So I tried out a TB-303 yesterday

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Solderman
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Post by Solderman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:19 pm

godmcgarvey wrote:Still the most over rated, over hyped piece of c**p ever made. An essential element of any pretentious owners collection.
Acid Mitch wrote:What is it with all these people complaining about the price of 303's anyway ?
Are ya'll just jelous because you can't afford one or what ?
Wahahahahahahahahaha!! I smell a flame war! Mods prepare for battle!

Guys don't forget some of us pretentious collectors got our 303's when prices were decent(well, not 1989 decent) and the clones that stack up to the 303 were actually more expensive. I think what happened was after the acid explosion in the early 90's, the cost went way up, then people got tired of hearing them in every other dance track, then the demand and thus the cost finally went down. At some point, just about everything vintage that makes farty buzzing noises seemed to go up and has shown no signs of decreasing since.

You want to talk about prententious...I bought my JP-8 for $3550 just because I always wanted one. Now they're going for that as starter bids. In 2002 people on the analog heaven maling list were squealing in outrage when someone tried to sell their JP8 for $1200...with MIDI!

Sign o' the times, I guess. Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, IMO I agree that 303's are not worth the prices they are going for, and as many others have said, there are better and more capable clones if all you want is something like that squelchy sound and wacky portamento.

Now could we please discuss the actual machine itself like the thread starter does? I still find the original facinating because it's such a mess and some people love it.
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Post by Vxster » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:24 pm

Solderman wrote:Wahahahahahahahahaha!! I smell a flame war! Mods prepare for battle!
I don't think so. A warning was already put out by Jack Spider earlier in this thread and if it becomes a flame war, it will just get locked.

Please conitnue to discuss as per the original poster's post.

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Post by Syn303 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:26 pm

Vxster wrote:Please continue to discuss as per the original poster's post.

We are discussing this machine in here, it's just that u get some moron's who don't even own the machine let alone touched one in their life, put it down, because they think it just does that one sound.

Yeah ok! it can do that ACID sound like no other synth can, because of it's unusual 3pole 18db filter and that strange sequencer (digital). I think Roland originally got the idea from the firstman SQ1 sequencer. As both seem to be similar in concept? The Firstman SQ1 was released in 1981.

Image


But the 303 can also act a sequencer to drive another CV/Gate synth or even a modular.
When i had my 101, i linked both together to have the same bassline playing on the 101 and it well beefed up the 303's bassline.

Another gimmick with the 303 is if you insert a din-sync24 cable half the way in the 303 will act as the master instead of the slave unit, so you can din-sync both ways.

It's a classic machine, like any other classic old synth is catergorised in whether it be a moog 55, a IIIc, a Mini, a Jupiter, Juno, PPG etc etc.

Supposedly only 10'000 units were made, but it's actually 20'000 i read somewhere.
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Post by Solderman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:52 pm

I'd love to try sequencing modular gear with it, but what I have done is send it's CV out to a Moogerfooger MF-102 ringmod to modulate its carrier. I've got a recording of it somewhere, and it's just unbelievably wacky.

Also, I've read somewhere that the true nature of the 303 filter poles isn't really 18db/oct, so much as it is the first pole is a much gentler slope on a 24db/oct diode ladder design. There are so many things about that design that to me just look like the designer just kept saying "oh, why the f**k not just put it in." The most obvious of these is having Accent for notes, similar to their drum machines, and putting their "gimmick circuitry" on the accent part. I think most of it is explained by ye lover of gentle spanking, Robbin Whittle: http://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/dfish/303-unique.html
although what he is calling unqiue here has since been reproduced to a degree. I'm really just referring to the fact that Roland had the audacity to carry out this design in the first place.
Last edited by Solderman on Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ianjhicks » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:54 pm

[quote="Syn303"]

Another gimmick with the 303 is if you insert a din-sync24 cable half the way in the 303 will act as the master instead of the slave unit, so you can din-sync both ways.
quote]

woah, thats pretty cool, so do you just not plug it in snuggly? I'm trying to visualize what you mean

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Post by Syn303 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:06 pm

ianjhicks wrote:
Syn303 wrote:
Another gimmick with the 303 is if you insert a din-sync24 cable half the way in the 303 will act as the master instead of the slave unit, so you can din-sync both ways.
quote]

woah, thats pretty cool, so do you just not plug it in snuggly? I'm trying to visualize what you mean
you dont plug it in all the way, just half-way and test it, then the 303 should stop or start the slave unit ie: a 202 or 606. just make sure the din-sync cable dont fall out. part of it is trial and error but it does work. But i use a Kenton Pro-2000 with a triple din-sync24 cable so i can drive both my 303's and 606 all at the same time from a master clock via midi.
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Post by Solderman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:15 pm

One last thing about driving other gear with the 303's CV/Gate out:
The SH101 has no problem with it, but alot of gear will not react to the Gate. If you make a special adapter that connects the Gate signal to its ground with a 10k resistor, it will work.
I tried this with a SCI Pro~One and it did the job, although it played the Pro~One an octave higher and the glide sounded more "linear" or something. Sounded kind of strange.
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Post by michael stein » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:20 pm

Everyone with a 303 needs to meet with their synth and argue over who's 303 sounds better and then everyone would end up killing each other trying to steal the "ultimate 303" and IMO the best use of the TB-303 was by kraftwerk and I never even realized it was one for about 2 years.

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Re: So I tried out a TB-303 yesterday

Post by killedaway » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:25 pm

Acid Mitch wrote:
Syn303 wrote:
And on a final note: there's nothing wrong with my ears.
I know, That's what I was saying.
i just don't get why you're trying to convince me of something i needn't be convinced. i feel they sound similar enough to negate my purchasing "the real thing". with all due respect, i have no concern for how different you or syn303 feel they are. i was only stating my own opinion of the sound. when syn303 ignored that caveat and attempted to correct me, i once again reiterated that my statement was merely personal opinion. i'm hoping this third time will seal it.

for the record, there isn't a thing wrong with my ears (or hearing) for that matter, either. the 303 and revolution sound the same to me, or at least "close enough for government work".

sorry if i'm getting OT here, folks. please continue.
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Post by Solderman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:27 pm

It seems inevtiable that some people will find one piece of gear is Ketchup Potato Chips and another is Cheese Nachos. To each his own, I guess...

What track would that be ms? The Roland Bassline was manufactured in 1982-1984, so would have to have been on Electric Cafe'. That said, I'm still trying to figure out what sort of delay they used to mod the TR808 sounds on Music Nonstop. Most of that album is remixes by Francois Kervorkian, I believe.

I dunno about duking it out for the ultimate acid box, but I know if mine was the last working one on earth, you'd have to do me serious harm to make me let go of it!
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Post by Dirk » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:35 pm

michael stein wrote: IMO the best use of the TB-303 was by kraftwerk and I never even realized it was one for about 2 years.
I didn't know kraftwerk had ever used a 303, what tunes did they use it on?
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Post by killedaway » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:37 pm

Dirk wrote:
michael stein wrote: IMO the best use of the TB-303 was by kraftwerk and I never even realized it was one for about 2 years.
I didn't know kraftwerk had ever used a 303, what tunes did they use it on?
i was just about to post this myself. clearly they weren't using it to the most common effect...
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Post by Yoozer » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:44 pm

Syn303 wrote:because they think it just does that one sound.
It also did the bassline in Newcleus - Jam On It which is not like that one sound ;).
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Post by filtermod » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:01 am

Yoozer wrote:It also did the bassline in Newcleus - Jam On It which is not like that one sound ;).
really? I had always heard that was a minimoog. regardless, that's one of the coolest tracks of all time!

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Last edited by filtermod on Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Alex E » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:07 am

Acid Mitch wrote:
Alex E wrote:
Maybe clones are not exactly the same, but if what you really care about is the music, then that shouldn't be a problem right?
Well that depends on if your music needs what the clones can not do., so if you really care about the music sometimes the real thing is the only thing that will do the job.
Is there really a big difference if you use a very good clone (say, a FR Revolution) and a real 303? Are subtle differences really that important though? And what musical needs absolutely must have the real thing?

If you're going for authenticity, that's another matter though.
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