Hugs & Kisses & Bass

Looks like Jonnay\’s x0xb0x is on its way. I imagine Drew\’s has been shipped as well. I\’m on the waiting list. God only knows how long that thing is. I don\’t even know if I\’ll end up buying the kit in the end, but I figured I should get my name in there so there is a kit to buy.

So, what exactly is this thing, and why is it so friggin\’ hot? It\’s a clone of the Roland TB-303 which can be found used for somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000. The original (in case you can\’t be bothered to follow the link I put there) was only made from 1982-84, was a poor substitute for the bassist it was intended to replace, and gave birth to the genre now known as Acid Techno. It\’s been copied many times, but people always complain that the copies don\’t sound like the original. I\’m sure people will say the same about the x0xb0x. So why the interest? Because it\’s a kit, man! You build it yourself. Saves you money, teaches you hella.

Of course, for me, the money saving is illusory. I mean, I have to get a soldering iron, probably buy some books on how to do all this, and expend so much time, that it\’ll end up costing me more than a Future Retro 777. But the learning … that\’s what it\’s all about. I don\’t want to build models with my kids — I want them to learn to build real things, and understand the joy of creating something useful. Which means I gotta get them skills myself. Coding is all well and good, but building physical things just adds so much to the experience.

BTW, the title of this post (because I feel it\’s really too much a function of my own brain for other people to deduce) is because the name x0xb0x looks like the xoxoxox-style \”hugs & kisses\” people would put on letters and cards, especially such missives as are sent between grandparents and grandchildren. Plus, it has a b in among those x_es and _o_s … the _b is for bass.

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