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Roland AIRA TB-3 Touch Bass-Line Synthesizer

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SKU: # 412985
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TB-3

Your Price: $429.99 CDN

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TB-3

Touch Bassline

The TB...Evolved


Based on the wildly influential TB-303, the new TB-3 Touch Bassline is a performance-ready bass synthesizer with authentic sound and intuitive controls engineered to play. The TB-3 contains the unmistakable character of its predecessor, wrapped in a modern package with a pressure-sensitive touch pad that makes both playing and programming a total joy.

Capturing the Original
  • Meticulously crafted from a pristine TB-303 unit, original spec sheets, and archival data
  • Roland's ACB technology models each component and every aspect of the original TB-303 sound
  • Faithful recreation of the original saw and square oscillator waveforms
  • Attack, slide, tie, and other elements that characterize the TB-303 have been fully reproduced, including how they interact with each other
  • Authentic filter behaviour with smooth response and classic sound
TB Evolved
  • Pressure-sensitive touch pad
  • 134 captivating sounds, including the original TB-303 tones and new four-oscillator, effects-processed basses, leads, and sound effects
  • Dedicated Tempo control with shuffle and tap tempo functions
  • Control built-in effects with smooth, responsive knobs
  • 7-segment, 3-character LED display
  • Seamless switching 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 in real time on the touch pad
  • Change step count during playback to alter the length of phrases
  • Random pattern generation and pattern modification
  • Pattern copy function
The Lineage

Nobody could have anticipated what would happen to the world of dance music when inventive musicians on both sides of the Atlantic embraced Roland's now-legendary TB-303. Since the 1980s, it's been a staple of electronic music - it is the defining sound of acid house, and has since been the marquee instrument on an array of groundbreaking electronic dance tracks. It's not only been used to write songs, it's had songs written about it. In fact, the release of the original TB-303 has been heralded as one of 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. In developing the TB-3, Roland has meticulously analysed the circuitry of the original TB-303 piece by piece, right down to the individual circuit behaviour. Using Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology, Roland has fully reproduced the TB-303's sawtooth and square wave oscillators, as well as the -18dB per octave ladder low-pass filter used in the original, capturing that unmistakable cutoff and resonance character.

In addition to the faithful reproduction of classic TB tones, the TB-3 is packed with new 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-303 bass part not only sounds unique - it has its own trademark feel as well. The TB pulses. It drives. It bubbles and it percolates. That's why Roland has worked so hard to faithfully reproduce the accent, slide, and step sequencer behaviour of the original unit. But this 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 manoeuvres were required for the shuffle functions. So they experimented with a variety of prototypes in their quest to create the optimal TB interface.

Touch Pad

The new TB-3 is equipped with a brightly lit, 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 real time
  • XY Play - X for continuous pitch change, Y for volume, and pad pressure for modulation
Step Sequencer

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 manoeuvred through its complex and cryptic pattern-creation operation. In order to inject that element of chance and discovery, the TB-3 includes automatic pattern generation and random pattern modification functions.

Scatter

The TB-3's Scatter function features slicing, reverse, gating, and other effects, allowing you to instantly create 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. You can keep things fresh and interesting with 8 different Scatter variations and 10 levels of Scatter depth - all controllable in real time and in perfect sync.

A Few More Things

The TB-3 looks great, and is designed to work seamlessly with other products in the AIRA series. In addition, you can connect the TB-3 to your computer via USB to send and receive both audio and MIDI data, including MIDI clock information for syncing with external devices and other AIRA units.

Specifications:

- Maximum Polyphony, 1 voice
- Parts, 1 part
- Effects,
  • Multi-Effects: 2 systems, 10 types (COMP, RING MOD, BIT CRASHER, TREMORO, CHORUS, FLANGER, PHASER, DELAY, PITCH SHIFT, REVERB)
  • Distortion: 25 types
- Instruments, Preset Patches: 200
- Sequencer,
  • User Patterns: 64
  • Maximum Step: 32 Steps (each pattern)
- Scatter, Preset: 8
- Controllers,
  • Touchpad
  • Cutoff knob
  • Resonance knob
  • Accent knob
  • Effect knob
- Display, 7 segments, 3 characters (LED)
- Connectors,
  • PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
  • OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch TRS phone type
  • MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
  • port: USB type B (Audio/MIDI)
  • DC IN jack
- Power Supply, AC adaptor, or obtained via USB port (USB bus power)
- Current Draw, 500 mA
- Dimensions, 240 (W) x 173 (D) x 57 (H) mm (9-1/2 (W) x 6-13/16 (D) x 2-1/4 (H) inches)
- Weight (excluding AC adaptor), 820 g (1 lb 13 oz)
- Accessories,
  • Owner's manual
  • AC adaptor
  • Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"

Little monster0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreToronto - Bloor Street, Ontario
For a long time I was looking for an affordable 303 clone and when this was about to come out I pre-ordered it. Love to jam with it, it's easy and intuitive. Some of the sounds sound very aggressive too, so there is something for everybody.
Posted by StrayFeral on Aug 24, 2016
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Good for live musicians, 303-connoisseurs proceed with caution2 of 2 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreKanata, Ontario
First, the biggest question - does it sound like a TB-303, Yes... for the most part. Is it a perfect recreation? No. If you are looking for a great acid synth - buy it! If you are 303-OCD, keep reading. Waveforms and slides are accurate, however once you start throwing in accents, particularly with long decays, the imperfections really show. One of the most endearing sonic quirks of the original machines (and good clones) is the accent's tendency to affect the notes that immediately follow the accented note. You don't get this characteristic with the TB-3; once the note immediately after the accent starts, the effect of the accent cuts right off. To me, this is the most disappointing flaw of the TB-3. If you approach 303-clones with the same level of discrimination and snobbery as a wine critic, you might also be disappointed. Midi - it doesn't sequence via midi like any of the hardware or software clones. I believe you have to use CCs to engage accents and or slides. Look into this. A minor gripe is that the resonance doesn't seem to go very high. Not as noticeable with distortion or overdrive. No pattern shifting - shifting a 16-note loop forwards or backwards is a feature not present in this machine. So if you were hoping to come up with a wild randomized pattern and adjust the pattern positioning relative to the beat, sorry - you can't. But don't forget... This is the cheapest hardware 303 "clone". And kudos to Roland for actually doing it. Been waiting 15 years for this. Let's hope that a firmware update will solve some of the issues.
Posted by anonymous on Mar 19, 2015
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Acid Revival0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreOttawa, Ontario
This little box is full of fun. You can get lots of bassy, tweaking techno/house sounds not just the classic 303 acid sounds. Great add-on to the TR8! Aira system FTW.
Posted by Simon on Jun 27, 2014
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Amazing!0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreMarkham, Ontario
An incredible reproduction of the TB-303, with lots of great new features and sounds not possible on the original. With 303s going for thousands on ebay, you'd be daft not to pick this up at this price. Programming a bassline is still a little bit of a chore, but easier than on the original.
Posted by Matt W on Jun 24, 2014
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Great little unit0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreVancouver, British Columbia
Only beef is I wish you could save at least a few step patterns once they are programmed. Otherwise this is easy to use, has really great sounds onboard and can easily control other devices via MIDI or USB. Some people complain that this isn't analog but obvs not for the price. Use it to control an analog synth and you get the best of both worlds at a great price point.
Posted by Greg on Jun 14, 2014
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very nice!0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreWaterloo, Ontario
I wanted an inexpensive unit to take the place of my TB-303 for live gigs and this does the trick! I did an extensive AB comparison to my original and it definitely passes the test. Very simple to use with lots of features. Well done Roland.
Posted by Adam on May 30, 2014
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Sale Price: $174.99
Store Special Product - AIRA  TB-3 Touch Bass-Line Synthesizer
Model: TB-3
Serial: B2H1685
Quantity Available: 1
Condition: Used