MAM MB 33 / MB 33 mkII

MAM MB-33 Image

MB 33

The MB 33 is a rack-mounted TB-303 clone released in the mid-nineties by German synth maker MAM (Music And More). It's basically identical to the Freebass 383 (which had a different front-panel design). It is a true analog monophonic bass synthesizer with MIDI implementation so you can create 303-like bass lines from your sequencer. Its single VCO offers the same two basic waveforms as the TB-303: a sawtooth and square wave. But in the MB 33 they can be mixed together for a more interesting tone than the 303 could originally produce.

Additional knobs control the VCO tuning, filter frequency cutoff, resonance, envelope mod amount, envelope decay time and accent intensity - the same controls found on the TB-303! The 24dB lowpass filter can also produce the characteristic sound of the 18 dB filter used in the original 303. There's also an auto-slide function (4 octave range) for producing those 303-style slides and a separate input for filtering external signals through it. Unfortunately there is no program storage.

MAM MB-33 II Image

MB 33 mkII

The MB 33 mkII (pictured above) released in 1998 adds a few more features. The 24dB filter has been replaced by an 18dB filter just like the original TB-303 used. A new sub-oscillator was added and can be mixed with the other two waveforms for even meatier mono-bass sounds. A new distortion effect is also present and can be dialed-in to dirty things up - sounds great when resonated at high frequency cut-offs! MIDI can send/receive controls for the cutoff, resonance, ENV mod, accent, decay, distortion, and autoslide on/off.

Whereas the original MB 33 and Freebass 383 before it sounded very much the same as the TB-303, the newer MB 33 mkII adds even more possibilities for creating your own unique 303-like sounds - and at a fraction the cost of an original 303!

Lookup MAM MB 33 / MB 33 mkII Prices

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12 Visitor comments
August 27, 2010 @ 6:01 am
I have the MB33 1 and i like it sounds good but it's not a 303 clone you could sequense it so it sound like it. but that's not so easy if you aren't in to software. i payed 90 euro for it.
July 29, 2010 @ 1:15 pm
First of all, those of you looking for the truest 303 sound possible will be disappointed, but don't dismiss it just yet! If you're looking for an affordable monosynth that's remarkably versatile, give it a try! The MB33 II (which I own), has a few extra goodies (sub-oscillator, adjustable PWM, distortion), they all sound and work great and widens its sonic versatility beyond being a simple 303-wannabe. it does a decent impression of a 303 but it won't fool the purists the accent especially as Mik mentioned is very different, but what this synth really excells at is bass. Ballsy, fat and gritty, don't underestimate it, it can move some serious air to the point that the walls rattle when you crank this rude-boy up :) Final words? A trusty, simple, no-bull [beep] synth which will always have something to say in your tracks, if you find one, buy it before someone else does!
January 29, 2010 @ 7:21 am
One thing I think I should mention is that MK2 has a really impressive noise floor. I am recording at 24bit and I peak at -3db while recording and the noise floor is 96-98 db's. I love digital recording format and I pretty much hate white noise so this is very important for me. If anyone has a manual for this thing or knows any mods please let me know:
January 29, 2010 @ 7:19 am
I used to have a mb33 mk1 and I recently got myself an mk2. It's really nice just don't expect it to be a 303. I think that the accent sounds somehow differenf from the original and the slide time on my unit is way too slow.One feature I love about this machine is the resonance trimmer at the back of the unit. Mine was at max and it sounded horrible until I adjusted it with a screwdriver. I Think that the filter is very authentic after the resonance has been adjusted. It's just unfortunate that the filter does not seem to respond to accents in the same way as the 303 does.The oscillator sounds really good but I wish it could play notes at least one octave higher. The square wave is also different from the real 303. If I recall this right mk1 should be a bit fatter sounding. I am really happy that they removed that awful autotune from mk2.The distortion effect on this thing is abomination, it's sounds so horrible...
May 24, 2009 @ 4:53 pm
Had this one (mk2) for a while. It really is a one trick pony. If it had a decent adsr it would be a lot more useful. Maybe I expected too much from it..
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User Rating

Rated 3.61 (189 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO with mixable sawtooth and square waveforms.
    MK II adds a sub-oscillator
  • LFO - None
  • Filter - MB 33: 24 dB/oct lowpass filter (MK II uses an 18 dB/oct filter) with cutoff-frequency, resonance, ENV-modulation controls
  • VCA - Decay-time (200 ms - 2,5 sec.) VCA separate ENV-generator with non controllable voltage assignment. ACCENT pot for accent-intensity; can be activated at velocity parameters greater than 120.
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - None
  • Control - MIDI, CV IN to VCF
  • Date Produced - 1996 (MB 33)
    1998 (MB 33 mkII)
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from MAM.

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