Anyone out there used the new Boss DR-880 yet? Likes? Dislikes?
Anyone out there used the new Boss DR-880 yet? Likes? Dislikes?
I saw it today locally at the Guitar Center..spent about 45 minute tinkering around with it. Sounds are awesome, lots of flexiiblity for composing patterns. I downlodaded the manual and am reading it right now to decide if I want to take the plunge...the older I get , the less I want to deal with the learning curve...but sang, it sounds really great adn the bass guitar sounds are good.. as a keyboard player, the guitar effects are not that important but would be fun if a buddy came over I suppose.
I use mine every weekend in the studio. Can't say enough good about it. If you are going to spend the money, keep on going up to the 880, it is well worth it.
The opinons above are mine and mine alone.
OK, so I bought one a while ago and am now trying to figure out how to use it most effectively.
Here's my problem: My first project is to use it to store a rhythm track that I want to use to back myself up for live performance (I'll be playing guitar and singing). I want the DR-880 to play both bass and drums.
My first problem is that I want the DR-880's bass lines to avoid repetition, but to have a constant rhythmical pulse from the drums. Because a pattern is always bass *and* drums, I think I have to manually repeat the drums in each pattern.
So is the following a sensible strategy? Pick a convenient phrase length--say, 4 measures--and lay down an appropriate drum pattern. Then copy that as necessary and add the kind of convoluted, meandering bass line I'm looking for. Finally, combine the patterns as needed into a song.
If I do this, and there is a part in which I want to repeat a pattern several times, is there any way of doing this short of incorporating the pattern several times into the song? I couldn't find it in the manual.
I wish Boss would make a program that I could use to edit the patterns on my computer and upload them to the DR-880...
I really wish boss would make a drum machine that didn't allow you to press sounds on the pads or program it with their horrible step sequencer, and just let the machine take/store midi instructions and play the samples within it.
Editing on one of these is ridiculous and BOSS is pushing this concept that there's someone who could afford this drum machine but not a computer from 20 years ago to edit simple MIDI sequences. If BOSS "made a program" it would be terrible compared to the easy and free MIDI editors already available, and not only that but it would lead you to question how they can tack on so many useless features into these machines instead of simply stripping them down and assuming their user has a laptop or computer available to program the machine with.
I guess if you have no computer and no knowledge of MIDI it is important to include a terrible step sequencer on your drum machine with tiny rubber pads to make sounds for the last few decades.
The short answer is that they could strip most of the junk off of this and someone programming it via a computer would never miss it. They would make less money though, so you won't see it any time soon.
I'm perfectly capable of using MIDI. The trouble is that the DR-880 doesn't offer a straightforward way of uploading a MIDI file into its memory. You have to import the file, then go through this little dance to tell it where you want to put the file.
And if a pattern is already in the DR-880's memory, I can't see any way to get it out short of playing it back and capturing the playback.
I earnestly meant that you can program in a MIDI host and simply play the drum machine via MIDI IN. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of Boss' really terrible interface. I still can't fathom how they can make such and advanced bit of technology at the same time it is painfully remedial.
You are correct in that you cannot output patterns. Huge fail on boss' part.
You are also correct that the "dump" method is pretty bizarre. They've gotten the complicated part out of the way with allowing USB/MIDI for transfer, but then require the issues you've referred to.
The absolute worst part of this machine is the inefficient way "patterns" are used. Perhaps it is a english/japanese language gap but there is nothing patternlike about this.
for example, if you have a drum pattern that's 4 bars but you want an 8 bar bass pattern over it, you can't just overlap them. You have to store 2 unique patterns one with one half of the bass, and a 2nd with the other half. with the exact same drums over it. Then you play "pattern 1" then "pattern 2" for your song.
Now do the math: say your drum part had 16 high hat notes, 8 bass drum notes, and 4 snare notes. Say your bassline had 32 total notes.
This requires you to store 2 patterns. The drums are storing 28 notes TIMES TWO. 56. The bass 32. That's 88 notes total. Lets say the song refers to "2 patterns" for a bit more storage required. 1 song referring to 2 patterns referring to 88 notes.
Now, lets pretend you could store the 16 high hat notes in its own pattern, 8 drum notes, etc.
Right there, you're only storing 28 drum notes, 32 bass notes and 4 patterns that can now be referred to and stacked however you'd like in that one song.
They would need a "pattern group" per count. So in the real usage its linear. A song is "pattern 1 -> pattern 2 -> etc"
this could be "pattern1+pattern2+pattern3 -> pattern2+3 -> pattern1 -> pattern1+pattern2 -> etc"
Of course that's really, really, really easy to do with external midi software.
Look at fruity loops' step sequencer for how it should be done. You should simply be able to say "pattern 1" is just highhats, "pattern 2" is a bass riff, and "pattern 3" is bassdrum. Then be able to program when the patterns play and don't play.
It is a massive waste of memory (which is ridiculously limited on this machine) to have a 16th note highhat pattern and then have to cut and paste it underneath any variation you want to use. you *SHOULD* just store that pattern once and declare "play patternXXX" every time you want to play it. Not store it over and over again...
And that's why I say that really roland should just get rid of the programming features of this box and create a box that simply stores/has sounds and takes midi in/out.
A $300 laptop can do way, way, way, way, way, way, way, more than this thing ever will.
You're quite right -- I can simply use the DR-880 as a sound module. What I was hoping for, though, was an easy way to take drum/bass patterns that I compose on a computer (e.g., using Ableton Live) and upload to a smaller device that is less complicated and fragile to use than a laptop. That's kind of why I bought the DR-880 in the first place, and I'm disappointed that it doesn't offer that.
Hello Ark, did you check the Boss SP-606 ? it has sampling capabilities, a software from Cakewalk for you to biuld your own patterns, a 4 tracks sequencer, and it's only $200 more than the dr 880.
It's a little late to switch now, as I have already bought the 880. Anyway, I would like to stay in the pure MIDI domain.
But since my last posting, I've learned a lot about the DR-880.
The main problem, I think, is that the manual is full of details but doesn't say much about strategy, so it was hard for me to figure out how to get it to do what I wanted it to do. But I think I'm getting the hang of it.
What kind of surprises me is that there appears to be no way to repeat a pattern as part of a song. That is, if I have a 4-measure pattern and I want it to fill 16 measures in the song, I have to call for the pattern four times.
On the other hand, I have found that the "EZ-Compose" feature is more flexible than I had expected, because when I'm done, I can save the pattern that results and edit it separately.
i guess most of you are familiar with the dr 880 and its qualities.. but what about the memory ??? is it my poor ability or is the memory really limited ??? altough the user manual says 100 songs.. i can hardly save 5 songs on the dr 880
is a laptop and the usb port the only way to handle a reasonable number of songs ?
if anyone has a better solution ..please post .. i love the dr 880 for the sounds.. the efects too although limited... and the bass, but how am i supposed to program if i can save ???
I have had mine for a month and a half now and hope to get this thread going again. I LOVE the sounds in this 880. It sounds better than any other drum machine i have ever had and I have had quite a few now. The sounds in this are the best i have heard. I also have EZ drummer and none of the kits sound as good as the 880 sounds.
Does anyone know how to turn off the metronome when recording in real time?
The manual is somewhat repetitive and I can not find anywhere on turning the metronome on or off or even how to turn it down.
How do I use my PC software ezdrummer to write midi drum files and down load the midi file / pattern into the 880? does anyone know how to do this?
I've also got the boss dr.rythm 880 and just got the ez drummer, I would very like to know how to program the ez drummer with midi and then transfer my beats to the 880. The programming part on the 880 totally sucks! It's so hard to program on it and very hard to have and overview of what you're doing if that makes sence. I too would like to get this thread going cause i think we could get something really interesting learning out of it. go this thread!
Hey! Lots of people looking but nobody is saying anything. I just brought the DR-880 and found a lot of online demos at http://www.bossus.com For what it's worth it is a good place to start.Originally Posted by Cobra
I purchased one for use in a live band. The DR880 is a TRAIN WRECK for live use. I have used many drum machines, however this thing is NOT for live use. I was allready using the dr770 and went back to it. The 880 sounds great but it is NOT user friendly for stage use, at least it was not for me. I took it back to the store.
Last edited by charbobs; 11-07-2008 at 04:24 AM.