New Troublemaker Synth ‘Not A 303’, It Just Sounds Like One And Works In Your iOS DAW

Ruismaker has released Troublemaker for iOS – a new soft synth Audio Unit, inspired by the classic Roland TB-303.

Troublemaker is fully Audio Unit (AUv3) compatible, so you run multiple instances in your favorite DAWs.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

This is not a 303

The legendary TB-303 has magical properties; it is filled to the brim with analog shimmer. Its output jack is a gateway to a parallel universe and when you twiddle the filter knobs an army of highly trained pixies chisel the square waves from freshly harvested unicorn souls. So if you want a TB-303, you should buy a TB-303. But if you’re after *that sound* Troublemaker will give you everything you need in spades.

Troublemaker sports a carefully crafted diode filter emulation and among the available oscillators are the typical raspy, nasal sawtooth and rubbery squarewave with its oddball shape and shifting pulsewidth.

It also has the wow.


  • Ableton Link synchronization,
  • MIDI CC mapping,
  • Core Midi, Virtual Midi, Bluetooth Midi input,
  • Audiobus support
  • Exports MID and WAV files from the standalone sequencer

Audio Demo:

Pricing and Availability

Troublemaker is available now for US $9.99.

Note: This is an Audio Unit plugin (AUv3) meaning it can be run inside AU compatible hosts and DAWs (e.g. Cubasis, Auria, Modstep, etc.). AU Plugins are supported on iOS 9 and higher: minimum iPad 4, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 6.

Troublemaker requires iPad 4/Mini 2/iPhone 5S/iPod Touch 6 or higher.

28 thoughts on “New Troublemaker Synth ‘Not A 303’, It Just Sounds Like One And Works In Your iOS DAW

  1. Sounds spot on to me. Exactly what I remember acid house sounded like in 1989 when I went to my first rave. So here’s my two cents on the 303/808 obsession, why is this the sound so many people still feel the need to insert into a track? It’s 30 years old. Yes, it’s a classic sound and it does do its job, maybe because it sounds fresh to younger ears, it has some degree of novelty. But to me every time I hear it, I roll my eyes and think “still?”

    1. Even though the sound may seem old or “stale” to you, it seems that many artists still know how to place it very cleanly within the mix in new music.
      Many Psychedelic Trance artists (as an example) still continue to utilize the 303 sound:
      (first 303 pattern is at [1:23], a longer 303 pattern [with higher cutoff-rez] comes in at [4:37])

      1. Ha, for reasons unknown Apple Music picked that song for me to listen to last week or so. Promotion, maybe, or maybe Apple also loves the 303.

    2. I know, you’d think people would just move on. Some people apparently still use the sound of a piano and that’s been around since about 1700. Come on people lets be progressive. Rolls eyes 😉

      1. People keep making this argument as if the 303 was somehow as versatile as a piano or guitar or other general instrument.

        One piano can play classical, jazz, rock, country, you name it. You’ll probably never find the 303 sound used well outside of electronic dance music.

        I’m not against 303 clones, but let’s not fool ourselves that it isn’t a one-trick pony.

        Thinking about it, a more apt comparison of the 303 is a banjo. Very distinct sound, limited applications.

        1. one could argue that it has limited applications only for those with limited minds… Not that i have another application for it, but the only limitation of anything is our imagination.

    3. CFCFGG7 on a guitar still sounds good, can move people. Used 100x more often than squelchy 303s.

      Still, I get where you’re coming from, I think. I’m not all that excited by the 303. I got interested in electronic music and synthesis because of the ever present possibility of *new* sounds. 16th note squelchy 303 bass lines with glides feel distinctly absent of new. But, for instance, in the context of experimental rock music there’s something to be said for folk music. At this point, 303 basslines are electronic folk music.

  2. I would like to hear a comparison between this and ABL3. The accent sounds a bit ‘quacky’ and that square wave doesn’t sound right to me.

  3. I have exactly the opposite perspective.

    The people who constantly chase after a new preset or a new synth always create boring music.

    Synths like the 303 have proven themselves – so the question is, “Can you do something interesting with it punk?”

    1. Maybe you’re right. So tell me, when should they have stopped making new music technology? What year did everybody start creating boring music?

  4. This may be a dumb question, but does this app have a noise generator as one of the sources? Or is it just waveforms? Weirdly, I wish it did tuning maps. For some reason, I’d like to hear those filter sounds with a weirdo tuning.

  5. Sound is not quite 303, and it’s not meant too. The high frequency is their and the squelch but the mid-range transition is not there. It has its own character though and that’s fine by me.

  6. great sound, fine interface and sequencer but I totally miss a midi sync option..
    Link does not replace a simple midi sync with start stop commands… I hope this will be added soon

  7. At long last, someone has finally come up with the idea of emulating a 303. And on iOS, no less! Amazing. 😉

    I do like that it’s an AU though.

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