TB-303 may sound like an R2-D2 star wars android, but in fact, it exists as the original sound of techno music and acid house genres since the ’80s. As the first pattern-based sequencer to exist, this piece of technology created the resonance, tempo, and cut-off that many today recognize with techno music in today’s dance clubs.
World TB-303 Appreciation Day lets people celebrate the history of this popular instrument and celebrates its uses in modern music.
History of TB-303 Appreciation Day
The TB-303 is a bassline synthesizer first manufactured by the Roland Corporation in 1982. The company has only been ten years old at the time and the 303 only lasted over a year, selling only 10,000 303’s.
The TB-303 originally was intended to be a companion for solo guitarists, but at the time, it didn’t take off because of its lack of popularity. Later on down the road, however, artists began seeing the potential for the technology, with the track ‘Les Problemes d’Amour’ by Alexander Robotnik becoming a huge hit in 1983.
The alterations made through tuning the frequency created complex, trippy bass pitches, which artists such as DJ Pierre, Spanky, and Herb Jackson discovered and utilized in their music.
Throughout the ’90s, artists challenged the sound that the TB-303 by adding rougher, edges to their compositions to create spacier sounds and ultimately form the type of techno music known as Acid House.
Today, the original 303’s now sells for over £1000. Roland continues to release and reimagine their technology, releasing the TB-3 Touch Bassline synthesizer in 2014. The 303 became stable for DJ’s all over the world, allowing for easy travel and making high demand for the 303 surging in the electronic dance scene.
World TB-303 Appreciation Day celebrates its long history and shows how the TB-303 innovated the sound and transformation of techno music.
How to Celebrate TB-303 Appreciation Day
If you’re wishing to explore the old sounds of the TB-303, then check out some of the artists such as Phuture’s “Acid Tracks”, Bollywood artist Charanjit Singh, 808 State, and Underground Resistance “The Final Frontier”. As the acid tracks sound continues to influence people today, maybe on the weekends take the time to head on over to a techno dance club and tip your local DJ, supporting their musical efforts.
If you want to try your hand out at techno, purchase a TB-303 from the Roland company website and check out their other inventions such as the TB-303 Devil Fish Mod, TB-303 Borg Mod, and TR-606.
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.