MATRIXSYNTH: Roland TB-3 Article in Forbes Featuring Ladyada (x0xb0x), Klaus Suessmuth (acidlab), & Mr. Lee (TT-303)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Roland TB-3 Article in Forbes Featuring Ladyada (x0xb0x), Klaus Suessmuth (acidlab), & Mr. Lee (TT-303)

Jasper Hamill wrote in to let us know he published an article on the new TB-3 for Forbes online here. The article features comments from  x0xb0x's Ladyada, acidlab's Klaus Suessmuth, and the first interview ever with Cyclone Analogic's Mr Lee.  Roland believes they captured the essence of the TB-303.  From Brandon Ryan, AIRA group strategy manager for Roland Corporation, in the article:

“'We deeply analyzed what makes a 303 a 303,' Ryan told me. 'We consulted with the original engineers, studied original schematics and constantly compared the TB-3 to our own original TB-303 units. And we think we’ve improved upon the original in some ways. Even with its modern touches, it’s just got that 303 thing – and that’s really what matters at the end of the day.'"

Interface aside, there is one other thing to consider in addition to the raw sound of the TB-303.  There's also the behavior and character of the 303 driven by it's sequencer.  One characteristic that made the 303 shine in my opinion was the accent and glide or slide.  The 303 is capable of an almost rubber band like action when it comes to the glide between notes. You can hear it come in at :57 in this video. I have yet to hear it on the TB-3 or confirmation that it can cover it.  Informally I have heard that it can't, but I haven't given up hope.  Not sure how the other clones compare.  No other synth I'm aware of can do it quite like the 303.  If you have an opinion feel free to comment.

It's worth noting the TB-3 is not the first 303 inspired synth from Roland.  Prior to the TB-3, Roland also came out with the MC-303 and the MC-09 PhraseLab which many consider a great little box at reproducing the TB-303 sound.  Not sure how it did with that slide though.

You'll find the full article by Jasper Hamill on Forbes here.

TB303 photo credit from Forbes article via Wikipedia.

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