dimanche 20 novembre 2016

TB-03

Oh yeah !!

When I realized that Roland was re-editing the TB 303, I was delighted. Finally I was going to be able to play with a TB (3) 03 made by the master : Roland itself.

I therefore expected that the builder of the TB303 in 1983 would be able to make the best model on the market, allowing us, to own a new TB 03 for 400 euros only,  rather than 3000 € for a used and very old TB303.

I was waiting sound that kills;  improved ergonomics, and especially something better than the clones (Xoxbox, TT 303 And other VST).

Well no. That's not it at all.....

The sound is a bit too metallic and especially on the slides : It was impossible to reproduce well known patterns with the TB-03 while the TT 303 can do it too easily.

ABL3 , a very good VST plugin from Audiorealism, which is the best software emulating the TB 303  can also do better .. And, as in the TB-03, it is a software emulation.  Maybe Roland labs should give a call to the ABL3 team....

The TB-03 does not compare one minute with my TT 303.
By dint of looping and looping again my patterns during my tests, I ended up believing it was me...
I did not unconsciously want to return this gear because that was a pretty one with a big Roland logo in my set, letting me think, at a 3 meters distance, it was the true TB 303  !!!

So I finally asked to other ears around me: the TT was the winner without a doubt... We all agreed.

The TB-03 sound seems a little muffled while it bites with the TT, a pure analo". The slides are a marvel of modulation, while it is a bit flat on the TB 03.
The TT 303 groove, the TB-03 slaps.

Even with a fine adjust with my fingers poked on the knobs in all directions, impossible to have that fluidity I have with the Cyclone analogic TT 303 ... and this modulation in the slides.

Adding  delay or distortion (very good idea from Roland to integrates these quite goods effects),  didn't help.  Nothing and nothing.  The sounds were close, but it was like watching a great movie in its screener version !!!!

Before trying the TB 03, I was thinking to sell my TT 303, not without regrets, to pay the bill if the the promise was kept.  I still own the TT 303.

About ergonomics now : why Roland want us to return to the 80s  and is forcing us to use the horrible step by step mode of the TB 303,  on that modern machine ?

To propose the original TB 303 step by step mode OK, but the second mode is also a step by tep one...and is not much better.  Roland could have trampled a bit by offering for example a real time mode recording, a TR mode, etc...in the spirit of the new JD-Xi I own also (better purchase between us, for almost the same price).

There were so many things possible, which would have added value to this machine IF the sound was here obviously,...if one believes the promise of Roland on its website.

On the TT 303, you can generate patterns randomly,  can make copy/paste, change the color of the LED according to the pattern category, etc ...On the TB 03 nothing at all. Back to the 80's

One really positive thing is the very good quality of manufacture. We find Roland at the top on this point, contrary to what I could read. The case is made of metal, the knobs are straight. The TT is beaten, by far,  with its plastic case...

The choice of  supplying  power via a micro usb plug is debatable and especially fragile on the long term in my opinion. We're not always connected to a computer. So you have to buy a phone charger and a micro USB cable not provided with that gear.

The TB 03 was returned to the seller (Thomann) after 4 intensive days of testing, comparing patterns on TT 303 and ABL3 (démo version).

A real disappointment. Almost a heartbreak, I waited the delivery more than one month....

Hoping that Roland will quickly release a firmware update, otherwise, the amateurs of  ACID bass will stay on the clones, which are doing the job finally.

Paradoxically the  TT 303 clone costs more than the Roland TB 03!
WTF?

Note : it seems that the TT303 is not sold anymore by Cyclone. They stopped the production.  I can sell you mine for 20 000 euros right now :-) !!!


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