THAT Sound

The Behringer TD-3 does a better job of replicating the original 303’s sound, and has reinvigorated the Acid House movement on social media, since it delivers the famed acid sound in a much more affordable package. FutureMusic has been incorporating the original TB-303, the TB-03 and the TD-3 in a head-to-head comparison for the last few months and we have to salute Behringer for doing what Roland wouldn’t during Ikutaro Kakehashi’s tenure (aka “Mr. K” 1930-2017) as head of the concern. In fact, if Roland would have released something very similar to the TD-3 during the early nineties, not only would they have eliminated every single clone that emerged following the deficit in the marketplace, but they would have swelled their coffers, potentially fueling R&D into other music technologies.

While some electronic musicians have rolled their eyes at the re-emergence of the 303’s distinctive sound (“I’m so sick of the 303,” a cry often heard on music forums.),  we’ve been hearing some inventive reinterpretations of acid music from new artists who are not tainted by the previous generation. You can probably thank boutique guitar pedal manufacturers for this, as well as producers employing new technologies and plug-ins that weren’t around during the 303’s initial heyday in the late 80’s / early 90’s. And who can deny that the slinky 303 sound isn’t responsible for the early popularity of techno and house music, nor its ability to get people moving? Respect!

In addition, we’ve been finding additional uses for the TD-3 during our test. The TD-3 can be used as a drum synth. Dialing in a pulsating sound with no decay can lead to some distinctive beats to complement your samples or drum machine. Using the built in sequencer and adding a dotted 8th note delay can also yield dynamic grooves an and unexpected polyrhythms. It can also be utilized to punch up your bass lines by layering the TD-3 underneath your main bass part. Thus, even if you’re not into acid music, the TD-3 can creatively complement your electronic music tracks in unexpected and awesome ways.

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