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

Behringer has introduced its latest synth, the TD-3, an analog bass line synthesizer that’s primarily a clone of Roland’s TB-303 from 1982. Though the corporate doesn’t immediately point out the TB-303, it provides a heavy wink by saying the TD-Three options “genuine copy of authentic circuitry with matched transistors” and a “pure analog sign path based mostly 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 person 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 reproduction of Roland’s TB-303, nevertheless it’s fairly darn shut.

A video comparability has already popped up for individuals who wish 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 structure (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 sensible as lots of artists deliberately launched overdrive and distortion into the 303, which helped outline the basic acid sound that may be heard in songs like Josh Wink’s 1995 hit “Increased State of Consciousness.”

When you can program patterns on the TD-Three itself, there’s additionally the power to attach the unit through USB to your laptop to create or edit patterns with Behringer’s Synth Software app, after which import them again in.

On the entire, it seems to be a very good price range model of the TB-303, however some purists won’t discover it as much as snuff to the unique. There are lots of sonic similarities to the TB-303, however the comparability in Loopop’s video exhibits that sure parameters on the TD-Three sound markedly totally different, and it’s typically brighter, sharper, and extra chirpy than Roland’s authentic.

The unique 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 numerous 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 change into an iconic mono synth, recognized for its attribute resonant and squelchy sound.

Whereas many love that Behringer’s clones make iconic {hardware} extra reasonably priced (shopping for an authentic TB-303 can price 1000’s), the observe means the corporate has confronted a contentious historical past. Behringer has been sued many instances up to now by firms like Aphex Programs and Peavey Electronics Corp. for trademark infringement. And, it already confronted one lawsuit from Roland again in 2005 over numerous problems with infringement with a line of guitar pedals. The 2 firms got here to a confidential settlement in 2006 after Behringer modified its designs.

In some instances, Behringer has waited for patents to run out with a view to replicate applied sciences, because it did with the Behringer D, a duplicate of the Minimoog Mannequin D. Different instances, it says it reverse engineers to create merchandise. In a Fb publish final yr, founder Uli Behringer defended the corporate’s practices by saying that “One must be clear in regards to the distinction between blatantly copying another person’s product and the precept of reverse engineering. Copying a product 1:1 is clearly unlawful, nonetheless reverse engineering is one thing that takes place day-after-day and is accepted as a part of a product improvement course of often called benchmarking… Assume iPhone adopted by Samsung Galaxy. That is the precept of competitors.”

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 commerce mark earlier this yr for the TB-303, which incorporates a picture of the {hardware}’s visible structure and design. For now, the standing of that submitting remains to be pending.

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

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