Enter our 303 Day Sound Design Contest

The TB-303 from Roland has its own day on the calendar (March 3rd, or 3-03!). This year we decided to join the celebrations by running a 303-themed sound design contest.

The TB-303 from Roland is truly an iconic bit of kit. So much so that it has its own “day” on the calendar (On March 3rd, or “3-03”!). This year we have decided to join the celebrations by running a 303-themed sound design contest. The three best entries will win three Content Banks of their choice each!

One great thing about Phase Plant, apart from its amazing sound, intuitive design, and incredible flexibility, is that it comes with all the ingredients to cook up almost any sound you can imagine. This includes the basic ingredients used for that signature 303 sound, and a lot more besides. So for this contest, we’re challenging all sound design wizards out there to create the most impressive “303-inspired” Phase Plant patch that you can.

Now, we’re not talking about a one-to-one emulation of a TB-303. While that would be fun, it would be virtually impossible to faithfully recreate the actual synth and it would be hard to pick out the winners if every entry is essentially the same!

Nope. For this contest we want you to be inspired by the 303. Borrow some of the core concepts and build something new that still retains some of the original synth's DNA but is also its own beautiful thing.

To get you started, here are some of the most basic key elements that go into making that signature 303 sound:

  • A saw or square wave oscillator as the source signal
  • An envelope-controlled low-pass filter
  • High resonance (Q) on the filter
  • Accents
  • Slides

In the short video below you can see how to build these elements into a simple Phase Plant patch.

Of course, one significant 303 feature that Phase Plant doesn’t have (yet) is the sequencer. You could make on using modulators but, to make life easier, we’ve created a short MIDI sequence (see right column) for you that we will use to judge the entries to this contest.

So… are you ready to get your 303 on? Here are the simple rules for our contest:

  1. Maximum of one entry per person
  2. Entry to consist of one Phase Plant preset
  3. The preset must include a Preset Name and Author Name
  4. The preset must use at least three macros
  5. A demo WAV file may be submitted but isn’t a requirement
  6. All entries must be submitted by Midnight CET on Thursday 7th March
  7. GO WILD!

303s love effects and Phase Plant has an infinite supply. So there are no limits to the damage you can do to the 303 sound… just remember to keep some of that original character so we know it’s 303-inspired!

Some suggestions to mix things up could include:

  • Using different types of filters in different places in the signal chain
  • Using Curve modulators and LFO Tables instead of Envelopes for more interesting shapes
  • Using more Generators to add more layers
  • Involving randomisation
  • Effects. Effects. EFFECTS!

The team will assess all the entries using the MIDI file (see right column) with macro tweaking and judge them based on originality whilst retaining that 303 flavor.

The entry form is here. Three winners will be chosen and contacted via email to claim their three Content Banks.We will announce the winners on Monday 11th of March and contact them via the submitted email address. We can't wait to hear what you come up with.

Good luck!

Kilohearts Press Team Tuesday, February 20, 2024


MIDI file for your submission

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