trying all the different ways to manipulate the sounds.

You may be interested to know it also has CV functions, which is great if you’re into modular synths. And it has a trigger in plug which allows you to trigger from the Roland TR08 or 09, and even Korg Volcas or Pocket Operators.

The sequencer is pretty much like the original. 16 notes in one bar patterns. It’s faithful to the original but there’s a better method you can use if you don’t like how difficult it is to program. I don’t have a computer, but it does allow you to power it from your USB port, and I imagine you can back up your patterns or toss in ones you find online. (But don’t quote me on that)

If you love old school Acid House, Breakbeats or Techno, or you actually want to twist knobs instead of using your mouse in your DAW, then I highly recommend the Roland TB-03. When my Yellow TD3 arrives, I’ll be able to do a comparison on which I like better. But to me, this was worth every penny.


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