(July 25, 2014) TB-3 System Program Ver. 1.10 Now Available!
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…
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.
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.
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 manoeuvres were required for the shuffle functions.
So we experimented with a variety of prototypes in our quest to create the optimal TB interface.Touch Pad
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 easy 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.Scatter
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
- Authentic filter behaviour with smooth response and authentic sound
- Pressure sensitive Touch Pad
- 134 captivating sounds including 4 oscillator effects-processed tones
- Bank A: Original TB-303 sounds
- Bank B: New synth bass sounds
- Bank C: New synth lead sounds
- Bank D: New sound 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 alter the length of phrases
- Random pattern generation and pattern modification
- Pattern copy
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.
The TB-3 is designed to work seamlessly and look great with other products in the AIRA series.
TB-3 Version 1.1 New Features
Backup and Restore
- Manage your pattern library with easy backup and restore over USB.
- Tuning — Control both pattern tune (-700 to 700 cents) and master tune (430-450).
- Pattern Tone — Assign a specific tone to a pattern so sound will change automatically when pattern is selected.
- One-touch Transpose — Transpose a pattern during performance by simply pressing a note on the touchpad’s keyboard. No need to hold “Keyboard” button.
- User Bank — Organize your favorite patterns for quick access in live performance with a custom user bank.
- Pattern Lock — Lock the contents of a pattern so you can experiment without losing your original groove.
- Pattern Pitch Shift — Quickly change the root note of a pattern by shifting its pitch.
- Extended Note Range — The sequencer now supports notes from C0-C6 for added flexibility and dramatic slides.
- Extended Transpose Range
- Modes — Local On/Off and MIDI Controller modes determine how MIDI data is sent and received.
- External Record — Record patterns in real-time from external MIDI devices.
- Slide and Accent — Implementation of both slide and accent pattern by MIDI control change.
- Scatter — Scatter On/Off, Type and Depth can be controlled via MIDI control change.
- MIDI Off — Disable sending of all MIDI messages.
- Extended Range — Note range has been extended from C0-C8 when controlled by external MIDI device.
Audio & Video
A short tutorial on the TB-3 Touch Baseline.
AIRA TB-3: First Look
Point Blank takes a first look at the new Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline. Point Blank is based in London, the home of electronic music, and has been voted 'Best Music Production and DJ School' by DJ Mag. You can learn from pro producers either online or in their state-of-the-art studios in Hoxton. (www.pointblanklondon.com)
With roots in the very origins of electronic music, AIRA is the new series of products designed to meet the evolving needs of today's electronic musicians.
AIRA in Miami
The Roland crew hit Miami Music Week with AIRA, and we thought we’d show you some of what happened. We shared AIRA with a lot of big artists, and, as you can see, it caused quite a stir and blew a lot of minds.
Movement Detroit 2014
The Roland AIRA crew headed to Movement in Detroit—a city integral to the history of electronic music and to our history as a company. AIRA gear was in lots of the performance rigs, keeping the music thumping and the crowds jumping.
Artists First Contact
Groundbreaking artists talk about their experiences with Roland instruments and make first contact with the AIRA gear.
Artists First Contact - Todd Terry and Kenny Dope
Dance music legends Todd Terry and Kenny Dope check out the AIRA TR-8, TB-3, and VT-3.
Artists First Contact - Oscar G
Pioneering DJ and dance music producer Oscar G checks out the AIRA TR-8, TB-3, and VT-3.
Analog Circuit Behavior
Go behind the scenes and learn how Roland's newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) faithfully captures the sound and feel of some our most revered classics.
Artists First Contact - MATOM
Groundbreaking electronic duo MATOM (RADIO SLAVE & CAGEDBABY) check out the AIRA TR-8, TB-3, VT-3, and SYSTEM-1.
Artists Arthur Baker, Ricardo Villalobos, Hardfloor, Netsky, Dr Meaker, A Guy Called Gerald and Boys Noize talk about their experiences with Roland instruments and discuss the joys and challenges of performing electronic music live.
TR-909 Rhythm Composer
Roland engineers discuss the technologies involved in getting the right sounds for the successor to the TR-808. The TR-909 Rhythm Composer evolved from the TR-808, adding digital samples and MIDI. House and Techno were born. Now the next step begins.
Artists First Contact - Germano Studios
The staff at the famous Germano Studios in NYC tell us how they feel about their new AIRA gear.
TR-808 Rhythm Machine
Roland Engineers discuss the initial concept of the TR-808 which was conceived and built in 1980. Although it was designed to create “backing tracks,” creative musicians started to use the Rhythm Machine as an instrument and music changed forever. Now the evolution begins again.
- Preset Patches: 134
- User Patterns: 64
Maximum Step: 32 Steps (each pattern)
- Preset: 8
- 7 segments, 3 characters (LED)
- PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
USB 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
- Owner's manual
Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"
- Size and Weight
- 240 mm
- 173 mm
- 57 mm
- 820 g
1 lbs. 13 oz.
Updates & Drivers
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