The x0xb0x is not just another MIDI-controlled TB-303 clone. x0xb0x is a full reproduction of the original Roland synthesizer, with fully functional sequencer. The sequencer can be programmed just like the original 303 (ok its actually a little easier, we think) and can be used to control other synthesizers via any of its various output formats. 128 banks of track memory and 64 banks of pattern memory are stored in onboard EEPROM, no battery-backup is needed!
The x0xb0x (Adafruit edition) was available as a kit that includes all parts necessary to build a x0xbox: PCB, case with CNC machined faceplate, components, buttons and knobs, AC adaptor, pre-programmed microcontroller, and (of course) poorly xeroxed assembly manual*...You supplied the sweat & tears.
We have made 9 runs of 100 kits each. All but one of the components in the kit are through-hole.We had a great run and we are currently exploring how to best support this project in 2010 - so far we've made the project completely open source and we will have more updates in the month of April with what's next for our role with the x0xb0x.
Because of demand and time/cost to make these kits -starting in 2005 we created a "waiting list" where interested kit makers could sign up to be notified if and when the next run was available for purchase.This list was a "spot in line" for the kits Adafruit Industries may make based on pricing, time and demand. We did not accept any payment in any form until the kit was shipped and the listee was notified to place their order with a special password for that run. This worked out great, we never "held" funds unless a kit was sent. The waiting list was simply a "back in stock" notifier for potential x0x customers.
At this time (4/2010) the waiting list is closed and no longer will be used. Our data retinition policy for this list is mas follows -- We do not retain email addresses or names, if you signed up you can safely assume the list has been deleted, you will never be contacted by Adafruit or anyone else. We hate spam.If you have any questions please email email@example.com
p.s. x0xb0x is spelled with two zeros.
p.p.s. x0xb0x is pronounced "zocks box"
We tried a bunch of cases until we found one that we felt would be durable yet stylish. The x0xb0x has two CNC machined aluminium face places that fit into a reclosable ABS 'console' box. The top plate is also silkscreened. The x0xb0x is portable, but large enough for users to hack their own modifications in. We tried to put it in an altoids tin, no really, but it just wouldn't fit.
We have two--count 'em, two--analog electrical engineers with too much time on their hands working on this project. An original TB-303 was diassembled 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.
We tweaked our design until they sounded exactly the same
Our crazy German engineer obsessed over EVERY GODDAMN THING in this synth to make sure it was perfect. We sourced all of the original transistors and op-amps, even though it took months of harrassing people on the phone. Just deciding on which potentiometers to go with took three solid weeks of searching through catalogs. (Its a good thing he's unemployed or he would have been fired for not leaving the house.)
It took us 6 months, but we tracked down the original transistors: 2SK30A JFET, 2SC536F NPN, 2SA733P PNP, 2SC2291 & 2SC1583 matched pairs, LA4140 (the original headphone amp), BA6110 (equivalent to BA662) OTA, AN6562 (original op-amp)
No less than 40 LEDs adorn the x0xb0x.
Plug this baby into your computer, using a standard USB port. Our Java software will control the x0xb0x, or let you save/edit stored patterns and tracks in the onboard memory.
x0xb0x has all the I/O you could ever need:
- MIDI in, out, and thru
- DIN Sync (in or out, selectable)
- CV and Gate (1/8" jacks)
- Audio: headphone, mix-in and line-level out (1/4" jacks)
- USB for computer interface & control
DC Jack, Headphone, CV, Gate, USB, Mix-in, MIDI jacks, Line out, DIN Sync (shown w/clear acrylic panel. kit panel is aluminium!)
We added a couple extra modes to make the x0xb0x more fun than the rest
- Random mode: fill a pattern bank with random notes, or have it just play random notes
- Keyboard mode: just like those casios you had as a kid. Press the keys and sound comes out!
- Rotary encoder tempo knob: for finer control over the tempo, or you can set the tempo via computer control mode
- Firmware upgradable: the C code is written for AVR-gcc, any Mac/Linux/Windows computer can be used to recompile new code for the x0xb0x. Reprogram using the x0xb0x software with USB. Mess something up? You can always revert back to the original firmware.
The x0xb0x will never become 'discontinued,' because it is fully documented and released (under an appropriate open-source license). The PCB files (schematic, board, BOM and gerbers), firmware, software and panel DXFs are available for download. Even after we sell all the kits, you will still be able to build your own x0xb0x.
We do this because we love you.
The first revision PCB...oh how long its been...