The 303 by it's very nature is a pretty quirky instrument. As we all know the sound of the 303 is basically the sound of acid house... But did you know that an original 303 will write its own melodies and loops?
This little nugget of 303 mythology comes from our friends over at DinSync.info, creators of some damn fine 303 eurorack clone modules amongst other modules. The owner Paul Barker could be seen as a walking encyclopedia on the 303!
The 303 "writes" its own loops as a by product glitch of the battery system. A small capacitor was included in the circuitry that would hold the memory for 60 seconds so that you could change the batteries for new ones. Leaving the batteries out for longer than that however means that the 303 gradually doesn't have enough power to retain the memory intact. Over time this memory corrupts further.
"In the way the 303 works, it doesn't flush the memory so you end up with new patterns and remixed old ones, its mad."
Originally the 303 didnt have a function to copy and paste patterns but another quirk of the technology allows you to copy and paste, this is also related to how the memory works, its all in this video:
I have always still wanted a 303, even though I know it is completely ridiculous to buy one these days and there are some great clones out there, to have an original 303 and sit and make acid all day is just too damn attractive... or you could always buy a eurorack clone and have the freedom to experiment!