Banana Nutrament

11/11/2005
Roland TB-303


Duder here made a comprehensive video about the technology and history of the 303:

Bassline Baseline by Nate Harrison

Pedantic, but thoroughly comprehensive. Reviews how the initial failure of the unit was due to the incredible amount of time a musician needed to invest in learning how to reproduce the warmth of a guitar bassline. The greater accomplishments of the machine arose from ditching that idea and using it in ways the manufacturer never intended.

Among the electro, breakdance, and acid house tracks excerpted in the video is this inimitable classic:

Newcleus - Jam On It


Don't blame you if hearing this again makes you want to pop and lock. Reminds me of the time my boy Richie got made fun of by some kids and had to uprock them.

Going back to the 303 video, it even gets into emulators of vintage equipment. Propellerhead Software used to sell the ReBirth RB-338, a software synthesizer of the TB-303, TR-808, and TR-909. Now they've closed shop and are giving it away for free.

I particularly like this quote from Bassline Baseline about trying to recreate recreations ad absurdum:

"So today we have computer software consisting of representations of a 3 dimensional interface on a 2 dimensional screen being controlled by third party hardware so as to emulate the sound of a machine built 20 years ago which was itself built to emulate the sound of a machine built 30 years before it."