How to Program a Roland TB-303 (RE-303)/ Various tips and tricks compiled by Matthew Crispell
NOTE: Here are some useful tips and tricks that I compiled into a text document on how to program a TB-303. It does not cover the steps on how to enter a Bassline but it does cover some of the more obscure tricks on how to make the 303 do some really cool production stuff. Most of the useful information was transcribed directly from Din Syncs awesome youtube videos. I never would have been able to figure these things out by reading the TB-303 manual.
How to make real ACID patterns on a TB-303:
Remove the batteries and put them back in and the 303 will randomly populate its pattern banks with whatever the ghost in the machine feels like. (Courtesy of Jammin' Unit)
How to Clear a Pattern:
You must be in WRITE mode.
Select the pattern you want to clear
Hold down BAR and then hit PATTERN CLEAR
Setting the number of steps in a pattern:
Clear the Pattern
Hold BAR - Hit STEP (9) - (Hit the STEP key the number of steps that you want the pattern to be.)
Hit TIMEMODE and enter the timing information
How to enter the 'groove' of a pattern (Courtesy of Frank Heiss & Dr. Walker):
You must be in WRITE mode
The pattern must be playing
Hit RUN/STOP and then enter the 'groove' by tapping the WRITE/NEXT button to the metronome. (Listen for the downbeat on the metronome to know when you are at the very beginning of the pattern playback.)
-You can hit the button once or hit it fast and then slow and also hold the button down to hold notes over time.
-You can also NOT hit the button or NOT hold the button to insert silence in that area of the pattern.
-Clear the Pattern if you want to try again if you do not like the 'groove' you just entered.
How to Copy Patterns on a TB-303:
1. First clear any patterns that you will be copying to.
2. STOP the machine
3. NOTE: The first step of the pattern will be corrupted when you copy it to a new pattern. Also, the TIME MODE informationinformation is not copied. Hit PITCH MODE to find the first NOTE Remember the NOTE that is lit as well as the lights that are lit up underneath UP/DOWN/ACCENT/SLIDE
4. Hit the TAP key to hear that first note.
5. Hit FUNCTION
6. Go to the Pattern you want to copy to.
7. Go straight to TIME MODE without hitting anything else.
8. Enter the TIMING that you desire.
9. Hit PITCH MODE
10. This is where you enter that first note that was corrupted because you remembered it. You also enter the UP/DOWN/ACCENT/SLIDE information because you remembered that as well.
11. Hit WRITE to rewrite that first note into memory - the rest of the steps will be there because those did copy over.
How to tie patterns together in TRACK MODE as well as cause those patterns to SHIFT OCTAVES if desired:
1. If you are using MIDI SYNC via a DIN SYNC box you need to unplug the midi cord from the TB-303.
2. Select the WRITE/TRACK setting as your MODE
3. Hit PATTERN CLEAR
4. START the Sequencer by hitting RUN/STOP
5. Select your first pattern you wish to play in the sequence and hit NEXT. (See NOTE below)
6. NOTE: You can alternate between Pattern Groups by selecting either 'A' or 'B' pattern group. Each group can contain up to 8 patterns.
7. NOTE: You may also enter transpose (octave shift) information for that entire pattern. Hold down PITCH MODE and then select the a note to shift to. It will play the whole pattern in that KEY. You need to enter this KEY information before hitting NEXT each time. You do not have to enter the KEY information if you don't want to.
8. Select the second pattern you want to play in the sequence, enter the KEY information if desired and hit NEXT.
9. Select the third pattern you want to play in the sequence, enter the KEY information if desired and hit NEXT.
10. Select the fourth pattern you want to play in the sequence, enter the KEY information if desired and hit NEXT.
11. BEFORE you enter the FINAL PATTERN you must hit PATTERN CLEAR then hit NEXT
12. Switch to PLAY/TRACK MODE
13. Hit PATTERN CLEAR to bring it back to the start of the sequence.
14. You can plug midi sync back in if you need it to sync up to midi.
How to Program a Roland TB-303 (RE-303)/ Various tips and tricks compiled by Matthew Crispell aka Thee Unthuziast