The analog bass line synthesizer isn’t an official clone of the 303 but there are plenty of similarities and it costs just $150.
Behringer is having a good run at the moment. In February, the company announced the MS-101, Vocoder VC-340, RD-808, and Odyssey. Yeah, there are some clones in there but Behringer know what it’s doing. And for its next trick, the audio tech makers have given us the TD-3.
The analog synth comes with:
- An arpeggiator
- A VCO with sawtooth and square waveforms
- A 4-pole low-pass resonant filter
- Distortion functionality
- A 16-step sequencer with 7 tracks and 250 user patterns
- A 16-voice poly chain
The TD-3 is distinct enough to not be called a full TB-303 clone. They both have plastic bodies and identical button layouts but the TD-3 has additional features not present on the 303, namely USB functionality and distortion.
And speaking of that USB functionality, you can program your own patterns and hook the synth up to a computer to import and customise them thanks to Behringer’s Synth Tool app.
Is the TD-3 affordable?
At $150 (or €150), you’re damn right it is!
It’s the perfect bass line synth for any producer on a budget. If you’re not, however, you’ll still want to go for the OG TB-303. Notable differences between the synths are in sonic quality (the TD-3 is brighter and crisper compared to the TB-303 which makes sense given when both devices were made).
How has Behringer got away with making a TB-303 clone?
Given its iconic status, you’d think Roland would have protected the 303 from clones like the the DinSync RE-303 and the Bot TT-303. But it didn’t have a trademark for them. The Japanese company filed for one earlier this year (which also includes a trademark for the 808, a synth Behringer has cloned as well) but its status is currently pending. Until then, anyone can make a 303 or 808 clone.