Synth icons: Roland TB-303

Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 11:47am
Read more about Synth icons: Roland TB-303 at MusicRadar.com

When it was first released in 1982, Roland's TB-303 bass synthesiser was originally intended as a rehearsal tool for solo guitarists and bands lacking a bassist. Needless to say, today, some 30 years after it was discontinued, that's not what the machine is best known for.

Thanks to its simple envelope generator and iconic filter, the 303 was able shape its single square/saw wave oscillator to create the style of squelchy bass loops that would come to define acid house and techno. Moreover, run through a distortion pedal or an overdriven desk the synth took on a gritty, hard-edge character all of its own - creating a sound that would become ubiquitous at raves on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the late-'80s and early-90s.

Seeing as Roland has recently revived the TB concept in the form of the touchscreen-equipped TB-3, we thought now the perfect time to disappear down the acid rabbit hole to commemorate some of the tracks and artists that made the TB-303 a household name.

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