Introduction to the TN 303 VST synth

To create a simple Acid-line with our TN 303 plugin you first of all need an arpreggiated line. I've chosen the same line for all four of my sound examples, using the Cubase Arpache Midi Effect. In order to get the 303's sound right, I inserted a parametric EQ with a low-cut around 150 Hz and a hi-shelf from 3 kHz on. Make sure to boost the high frequencies sufficiently, because we want it piping, don't we? After the EQ I inserted a distortion plug in. I chose the Camel Crusher, which comes with a lot of presets. To make the 303s sound a bit fuller I also inserted a delay and added some reverb. But you better check out yourselves, what effects suit your music best.

1st Sample:

I didn't change too much of the TN 303's default settings for my first sound sample. I left the waveform at "Saw" and I also left the Reso turned to the maximum right, but I twisted the Accent to the left. Then I opened up the cut off frequency by turning the Cutoff knob to the extreme right. When I turned the Cutoff back to around 5, I opened up the EnvMod. In the end I twisted the Accent knob a bit, and that's all to it.

2nd Sample:

Basicly the second sample is not too different from the first one. The knob automations are exactly the same. Only this time I switched the waveform from "Saw" to "Square".

3rd Sample:

The waveform is set back to "Saw", then I detuned the wave by minus 12 semitones. I moved the Cutoff a little between 1 and 2, but no further. Instead I toyed around a bit with the Reso. Also I added movement to EnvMod and Accent, but most of the action is done with the Reso knob.

4th Sample:

For this sample I set the wave to "Square" and pitchshifted it up 12 semitones - to the extreme right. I left the Cutoff around 1 and 2 for this example, too and added some edge to the sound by quickly twisting the Reso and EnvMod to the right and back.

5th Sample

For my 5th sample I had to play a little 303 line on my keyboard, because I couldn't do with an apreggiated line. So since this sample was going to sound different anyway, I decided to introduce another great freeware distortion plug-in. The Atom|Splitter Destroyr is perfect for modeling 6 different types of distortion:

* Feedback

* Signal clipping

* Bit crush

* Valve distortion

* Saturate

* Overdrive

You don't necessarily have to completely destroy your audio data. With the "saturate" and "valve" parameters, you can add some subtle effects of analogue recording to your audio. However: In this sample, I turned the saturation completely to the right and set the valve distortion to about 3 o'clock. The input is set to around 4 o'clock.

What you hear in sample 5 is the glide feature of the TN 303. If you play (or draw) "overlapping" notes, also known as "legato", the sound will glide from one note to the other. To add some spice to the sound, I played around with Cutoff and EnvMod similarily to sample 1. And yes, I forgot: the waveform is a Saw and is not detuned.

6th Sample

Again I used exactly the same line and automation of the previous sample in order to demonstrate another functionality of the TN 303. In the end of this sample, I set the notes' velocity down to about 20 and highlighted other notes by giving them full velocity. Then I turned the Accent knob slowly to the right and you can hear how the high-velocity notes start to stick out of the line.

Now consider the little knobs next to the Accent knob. If you twirl these you can alter the character of the accents.

Well, that's all I'm going to tell you about this little synth, so you'd better stop reading and get some knob twirling done.