Checking out TB303 modulations

July 24, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized 

TB303 mods / deeper cutoff & ocs. add

The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a bass synthesizer with built-in sequencer manufactured by the Roland corporation from late 1981 to 1984 that had a defining role in the development of contemporary electronic music.

The TB-303 (short for “Transistorized Bass”) was originally marketed to guitarists for bass accompaniment while practising alone. Production lasted approximately 18 months, resulting in only 10,000 units. It was not until the mid- to late-1980s that DJs and electronic musicians in Chicago found a use for the machine in the context of the newly developing house music genre.

In the late ’80s and early 90’s, as new Acid styles emerged, the TB-303 was often overdriven, producing a harsher or acid-like sound. Examples of this technique include Charanjit Singh’s 1982 Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat,[2] Phuture’s 1987 “Acid Tracks” (sometimes known as “Acid Trax”), Hardfloor’s 1992 EP “Acperience” and Interlect 3000’s 1993 EP “Volcano”.

The well-known “acid” sound is typically produced by playing a repeating note pattern on the TB-303, while altering the filter’s cutoff frequency, resonance, and envelope modulation. The TB-303’s accent control modifies a note’s volume, filter resonance, and envelope modulation, allowing further variations in timbre. A distortion effect, either by using a guitar effects pedal or overdriving the input of an audio mixer, is commonly used to give the TB-303 a denser, noisier timbreā€”as the resulting sound is much richer in harmonics.

The head designer of the TB-303, Tadao Kikumoto, was also responsible for leading design of the TR-909 drum machine. In 2011, The Guardian listed the 1981 release of the TB-303 as one of the 50 key events in the history of dance music

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