Recording Patterns with Step Record and Realtime Record

I’m working on a 9-video series where I talk all about the Roland TB-3, so I wanted to compliment the first video with this blog, explaining how you can record patterns in two different ways: Step Record and Realtime Record.

TB-3 Recording Patterns

TB-303 Reimagined

I use the TB-3 in my live setup, and I love the sonic textures that the various keyboard effects bring to my live performance. This is the newer TB-3, released in 2014, but modelled after Roland’s TB-303, released in the early 80’s.

It was quickly discontinued, although it made a resurgence about a decade later, as one of the main instruments used to define the acid house genres.

The newer TB-3 is a digital instrument which captures the original sounds of the TB-303, but also includes a ton of new sounds and effects.

How Does it Work?

I think the best way to begin, if you’re not familiar at all with this electronic instrument, is to explain the two primary areas of the TB-3, which are: the Keyboard button, where you can select your keyboard sound, and the Pattern Select button, obviously where you select your pattern.

The pattern is a melodic sequence that you can create yourself, using both the melodic 12-tone scale, and anywhere from one, up to thirty-two, 16th notes, for your pattern length.

Once you’ve created a pattern, you can simply start and stop it with the Start/Stop button, and it will play out through the keyboard sound that you’ve selected. You can always change the keyboard sound without having to change the pattern, and vice versa. They are not attached to one another.

Recording Patterns

There are two ways to record a pattern onto the TB-3: Step Record, and Realtime Record. Each option has its own push button on the face of the machine, so selecting your preference is as easy as pushing the corresponding button.

The Roland TB-3


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