Synth Site: Boss: DR 550 MKII: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Anthony a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Had this machine for quite some time now, mebbes 10 yrs or so, although to be honest it has been boxed for some of those, at the moment it sits nicely ontop of my emaxII and quite happily bashes out whatever i put into it. A few things, this thing has no memory so whatever you program into it bear in mind that you will have to save, verify and load back in after youve switched the box off. If you can be bothered to do this it can hold quite a few patterns and 8 songs that can be chained. It has quite a few features for its size, anything you bash in is automatically quantized which can be handy or annoying depending on tastes, you can choose from a number of time signatures ie 4/4 3/4 2/4 etc, the number and quality of sounds is quite good (I cant speak for the Mk2 i have a MK1) plenty of stuff to make things interesting, Hi-Hats are canny good, snares also congas etc, bass drums- some are shite some are okay, a few more bongos or something instead of those cheesy scratches would be nice but hey...you can add sustain to the sounds and change its colour (similar to tone) to make them a bit more interesting, it will MIDI sync to other sequencers etc (although only has a MIDI in) has 2 output jacks. I see them go for about 50 quid on Ebay quite often, ive thought about selling it but i never will cos its a great piece of kit to bash out some simple rhythms (and more complex ones if you can be arsed to save them to tape!) Only thing with mine is that the MIDI in port is buggered and leads need to be wiggled or taped into position or else it stops and starts and it hums audibly, does anyone elses? part from that 4 out of 5!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-20-2002 at 05:09
lvon a hobbyist user from San Diego, US writes:
i found a manual for this sucka online: http://img.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pdf/ts/700550ts.pdf

e-me if necessary, by cleaning up my address, because I_DONT_LIKE_SPAM_ (remove the NO_SPAM_ part)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-28-2002 at 23:02
Dale a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Hey There! I've had the DR550 for about 12 years now. It is very dependable and sounds good even still today! It rocks! I haven't any hands-on experience with other drum machines, but I have heard samples of SR16's and that doesn't sound any better, really. Run it(DR550)through effects for the best results and it sounds "professional".

I didn't have any prior sequencing or computer experience at all, so it was a real pain in the ass learning to program my own beats (I hate Freakin' jungle beats/ethnic sounds and weird crap like that!)The presets are full that junk and I had to erase them to program some real drum patterns!

I like symphonic rock,blues and metal and I needed drumbeats that sounded progressive ala Rush or something heavier like KISS or Dokken! You can achieve these sounds by tweaking the parameters to your liking. You can alter the color,decay,duration of the drum sounds to do this!:) You achieve any gener of drums sounds this way, but takes work!

The "manual" is not real helpful as it seems to be translated from chinese to english, poorly. It is confusing as it explains things wrong or in the wrong sequence of procedures to do things! Sometimes they refer to things(terms) assuming you know what they're talking about without explanation!

It is limited in the Midi area(Has 1 in) as someone else mentioned earlier, but that's a small inconvenience,really. You can always record it out of the stereo outputs into a WAV. file for recordings on the pc. or saving your songs and settings to floppy disk via pc.

I still sounds better than alot of the drum kits out there today on the workstations that i've heard recently!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-17-2002 at 14:55
Scouse Liam a hobbyist user from liverpool, eng writes:
I just bought this yesterday and am quite impressed. If its guitar shit that turns you on then its ideal, hang the Dj.

posted Wednesday-May-08-2002 at 09:41
Raoul deTasteless a professional user from Canada writes:
Good god lads, it's not that complex a machine to need a book with it! I'm sure the nice people at Roland/Boss can get you one for a small fee.

Good sounding little box, a bit dry though. Major failing = lack of midi out or thru, so it has to be at end of midi chain. Pleasantly quiet (for roland gear), but really needs some external verb to shine.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-14-2002 at 21:55
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