Behringer’s latest synth is a $150 clone of the traditional Roland TB-303


Behringer has announced its newest synth, the TD-3, an analog bass line synthesizer that’s basically a clone of Roland’s TB-303 from 1982. Although the corporate doesn’t instantly point out the TB-303, it provides a heavy wink by saying the TD-Three options “authentic reproduction of original circuitry with matched transistors” and a “pure analog signal path based on lcegendary VCO, VCF and VCA designs.”

The all-analog instrument provides you a sawtooth and sq. waveform VCO, an arpeggiator, a 4-pole low-pass resonant filter, distortion circuity, and a 16-step sequencer with 7 tracks, every with 250 consumer patterns. There’s additionally the addition of a 16-voice poly chain, which helps you to mix a number of synthesizers for as much as 16 voice polyphony. So, it’s not an actual duplicate of Roland’s TB-303, however it’s fairly darn shut.

A video comparison has already popped up for individuals who need to see how the TD-Three stacks as much as the TB-303. The side-by-side breaks down all of the similarities and variations. For instance, the TD-Three has a plastic physique like authentic Roland mannequin, and the underside portion has the identical button format (though the TB-303 has some extra features).

On the highest half, there may be an added distortion unit on the TD-3, modeled after the Boss DS-1 distortion pedal. This inclusion is smart as a variety of artists deliberately launched overdrive and distortion into the 303, which helped outline the traditional acid sound that may be heard in songs like Josh Wink’s 1995 hit “Higher State of Consciousness.”

While you may program patterns on the TD-Three itself, there’s additionally the power to attach the unit by way of USB to your pc to create or edit patterns with Behringer’s Synth Tool app, after which import them again in.

On the entire, it seems to be a superb funds model of the TB-303, however some purists may not discover it as much as snuff to the unique. There are a variety of sonic similarities to the TB-303, however the comparability in Loopop’s video exhibits that sure parameters on the TD-Three sound markedly completely different, and it’s usually brighter, sharper, and extra chirpy than Roland’s authentic.

The authentic TB-303 was launched again in 1982 by Roland, marketed as a “bass line” synthesizer. It was a business flop, however wound up being picked up by digital musicians and have become a foundational instrument for varied types of new genres within the ‘80s and ‘90s, maybe most notably acid home. It was utilized by everybody from Daft Punk to Aphex Twin, and has since turn out to be an iconic mono synth, recognized for its attribute resonant and squelchy sound.

While many love that Behringer’s clones make iconic {hardware} extra reasonably priced (shopping for an authentic TB-303 can value 1000’s), the observe means the corporate has confronted a contentious historical past. Behringer has been sued many occasions previously by firms like Aphex Systems and Peavey Electronics Corp. for trademark infringement. And, it already confronted one lawsuit from Roland again in 2005 over varied problems with infringement with a line of guitar pedals. The two firms got here to a confidential settlement in 2006 after Behringer changed its designs.

In some instances, Behringer has waited for patents to expire in an effort to replicate applied sciences, because it did with the Behringer D, a replica of the Minimoog Model D. Other occasions, it says it reverse engineers to create merchandise. In a Facebook submit final 12 months, founder Uli Behringer defended the company’s practices by saying that “One needs to be clear about the distinction between blatantly copying someone else’s product and the principle of reverse engineering. Copying a product 1:1 is clearly illegal, however reverse engineering is something that takes place every day and is accepted as part of a product development process known as benchmarking… Think iPhone followed by Samsung Galaxy. This is the principle of competition.”

This additionally isn’t the primary time the TB-303 has been cloned. There’s the Cyclone Analogic Bass Bot TT-303 MK2, the DinSync RE-303, and others. On its finish, Roland filed for a European Union trade mark earlier this year for the TB-303, which incorporates a picture of the {hardware}’s visible format and design. For now, the standing of that submitting continues to be pending.

Behringer’s TD-Three is accessible for pre-order in silver, purple, and blue, and costs $150.


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