RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

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skkatter
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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by skkatter » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:43 pm

I currently own an original Roland TB303, two Avalon Basslines, a Midnight Engineering modified TT303 and an RE303 built by a good builder with the Sonic Potions CPU and my main problem with the RE303 is the OS, I wish it just acted exactly like the TB303 while I program it because that's what my fingers are used to. The RE303 with the Sonic Potions CPU doesn't act like a regular 303. Apparently there's a new CPU that copies the original CPU but I haven't that yet.

When it comes to the sound, the RE303 sounds quite close to the original TB303. But here we get into the minutiae. My mother can't tell the difference between a TB303, an RE303, a TT303, an Avalon Bassline or a TD3. However she's more of a Van Morrison fan than a DJ Pierre fan. So herein lies the problem. Some people think they all sound the same and some don't. If I was to rank everything I have heard from best to not so best (trying to take into account my subconscious bias which says the most expensive thing is best, so let me list the prices beside the object) I would rank them like this:: Roland TB303 (700 Euro in 2007), Avalon Bassline (1100 Euro with two filter carts in 2018), RE303 (1000 Euro in late 2018), TT303 (380 Euro in 2015, then another 500 Euro to get it pimped out in 2020, but it's still ranked below the above), TD-3 (150 Euro, I didn't buy this but I borrowed it off a friend a week ago in March 2020).

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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by DJMaytag » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:53 am

daveholiday wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:11 pm
Monofunk wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:44 pm
Let us know if there's a build quality issue or if that's simply how they are.
I got in touch with the builder...it seems that the spec pots (identical to the TB) just aren't that good. I am going to try to reach out to a couple other RE-303 owners and confirm. I will keep everyone posted.
Confirmed. The pots you get with the Space Cadet are absolute shit. I just ordered 3x of the ruggedized pot kits for my RE-303's, from Michigan Synth Works.

At least on the TB-303 and TR-606, the plastic case was molded in such a way to prevent the bad wobble. The way that the aluminum cases are made, there's no such built in stabilization.
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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by daveholiday » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:36 pm

So I have been living with the RE-303 for a couple weeks now and I dig it! Sounds good....plugged it into a ProCo RAT and instant acid bliss!

I spent some time learning the TB-303 programming method and it was a HUGE eye opener.

I don't think I have ever experienced a less intuitive programing experience in my entire life! I am not saying it is bad, but it is WAY out there compared to how I compose 303 like bass lines. I COMPLETELY understand the "happy accident" bit now. I was trying to do a side by side comparison with my Syntecno TeeBee. Holy Fuck....it took me 20 minutes (and lots of tries) to reproduce a simple sequence from a MIDI track. I had several "happy accidents" that sounded cool but what a chore!!

I would love some insight into why the fuck the programming is so cryptic. Does it make sense in some other context?

The whole 3 step process of doing pitches, then going back to do note times, then going back a third time to do slide and accent seems a bit much. :hmm: I am used to just handling pitch,time, accent/slide at the same time on a per step basis.

Anybody have any advice to help me wrap my head around this?
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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by Monofunk » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:12 pm

Older Roland equipment often features "cryptic workflow" that is not as "fast" as todays DAW-centric landscape but imo their designs are not a bore play with. Tedious at times yes.

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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by daveholiday » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:47 pm

Monofunk wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:12 pm
Older Roland equipment often features "cryptic workflow" that is not as "fast" as todays DAW-centric landscape but imo their designs are not a bore play with. Tedious at times yes.
I do have an MC-505 that adopted the TR style programming. It is a a treat to use, it seems to have taken all the past roland sequencer bits and combined the most intuitive parts in one 8 track sequencer. It is why I still use it as a sequencer sketchpad when working out of the box.

It has been fun trying to master the TB programming. I make it a challenge to sequence the line in my head. It NEVER fucking happens with the TB sequencer...but it is fun to hear the results of my fucked up mess!
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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by rayce » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:07 pm

As I had a rather substantial amount of free time all of a sudden I decided it was time to finally build my RE-303 Kit.

I designed and printed a case/knobs/buttons for it to give it a different look. I printed it with glow in the dark filament for fun :)

I think it sounds fantastic. I've gone through a number of clones and the real deal over the year (syntecno, xoxbox, tt303, tb303)

The Syntecno had its own unique character that I really liked. Thicker, heavier bassier but good acid tone.

XoXbox was good but was missing something. It made a great bass synth but it didn't have the same magic as the TB303. To be fair that might have been due to my build.

The TT303 was a passable imitation of a 303 but really felt like it was missing that special juju.

The RE-303 has it, it just freaking sounds awesome. Helps that I did a few mods to it, extended the range of cutoff and envmod, increased the resonance with the diceroll mod. Maybe I got lucky with the parts used. I tried to use as many vintage rare parts for the ICs and transistors as I could source.

Haven't played with a Behringer TD3 yet but have the yellow one on order. Curious how it will compare. Too much Acid??
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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by Monofunk » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:21 pm

That is a cool looking build.

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Re: RE-303 Opinions wanted (now that it has been in the "wild" for a bit.)

Post by daveholiday » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:56 pm

rayce wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:07 pm


The Syntecno had its own unique character that I really liked. Thicker, heavier bassier but good acid tone.
I agree completely, the Syntecno just sounds a bit more punchy. Throw in the Ring mod....Holy Shit! That Ring mod circuit Robbie added was a brilliant addition in my opinion. I use that over the saw or square 80% of the time!
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