Build Your Own TB303!

TM3030 Roland TB303 clone

As Fatboy Slim once said, “Everybody Needs a 303“.

Unfortunately, this means that getting a used Roland TB303 is usually expensive or impossible.

If you’re a DIY’er, though, Oakley Sound has announced the TM3030, a MIDI-controlled Roland TB303 bassline clone designed to sound good, be easy to build and use no really difficult to get parts. The design has the same controls as a 303 (tune, waveshape, cut-off, resonance, envelope sweep, decay time, accent and volume) but not the sequencer functions. Check out the X0XB0X for a clone with sequencer.

Tony Allgood is the designer behind the TM3030, and it’s an evolution of the Oakley TB3030, a previous clone that many consider virtually indistinguishable from a real TB303 (check out the sound sample, below).

The TM3030 adds a MIDI interface designed by Sequentix, the creators of the P3 Sequencer. By careful analysis of the original unit, Sequentix created a MIDI interface that allows the TM3030 to behave as a real unit would do if you could feed it MIDI messages. The all-important acid slides and accents are faithfully reproduced.

This unit contains no internal sequencer. However, you can use any computer or hardware sequencer to can create acid lines. Sounds like a great job for a FR Mobius.
This looks like it will be an awesome project for DIY’ers. I’ve built several of Tony’s MOTM-format synth modules, and they were uniformly excellent. In fact, it would be great to see an MOTM-format build option for the 3030, with CV inputs. Tony?

Boards and chips will be available for order in late February 2007. Details at the Oakley Sound site.

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