INTRO Tau Bassline MkII by Muon Software Ltd. is a fantastic synth bass VSTi.
TB-303 The Roland TB-303 was a "transistor bass" synth with a built-in sequencer. It was produced from 1982 to 1984. This synth is often credited for launching several EDM genres, i.e., house, acid, etc. It's interesting to note that the original launch of this product was a failure. It became famous and heavily sought after much later. The unit featured a single envelop gen, osc with only two waveforms — saw and square. Probably the most noteworthy feature was the lowpass filter, which was lively and wet. This, combined with the built-in sequencer (accented notes, portamento, etc.) made this a legendary synth workstation.
EMULATION Many online ads and reviews claim this plugin to be the ultimate acid bassline synth and/or excellent TB-303 emulation. Well, I rarely drop acid or do acid house, and I've never owned or used a TB-303, but I am a bass player, songwriter, producer, and educator. I know the difference between a good bass and a not so good bass — Tau Bassline MkII is a great bass plugin that is capable of all kinds of wet sounds as well as deep sub rumbles. It can also produce wonderful leads.
TEST OF TIME Software, in general, comes and goes at a faster rate than hardware; yet, with a 64-bit upgrade and a little TLC, Tau could continue to hold its own into the future.
FEATURES I DIG • Straightforward GUI that doesn't get in the way • Easy to program • Juicy resonant filter • CPU efficient • Responsive, supportive developer • Price.
SUMMARY It's fair to say this plugin is a one trick pony, but it does that trick really, really well! To put things into perspective, the sound is still more versatile than a "real" bass. I highly recommend Tau Bassline MkII to any eMusician, songwriter, producer, DJ, etc., who wants to add a sweet acid or sub flavor to a track. I give Tau two meaty thumbs up. Thank you Muon for creating such an amazing, timeless plugin. .. assuming it will be updated with 64-bit, of course. ;-)
This is the bass synth I always end up working with. The sound is spot on, and though I don't have the seminal Roland 303 hardware, my ears tell me Tau sounds just like 303 in many commercial tracks from 80s till today. Full, rich and deep.
It comes with mdrive VSTi overdive effect that can add a fine roar to the bass. If you hook it up to some guitar effect, it can even be tweaked to sound like a real bass. I even use it for some sonar-like sounds and leads. Its all in the post-effects.
No presets, but tweaking is a pleasure. Not many knobs, each with a clear purpose.
Why not use free CM 303 instead? Well, it is based on the same engine, but it has no MIDI automation.
Stability is fine, but Tracktion can act strange with Tau, missing notes in certain situations. Tracktion issue, I think.
Didn't need customer service yet.
I must add to the comment in the Sensetional review: ABL is e more precise emulation of 303, both in looks and function, so having a built-in sequencer and more tweaks may well justify the higher price. People used to work with hardware 303 will not hesitate to choose ABL over Tau. But if you don't need sequencer, I highly recommend Tau Mk II.
The GUI is classic,no fuse Muon everything you need right in your face perfect! The sound to me is just like the 303 I remember from the good ol' acid house
days in Chicago. I compared it to ABL and they were pretty much the same (the
demo of the ABL drops out and you can't buy the full version from the site
which I really think is super stupid!). I run the Tau2 through BBE Sonic
Maximizer and it sounds so sweet! Features it does what it is suppose to do! All the features of the classic 303
even the little strange behavior from time to time. Docs are perfect, covers every knob feature and CC control. Presets you get none! It's a 303 bassline synth for the tweaking. Support is on the money with the KVR Muon forum and fast response via email. VFM I think I paid $17 at the time for this thing and I use it more than the
Tau Pro. Also the ABL bassline is $95 compared to this. Trust me this is as
good as they come for the money.I would have paid $95 for this one too. Stability as with all Muon synths rock solid,never a problem in none of my hosts.