Gearslutz (
-   Reviews (
-   -   KIT Boss Dr-880 Dr.Rhythm (Drum Machine) (

A.K 27th April 2012 10:33 PM

Boss Dr-880 Dr.Rhythm (Drum Machine)
Ok Guys, this is my very first entry as i am a new member to this community... I typed this machine and is not showing in the search and i understand it’s not the best in the market, but for the relation between the price, size, sound and functionality i think is worth having a go at it.

Most of what i have in my studio was largely discussed anyway....

So let me state that in my personal opinion it is undervalued piece of a gear, to me this is a power set of quality drums, percussions and bass sounds.
And let me tell you they sound just as i would want the drum machine to sound, great !!! Sounds come from Roland World Famous Srx Libary.

The unit at first feels small but this can also be an advantage for it’s compact size and if you are use to big pads like Akai Mpc for example it will take some time to get use to , be patient is worth it.

Very quickly you get dragged in to a massive presets library where you can finds just about any style of drums and top it up with a bass if you want to, this is very handy as the drums and bass have separate knobs which allows you to make fast decisions on what’s best or what you want to use.

Apart from the presets you can choose a large number of different feels and styles for every preset, you can edit the sounds add efx , modify the groove any way you like it. very quickly you will realise that this small machine has a lot to offer.

You also have a separate knob for a guitar or bass which is great for a jamming sessions or any type of recording .

At the back : Unbalanced I/O , digital out, Midi I/O, Usb , Individual outs and exp pedal.

What i really like is that you can easily run this machine in to your DAW set up a Midi track for it and a separate Au track, as there is no dedicated plug in you need to be smart with your routing, then record that midi...that if you find programming difficult on the unit itself. You can just program it in your favourite DAW. This is what i do all the time and the machine will play back any changes you make to the recorded midi on your screen. Lot more editing power, and you can map your midi to a different controller if you think this pads are to small... Handy !!!!

Navigating the unit and getting to know all the exits is fairly easy but there is a lot to it so it will take some time to master. For a semi-pro producers like my if you just wanna plug and go it will take you two minutes to set it up so there is a flexibility for everyone i guess.

If you want to get really technical have look at the link i have included what i am doing here is just a personal round up... I know there are better ways for all the professional guys here, there are things that probably sound better then Dr-880, but i am sure there are also many guys here that would not turn this Little Big Machine (What I call it ) down...

So thumb up for Dr880, worth the money 100%, one of the best all in one units i have come across, highly recommended .

Wow, that’s a lot i guess so if you got to this point thank you for reading i hope this was helpfull :-)

jukeboxjoe 10th August 2020 03:54 AM

I write this review not as a live track-using musician, but as a songwriting home recorder and a DAWless tracker (I only use a DAW for editing). This is the funnest and best drum (and bass) sequencer I've ever composed on (with great guitar effects to use as well!).

Sound quality is top notch - the most realistic drum samples I've ever heard. Sure, you could scour the internet for your own drum samples (been there done that) and try to build and tweak (and tweak and tweak) your perfect kit - or - you can just use the built in well thought out kits in this one that are already perfectly balanced, complete with velocity sensitive changes in sound and the killer feature I've never seen on another drum machine: ghost notes.

Flams are easy, bass slides are not (but they're doable), and the COSM guitar effects are what they are (ie, very capable and fun). The bass guitar string layout is genius. Step recording is a pain but worth it if you're retentive about perfect bass feel like me.

While sound is its best feature, the wait time to write changes is its worst. It takes a full 20 seconds (which is why I gave a 3 to Ease of use), but once you get used to that (hard as it sounds, you actually do get used to it), the patience totally pays off, knowing you're getting such good realistic sounds. But that wait time could be the second biggest turn off that would make you want to get rid of it and go back to more popular drum programming solutions. I would tell you... hold tight. It pays off.

But the single biggest turnoff for people will be the learning curve... NOT because it's particularly difficult - I mastered it in about 3 - 4 hours - but because 99% of musicians aren't willing to put in 3 - 4 solid hours learning something right. But once again, patience will pay off. The manual is great, contrary to everyone's complaints about it. It's perfectly accurate, user friendly even. It's just a lot of reading. But that's not the fault of the unit. It does SO much there's a lot to cover, and the manual does it perfectly. There's an instructional DVD out there that I bought but rarely needed once I bothered reading the whole manual.

Bottom line: if you're into old school drum machining, I think this is the best of the dying breed. I could not be happier with it, and I would buy it again and again and again.

As for running out of space, it couldn't be easier to quickly back up the files to a computer, clear it out and start again, restoring your backed up patterns and songs any time.

My one wish would be to have the exact same unit with no space restriction and most of all - faster write times.

Other than these two legit complaints, I could not be happier with this unit. The single most important thing in a drum machine to me is: does it sound real. And it sure does. More real than any other alternative I've tried, including software based drum machines.