Today (3 March) is otherwise known as ‘303 day’, a yearly event in which we pay tribute to one of the most influential synthesisers of all time, the Roland TB-303.
Released forty years ago this year, and famously discontinued two years later – having been shunned by musicians due to its poor similarities to a bass guitar – it would go on to be the fundamental building block of acid house, as producers such as DJ Pierre created a whole new musical movement from the unassuming grey box.
As Roland puts it on its website, “Before long, a full-on cultural revolution was underway… And through it all, the squelch of the TB-303 was the musical Morse Code that signaled that something exciting was underway.”
In the absence of actually owning a 303 (and the need to take out a second mortgage to afford it), thankfully Roland have come to the rescue with 808303.studio, an online TB-303 (and TR-808) emulator developed alongside the Design Museum and Japanese artist and musician Yuri Suzuki.
You can find it by clicking here.
It’s the perfect way to while away your lunchbreak… or, given the day that’s in it, most of the afternoon. What’s more, you can even record your desktop masterpieces for posterity.
Enjoy, and happy 303 day!