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The 303 thread
Old 2nd November 2006
  #1
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The 303 thread

For being such an iconic synth i though t start a thread about it.
wish i could have one with the devil fish mods and MIDI ins

does anyone have a good TR-303 clone?
I thought of getting a Do it yourself kit, but seemed a little hard.
anyone tried soldering/ asembling a synth , is it hard with no electrical engineering background/?


im such a fan of the sound im thinking of the mc-303, which like $100 bucks only.
but i hear it sucks really bad, anyone have it? like it?


as for softsynth emulations, i got my hands on a D16 phosycon, it sounds amazing. its distortion section is freaking awsome.
Old 2nd November 2006
  #2
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Mario-C.'s Avatar
the mc-303 sounds nothing like a real 303
Old 2nd November 2006 | Show parent
  #3
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario-C. ➑️
the mc-303 sounds nothing like a real 303
that what i heard. and its why is onyl like 120 bucks and no one likes it.
Old 2nd November 2006 | Show parent
  #4
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kikumoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Goog idea on the thread, bad idea on the MC303!

Theres very decent software emulations now, not much hardware ones,
I no of the Future retro "Revolution" synth, but aint heard it!

for software you can get Rebirth for free now - Proppellarhead (tho has problems running on mac osx)
or this which is a v.good emulation (basically the same)
from here....

http://www.audiorealism.se/

hope this helps
Old 2nd November 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikumoto ➑️
Goog idea on the thread, bad idea on the MC303!

Theres very decent software emulations now, not much hardware ones,
I no of the Future retro "Revolution" synth, but aint heard it!

for software you can get Rebirth for free now - Proppellarhead (tho has problems running on mac osx)
or this which is a v.good emulation (basically the same)
from here....

http://www.audiorealism.se/

hope this helps


i tried the audiorealism and its cool, but i definitly liked bettert the d16 phosycon.

and yes, i guess i should of kept the mc303 coment to myself.



the revolution from future retro is also a frekin amazing synth and its sound was amazing when i tried at namm.
but a little over priced. and its circle type sequencer was a little confusing. but it was midi in and clearly marked knobs.. and thats all i care.
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #6
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
303 worship!

The freebass fb383(AKA mam mB33 and Spacebass 3.3 and possibly further names) is a pure clone of the original analogue synthesizer. A single rack unit with extremely nice and simple eight knob interface. All pots go a wee bit further than the original and the added waveform crossfader is a nice addition for harmonic variation. I've reverse-enginered some of the essential features of the circuit out of curiosity of similarity. It's basicly a part-for-part identical copy.

Though, it doesn't sound the same. By gosh, no! It *looks* different, so how can it be the same? The sequencer and physical layout is a strong influence on the sound of the original and without it, it's not even close to the same feeling. Care and attention is needed in the midi programming to make the riffs anywhere like the original would go. In any case, heaps of fun! The difficulty is in finding a sequencer weird enough to suit the synths nature.

The price was Β£99 new some eight years ago, probably still dirt cheap. Guess the only bad thing about buying one of those is its singularity. Having two of them is sure jolly nice! =)


PS: the MC-303 is a sample playback device. The real 303 is an analogue synthesizer. Can't compare oranges to lions!
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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Mario-C.'s Avatar
you could get an mc-202 ... it's very tb-303 like, there are some filter differences, but it's very cool too, in fact some purists prefer the 202 over the 303, and it costs way less ...
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupo ➑️
303 worship!

The freebass fb383(AKA mam mB33 and Spacebass 3.3 and possibly further names) is a pure clone of the original analogue synthesizer. A single rack unit with extremely nice and simple eight knob interface. All pots go a wee bit further than the original and the added waveform crossfader is a nice addition for harmonic variation. I've reverse-enginered some of the essential features of the circuit out of curiosity of similarity. It's basicly a part-for-part identical copy.

Though, it doesn't sound the same. By gosh, no! It *looks* different, so how can it be the same? The sequencer and physical layout is a strong influence on the sound of the original and without it, it's not even close to the same feeling. Care and attention is needed in the midi programming to make the riffs anywhere like the original would go. In any case, heaps of fun! The difficulty is in finding a sequencer weird enough to suit the synths nature.

The price was Β£99 new some eight years ago, probably still dirt cheap. Guess the only bad thing about buying one of those is its singularity. Having two of them is sure jolly nice! =)


PS: the MC-303 is a sample playback device. The real 303 is an analogue synthesizer. Can't compare oranges to lions!



i was looking for them for a while. but the price was going op for those as those where being discotinued.

also, there is the X0boX which is a do it yourself kit. i got on the list to buy it and backed off at the last minute... i dont know how to solder or anything related to electrical engineering. but still thinking on trying
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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duvalle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers ➑️
i tried the audiorealism and its cool, but i definitly liked bettert the d16 phosycon.
i like them both very much. (d16.pl)
each one got a very unique style ...
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #10
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
www.acidlab.de
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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Cojo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupo ➑️
The freebass fb383(AKA mam mB33 and Spacebass 3.3 and possibly further names) is a pure clone of the original analogue synthesizer. A single rack unit with extremely nice and simple eight knob interface. All pots go a wee bit further than the original and the added waveform crossfader is a nice addition for harmonic variation. I've reverse-enginered some of the essential features of the circuit out of curiosity of similarity. It's basicly a part-for-part identical copy.
Hi.

I have one of these (I had two, sold one) and the sound is very similar to the TB303 except that you have - as you say Lupo - a wider palette to choose from.

I think the secret to get the real 303 sound lies in the combo of the sequencer and the synth. With a step sequencer it's a very abstract way to create music - you don't think music, you think math - and that's a very imported aspect of the whole sound.

I know several years ago (when the TB303 sound was still in fashion) I played the sound from my (then two) FB383 via a step sequencer and that was a fun experiens. The sequencer also had a random button so you could create random patches. This emulated even more the original feel since one of the way to program the TB303 is to disconect the batteries and see what sequence that came up.

Other synths that can sound similar is ofcourse the MC202 and the SH101 and as a software clone I think rebirth is the way to go.

/Cojo
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #12
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duvalle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cojo ➑️
I know several years ago (when the TB303 sound was still in fashion) I played the sound from my .....
303 acid will be always in fashion!
Old 3rd November 2006 | Show parent
  #13
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Cojo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by duvalle ➑️
303 acid will be always in fashion!
heh Yeah, you're right!

/Cojo
Old 4th November 2006 | Show parent
  #14
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey so for a while ive been thinking about the XOxbox 303 clone.
does anyoneknow about it? in the website has samples of A/B test and they sound really similar.

one problem is that its do ti yourself. soldering is not mmy forte.

but who know, maybe i can do it. its just that I can spend months doing this to later find out that it sucks and i should of just gotten a mam33 or something already made.

whacha u'all think/?
Old 4th November 2006 | Show parent
  #15
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have the MB-33II and I like it, but not as a 303 clone.

My humble suggestion:
Get an MB-33/MB-33II, a Will Systems MAB-303 or whatever you want, they are cheap used (hint for weird lines: feed the thing with two monophonic lines from a sequencer simultaneously and watch the hiccups - you can't do that with a 303!).
See how far you go, and if you're not satisfied, try something with a 303-type sequencer, like FutureRetro Revolution or Acidlab (no soldering).
Old 4th November 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The x0x0x looks very nice! You'll like it anyway just for the sequencer if it's anything like the original.

Soldering is easy. Buy some cheap kit like a phono preamp or similar and get to it. Perhaps build something from the Paia line of kits first, to get the hang of it. A year spent building electronics will always help you down the line in this technology world anyway. Basic knowlegde of amps and soldering is always useful both in studio and on the road when things break down as they alway do.
Old 7th November 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feinstrom ➑️
I have the MB-33II and I like it, but not as a 303 clone.

My humble suggestion:
Get an MB-33/MB-33II, a Will Systems MAB-303 or whatever you want, they are cheap used (hint for weird lines: feed the thing with two monophonic lines from a sequencer simultaneously and watch the hiccups - you can't do that with a 303!).
See how far you go, and if you're not satisfied, try something with a 303-type sequencer, like FutureRetro Revolution or Acidlab (no soldering).
I've had MB-33 mk2 and Novation Bassstation Rack and they're not even close, but are quite good for other things because of analog circuitry.

I personally quitted looking for "perfect" 303-clone and purchased a Waldorf Pulse, which does the trick quite well, while it is even further from being a 303-sounding machine.

If you want the real 303-sound, get the real one.
Old 7th November 2006 | Show parent
  #18
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Cojo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi.

Here is a sample for you, so you can hear what it sounds like!

/Cojo
Attached Files

FB383.mp3 (1.01 MB, 739 views)

Old 7th November 2006 | Show parent
  #19
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teknosmoker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cojo ➑️
Here is a sample for you, so you can hear what it sounds like!

/Cojo
Thanks for the sample. While it doesn't sound exactly like a 303, it does sound quite nice! heh

Couple of questions:

1. How do you emulate the slides/accents of a the 303 without a built-in sequencer?

2. Which version are you using MK1 (24 dB filter) or MK2 (18 dB filter)?


-T
Old 7th November 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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Cojo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknosmoker ➑️
Thanks for the sample. While it doesn't sound exactly like a 303, it does sound quite nice! heh

Couple of questions:

1. How do you emulate the slides/accents of a the 303 without a built-in sequencer?

2. Which version are you using MK1 (24 dB filter) or MK2 (18 dB filter)?


-T
Hi.

I'm sure you can get it to sound even similar if you change the blend of the saw/sqr setting.

The slides and accents is easy to do. If you want slides just let the first note be longer then the following so they overlap, then it will slide automaticly from the first note to the second.

The accent gets active if you have a velociy greater then 100.

This is the first version of the synth. If you like I can post some various patterns for you?

/Cojo
Old 7th November 2006 | Show parent
  #21
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The 303 does not have a three pole/18dB octave filter.. It's a four pole filter with two special properties, 1: the filter is a diode ladder which is quite unusual and 2: the components are so mismatched that they will tend to behave more like an 18dB/Oct than 24dB/oct, although it's a 4 pole filter.

Take a look at the schematic: http://machines.hyperreal.org/manufa...03.schem-5.gif - don't be frightened by all the cryptic electro thingies, the actual filtering stuff is the ladder like thing to the right and below where the label says VCF. The signal comes through the wire from the waveform switch, the line which goes to right of the VCF label, and down into the Q12-Q17-Q23 transistors. The collectors and bases of the transistors are connected, making the transistors behaving like diodes. Notice that there is four of these transistors pairs, not three.

Now I've opened a FB383 and compared it to this schematic. Some obsolote components have been replaced with newer equivalents, otherwise the circuit is pretty much the same. I didn't bother to check everything, only the most important parts in the VCO and VCF. It's about as cloned as it's possible to get without reproducing the same circuit board layout. Given that most users run these things through distortion pedals and so forth, the difference really should be diminutive!

But of course, I won't argue that it's a vastly different thing than the real TB! The look and feel of synths are paramount to what it makes the user acheive in terms of sonics. I've never owned a TB303, but have had one in the rig for some periods. It's different than anything else and the only way to get it is to buy it. But if you want the *sonics* alone and can trust yourself to program a stupid enough sequence and restrain the hand movements to be within the originals scope, these clones are quite adequate at creating most TB sounds. =)
Old 7th November 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
PS: Oh, I forgot, the original have a bass roll off(weird, huh?) and if I recall correct, this have been removed in the 383 for the full bass extension. This might be wrong though, haven't compared these things in this millennia, but it should go quite a while to explain the difference in sound. The original is more squelshy IIRC.

PPS: Been a while since I beheld the holy schematic now. It's beautiful! Got so many special oddities that can't be found anywhere else. Like the interconnected env.mod and cutoff knobs. The most special though is undoubtly the accent behaviour, especially the part where it couples to the resonance knob. If carefully examining the schemo, it can be seen that the resonance knob is actually a dual ganged knob. Not only does it feed the output of the VCF back to the beginning, it also controls how much of the accent envelope is fed to a charging capacitor before the accent envelope hits the filter. As the resonance knob is turned up, this capacitor charges more and more, creating the unique attack portion of the envelope which is responible for the barking filter envelope we all know and love.

Another very interesting feature is that if this capacitor is fed attack envelopes fast enough, it will not be empty before the next accent hits it. Then it will charge to a slightly higher level than the previous accent, making a crescendo of envelopes that builds higher and higher over several accent strikes! As Robin Whittle of Devilfish fame put it, this mimiks the behaviour of animals in distress.. Like a monkey or a bird often exemplifies, where the frequency of each consecutive "note" is higher than the previous one.

No other synth on this planet have such an organic behaviour! =)
Old 8th November 2006 | Show parent
  #23
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teknosmoker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cojo ➑️
Hi.

This is the first version of the synth. If you like I can post some various patterns for you?

/Cojo
Thanks for the offer to post additional samples.

It would be cool to hear dry samples of the 2 separate waveforms (saw & square) with the filter sweeping from completely open to completely closed - perhaps once with no resonance, then a second time with full resonance.

I really don't need another synth (I have too many and am trying to downsize!), but I am a synth addict and I like what I'm hearing!.......


Lupo - I appreciate the information regarding the similarities between the MAM and the TB, as well as the detailed information regarding the schematics of the 303 - very interesting indeed!

-T
Old 8th November 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
my friend had an acidlab box. cool little thing. sounds pretty good. the sequencer is love it or hate it though. lot's of button pressing. the filter on his was pretty squeally. the oscillator sounds fat though.

i have a FR-revolution. i like it a lot. sounds like a 303. closest thing out there if not dead on.

also, the sequencer is great w/lot's of on the fly tweakability and great live jamming features. if you wanna hear one it's all over this completely live improv jam my friend and i did w/a 909/606 and the FR-revolution. it's a bit sloppy in places but is all on the fly mix to two track just for fun kind of thing.

http://www.ignatiusmusic.com/dudebounce.mp3

if you come accross a FR-777 for a decent price.. buy it. the sequencer isn't as fun as the revolution but the synth in it is insane. super deep filter. fat fat oscillator and the modulation abilities are pretty intense. you can go way past your typical acid sound and into some really twisted acid leads and warped plonky FM'd percussion sounds. super fat bass drums too.
Old 8th November 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
i would like to point out that the Revolution is also a MIDI/CV converter.
Pretty sweet bonus feature if you ask me.
Old 8th November 2006 | Show parent
  #26
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignatius ➑️
http://www.ignatiusmusic.com/dudebounce.mp3

if you come accross a FR-777 for a decent price.. buy it.
Nice track!

Is the 777 for sale anywhere? When I finally had the cash and opportunity to get it, it had just gone out of production. Would love to get one. Any hints on where to search?


Found some more info on the weird filter on the x0x page: http://wiki.jonnay.net/x0x/voltagecontrolledfilter


Cheers,

Andreas N
Old 8th November 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupo ➑️
Hi!
Nice track!

Is the 777 for sale anywhere? When I finally had the cash and opportunity to get it, it had just gone out of production. Would love to get one. Any hints on where to search?
thanks

if you check analog haven they get a used one every once in a blue oon..buti haven't seen one there for a good 6 months.

http://www.analoguehaven.com/

other than that you're left w/ebay. they have gone UP in price though. the mod routings are simply juicy and you can make some really beasty leads w/it. as well as running it in a more standard 303 mode.
Old 9th November 2006 | Show parent
  #28
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Cojo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknosmoker ➑️
Thanks for the offer to post additional samples.

It would be cool to hear dry samples of the 2 separate waveforms (saw & square) with the filter sweeping from completely open to completely closed - perhaps once with no resonance, then a second time with full resonance.
Hi glad you liked it. Here is one sequence played twice, once with square wave and once with saw.

The sequence starts with a pure wave, no cutoff or resonance or anything else for that matter. As the sequence progress I have dialed the knobs in the following order:

1. cutoff from 0 to max and remain at max
2. resonance 0 to max and remain at max
3 cutoff from max to 0 and remain at 0
4. accent from 0 to max and remain at max
5. cutoff from 0 to max and remain at max
6. resonance from max to 0

A little compression is done while recording to level out the difference between no resonace an resonace.

/Cojo
Attached Files

SAW.mp3 (1.97 MB, 577 views)

SQR.mp3 (1.63 MB, 512 views)

Old 11th November 2006 | Show parent
  #29
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teknosmoker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cojo ➑️
Here is one sequence played twice, once with square wave and once with saw.

/Cojo
Thanks again for the samples Conny!

I'm surprised that the piece didn't get more recognition than it did, as for such an inexpensive synth, it has a nice analog oscillator & filter. It beats the hell out of all the softsynths I've head.

I couldn't see using it to replace a 303, but it certainly has a unique character to it. I may have to pick one up someday if I see it on the cheap.

-T
Old 11th November 2006 | Show parent
  #30
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Cojo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknosmoker ➑️
Thanks again for the samples Conny!

I'm surprised that the piece didn't get more recognition than it did, as for such an inexpensive synth, it has a nice analog oscillator & filter. It beats the hell out of all the softsynths I've head.

I couldn't see using it to replace a 303, but it certainly has a unique character to it. I may have to pick one up someday if I see it on the cheap.

-T
Yes, it's probably one of the best "synth for little money" you can get. I havn't used it in a while but this thread made me take away the dust from it and replace it in the rack!

I definatly think you should find one for yourself. Yo can get one for about100€ if you look around!

/Cojo
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