Sunday, 25 January 2015

Korg SR-120 (Mini Pops 120) Drum Machine.

The Korg SR-120 came out in 1976.
In that same year Korg also produced the Mini Pops MP120, the Mini Pops MP35  & the Mini Pops MP 45 Rhythm Machine.
The SR-120 is identical to the MP-120. This was the final drum which Korg produced under the mini pops label.... and was supposed to be their best. It has all the bells and whistles.

She boasted 6 sounds (BD, SD, Cy/HH, low conga, high conga, claves) and 16 presets (slow rock, swing, bossa nova, beguine, rumba, mambo, samba, waltz, tango, polka, foxtrot, march, rock 1 to 4).
making 32 patterns.
The sounds esp the Kick are awesome.

The Korg 120W

This version has a wood case, but they also came covered with tolex.
The cube shape also seems to be catching on both with Roland & Korg. Roland's CR78 is just two years away.

Korg, in addition to the tolex version, re-branded these as Univox SR-120s which came in a road case with lid & handle (the 120-P).
Another important point to make about the 120 is its use of a ROM (read only memory) chip to store the patterns. Looks like the identity of the ROM is a AmericanMicro Semiconductor uPD471D


The Roland CR-68 & 78 also followed this trend with ROM chips too.
Earlier machines of both companies used what's called a diode matrix to store the patterns.

The mini pops 120 schematics indicate the use of both a diode matrix and a ROM chip.
The diodes are easy to fix. However replacing a integrated circuit made in 1976 is much trickier, if you can't find a replacement chip.

There are lots of mods for this machine if you can find one that works.
A good place to start is here:
For more info on the history of Korg Drum Machines Click Here

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