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date: 28 March 2020

Roland TB-303locked

  • Geeta Dayal


A portable, monophonic analog synthesizer designed to emulate a bass guitar (“TB” stands for “transistorized bass”). The TB-303 was manufactured by the Roland Corporation from 1982 to 1984 and originally retailed for around $400.

It contained a built-in step Sequencer , which allowed the user to program a sequence of notes. The device offered certain filtering options that produced accented attacks and portamento effects. Although the sound the TB-303 created was in fact ill suited for emulating the deep, rich tone of a bass, its rubbery, futuristic-sounding timbres defined the sound of “acid house,” a subgenre of Chicago house music. The iconic sound of the TB-303 has been frequently employed, and often imitated, in techno, electro, and other genres of electronic dance music. Today, the Roland TB-303 is a prized collector’s item, fetching upward of $2000, and has spawned clones in both hardware and software forms....

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