World TB-303 Appreciation Day
Although it may sound like a R2-D2 android in Star Wars, TB-303 is the original sound of acid house and techno music since the 1980s. This piece of technology was the first to use a pattern-based sequencer. It created the resonance, tempo and cut-off we associate with techno music today in dance clubs.
World TB303 Appreciation Day allows people to celebrate the history and use of this instrument in modern music.
The Roland Corporation first produced the TB-303 bassline synthesizer in 1982. It was only ten years old when the company launched the 303. The 303 lasted just over a year and sold only 10,000 303’s.
The original intention of the TB-303 was to be a companion instrument for solo guitarists. However, it failed to gain popularity at the time. Artists began to see the potential of the technology later on, with “Les Problems d’Amour” by Alexander Robotnik becoming a massive hit in 1983.
Tuning the frequency altered created complex, trippy bass pitches that artists like DJ Pierre, Spanky and Herb Jackson found and used in their music.
Artists challenged the sound of the TB303 throughout the ’90s by adding more rough edges to their compositions to create spacier tones and eventually creating Acid House, the genre of techno music we know today.
Today, the original Roland 303 sells for more than PS1000. Roland continues to innovate their technology. In 2014, Roland released the TB-3 Touch Bassline synthesizer. The 303 was stable enough to be used by DJs around the globe, allowing them to travel easily and causing a surge in demand for the 303 in the electronic dance music scene.
World TB-303 Day of Appreciation celebrates its rich history and shows how the TB-303 revolutionized the sound and transformative nature of techno music.
You can explore the old sounds from the TB-303 by checking out artists like Phuture’s Acid Tracks, Bollywood artist Charanjit Sing, 808 State and Underground Resistance “The Final Frontier”. The acid tracks sound continues its influence on people today. Perhaps you can take some time on weekends to tip your local DJ at a techno dance club.
You can try your hand at techno by purchasing a TB303 from Roland. Also, check out their other inventions like the TB303 Devil Fish Mod and TB303 Borg Mod.
Post your stories about the TB-303 and share them on social media using the hashtag #WorldTB303AppreciationWeek and tell your friends about your love for techno music.