Roland AIRA TB-3



ROLAND AIRA TB-3, new digital synth

When Roland’s ultra-hyped TB-303 reboot turned out to be a digital synth and not a painstakingly accurate recreation of the analogue original, many die-hard 303 enthusiasts dismissed it before even hearing what it could do. They’re missing out.

The TB-3 might not be the ultimate modern 303 (if that’s what you want you need to look at a x0xb0x, check out a TT-303 or just bite the bullet and invest in the real thing) but it’s a very capable synth in its own right.

The TB-3 is essentially a preset-based synth, with much the same attitude as something like a Korg Kaossilator. Each sound that you load from the on-board memory includes a very basic effect, the depth of which can be adjusted. Other than that, the only adjustable parameters are very basic settings including cutoff, resonance and envelope modulation.

Clearly, the TB-3 isn’t one for the deep synth programming heads. Instead, it’s all about immediate results. Fire up a preset, program a pattern and tweak it with the controls (which include Scatter, a variant of Roland’s pseudo-randomisation effects included on most AIRA products).

While the TB-3 is clearly not for the purists, it’s still a very capable instrument. If you dismiss it without taking a closer look, you might regret it.

29th January, 2015

You currently have an ad blocker installed

Attack Magazine is funded by advertising revenue. To help support our original content, please consider whitelisting Attack in your ad blocker software.

Find out how