Behringer Release TD-3, A Roland TB-303 Clone

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Behringer have launched their new TD-3, a clone of the Roland TB-303.

Although pretty much a copy of the TB-303 the Behringer version is a completely analogue version of the classic bassline synth (interestingly the original 303 didn’t make much of an impact originally but will cost you $2,000 upwards nowadays).

As you can imagine the Behringer model will come without the hefty price tag.

The new version will include similar sounds to the original 303 but with additional extras such a distortion circuit modelled on Roland’s DS-1 guitar pedal and 16 voice polyphony. 

The TD-3 will appeal to fans of acid house, which is where the TB-303 made its most impressionable mark in the 80’s and 90’s but coming in at a very reasonable RRP of $149 it will no doubt be at home in any synth or electro collector’s studio. 

With only 10,000 of the original units ever made, now is your chance to recreate some of the classic 303 sounds without having to pay a fortune..

If you’re unfamiliar with the TB-303 sound then check out Phuture’s ‘Acid Tracks’, often cited as the very first acid house track.

In terms of looks, you’ll have the choice of three colours to choose from – Silver (in keeping with the original), red or blue – but the rest of the functions remain largely the same. The unit features sawtooth and square tooth waves, cutoff, resonance and envelope controls which will allow you to sculpt your tone and recreate the classic 80’s and 90’s TB-303 sounds.

Unfortunately for Behringer though recreating the classic model could be a double edged sword.. 

Behringer are often synonymous with the budget end of music gear and whilst that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for newbies or those on a tight budget, sometimes their product quality is reflected by the price tag.

We can imagine that Behringer, whose strategy at the moment appears to be cloning and upgrading classic models (such as the TR-808), will no doubt cause some friction with Roland. That said, with the model discontinued, it could be argued that the TD-3 is simply giving producers easy access to the classic sounds of the TB-303 which doesn’t necessarily mean that Roland will lose revenue.

What are your thoughts on the TD-3? Sly tactic from Behringer or simply just another budget item intended to be enjoyed by the masses at a wallet friendly price?