Will Systems MAB-303

Will Systems MAB-303 Image
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Although you could do more with it, the MAB-303 is strictly a TB-303 emulator. It succeeds at emulating the sound and character of the 303 better than most. This may be because it is analog and not virtual emulation technology. It is a half-rack desktop or rack-mount module which houses a nice analog VCO synth engine complete with 303-like controls and knobs. Front panel knobs control basic but familiar parameters: waveshape, VCF cutoff, resonance (Q), EnvMod, Accent and volume.

The MAB-303 brings the 303 into the '90's with a few added features. First there is a new waveform to play with - pulse. The MAB-303 has MIDI implementation which applies to some parameters. The knobby-controls are not MIDI'd (argh!) however the following new features are MIDI controllable: LFO, pitch mod, pitch bending, MIDI velocity and auto glide.

Sound wise, it makes a convincing 303. It isn't as squelchy in the self-resonance area however its many new features should more than make up for that. The MAB-303 works very well with a MIDI sequencer (there is no built in sequencer unlike the original) and although the Env Mod, CutOff and other front panel controls can't be controlled by MIDI the MAB-303 makes it easier for new and experienced users to use a 303-type synth in a modern studio environment. It has been used by ATB and Acid Junkies.

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Demos & Media

Audio Clip 1 Two demo patterns with plenty of filtering, accents and slides.


Polyphony - Monophonic
Oscillators - 1 VCO: square, saw and pulse
LFO - Modulation
Filter - 18 dB/oct low pass filter with resonance and envelope
VCA - No controls
Keyboard - None
Memory - None
Control - MIDI
Date Produced - 1996


Images from Future Music Magazine, Issue 47.