TB-303 Emulators

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRAF
28109 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:51 am

Close enough is already fair enough. As usual. ;)

I doubt that two hardware units sound completely different, though. If then, "different" should really be specified. You could even argue that soft synths sound different, depending on the audio interface. Which would be quite a ridiculous claim, though.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
5311 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:11 am

electro wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:10 am
Audiorealism ABL3 is the last and final word in TB-303 emulation softsynths. Nothing can touch it.
Interesting.

I never owned a real 303 but I listen to a lot of goa trance (and try to make some myself), 303 is still a thing in this genre.

I have Phoscyon and like it a lot, especially the distortion which I think has just the right tone for these screaming acid lines. Actually I bought Phoscyon instead of Abl because distortion.

I wonder if that extra accuracy Abl has actually matters a lot in real-life mixes compared to Phoscyon.

Also I use Dune2/3 a lot as a "general puspose" acid synth.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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KVRAF
2032 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:22 am

Yes, the fact that abl has no distortion is a limiting factor. Also, it's about more than the sound for me but the total experience. The Roland Cloud has the experience, good sound, distortion.
I own Phoscyon but find it a bit tame.

KVRAF
28109 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 am

Yeah, typical soft synth problem, i guess...
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
5311 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:32 am

chk071 wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 am
typical soft synth problem
What exactly?
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

KVRAF
28109 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:34 am

That the emulations, or soft synths in general are so tame. :) Bring out the wild. Jungle baby. :hihi:
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
5311 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:41 am

I see :)

However I never thought Phosyon was all too tame, neither is Lush101. I think D16 know how to make good sounding synths.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

KVRAF
28109 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:44 am

Yeah, i always found Phoscyon alright. I don't really know much about how a real TB-303 behaves though. Phoscyon is surely close enough for me, from what i heard.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
5311 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:52 am

Gneerally speaking, tameness is not even always bad.
As much as i love my Virus, it is sometimes quite tricky to mix. It screams "look at me, I am The Virus, I want to dominate this mix", while Dune3 just asks me "ok, what you want me to do?" :)
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

KVRAF
28109 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:11 am

Yeah, i agree that some synths just sound very neutral, and need to be tweaked to sound the way you want. I vastly prefer character synths though. At least when they give me the sound i'm looking for right out of the box. Of course there's bad character synths as well.

Unfortunately, with some of those neutral synths (Dune included), i can tweak the hell out of them, and never get them to sound right. I bought Synthmaster One some weeks ago, and need to crank up the bass and treble frequencies in the EQ hard to make it sound the way i want. Hard to use then, when you have to tweak so much to get something you get from other synths by default. IMO, many soft synth devs just don't listen close enough. They're good on the technical side, but, not excellent on the musical side. Or just have a taste that i don't understand.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
2787 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:33 am

Soundwise the Venom VB-303 is really good; when i tried to recreate certain sounds that are known to have come from a real TB-303 it was often the closest, i.e. the best.

However, that being said i cant really 'recommend' it as i probably would under different circumstances. Because the Venom is (and its so unfortunate) a prime example of a developer insisting on total authenticity in an area where they totally shouldnt have, namely the way the unit has to be operated. Obviously he didnt quite understand that the original way of programming the 303 was not chosen because it was such a great way of programming the unit but rather a compromise-solution to provide all that functionality on a small cheap bass synthesizer unit which was never meant to be more than a simple accompaniment for practising. So he made sure that every last bit of the arcane way of programming the unit was retained, probably thinking that everyone would love the total authenticity even in that regard. But as we all know it backfired big time, almost everyone hated the way Venom had to be programmed, (plus the fact that he arbitrarily and unnecessarily put a password requirement on the MIDI input), and finally he got disappointed because he probably didnt expect all this resentment. (Which wasnt always expressed in the most diplomatic way either.) In any case, all attempts to try to reason with him fell on deaf ears no matter how politely the arguments were presented, and as a consequence noone ever heard anything of the Venom again.

But as i said, soundwise it is really good. So if you dont mind the fact that it is 32bit and that the programming is a genuine PITA you should definitely try it out, see if you get along with it. Like i said, i often found it more authentic than the various other offerings that are available today, so at the very least it has that aspect going for it.

KVRAF
8381 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:18 am

I'd argue the downside of having a built-in distortion is that most people would be inclined to use it regularly. Not a problem you say? Well, then you've got a bunch of people running the act same 303 software through the exact same distortion. I mean yeah, you could turn it off and use something else, but people are generally lazy when there's a convenient option already right in front of their face. Not having built-in distortion means you're probably going to be processing your ABL 3 through a different plugin (or maybe even hardware stompbox) than I will because you're going to have to reach for something to do the job. Better to have a bunch of people do their own things differently and have their own sounds.

Note: I do use effects in synths, and I appreciate them, but I'm not going to be too upset if something doesn't. Particularly when it's trying to be an emulation of a hardware box that didn't include a built-in distortion effect either.

KVRAF
4370 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:32 am

ENV1 wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:33 am
Soundwise the Venom VB-303 is really good; when i tried to recreate certain sounds that are known to have come from a real TB-303 it was often the closest, i.e. the best.

However, that being said i cant really 'recommend' it as i probably would under different circumstances. Because the Venom is (and its so unfortunate) a prime example of a developer insisting on total authenticity in an area where they totally shouldnt have, namely the way the unit has to be operated. Obviously he didnt quite understand that the original way of programming the 303 was not chosen because it was such a great way of programming the unit but rather a compromise-solution to provide all that functionality on a small cheap bass synthesizer unit which was never meant to be more than a simple accompaniment for practising. So he made sure that every last bit of the arcane way of programming the unit was retained, probably thinking that everyone would love the total authenticity even in that regard. But as we all know it backfired big time, almost everyone hated the way Venom had to be programmed, (plus the fact that he arbitrarily and unnecessarily put a password requirement on the MIDI input), and finally he got disappointed because he probably didnt expect all this resentment. (Which wasnt always expressed in the most diplomatic way either.) In any case, all attempts to try to reason with him fell on deaf ears no matter how politely the arguments were presented, and as a consequence noone ever heard anything of the Venom again.

But as i said, soundwise it is really good. So if you dont mind the fact that it is 32bit and that the programming is a genuine PITA you should definitely try it out, see if you get along with it. Like i said, i often found it more authentic than the various other offerings that are available today, so at the very least it has that aspect going for it.

I know what you mean.

Cheat codes. Very esoteric.

I forget now.

There was some kind of secret hand shake kind of ting...

It was unbelievable. But there it was. Kinky! *


I'm happy with Phoscyon. I'll buy ABL3 for 50 quid one day. No rush.

:party:


* You had to be there. There was some kind of 'way of doing things' which involved secret key strokes. It was to test the mettle of those that 'wanted it enough' - I shit you not.

I figured it out eventually. But I forget now...

User avatar
KVRAF
5920 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:00 am

ENV1 wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:33 am
Soundwise the Venom VB-303 is really good; when i tried to recreate certain sounds that are known to have come from a real TB-303 it was often the closest, i.e. the best.

However, that being said i cant really 'recommend' it as i probably would under different circumstances. Because the Venom is (and its so unfortunate) a prime example of a developer insisting on total authenticity in an area where they totally shouldnt have, namely the way the unit has to be operated. Obviously he didnt quite understand that the original way of programming the 303 was not chosen because it was such a great way of programming the unit but rather a compromise-solution to provide all that functionality on a small cheap bass synthesizer unit which was never meant to be more than a simple accompaniment for practising. So he made sure that every last bit of the arcane way of programming the unit was retained, probably thinking that everyone would love the total authenticity even in that regard. But as we all know it backfired big time, almost everyone hated the way Venom had to be programmed, (plus the fact that he arbitrarily and unnecessarily put a password requirement on the MIDI input), and finally he got disappointed because he probably didnt expect all this resentment. (Which wasnt always expressed in the most diplomatic way either.) In any case, all attempts to try to reason with him fell on deaf ears no matter how politely the arguments were presented, and as a consequence noone ever heard anything of the Venom again.

But as i said, soundwise it is really good. So if you dont mind the fact that it is 32bit and that the programming is a genuine PITA you should definitely try it out, see if you get along with it. Like i said, i often found it more authentic than the various other offerings that are available today, so at the very least it has that aspect going for it.
It sounds great indeed but is a pain to program
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KVRAF
2787 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:02 am

codec_spurt wrote:

I know what you mean.

Cheat codes. Very esoteric.

I forget now.

There was some kind of secret hand shake kind of ting...

It was unbelievable. But there it was. Kinky! *
Its a 4-digit random password (or passcode rather) that you have to enter when you want to play the plugin with normal pianoroll MIDI. The problem, beside the fact that this was a totally unnecessary thing to implement in the first place, is that it doesnt even really work in any usable manner, because for instance in REAPER (but not only there) a new passcode is requested everytime you start/stop the transport, which of course makes it doubly infuriating for those who would really like to use the plugin for its good sound but just cant put up with the way the internal sequencer has to be programmed. (You know, hold this button so you can operate that button in order to perform that action etc.)

Really didnt have to do that, but his philosophy was (is) that when you use a 303 you should strictly use the internal sequencer, and this passwordy-naggery was sorta meant to turn people off of using pianoroll MIDI, which he somehow considered 'wrong'. Question is only why he added the option at all then, but i guess we will never know.

Very unfortunate all this because the sound IS good.

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