Oh yes, the day is about to come that producers no longer have to consider lesser versions of the original acid sound in their studio set up, because there is a machine underway that is not a TB-303 clone, but an exact replica.
Synthopia reported that synth company Din Sync has finished the prototype of a RE-303 bass synthesizer which comes so close to the real sound of the legendary acid machine that it’s no longer a clone but “accurate enough to be considered a replica.”
The big difference with the popular 303 clones like the Cyclone TT-303, is that the RE-303 is not pre-assembled hardware, but a completely handmade, one on one copy of Roland’s classic machine. There is a catch however for those that wouldn’t qualify themselves as handy: the RE-303 is, for a part, a DIY product, as some of its parts need to be bought and installed by the buyer. According to DIN Sync, most parts are readily available, but either a real 303 CPU or Quicksilver CPU will be required for the sequencer.
Check out an interview with the creator and demo video below.
Q: What is the RE-303?
A: the RE-303 is a replica of the Roland TB-303 motherboard and switchboard
Q: Why do we need yet another 303 knockoff?
A: There have been many clones, I honestly wanted to make a genuine replica. Now the dead TB-303’s with broken motherboards can come back to life and new TB-303s can be born.
Q: Hasn’t this been done already?
A: Actually no, not in the purest form. We’ve had the x0xb0x which sounded very close but didn’t look the part. We’ve had the TT-303 which looks that part but is not a genuine replica of the original hardware. The RE-303 circuit boards have been made by dissecting a mint condition pristine TB-303 and manually recreating the board in CAD from the hardware rather than the service schematics. Every nuance and mistake in the hardware not in the service notes is recreated in the RE-303. It really is for all intents and purposes a TB-303.
Q: When can I get one?
A: As soon as they are ready, just post on the waiting list thread. By the nature of this project It’s likely to be limited, so first come first served.
Q: What about kits?
A: This is likely to never happen sorry, this project is probably going to be the most hardcore DIY many have tried. But it will be worth the effort!
Q: What about rare parts, the VCA and CPU, memory chips, switches pots etc etc.
A: There currently exist many solutions for these today and I’m actively working on some as part of the project.
Q: How long will this all take?
A: How long is a piece of string?