Tuesday, 25 November 2014

AceTone (Roland) FR-6 Rhythm Ace / TR-55

The FR-6 is more or less a 1972 Roland Rhythm TR-55. 

Above is the FR-6


Above is a TR-55. The layout is different from the FR6. The TR55 being more portable. And its got that cool touch sensitive start/stop button.

So there are lots of reincarnations of this machine. The Roland corporation began as AceTone.
In 1972 AceTone was sold but continued to make drum machines under that name.
In the UK, these machines were called "Bentleys". 

The FR-6 has the same 6 sounds as the Roland TR 55.  (BD, SD, Cy, low conga, high conga, claves)

There are 20 Presets: waltz, slow rock, ballad, rock'n roll, rumba, beguine, mambo, bossa nova, cha-cha, tango, samba, fox trot 1, fox trot 2, swing 1, swing 2, swing 3, march, haba-nera, bass snare, bass.

The preset patterns are the same on both the FR6 & TR55 (except for the TR-55's "Parade" rhythm which was substituted for "Haba-Nera" on the FR-6).

This machine is dripping with personality. The wooden box with the sloping front face is just stunning. It's all analog of course.
There is no trigger out or in so you will either have to mod this in order to sync with other gear or use something like an envelope follower.

I don't have the heart to touch this baby at all. It's too beautiful and should be left in its original condition.

The Balance Knob varies the sounds between HH & cymbals (higher frequencies) and the lower bass Drums. It's a joy to play with.

You can play more than one preset pattern at once. Combining these with the two Beat buttons opens up lots of variation in pattern.
For more info on the history of Roland Drum Machines click here

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