Arturia Acid V first look review, a supercharged but still authentic Roland TB-303 emulation

SYNTH ANATOMY uses affiliation & partner programs (big red buttons) to finance a part of the activity. If you use these, you support the website. Thanks! 

Arturia Acid V is a supercharged, still authentic emulation of the legendary Roland TB-303 with a multi-distortion, built-in modulation, and more.

The TB-303 Bassline is a legendary Synthesizer. Roland’s 1981 was supposed to simulate acoustic bass back then, but that turned out to be very different, as we all know it today. It’s the Synthesizer epitome when it comes to techno, especially acid. The synth has often been replicated in hardware and emulated in software.

Regarding software, the French company Arturia focuses on refined emulations. They bundle these in their popular V Collection bundle, currently in version 9.  The newest member of the Arturia soft family is the Acid V, a supercharged emulation of the TB-303. Yes, it was only a matter of time the TB-303 would join. Today is the day.

Arturia Acid V

Arturia Acid V

Yes, it is another TB-303 emulation. However, Arturia did more with the Acid V than just a 1:1 software recreation of the legendary Roland Synthesizer. The developers have given the TB-303 engine significant feature gains.

At first glance, the Acid V has everything the original has. A very Roland-like UI, a single two-wave oscillator, pitch, cutoff, resonance, envelope mod, decay, and accent. There is also a sequencer with buttons and accent slide controls. But that’s all that comes from the original.

Already in the main UI, you can see some clever new additions. This starts with a multi-wave sub-oscillator with three octaves and volume control. When you first play it, you notice that this gives the sound much more power and volume. Next, you find a vibrato effect with speed and amount controls.

Like a well-known hardware clone/replica, Arturia has added a distortion unit to its emulation. But to make it more versatile, they built in 14 algorithms: crunch, crush, destroy, diode, distortion, germanium, metal, overdrive, soft clip, tape, tube, wavefolder, transistor, and thick.

And if the Acid V doesn’t sound like your original unit in your studio, no problem. Via a pop-up menu, you can fine-tune the behavior of the different hands-on parameters like the cutoff range, bass boost, PW, and more.

Arturia Acid V

Supercharged TB-303 Emulation

But that’s not all Arturia has given its TB-303 software. The gate opens to more sound design and rhythm features in an advanced mode. It’s one click away. Here you find four sections: sequencer, modulation 1, 2, 3, and effects.

One of the most essential elements of the original TB-303 is its sequencer. Arturia has completely revised and massively expanded this. Here you can classically edit the individual notes and set each note’s octave, slide, accent, and vibrato. Then, you can work with various built-in scales, change the rat, adjust gates, and with a click, you can also work polymetrically.

You can also quickly mutate existing sequences or transform them into new results in a handy transmutation section. So you always stay inspired with new sequences. That’s super fun.  You can also unlock a flexible arpeggiator with various play directions and more. Something I don’t necessarily expect in a TB-303 emulation but fits here.

Arturia Acid V modulation FX

Modulations & Multi-FX Processing

Deep modulation, something that no TB-303 emulation has done before, can be discovered here. The Acid V plugin features three function generators which can be used as a classic envelope generator (ADSR…) or as a complex LFO with draw functionality.

With this, you can generate varied, synced-to-the-rhythm automation whereby the iconic biting TB-303 sound can be pushed into new sonic directions. Finally, you can round off the Acid V sound with an impressive selection of effects found in a dedicated 4-slot multi-fx section. There are reverbs, delays, dynamic processors, bit-crusher, and modulations like a Juno-60-inspired chorus.

Of course, you can save presets for your sounds and sequences, work with macro controls, and more.

First Impression

Arturia has created a beautiful emulation of the legendary Roland TB-303 here. But the Acid V is more than just another simple soft recreation. I like that you can work with various distortions from their Coldfire FX plugin and dive deep into the sequences.

Even if it’s just a minor feature, I like playing with the new sub-oscillator, which makes the whole sound rounder and fatter. And now, dear developers, for example, Roland, please build us a hardware device based on these feature scopes. That would be awesome.


Arturia Acid V is available now for 99€ instead of 199€. It runs as a VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin on macOS (Intel and native Apple Silicon) and Windows.

To celebrate the launch, new & existing users can unlock limited-time introductory discounts on Acid V, plus a bundle with V Collection 9. Users can log in to unlock their exclusive discounts until September 14th.

More information here: Arturia 

Available at my partners


Plugin News


  1. Whoever emulates this nasal-sounding shit thing best, takes the shit cake and gets the shit crown. And for some strange reasons, people will not realize, that all of this is shit. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.