JX-10 (Super JX)
MKS-7 Super Quartet
MKS-70 Super JX
MKS-80 Super Jupiter
Saturn 09 (SA-09)
VP-330 Vocoder Plus
William Blakeney's TB-303
owner: William Blakeney
Also: Daniele Marziali's TB-303
"The Roland TB-303 Bassline synthesizer is one of the most collectible and
controversial of Roland's early 1980's synthesizer line. Introduced as a
"computer controlled" auto-accompaniment instrument with a simple
calculator style keyboard, the 303 was rejected by musicians because
of its hefty price tag and fiendishly difficult sequencer.
Contrary to popular belief, the 303 does an excellent imitation of a bass
guitar with the decay set short and the filters rolled off.
The incomprehensible manual and difficult programmer made it too
unfriendly for most working musicians, while its simplified
envelope generator and filter controls made it too "basic" for
most serious synthesists.
Relegated to second-hand shops and obscurity, the Bassline gained a second
life when it was adopted as an economical bass synth by dance music
producers in the late 80's. The 303's distinctive thumping bass sound and
sequencer have been used extensively on recent dance and techno singles,
leading to near cult status.
While the 303 is not easily used as a song sequencer, its quirks (including a
slipperly step-entered glissando and hard accents) make it perfect for
segment-based pieces. Synchronized with a TR series drum machine, the 303
a fascinating and unconventional composition tool.
For a simple, single vco synthesizer, the 303 has proven very difficult to
emulate. While programmable mono synths such as the Novation
BassStation are excellent imitators of the early 80's Roland sound,
(particularly the SH-101), they do not have any of the
distinctive character of the 303.
"As depicted above, the TB-303 can be synced to its companion, the
TR-606 drum machine, by a MIDI cable. This allows basic stop/start
although the pattern segments must be carefully set to
the same length for proper synchronization.
The 303 can also send control voltage and trigger
signals via external outputs, allowing it to control other synths such as the
SH-101 or MC-202. A practical and common modification is the addition
of cv and trigger inputs, allowing the user to by-pass the internal sequencer
if desired."----William Blakeney
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