Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline

TB Style Bass Synthesizer with 134 Sounds
Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline image 1
Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline image 1

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Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline
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The Rebirth of the Legendary TB Bass!

To say that Roland's original 1982 TB-303 Transistor Bassline synthesizer was one of the most influential innovations in the world of early electronic music would be an almost laughable understatement. A definitive element in the sound of Acid House and an essential part of early trance music, this small silver box quickly became a staple synth around the world. The AIRA TB-3 Bassline synth gives you a chance to experience this iconic sound in a whole new way. Not only does the AIRA TB-3 faithfully reproduce the full range of the TB-303 sound, but it's also super-easy to program, play, and integrate into the rest of your music-production rig. At Sweetwater, we're extremely excited about this new bass synthesizer model. Keep reading to find out why.

Roland AIRA TB-3 Touch Bassline Synthesizer Features:

  • The rebirth of the legendary TB-303 bass synth and so much more
  • Analog Circuit Behavior technology provides component-to-component modeling for unrivaled authenticity
  • Faithful re-creations of the original TB-303 saw and square oscillator waveforms are instantly recognizable
  • Elements such as the TB-303 attack, slide, and tie functions as well as -18dB/octave ladder filter sound and feel right
  • 134 captivating sounds include 4 banks: original TB-303 sounds, aggressive bass, aggressive leads, and sound effects
  • Pressure-sensitive Touch Pad with red and green indicator lights lets you actually play the TB-3 as an instrument
  • Smooth and responsive knobs let you tweak an excellent assortment of built-in effects
  • Enter steps manually or record in real time
  • 16-step indicator lights make pattern creation easy (supports up to 32-step patterns)
  • Change Step Count during playback to create different-length phrases
  • Seamless switch between pattern creation and performance
  • Dedicated Tempo control with Tap Tempo and Shuffle control lets you create bass lines that pulse and groove naturally
  • Random pattern generation and pattern modification let you discover new grooves
  • Scatter function with 10 levels of intensity lets you inject chaos and excitement into your patterns
  • Powered via USB, which also provides audio and MIDI connectivity to your computer
  • Solid MIDI clock sync provides tight timing with external gear, such as the rest of the AIRA series

The Sound of the Original TB-303 and SO MUCH MORE!

Thanks to Roland's impressive new Analog Circuit Behavior technology, the TB-3 is capable of reproducing the full range of sounds and textures available on the original TB-303... and a whole lot more! This component-to-component modeling approach gives you the genuine behavior of the TB-303 attack, slide, and tie behavior, in addition to a flawlessly reproduced -18dB/octave ladder filter. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. With a total of four oscillators and a rack of effects onboard, the TB-3 offers up an amazing palette of tones. In all, you get 134 unique sounds broken up into four banks, including original TB-303 sounds, aggressive bass sounds, aggressive lead sounds, and sound effects. And we're just getting started!

  • Analog Circuit Behavior technology faithfully reproduces the classic TB-303 sound and behavior
  • Discover the full range of the original TB attack, slide, and tie functions plus a spot-on -18dB/octave ladder filter
  • A total of 4 oscillators and onboard effects provide a fantastic array of 134 amazing bass, lead, and SFX sounds

"The amount and type of features in this make it far more usable, playable, and fun than the original."

- Carson McClain, Sweetwater Sales Engineer

It May Look Like a module but It Plays
Like a Synth

A major improvement that the AIRA TB-3 offers over the original TB-303 is its sheer playability. That's largely thanks to the TB-3's amazing, pressure-sensitive touchpads. Backlit with red and green LEDs, these multipurpose pads serve as an octave of keys, but they also act as individual X/Y pads that allow you to control pitch and volume plus envelope modulation by applying pressure. Add to that a set of truly playable knobs for controlling effects, and you've got awesome sound-shaping potential right at your fingertips. This thing is so playable, and it gets even better. This same touchpad interface lets you transpose and chain patterns with simple gestures. And to top it off, you can change step count on the fly while seamlessly switching between performance and sequencing to create awesome grooves that evolve in real time.

  • Pressure-sensitive touch pads act as an octave of keys and X/Y controllers
  • Record in real time or perform with pitch, volume, modulation, and effects all at your fingertips
  • Touchpads also serve as gesture-based controllers for pattern transpose and chain functions

Simple Step Sequencing for Awesome
Groove Creation

Those of us here at Sweetwater who had the privilege of programming grooves on the original TB-303 remember doing so with a sort of fondness akin to having survived a freshman hazing ritual — sure, the experience built character, but it wasn't exactly entertaining. Roland more than made amends for this with the TB-3, an instrument that's so much fun to program, it's hard to put away. A set of 16 indicator lights make it so that you never have to wonder what step you're on, even when you take advantage of the TB-3's full 32-step programing capability. Since you never have to dig for parameter controls, the TB-3 lets you radically change your sound from step to step, allowing you to create extremely cool grooves with very little effort.

  • Freakishly simple step programming gives you TB-303 sound without the frustration
  • 16 step indicator lights keep you from losing your place as you tweak your sound
  • Program up to 32 steps per pattern, each with radically different settings

Meet the Roland AIRA Family!

Flexible, affordable, and built for today's electronic musician, Roland's AIRA series delivers old-school simplicity and hands-on playability to a range of instruments designed to integrate into your high-tech live or studio rig. The AIRA series kicks off with four amazing instruments: the System-1 Plug-out synthesizer keyboard, the VT-3 Voice Transformer effects processor, the TB-3 Touch Bassline synth, and the TR-8 Rhythm Performer drum machine.

Roland AIRA
System 1
Plug-out Synth

Learn More    ▶

Roland AIRA
Touch Bassline

Roland AIRA
Rhythm Performer

Learn More    ▶

Roland AIRA
Voice Transformer

Learn More    ▶

Add the Perfect Dose of Random
to Your Groove

A unifying trend among Roland's AIRA instruments is the ability to easily shake things up to get fun and creative results. In the TB-3's case, you've got plenty of options to choose from. With a twist of a knob you can go from straight timing to a funky groove, just by cranking up the Shuffle setting. But that's nothing compared to the TB-3's random pattern generation and modification functions, which let you serendipitously stumble onto unique bass lines you'd never have programed on purpose. But the crowning glory of the TB-3's unpredictable nature is the Scatter function, whose eight modes and 10 layers of depth let you inject the perfect amount of chaos into your patterns.

  • Shuffle control lets you add swing to your patterns to make them groove with the beat
  • Create unique bass lines with random pattern generation and modification functions
  • Scatter function with 8 modes and 10 layers of depth lets you shake up your sound on the fly

Old-school Simplicity Meets
Modern Integration

By far, one of the coolest things about the Roland TB-3 (and the rest of the AIRA series) is its overall self-contained simplicity. But don't let its throwback style fool you — when it comes to integrating with the rest of your rig, this synth is every bit as sophisticated as any other modern Roland creation. For starters, the TB-3 can run entirely off of USB bus power, allowing you to integrate it with your computer-based rig with a single cable. At the same time, Roland didn't forget about those of us who like to cut our computers out of the equation, so they also outfitted the TB-3 with traditional 5-pin MIDI I/O as well, plus rock-solid MIDI clock sync that lets it play well with other AIRA instruments and the rest of your MIDI hardware.

  • USB provides 1-cable integration with your computer-based rig and bus power
  • Traditional 5-pin MIDI I/O lets you connect to your other hardware synths and keyboards
  • Rock-solid MIDI sync keeps your groove locked in time with the rest of your gear

Analog Circuit Behavior technology provides component-to-component modeling for realistic sound and feel.

Roland's AIRA instruments bring back the sound of four classic electronic-music tools... and a whole lot more!

Tech Specs

Internal Sound Engine Yes
Manufacturer Presets 200
Analog Outputs 1 x 1/4" (TRS), 1 x Headphones (Stereo)
USB 1 x Type B
Power Supply AC Adaptor (Included), USB Bus Power
Depth 9.5"
Width 6.8125"
Height 2.25"
Manufacturer Part Number TB-3

Customer Reviews

Based on 19 reviews
Write your review

Roland TB3

This thing and my Elektron machines go together like peanut butter and jelly! Unreal sounds!
Music background: DJ/Producer

When you hear this you want it

I gave this a perfect review because this product deserves it. When you plug this into your kit your going to love it. It sounds so juicy and sweet. Even more versatile when you use an external sequencer. Makes fantastic lead and bass sounds. Buy this baby and never let go.
Music background: Bedroom Producer

Much more than a TB 303 remake

This thing is so much fun! It's got more options than the original and more sounds and effects. My Sweetwater sales rep was extremely helpful and answered all my questions prior to purchase. Just get one!
Music background: Editor, Animator

Worth every PENNY!...and maybe even More!!(;

Simply AMAZING!.... well worth the wait and to be completely frank, I think its almost Insane to be able to have such a powerful tool for both LIVE and Studio use @ such an affordable price tag. incredibly flexible. Theres almost no learning curve to this thing.... before i new it, i was lost inside the tb3 for Hours & hours at time. If you ever find yourself in any kind of creative roadblock during production, the TB3 does a phenomenal job of sparking up new grooves and melodies. I MUST say this product will easily sky rocket to top of anyones list... YOU will never ever go about producing another track without immediately reaching for the tb3. A Must HAVE, No doubt!!! This thing was def made to Last, no matter what environment your in. ROLAND youve outdone yourselves again, proving once again that they are the real deal
Music background: Student

Great gear. Period.

Yes it's supposed to emulate the TB303 & there ALWAYS will be TB303 users (as well as people that haven't even actually used the TB303) turning their noses up to anything else. I've used the 303 for brief sessions back in the 90's & it was cheaply made.chintzy plastic..afraid to look at it too hard let alone be agressive with it, & it's NUTS that they are going for $1500-$2000 on ebay. Seriously? You have got to be kidding. But I can tell you, regardless of the emulation deal, this box sounds great! It's very easy to create a sequence complete with slides, slurs, & well as the sequence length for odd time signatures, & tweak the sound with the filter/fx etc..The scatter function is also really cool. MIDI in/out....GREAT! If you like tb303 type sounds or are looking for an alternative to it that can go further, this box is the one to get...& for under $300 there is no contest. You can also use it to sequence other synths as well as free up a couple channels on your audio interface with the TB3's usb interface. I plan on buying the vocal transformer soon as well. Thanks Roland!
Music background: Electronic Musician

Sweetwater Advice

Ken Davis

The Roland TB-303 bass synth has evolved into a legend, and after plugging Roland's new TB-3 Touch Bassline into my studio rig, I can leave my 303 in its case without remorse! The TB-3's familiar Cutoff and Resonance knobs are every bit as powerful as on the 303, and it not only includes the 303's sound set, with its single-oscillator sawtooth and square wave options, it's got new four-oscillator sounds that took my sounds into some galactic dimensions. The new Scatter function, with its reverse, gating and stutter options, saves me hours of editing and rearranging in my DAW, and I can even back up my sounds to a thumb drive! The TB-3 gives me sweeping leads, gurgling bass lines and sounds that cut through my EDM mixes effortlessly.
See also: Roland, Roland Sequencers, Roland Synthesizers