At the 2015 NAMM Show, Brian Castro of Abstrakt Instruments introduced the Avalon Bassline, a new Roland TB-303 clone with a twist.
The back of the Avalon Bassline has a cartridge slot, designed to let you swap out different filters, giving the synth different sonic personalities.
At the Show, Castro was demoing the Avalon Bassline in a booth shared with Social Entropy, who introduced the Engine x0x-style sequencer:
Here’s a much longer, in studio demo, of the Avalon Bassline. The demo features Avalon Bassline & TR-909, straight to Steinberg MR-816x, no signal processing:
- The Avalon Bassline synth is an analog monosynth based on the TB-303. It combines a 100% mirror of TB-303 RevD mainboard together with a panel board containing additional analog and digital circuitry.
- Uses all original spec parts of the original TB-303 (transistors, caps, IC’s, diodes, transformer, etc..) together with a BA6110 VCA with current gain calibrated to match the original BA662.
- Fully backwards compatible with the original TB-303 (actually works with an original TB-303 CPU).
- Sub oscillator has saw, sqr, and tri both -1 and -2 oct.
- The cartridge slot is for filter carts which can be hot-swapped and used in place of the internal TB-303 filter.
- Additional analog controls include sub/ext level control, filter tracking, accent decay, vca decay (goes full off), AD utility envelope with bi-polar modulation of the VCA and VCF.
- I/O on back includes CV & Gate In/Out, accent sweep cv out (amplified and normalized to 0-5V), filter cv input. Audio out consists of saw and sqr out (+/-5V), external input, and vca & filter outputs.
- Sequencer control has TB-303 pitch/time modes as well as a new realtime mode making use of the the step led switches (yes those are switches). Too many features to list – browse the panel to get an idea. patterns can be 64 steps in length with numerous time signature options. There are 448 internal patterns and 56 tracks. These can also be saved and loaded via sysex.
- Sync modes are internal, MIDI and DIN, and it outputs both MIDI and DIN Sync. Also has USB-MIDI, and synth can be played externally.
- Extremely high build quality including custom pots, german key switches, and 4-piece steel enclosure.
Official availability and pricing is to be announced.