World TB-303 Appreciation Day is very aptly celebrated on March 30 every year. Now it may sound like one, but the TB-303 is not a car. Or a disease. And it’s definitely not a “Star Wars” character. It’s even better! The Roland TB-303 is a now-legendary bass synthesizer that was instrumental in the development of the electronic music we know and love. This bad boy pretty much helped lay the foundations for dance music for years to come. What are you waiting for? Show off your best moves and groove to the beat that refuses to die!
History of World Tb-303 Appreciation day
The Roland TB-303 Bass Line, also called the 303 or the Transistor Bass-303, is a bass synthesizer produced by a Japanese company called Roland Corporation and designed by engineer Tadao Kikumoto, who is also the mastermind behind the Roland TR-909 drum machine. It was marketed as a computerized bass machine.
Kikumoto wanted to develop a machine that could recreate the sound of an electric bass guitar for solo performers to practice with and even take out to gigs. Unfortunately, it was written off as a failure soon after and discontinued from production. The discontinuation made these machines much cheaper and this is how they found their way to many up-and-coming electronic music producers, several of whom were looking to work with new sounds. It ended up in the hands of the Chicago-based acid house music group Phuture, who explored the machine and started making the kind of music crowds had never heard before. They dropped the now-classic seminal song ‘Acid Tracks,’ which is credited with inventing as well as defining the genre. The song was first played by D.J. Ron Hardy at a Chicago nightclub and it’s safe to say he pretty much blew everyone’s minds.
After its boom in the ‘80s, artists continued to challenge the sound in the ‘90s by adding rougher edges to their compositions to create alien-ish sounds and ultimately transform it into the type of techno music we now know fondly as Acid House.
Today, the original 303 sells for over 1,000 pounds. Roland is still riding high on the success of the machine and continues to reimagine its technology, releasing the TB-3 Touch Bassline synthesizer in 2014. The 303 has become a staple for D.Js all over the world as it is easy to travel with and, well, that’s what the people want!
World Tb-303 Appreciation day timeline
The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is created by the Japanese firm Roland Corporation to replace bass guitars.
Scottish band Orange Juice uses the TB-303 for their song ‘Rip It Up’ and enters the top 10 of the U.K. Singles Chart.
It is initially a commercial failure and discontinued from production.
American house music group Phuture drops ‘Acid Tracks,’ featuring the TB-303, pioneering the acid house music movement.
World Tb-303 Appreciation day FAQs
Why was the 303 discontinued at first?
The 303 was over-equipped with parameter adjustments, having six different parameter knobs that tweaked the sound. It was labeled a failure in less than two years and production was halted. The machine was sentenced to spend an eternity in pawn shops where no one wanted it or cared about its existence.
Which musicians have used the 303?
Artists from all around the world have used the 303 in their music like Charanjit Singh in ‘Raga Bhairav,’ Daft Punk in ‘Da Funk,’ The K.L.F. in ‘What Time is Love?,’ Tame Impala in ‘Breathe Deeper,’ The Garden of Eden in their eponymous song, and Fatboy Slim in ‘Everybody Needs a 303.’ No, you didn’t read that wrong.
What is the best 303 clone?
The original machine can be expensive and hard to find. Some good clones are Cyclone Analogic TT303, Devon Analogue Studios:303 Devil Fish Mod, Behringer TD-3, Abstrakt Instruments Avalon Bassline synthesizer, Dinsync RE-303, Roland TB-03, Future Retro Revolution, and Audiorealism ABL-3 VST.
World Tb-303 Appreciation day Activities
Listen to some acid house
Listen to your favorite acid house tracks on this day. Alternatively, it’s the perfect day to be introduced to some fantastic music if you’ve never listened to acid house before.
Groove to the beat
Lose yourself to the music and show off your best moves. House music was made for happy times and dancing so get moving!
Throw a party
Call your friends over and throw the craziest party they’ve ever been to! Put up some rave decor around the house and play some classic as well as modern electronic music to set the mood.
5 Facts About Electronic Music That Will Blow Your Mind
It’s older than you think
Musicians first attempted it in North America in the 1890s but it was a time-consuming process.
The first concert
The first electronic music concert was by Ussachevsky and Luening in 1953 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Music made solely from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953.
There are sub-genres
There are four sub-genres under electronic dance music: trance, house, techno, and dubstep.
They turned a gym into a club
A gym in the U.K. was turned into a nightclub called Shoom, which kickstarted the U.K. rave culture.
Why We Love World Tb-303 Appreciation day
It’s extremely relevant
It’s hard to deny the kind of hold this machine still has over people and the dancefloor. The 303 has an immediately identifiable sound that still has the power to destroy the dancefloor.
It transformed music and dance floors
Electronic music is extremely popular now, sure. But can you imagine how your parents might have reacted to these tracks back in the day? The 303’s spacey rough sound was extremely distinct from other instruments at the time and was immediately loved by all.
You may not know it, but you’re never too far away from a 303. It’s still commonly used by many music producers and D.Js around the world and technology is still advancing.
World Tb-303 Appreciation day dates