Is the Roland TB-03 Bass Line a reincarnated TB-303?
The Roland TB-03 Bass Line is just one of over 30 new products Roland Music Corporation announced at their global online streaming launched dubbed ‘The Future. Redefined’ last weekend.
We’re still wading through the list and shall bring you all the bits and pieces I think will interest DJs and producers.
The one that grabbed our attention ffrom the get-go is the brand new DJ-808 DJ controller designed in partnership with Serato. You can check this out here.
They’ve also announced an analog turntable and a no frills 2-channel battle DJ mixer, both which appear to be almost like future collector’s items. Read about those here.
The TB-303 Bass Line is an iconic instrument that changed the future of dance music. If you’re not too familiar with it, you really should Google the TB-303; you’ll find many software emulations of this classic synthesizer in the form of plugins too. But nothing beats the hardware version.
Now Roland have reintroduced the synthesizer as part of their Boutique range – the Roland TB-03.
Same but different
As you can from above, the Roland TB-03 looks very similar to the original in terms of layout and all the controls and in fact it works exactly the same way.
What is different is how it works under the hood.
The new Bass Line uses Roland’s proprietary ACB technology to emulate the original analog TB-303. ACB is an acronym for Analog Circuit Behavior and was designed as part of their acclaimed AIRA series which emulates the TR-808 and TR-909 among other iconic instruments. This technology in fact is so accurate that the waveforms for a 909 kick for example look 100% identical and more importantly sound the same on both the original 909 and the AIRA version.
It’s fair to assume that the TB-03 is going to sound exactly the same as the original too.
The new Roland TB-03, however, also sports several new enhancements not found on the original model such as a 4-digit LED display for easier programming, some added overdrive and delay effects and USB connectivity. The Roland TB-03 can also function as a 24-bit/96 kHz audio interface and can also run off batteries.
Full features List
- Realistic recreation of the iconic TB-303 Bass Line synth
- Retains the sound, character, and user interface of the original TB-303
- Hands-on control over expressive parameters, including cutoff, resonance, envelope mod, decay, and accent
- New features not found on the original TB-303, including four-digit LED display, overdrive and delay effects, MIDI, fine tempo control, and additional functions for pattern creation
- Programmable via classic Pitch, Time, and Step write modes
- Continue playing a sequence even while switching between write and play modes
- CV/Gate outputs for controlling vintage analog gear and modular synthesizers
- Dedicated trigger input to drive the internal sequencer
- Highly portable for mobile music making
- High-quality construction with metal front panel
- Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB powered
- 24 bit/96 kHz stereo IN/OUT USB audio interface
- Control information can be sent and received via MIDI and USB
- Built-in powered mini-speaker for instant enjoyment
- Compatible with optional K-25m Keyboard Unit
Watch the intro product video for the Roland TB-03 bassline here.
For more info or to find out when the Roland TB-03 will be available to purchase follow Roland Music on Facebook.