Mi-03 Bassline Is A FREE 303 Synthesizer Plugin


Music Instinct released Mi-03 Bassline, a free synthesizer plugin that revitalizes the classic 303 sound.

Few synthesizers have the same sort of fame and renown as Roland’s TB-303. Like it or not, it’s carved out a place in the likes of techno, trance, house, and even some of Massive Attack’s output.

That said, you can ask 20 people what their favourite VST emulation is for the 303 and get 20 different answers. I typically use D16’s Phoscyon, but I always take a look at free emulations.

Mi-03 Bassline is one such instrument, and it goes a bit further than some of the 303 emulations you’ll see in the land of free software.

One of the big things to note is that Mi-03 moves away from programming sequences in the 303 like you would on the hardware. Sure, that’s a fine way of doing things if you have a vintage unit, the Behringer TD-3, or any number of clones that have sprung up since Roland stopped manufacturing them.

However, that isn’t the way to do things with a keyboard and mouse. Thankfully, the sequencer here is more visual, allowing users to readily program acid sequences as needed.

The core sound behind the plugin is good as a whole. When paired with a good distortion and delay, you’ll be hard-pressed to find fault. Granted, if you own the original hardware, you likely will.

Mi-03 doesn’t stick solely to the sound shaping parameters of the TB-303.

For starters, as opposed to just attack and decay, the envelope has a sustain and release stage. Waveforms are a bit different as a whole too, with a saw, square, and pulse wave all being selectable.

It does feature a built-in distortion, but I often skip right ahead to throwing Thermal on things like this to coax out that acid sound.

As a free instrument, I don’t think Mi-03 has many equals. Sure, TAL’s Bassline still exists, but good luck getting that running on a Silicon Mac.

If you’re after a slice of a more authentic acid sound, Mi-03 might be for you. It is pay what you want, so kick a few bucks the dev’s way if you can.

Download: Mi-03 Bassline (FREE / Name-your-price)


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Liam is a producer, mixing engineer, and compressor aficionado. When not mixing, he can be found pretending to play guitar, as he has been doing for the last 20 years.


  1. Syntorial Primer v2 is free with the new Beat Magazine, I got it today, uploaded the VST3 to FL Studio, and it looks to be full version (This is the plugin only, not the tutorial)
    It says on the front page of the mag “Solange der Vorrat reicht” I guess that means “while stock lasts”

  2. On the subject of 303 emulations, I note that Yooz has updated BL-303 to v3, it was featured earlier on BPB with the v2 version:


    • Yeah, I installed it a couple of days back. It’s a very nice little plugin. Pretty much covers all my TB-303 needs, which are not big, though :)

  3. TAL Bassline is based on the SH-101 though.

    Alternatives I enjoy:
    – Midilab’s JC-303 is probably amongst the best free and open-sourced options right now, and OSX/Win/Linux.
    – JoaCHIP’s TB4005, which has hilarious oscillators options (VST2, 32/64bit, Win)
    – Signaldust’s Dolphin Bassline (VST2 32/64bit, Win)
    – YOOZ Music’s BL-303 (VST3, 64bit, Win/OSX)

    Special mentions to antto’s VB-303, and Ronan Fed’s RF-AB303, but one is hard to use and 32bit only, and the other unavailable because reasons.

  4. CoopMusic247


    With the sequencer in Pigments, I dont see a need to upgrade for the new 303 from Arturia even. I was really considering it, but I can’t seem to see myself buying a software version of the 808, 909, 303, etc. I honestly think with the software world being flooded, it will force innovation in hardware despite the inherent limitations.

    • Charlatan 3 has an acid preset that has proper accent, and works great as a template for going into uncharted acid territories.

      As for Mi-03 Bassline, it’s a fun 303 clone, with the cutoff going very very low, almost too low, hard to lower the EnvMod without going silent sometimes. :)
      The fact that you can go into negative for some enveloppes is pretty fun.

  5. hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-hds1/

    The classic guitar distortion pedal, includes the “Ultra” mod. emulation

    Free for a short time

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