Make Your Own 303 – Introducing The x0xb0x

I first came across the site for this a little while back but by then they’d stopped shipping them due to demand taking over what they could supply. Step up Willzyx, the Taiwan based electronics guru and German based who’ve taken over the torch as suppliers for the parts of the now legendary x0xb0x.

Evidently the brain child of MIT Students, x0xb0x is a complete clone of the Roland TB-303. Not an emulator or a controller, but a replica.

via Ladyada

An original TB-303 was disassembled and reverse-engineered to verify the schematic. The original transistors were analysed using big expensive curve-tracers to determine their characteristics. We measured every waveform and counted every cycle to give you the best sound…its just like the original because it IS the original.

Last time I checked an original was going for around £1300 on ebay. For a quick overview (actually a slightly long-winded one) check the history of the Roland TB-303 below, a wicked documentary from 2005 by Nate Harrison.

…hence why I want one.

The x0xb0x was first created by Adafruit Industries, a ridiculously cool electronics store that specialises in DIY projects. A really friendly community, from what I gather the x0xb0x brought them a whole new market, which they wholeheartedly embraced. In fact they still run x0xb0x competitons – a type of forum based production contest where you create music using one.

The creators, on not being able to keep up with demand, made the plans and schematics open-source – meaning freely available to download so even though it’s discontinues you can still build your own, just download the plans and firmware here. As well as the sense of joy at your own creation, this can also lead to some killer customisation.

From there you can check Willzyx or where you can purchase all the parts to create a x0xb0x, and for those less inclined around hot metal to even solder the tricky bits for you.

It may not be number one but it’s definitely on the must-purchase list when there’s some spare cash floating about.