Behringer TD-3-RD

71

Analog Bass Line Synthesizer

  • Fully analog signal path based on VCO, VCF and VCA designs
  • VCO switchable between sawtooth and square waveforms
  • 4-Pole low-pass filter with resonance
  • Adjustable VCF Envelope Intensity and Envelope Decay
  • Adjustable accent
  • Integrated distortion with tone control
  • 16-Step sequencer with 250 user patterns
  • Poly-chaining of up to 16 devices possible
  • Audio input for processing external sound sources: 3.5mm Jack
  • Sync In and CV/gate outputs: 3.5 mm
  • Stereo headphone output: 3.5 mm Jack
  • Line output: 6.3 mm Jack
  • USB MIDI & MIDI In/Out
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 56 x 305 x 165 mm
  • Weight: 0.8 kg
  • Colour: Red
  • Includes a power supply (9 V, DC)
  • Matching cover available under Article Nr 490239 (not included)
  • Matching case available under Article Nr 492958 (not included)
  • Matching bag available under Article Nr 493544 (not included)
Design Desktop
Polyphony 1
Sound Generation Analogue
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out/Thru
Storage Medium Internal
USB-port Yes
Effects Yes
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display No
available since November 2019
Item number 478319
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Optional Expansions None
Special Features Stepsequencer
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$95
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Back to the 80s!

The Behringer TD-3-RD is the red version of this much-loved bass line synthesiser, a classic reference for any synth connoisseur. Whether in prog rock, new wave, EDM or synth pop, a host of legendary acid sounds that will stand the test of time, have, and still are, being created on the TD-3-series – and its pure analog signal path! The sawtooth and square waveform oscillators form the basis of powerful and super-fat bass lines, as well as gritty leads. Added distortion, one among many effects included in the TD-3-RD, will dirty that sound even further. The TD-3-RD includes both MIDI and USB ports. Should you prefer a software rather than a hardware interface, the Synth Tool application provided is intuitive and practical – while, of course, machine-programming remains fully operable. The TD-3 series is available in an array of different colours.

Totally flexible programming, plus extras!

The TD-3 series patterns are organised into four groups, each of them divided in 2 sections, A and B. The keyboard acts as a shortcut to all the different patterns, each can then be individually selected and edited. In order to program each section, ‘write mode’ must be selected in the central control area, and then the pitch and time value of each key assigned. The ‘step’ button defines the number of steps in each pattern, which can go up to 16. Longer sequences can be created by playing patterns sequentially or chaining them in track mode which allows patterns to be played in any order. A total of 64 patterns can be stored in the TD-3-RD. A random pattern generator is also included, which can be a great help in simplifying and helping with the design of new patterns. To enable random generation the ’Start’, ‘Stop’ and ‘Clear’ keys must all be pressed simultaneously.

A portable “back to the future”

At 663 g, the Behringer TD-3-RD is easy to handle and of course fits more or less anywhere. Behringer's recreation of the original user interface allows the exact same workflow that spawned so many great bass lines and leads during the 80s. The distortion section can be added at will, in easily controlled increments. The ’ Tone Control’ function, which remains neutral in middle position, is useful for either ‘muffling’ or making bass lines more aggressive. The TD-3-RD can be clocked to any other synthesizer via the sync-in input. In addition, the CV-out (controlled voltage gate out) can be used to trigger external synthesizers.

About Behringer

The company, which was founded in Germany by Uli Behringer and now manufactures its products in China, has been known for affordable and great-value equipment since its very first product, the Studio Exciter F. An array of mixing consoles (such as the Eurodesk MX8000), signal processors, and later sound amplification and monitoring equipment, has made it possible for countless musicians to fit out their home studios, practice rooms, and mobile PAs within budget limits that were previously unthinkable. The acquisition of other companies, including Midas, Klark Teknik, and TC Electronic, meant that new product groups were added - and also resulted in the technical expertise of these companies being incorporated into product development.

Simple software programming

The provided Synth Tool allows the user to immediately access any preconfigured TD-3-RD pattern via USB. From there, patterns can easily be imported from the machine into the computer, modified at will, and then sent back to the TD-3-RD. This is done via the ‘Recall’ function. Inside the editor, note values can be changed via drag-and-drop operations, as can be the total length of the pattern. The ‘Store’ function in the Synth Tool allows patterns to be easily stored back into the TD-3-RD. Accents can also be programmed, by right-clicking on the desired notes. The value of each accent can be adjusted via the corresponding slider on the TD-3-RD. The Synth Tool software includes further control options, such as MIDI routing, PolyChaining and calibration of the TD-3 RD.

M
Only, and best, commercial clone at this price point
Miskatonic 10.12.2019
If you are searching for a hardware 303 clone, this is an absolute no brainer. At the price point, there's nothing else that comes close.

A few friends have spoken to me about being "concerned" by the price, which seems strange but it is substantially cheaper than other 303 clones. However, the parts inside are 1980's spec so, realistically, these things are no longer expensive. You're paying, usually, for R&D or the privilege of owning such a thing. Behringer cut this out the equation by producing in vast quantities. This can result in low standard product, or bad quality control, but so far I've had zero problems with this, so have no reason to question the quality.

Also, bear in mind that the original 303 was very "toylike" in feel, so it clones that nicely, too.

With regards to sound, it's extremely faithful. Perhaps not oscilloscope to the nth degree faithful but, having used multiple hardware 303 units and clones in the past (as well as still owning several), I'd say that this sounds pretty much spot on. Obviously there are variances in sound, especially when taking the original 303 units into account, but this covers the spectrum I expect from a "stock" 303.

On the "stock" point, it's also worth noting that, unlike the recent digital 303 clones from roland, this contains much the same circuitry (parts only swapped out if no longer available with appropriate like for like) so it can technically be modded in the same way as the original, which is fantastic. On opening the case you're immediately greeted with trimmer pots and suchlike (don't mess with these if you don't know what you're doing, though) and other board traces and components, while much smaller than their 80's counterparts, all look accessible. I'd say maybe the pitch slide is a tiny bit faster than the original, but that could potentially be fixed as I believe the slide can be modded on the original.

With regard to mods, this has one already - built in distortion. It is nice enough but perhaps not quite as extreme as I'd like, personally. It's a matter of taste, though. I tend to use desk distortion, anyway, but the option is handy to have built into the unit. I think it's a Boss DS-1 clone circuit, but not 100% sure.

Sequencer and all that you'd expect from the original unit is all there. Apparently there's an arpeggio mode, too, but I've not looked into that. It's not obvious on the faceplate, so presumably has something to do with the usb connectivity.

Speaking of which, you can use said connectivity to make patterns on the pc which can be sent to the internal memory of the device, which is helpful for converting old midi acid lines from other equipment (or just if you prefer using a pc to write the patterns). I prefer to sequence traditional 303 style so don't really use the USB software, but it seems to be quite exhaustive, in as much as one could expect for a synth where most is already "on the surface"

For the price, this is really a steal. I commend Behringer for not pulling the wool over consumers eyes and pushing fun over fashion, as they could easily have charged double for most of the equipment they've been releasing of late.

If you want/need more bass and/or acid in your studio then don't even think twice about buying this. DO IT! Also, at this price point, it becomes a cool and "fun" instrument for younger kids and also a talking point or whatever. Stick it through a reverb pedal into your hifi and just have it rumbling along. Tweak it every 3 hours or so. Instant TRON ambience for your house :p BUY!
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Bang for buck
Kyho 23.01.2022
I got this one, which is already cheap from the start, even cheaper. It was ridiculously cheap and a nobrainer. Even for the pure osc it was worth it but really, that thing sounds great. I love it. The distortion is a bit of a toy, I better grab my guitar pedals but otherwise straightforward. Glad there is an editor for the sequencer. Of course its a damn plastic machine but it will last if you take care and hey, the original was a terrible plastic box as well just ultra expensive. And the plastic from back in the days was way less sturdy and often disintegrates cause of age.
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u know its on!
dBLinit 17.12.2021
great but the case could be a lot better
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That Acid Sound
rob lee music 22.12.2019
The Behringer TD-3 sounds absolutely fabulous and the distortion FX are top notch. The synth feels great and the knobs are pretty solid. Your getting this pure acid machine for pennies here at Thomann which also I must say delivery was ultra fast to the UK.
Don't even think twice about buying a TD-3 just do it. There are soft synths out there that cost more but don't give you the satisfaction that this thing does.
Absolute bargain and great sound.
Thank you Thomann
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