Should Roland Bring Back The TB-303 Bassline Synth?

tb-303Should Roland bring back the TB-303 Computer Controlled Transistorized Bass synthesizer?

That’s the question raised by a post today at the Roland site. Roland’s Oz Owen writes:

It’s hard to make a definitive statement these days without kicking off an almighty flame war, but we’re going to make one anyway: the TB-303 is the greatest single-oscillator monosynth of all time, bar none. There, we said it. And you know what? We’re right. Argue all you want. Go on, see where it gets you!

What other monosynth, and single oscillator monosynth at that, has carved such a prominent niche for itself throughout the contemporary landscape of electronic music? What other synth could claim to have such a unique and distinctive feel, capable of creating sound like no other? No one could argue that the electronic music scene would be markedly different today without that little silver box.

We’re not going to bite on the “greatest single-oscillator monosynth of all time, bar none” flame-bait, because Roland raises a more immediate question. Continue reading

Anushri Synthesizer Combines Analog + Digital Sound + Lo-Fi Drum Machine + Eurorack + Open

Mutable Instruments has introduced Anushri - a new DIY monosynth that they say is ‘like no other’.

In addition to its analog VCO/VCF/VCA and digital modulation sources, it includes a fun and immediate note sequencer with step-by-step recording, and a gritty 8-bit drum machine with a ‘truly original’ control interface.

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The TRAX RetroWave MIDI-Controlled Analogue Synthesizer

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The TRAX RetroWave is an analog desktop monosynth, designed for musicians ‘who want the warmth and raw power of classic analogue sound, created by a real analogue instrument, as opposed to a digital system or computer emulation’.


  • True analogue oscillators, filter, sample and hold, noise generator, VCA and signal path
  • Log VCO with square, ramp, triangle and sine outputs, and PWM control of square wave
  • 24dB/octave, 4-pole lowpass filter with oscillator function, log response
  • Two triangle and square Low Frequency Oscillators with waveshape controls
  • Built-in MIDI to CV unit, with 5V gate and velocity output, 1V/octave CV response
  • Built-in overdrive circuit for epic distortion effects
  • No menus, no software, just switch on and play
  • Supplied with 1/4″ patch and output jack leads

The TRAX RetroWave is a boutique synth and is available in limited quantities, via eBay, priced at GBP 325.00 (Approx. US $525).

If you’ve used the TRAX RetroWave – leave a comment with your thoughts on it!

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Synthophone Turns Your iPhone, iPad Into A Virtual Stylophone

Developer Beats ‘n’ Bobs has released Synthophone, a virtual Stylophone for iOS.

According to the developer, Synthophone “pays homage to the original Stylophone but with more modulation options.”


  • Three different waveforms such as sawtooth, square and triangle wave.
  • Control the vibrato (pitch modulation) speed and depth.
  • Transpose up each note to the next octave. (Handy for playing in another key)
  • Adjust the amplitude envelope attack and release.
  • Plus a a bonus bender (-/+5 semitone)

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MonoSynth Controller For Mssiah C64 Synth Cartridge

MonoSynth Controller for Mssiah is a free app for the iPad that lets you control Mssiah on the Commodore 64.

Mssiah is a MIDI cardridge for the C64 that lets you control the mono synthesizer component of Mssiah via a MIDI connection.

Features of MonoSynth Controller for Mssiah:

  • load/save patches
  • generate random patches
  • share your patches with your friends (itunes file sharing enabled)

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The Vaco Loco Zira Synthesizer (Demo Video)

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This is an informal demo of the Vaco Loco Zira synthesizer – a synth that, according to its designer, “came out of an idea I had to see how small I could build a synth and still get it to sound good.”


  • Two oscillators, each with 48 waveforms
  • One Sub oscillator
  • Hard Sync of oscillators
  • Two ADSRs, one VCF, one VCA
  • One LFO
  • Multiple routing options
  • 64 patch memories
  • MIDI updatable firmware

This is a sneak preview, the Zira is still under development. See the Vaco Loco site for details.

via VacolocoSynth:

A quick run through of Zira and it’s features.