Roland TB-3
Roland TB-3

TB-3, Analog Modeling Synth from Roland in the AIRA series.

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All user reviews of 4/5 for the Roland TB-3

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Average Score:4.0( 4/5 based on 7 reviews )
 2 reviews29 %
 2 reviews29 %
 2 reviews29 %
Value For Money : Excellent
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Anonymous 's review"It's not a clone, it's déjà vu"

Roland TB-3
Features: See other reviews
Effects are associated to the type of sound, the pot is very sensitive, it starts distorting pretty fast beyond 40%
PC editing: Let's hope a hacker brings out something better in the coming months.
Octave choice: Don't use it together with the keyboard, it's easy to get mixed up.
Strange x/y key, which isn't very useful in general.
The Random function is good, it's a nice idea


The manual is an easy read.
Editing an envelope involves 4 aspects, a wheel would've been better
The sounds are inspired on the MC09
The usability of the xoxbox
And the spirit of the monotribe.

Roland engineers had to come up with something to compete with the TT303 and the volcabass


Acid sound, yes
Good metallic sound on the C and D effects
Possibility to go up to 32 steps
The step-by-step editing is really messed up, you can easily exit it by barely touching other buttons.
Transposing is easy, but a bit light for my taste.
The Scatter function is the unit's main asset.
The display is pretty disappointing: It's 2014 and it's not much to ask to be able to have 5 digits to name the tracks, is it?
The Value knob is not well thought-out, it turns endlessly but once you arrive to the last soundbank, you have to go back manually, since it doesn't loop automatically!


After many hours, I still prefer my xoxbox and mc09
I will certainly use it, but I'm disappointed by its lack of originality.
It would've been useful to have an adjustable distortion, a delay and a low-frequency boost.
For $300 it's a pretty basic unit.
It sounds less metallic than the retro revolution,
The B sounds on the tb 3 are for goa or trance,
Live, it's nice to switch quickly from 8 to 32 steps, to improvise live, but it's not very user-friendly.

Infracid's review"Awesome, for improvisation"

Roland TB-3
See manufacturer


Great product, as long as you accept its improvisational and old-school side.

You can't save a single sound!!! You can't associate a sequence to a sound, you can make your own pattern (thank goodness), but the sound will always remain the same. This means that if you wish to change the sound you may bump into surprises because not all sounds have the same volume (some are much louder than others) and all parameters act in real time, which means that if you have a cut-off set to 3/4 on a sound, it will also be set to 3/4 on any other sound you change to.

The effects: Some of them are pretty interesting and even very good, but unfortunately they are associated to sounds, so if you like a distortion effect you can't use it on any sound you want (even though we must concede that the manufacturer made wise choices in this regard).

So you can't save sounds nor choose effects per patch.

The piano: Rather good overall, no problems for step-by-step recording, but if you intend to play in real time, don't expect to be able to play what you recorded. It has a function to play without notes (like on he Kaoss pad), but it's impossible to record with it.

Like on the tr-8, you have the lazy function (to randomly generate a pattern).

Program change OK, control change OK.

2 bars max per pattern with the possibility to link 8 (16 bars in total).


In terms of sound it is truly excellent, it includes the sounds of the TB and much more. You will have the sounds of the TB, which have been used by many artists for 30 years, the TB with distortion of Daft Punk or Prodigy, the TB with reverb or delay of Aphex Twin, etc., etc...But also new sounds.

Some patches feature up to 4 oscillators, it's awesome.


An irreproachable sound, but with old-school handling. Unlike the tr-8, it's an instrument that aims at the future with its new acid sounds (while the TR-8 remains more traditional in this respect).
Unlike the tr-8 you can fully decontextualize the TB and move towards new horizons (but also to remain more traditional).

For $300 you will have much more than a TB-303. If you compare both, this one is truly awesome, but I expected more in terms of editing (and saving your mods).

I don't regret my purchase, even if I will need to find a solution to be able to change patches live with more precision.

PS: It would've been nice to have a push-on knob to change sounds. It would allow to switch from A30 to B33 (for example) without having to hear all the sounds in between.