AIRA - maybe you'll just want to use it in the dark, or on a table designed by Stanley Kubrick.

Roland’s Four AIRA Instruments: Now We Know a Lot – Keyboard, Component Analog Modeling, Too

Roland’s AIRA will be public this month, and you can bet CDM will have all the details we can get from the company. But through its various teasers, the picture of AIRA is already pretty clear. The new line reflects a new approach for the company, one that would seem to show, paradoxically, both greater respect for the company’s legacy and greater interest in today’s tech tastes. And most importantly, Roland has revealed their approach to new component modeling of analog circuits. That may not please analog purists, but it could be a way to balance the versatility of digital …

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The KORG volca bass is Not a TB-303 Replacement – Great Video Compares, Adds Tips

Discchord has an insightful video that pits the KORG volca bass – that beautiful, affordable wonder – against a 303 bass (in this case, a Cyclone clone). It’s in my view a completely fair comparison, just because the Roland TB-303 has become such a template for basslines, particularly in acid music. And understanding what the KORG isn’t is also a key to understand what it is. And yes, that silver cover can give people the wrong idea. (Where’s KORG doing pink or green army camouflage when you need them?) My own takeaways:

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modemachinessid

Chip Grooves: SID 8-bit Hardware Groovebox Preview, Works with iPad Editor [Videos]

German maker Mode Machines has been busy in the cloning laboratory. The latest hardware melds the classic chip sounds of the SID chip with an x0x sequencer a la the Roland TB-303. That surely qualifies as the synth nerd equivalent of combining chocolate and peanut butter.

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A Very Acid 303 Christmas, and Pencil-and-Paper Roland Beat Patterns

Melbourne, Australia-based acid music lover dyLab posts 303-made goodness on the Acid Box Blues blog. And here’s a great way to get in the holiday mood — well, that is, if acid music gets you in the holiday mood. It’s a pattern laid out on paper, ready to program into your TB-303 hardware, software emulation, x0xb0x, Pd patch, or however you get your real/fake 303 on. The pattern is the work of Honeysmack (Soundcloud site), a fellow Melbourne-based artist. The December Acid Pattern I’m rather hoping that putting patterns and presets on paper catches on; I dubbed our MeeBlip version …

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iPhone Beats and Bass, Free This Week, More Fun with Mic Input on iOS

Ah, Mondays. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your work week and you’ve got an iPod touch or iPhone you can drop into your pocket, iOS music and audio developer Pulse Code tells us they’ve made four of its apps free for this week only, through August 8. That includes BtBx [iTunes], a simple and fun drum machine, DB-303, a simulation of the Roland TB-303 bass line synth and a particular favorite of pocket iPhone musicians, as well as a couple of fun toys – a robot tone synth and sound effects maker called Android FX and a …

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iPhones, Pencils: Hand-Drawn Music Interactions, Tokyo Subway Mobile Jam

Musicians have long made pictures to represent musical ideas, share those ideas, and allow others to participate. Before computers, we created scores. Now, we can create interfaces, too. Of course, just because you’re using a digital interface doesn’t mean the pencil as prototyping tool has to go anywhere. It’s the quickest way to sketch out an idea. And if your hand is steady, it just might become a lovely, personal interface. OtoBlock by Tsubasa Naruse is a hand-drawn music sequencer. The basic interface is nothing new, dropping blocks into sequence to make sounds, but the charm is the rough edges …

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x0xb0x, Open Source Hardware and TB-303 Clone, Has a Renewed Future; Q+A

Photo (CC-BY-SA) Brandon Daniel. Open source hardware may not sound like something that would produce a huge musical hit – unless you’ve met the x0xb0x. A clone of Roland’s legendary TB-303 bassline generator, the open version offered not only greater afford-ability than the now-rare antique, but expanded possibilities for hacking the hardware into a musical device you could love as your own, all with the backing of an impassioned community. The gadget was designed by Limor Fried and an unidentified “crazy German engineer” who has kept his identity private. (I wish I had my own secret crazy German engineer. Darnit. …

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