Gear

The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a synthesizer/sequencer manufactured by the Roland corporation in 1982 and 1983 that had a defining role in the development of contemporary electronic music.

The TB-303 (named for "Transistor Bass") was originally sold to guitarists for bass accompaniment while practicing alone. Production lasted approximately 18 months, resulting in only 10,000 units. The TB-303 is considered a collector's item today, often valued at US$800 to 1000. It was not until the mid- to late-1980s that DJs and electronic musicians in Chicago found a use for the machine in the context of the newly developing house music genre.

US manufacturer Sequential Circuits had already established themselves as leading players in the market with the Prophet 5 and a range of other synths that included the Pro-One monosynth, the wonderful Prophet T8 and the monstrous Prophet 10.

Around 1982, however, a major change was about to take place in the industry - Sequential's president, Dave Smith, managed to persuade most of the electronic musical instrument manufacturers in the world to agree on a new communications interface.

The Italian company Siel released their DK80 synth keyboard in 1985, which was a 12 voice analogue bitimbric (2 sounds at once) synth. The Expander 80 was also released at the same time (costing only £399, the cheapest instrument in it's class by a long way) being essentially (but not just) half a DK80 - 8 voice polyphonic and one sound at a time.

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