Everybody Needs A 303

US Celebrating the bassline synthesizer on 303 day      03/03/22

Everybody Needs A 303

It's 3rd March so 303 day is upon us once again! I wonder if Roland ever realised they'd be making devices which would be celebrated every calendar year, in the 303, 606, 808, and 909! While we're on the subject, how did you celebrate MC-202 day? At this current juncture, we're going to make an excuse to share some of the most memorable 303-inspired content online. It's about to get squelchy!

303 Promotion


The 303 came from humble beginnings - this scan from a 1982 Roland brochure, courtesy of Neil Vance illustrates an early use-case, with Jazz musician Oscar Peterson, who promoted the machine on it's release. This gives you some idea of what Roland had in mind in the early 1980s; little did they know the scene it was about to create! 

303 Advertising 

Here's an original advert for the 303, taken from mu:zines and originally in Electronic Soundmaker, of December 1983. Roland do suggest using it with an 808 or 606 so they must have had a reasonable sonic idea of what it could get used for!

303 Song

Alex Ball's synthwerk is among the best, while being simultaneously informative and entertaining. Here he is explaining the TB-303 and it's history in song form! 

Online 303

Propellerhead's Rebirth was one of the first truly impressive software incarnations of the 303. Now you can replicate the masters and create your own acid masterpiece with this superb web-page 303 and 909!

303 Love
Richie Hawtin is a techno pioneer who has been making music since the early 90s. Here he is speaking about his love of the legendary machine: 

Since the day I first touched a Roland TB-303 I knew it was the machine for me. It wasn't just the sound that emerged from the little silver box, but also the way you interacted with it. The internal sequencer added to the sound with its own very particular timing nuances while the tiny dials pushed you to interact with the parameters with careful precision. 

More from him on his facebook post.

Legendary 303 

We've reported on JiltedGenerator and his incredible collection of The Prodigy memorabilia in the past - this has to be one of the most iconic: The TB-303 of Liam Howlett, as used on the Experience and Jilted Generation albums.  

303 Art

A few weeks back we shared some fine synth art; the most striking of which has to be this TB-303 from Nicola Dudich of CrazyOilArts! So vibrant and alive, I'm not sure anyone has ever captured the fun of using one in art form so well. 

303 Tutorial

If you've never tried to program a 303, you might think it's some kind of musical IQ test. Here's Doctor Mix, giving us a demo of how to program the machine in a methodical way, with some tips on using it. 

303 On Wheels

Not for the faint hearted, these two Dubai residents have taken their love of Acid house to the streets..and the roads! Your local health and safety officer would have a field day with them, but what a great way to pass the time on a long journey! Time for an extended mix, just don't get too into it! 

303 Cake

It had to happen, we couldn't complete this run down without a 303 cake could we?! Here's a fine example (there are others) from Tumblr - quite rightly awarded cake of the day. Very neat and tidy, it's almost photo realistic!  

303 For All

Finally, in his own homage to the groovy Bassline synthesizer; Fatboy Slim's states that 'Everybody Needs A 303! The B-Side to his world-beating 'Rockafella Skank' also featured a fresh take on that 303 line through some lovely distortion.

What are your fondest memories of the 303? 


About the author [midierror]: midierror makes nifty Max For Live devices, innovative music hardware, award winning sample packs and hosts a podcast speaking to people in the music world.

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