New Roland Boutique TB-03 Bass Line Released

As part of the growing Roland Boutique series, the new Roland TB-03 Bass Line brings back the sound and feel of the original TB-303 bass synth.

The design approach to the TB-03 was nearly identical to the reissue of the TR-909: keep the same look, feel and sound of the original while providing a few modern conveniences.

The Roland TB-03 is essentially a point-for-point recreation of the TB-303 but with a new four-digit LED display, delay and overdrive effects, MIDI compatibility, and some additional fine tempo and sequencing options not available on the original.

The new LED display is a necessary improvement. Programming old 303s was notoriously frustrating. Just the mere act of being able to see what you're programming is a huge help here.

The original sawtooth and square wave oscillator sounds remain (courtesy of Roland's Analog Circuit Behavior modeling - same as used in the AIRA series), while the classic Pitch, Step and Time write modes still generate a 16-step sequence.

It has CV/Gate outputs for controlling modular or vintage synths, but also has USB and MIDI input and output. A dedicated trigger input drives the internal sequencer.

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And like the new TR-09, the Roland TB-03 can be powered by four AA batteries and blast through an internal speaker for mobile fun.

House music originally developed out of DJs repurposing TB-303s - intended as practice tools for guitarists - for trance-like dance rhythms. The new TB-03 may not spur the same sort of innovation, but it will put a lot of smiles on faces.

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