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Happy 303 Day

Acid.

From 1982 to 1984, the Roland Corporation in Japan manufactured 10,000 units of a bass synthesizer / sequencer designed to accompany guitarists during practice sessions. Nearly half a decade later, the quirky little box first deemed a castaway, found it's true calling. The Roland TB-303 became synonomous with the frontier of emerging house and techno genres, and used by DJs and electronic music producers everywhere. The 303's influence was so great, an entire genre is dedicated to its characteristic sound called "Acid".

Today, the TB-303 is a sought-after studio accessory for electronic music producers and hardware enthusiasts throughout the world. We can't argue against the benefits of having one of these little gems at your fingertips, but we can offer a preset or two of the sound that inspired a genre of its own, and is still very much in use to this day.

TB-303 SOUND IN BITWIG STUDIO

  1. Open Bitwig Studio and select the "Presets" category in the Pop-up Browser.
  2. Type "acid" in the Pop-up Browser search field.
  3. Choose from any of the presets on the right.
    Tip: Add an Arpeggiator or STEP MOD device for acidy step-sequence style basslines.
    ...and a controller with knobs to tweak those macros.

For more hardcore TB-303 emulation, our friends at D16 created "Phoscyon," the ultimate 303 VST for Mac and Windows.

Flow Coma

808 State

 Listen to 808 State's "Flow Coma." Released in 1988 on their debut album "Newbuild." Artists such as Aphex Twin and Autechre have hailed the album as a major influence.

Acid House

What it is.

"Acid house's minimalist production aesthetic combined house music's ubiquitous programmed 4/4 beat with the electronic ‘squelch' sound produced by the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer by constantly modulating its frequency and resonance controls to create 'movement' in otherwise simple bass patterns. Other elements, such as synthetic strings and stabs, were usually minimal. Sometimes tracks were instrumentals such as Phuture's "Acid Tracks", or contained full vocal performances such as Pierre's Pfantasy Club's "Dream Girl", while others were essentially instrumentals complemented by the odd spoken word 'drop-in', such as Phuture's "Slam"."

"It was like, that 303 and I connected, in a way that I had never connected to a piece of equipment before." - DJ Pierre, RBMA