INTRO Tau Bassline Pro by Muon Software Ltd. is an excellent monophonic synth bass plugin.
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 Pro 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.
MORE MORE MORE This pro version features two alias-free oscillators with a choice of 11 waveforms (sine, sawtooth x5, and square x5). The waveforms can be pulse-width modulated to expand the basic timbre. This adds a great deal of versatility of previous versions and even the original Roland hardware unit. Tau Pro provides users with the capability to create an array of tones that range from comfy warm to edge-of-your-seat suspenseful.
EFFECTS This virtual unit includes overdrive, chorus, flange, and delay.
FEATURES I DIG • Straightforward GUI that doesn't get in the way • Easy to program • Surprisingly flexible (basslines, lead riffs, subs, textures) • Great sound • Juicy resonant filter • Alias-free • Stable (if running 32-bit) • CPU efficient • Responsive, supportive developer • Price.
THOUGHTS • Where are the presets? I heard there are 32 of them, but I can't locate them. • 64-bit is needed.
TEST OF TIME? Software, in general, comes and goes at a faster rate than hardware; yet, a rare few can withstand the test of time. Tau Pro could continue to thrive with a some upgrates, i.e., 64-bit, new presets, etc. While there are other emulations out that may be more true to the original, this plugin has proven to hold its own as a synth.
SUMMARY Tau Pro is a naughty little plugin that is more than capable of supplying users with an assortment of throbbing basses and unforgettable leads. It's more than a two-trick pony by virtue of the added waveforms and FX. I highly recommend this fine virtual instrument to any eMusician, songwriter, producer, DJ, etc., who wants to add a sweet acid or low boom to a track. I give Tau two subsonic thumbs up.
FINAL QUESTION Is this a timeless vintage soft synth or a legacy plugin? Only time will tell. ..