Sunday, October 26, 2008

x0xb0x SS#01: i. Preface

Like many electronic musicians, I've wanted a TB-303 for quite some time. Software emulation is all well and good (with the D16 Phoscyon taking the top spot for me these days) but after years and years of using virtual versions and junky presets on other synths and modules, I figured it was high time to stop chasing the dream and just go out and get one. It appears that my appetite for the true 303 sound can only be tamed by having at least one silver box in the studio.

This last year and a half has seen a significant price jump for a 303 though. For years a 303 cost about $1000. Now it's at least $500 more and appears to reach $3000. Someone called it a one trick pony somewhere and I couldn't agree more. Because $2000 is, imho, difficult to justify for this type of synth, I began ruling out the possibility of getting an original. Dammit! It looks like the real thing may be just beyond reach.

In my search for other alternatives the x0xbox came up. Other than it not being a "real" 303, it looks like it has everything I want and more: cloned circuitry, midi, DIN Sync for my 606, usb, options for mods, a healthy and helpful community, and plenty of documentation. Considering the total cost (minus my time) will likely be somewhere nearing the original price of a 303, I'd say this is the logical place to start. If I'm still not truly satisfied, I'll keep looking at the originals.

Since I've been getting back into electronics this last year, the x0xb0x will be perfect project because building it will be a great learning experience, it will achieve the same sound I'm after, and I won't feel like I'm sacrificing a classic instrument if I want to mod it.

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