Thursday, 25 February 2016

Roland/Boss DR 202 - Dr Groove

Boss Dr. Groove DR-202 Drum.
This is one of the very first drum machines I ever bought. I dusted it off the other day with the intention
to sell it. The DR-202 from BOSS was produced between 1998 - 2002.
It's still (surprisingly) holding it's value on ebay. It's really more than just a drum machine. I might just keep it that little bit longer.

How can I best describe it? ... compact programmable rhythm/drum machine that is very easy to use. Runs on batteries (6 x AA) or a 9V DC adapter (centre negative). Small enough to put into my backpack, but not as compact as the modern Korg Volcas. It does have more features like midi out, and the sequencer is more powerful. It's really a drum & bass machine. It's all digital (as far as I know).
This definitely effects the sound. They are not your producer quality 16 bit sample. But it has it's place if you're searching for low-fi sounds.
Midi in / out (selectable to thru). Sadly just RCA outputs and a mini headphone out.
Control changes can be output via MIDI; can also be used as 24-voice MIDI sound module
There are 207 drum & 49 bass sounds arranged into 128 kits.
The drum was developed for groove music styles like hip-hop, jungle, drum 'n' bass, trip hop, new jack, east coast, west coast, house, Latin, etc.

There are over 400 patterns made up of
- Hip Hop 1: 49 patterns
- Hip Hop 2: 34 patterns
- Hip Hop 3: 36 patterns
- Jungle: 16 patterns
- Drum 'N' Bass: 51 patterns
- Techno: 51 patterns
- House: 36 patterns
- Acid Jazz: 39 patterns
- Latin: 24 patterns
- Rock: 34 patterns
- Other: 30 patterns
- User: 100 patterns
- 20 programmable songs

You can find your classic TR 707, TR-808, TR-909 and TB-303 & CR 78, SH 101 sounds, Lo-Fi drum samples, various synth basses, sound effects. ... mainly Roland sounds.
The 13 instrument pads. 
These are marked with a C to C scale and the names of a basic drum kit: Kick 1, Snare 1, Open HH, Hit 1 and so on. The pads can be played like a piano or to trigger the drum sounds.
 What they do depends on the chosen kit. You can change to other preset and custom kits while patterns are running.

The way the pads are laid out gives you 2 kicks, 2 snares, 2 hi hats (one open, one closed), a ride, a crash, 2 percussion, and 3 hit pads. Each pad also has a separate send to the effects & the effects can also be applied to all the drums at once.
Effects - Reverb (8 types)/ Delay (2 types), Flanger (4 types).
The reverb effects range from halls to rooms, each with adjustable decay time and level.
The two types of delay are a panning delay and a stereo delay. The delay time can be set in milliseconds (5-450mS) or in bpm-related time divisions (10 settings from half-note triplets to sixteenth note triplets).
 There are on-board realtime control knobs for adjusting cutoff, resonance and decay parameters (for instant tweaking of individual instrument sounds);
This is actually a bank of 14 individual digital filters. 13 are for the percussion, and one for the bass.
The instrument knob on the left selects which drum, bass or combination of the two is being modified.

A 3-track sequencer  for the rhythm track, bass track plus a external source track for triggering a sampler or other MIDI device. The sequencer offers a 13-part drum track and a dedicated bass track that lets you build a rhythm from scratch in either step or live edit modes. Sequencer resolution: 96 ppqn.
 Up to 20 complete songs can be stored in the DR-202's internal memory.

For more info on the history of  Roland Drum Machines click here

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