Boss DR-880 Reviews4.6/5.0 based on 17 customer reviews
There is a good chance that you are on this page because your old drum machine just does not cut it anymore. So, who is the customer for the DR-880 and why do you need it? In my experience this drum machine is for the customer who needs better sounding drum samples, and the ability to control pattern changes and BPMs live. There are a lot of one-man bands out there or groups with accordians, banjos, guitars, or keyboards that need drums for their performances and are not sure which drum machine to choose. I'm here to tell you that this is the box you need. It comes with country, bluegrass, classic rock, pop, jazz, and even speed metal patterns built in to get you started. I have been getting a lot of questions about changing patterns, starting and stopping songs, as well as tempo changes. If you need to do any of these funtions look at accessorizing the DR-880 with the FS-6, the EV-5, and the FC-300 pedals. All of the control you need is easily accessible with these accessories.
April 22, 2013Music Background:
Boss Dr.Rhythm DR-880I've been using Boss drum machines since the '80s. The very first Dr.Rhythm DR110, then the TR505,TR626,R8 and I always liked them. I was recording on analog tape recorders back then...After a a 20 years break, I'm back to recording and this new machine feels familiar but is FAR superior in every aspect to anything I ever used. The drum sounds are outstanding, the velocity pads more sensitive and the built-in guitar and bass sound processors are an amazing addition. The best sign that it is in its own league is the fact that it's been around for years unchanged. It has the perfect balance between form and function. It will take a while before I learn to exploit its full potential but I am convinced that it will be worth the effort. Finally, I want to take the opportunity to thank my excellent Sweetwater rep Mike Baldonado for recommending this great product.
Tony R Heath
from olympia, Wa USA
December 11, 2012Music Background:
DR-880 What a machineThe Boss DR-880 has feature,s that other drum units don't have like Groove modify it offers more of a realness to the pattern also the programable ghost note is really cool. Thank you Sweetwater for making it possible for me to have purchase this great machine at such a low price and delivered to my door in A+ shape. T.R.H
from New Bern, NC
June 9, 2012Music Background:
Recording Studio owner and musician
Exceeded my expectations!The Boss DR-880 is a fantastic addition to our studio.
I am very satisfied with the product, and the excellent service provided by Michael Eads at Sweetwater.
from Indianapolis, IN
May 17, 2012Music Background:
Professional Gigging Musician (my real job)
Love ItIt is very User Friendly. The sounds are extremely genuine and with the additional Bass, a perfect One-Man Band ! The velocity sensitive pads are easy to control and to get used to.
from WV USA
April 12, 2012Music Background:
retired semi pro reed man.
So SoSorry but I have searched for big band drumming machines and thought I was on a winner with the DR-880.
Not so....The only rhythm I get is the Bump Chink Bump Chink effect with a cymbol thrown in. I know you can program a rhytm yourself but I was hoping for ready made stuff.
If you are into R&B pop and Rock, it is great I suppose.
I'm keeping it for that JUST IN CASE moment.
Would have been better if the touch sensitive could be switched off sometime
OR...maybe I have not read into it enough????.
from Port Charlotte, FL
March 19, 2012Music Background:
College degree BMEd. in music
Much moreFantastic unit. Makes me want to compose tunes.
from Delta, CO
August 26, 2011Music Background:
Wonderful MachineLiving in the wilds of western Colorado, drummers and bassists are scarce. Hence the need for a drum/bass machine. I purchased it and the Boss DR-880 far exceeded my expectations in every respect.
The quality of drums and bass modeling is phenomenal. The machine is also very easy to learn to operate compared to others I have tried. I was recording tracks in real time within 2 hours of receipt of the machine.
The diverstiy of sounds available from this machine is amazing - hundreds of presets, scores of kits and bass sounds - you name it. Looping too. My bandmates are thrilled with it.
This machine is well worth the money.
from Salisbury, MA
March 31, 2011Music Background:
Multi keyboard back up to a vocalist. 60's. 70's rock, blues
Fantastic soundsGreat sounds all around, patterns are realistic and this component gives all the versatility you will need. The ability to change the kit or tempo to a pattern makes this machine priceless. Adding a baseline is a bonus amd the sounds are all there.
What do you want from a drummer, and a bass player? To show up on time. Machines always there, waiting. To keep a beat and not miss a note. The machine is spot on. When playing smaller gigs, you don't have to worry about needing extra space for a drum set and bass amp. Plus you get all the money.
from Nasville, Tn
February 1, 2011Music Background:
Recording Engineer/ Pro Musician
Excellent Drum Machine DR-880This drum machine in my opinion was made for guitar players and bass players that either just want to hone their guitar playing chops or for those that like to be creative and enjoy writing songs. The DR-880 is so easy to work with. That's the beauty of this unit, you can just take it home and start jamming! I love to hook it up through my PA system and jam for hours. Who has time to read manuals? Yea there is a small learning curve to most electronics but this baby is great for live gigs, recording and so much more. You will be blown away with the sound effects for the drums and the effects for the guitar. Absolutely Killer!!!! Buy one today.
from Portland, OR USA
October 31, 2009Music Background:
Something every guitar player should own...Ok, if you play electric guitar and don't own one of these babies then you are missing out big time. The drum and bass sounds are great as well as the guitar effects. There is a huge amount of flexibility with this unit... from customizing your guitar tone & effects, to creating your own drum & bass kits... its a very deep unit. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun or easy to use. In fact, the only downfall I've had with this unit is that I just lose track of time playing with it. If you are learning how to play guitar, then this unit will help you so much. For instance, there are some great patterns that help you embrace scale modes like the major scale. The fact that you can dial up a pattern, instantly set the key & tempo, and then jam along with it using great guitar sounds makes the unit worth the money, but it can do a whole lot more. And if you like playing with those long, trippy delays, well, the DR880 keeps the delay in time with the song, so you can base the delay off rhythm rather than milliseconds (but both options are available).
Every guitar instructor/school should have one of these available for their students. Every guitar player that wishes they had a drummer and bass player to jam with to help push their playing should have one of these.
I use mine every day, and record with it too... sounds fantastic.
from Deer Lodge Montana
August 21, 2009Music Background:
semi pro artist
fantastic valueBought the Dr-880 back in 2001 and now have owned it for almost 9 years. I wanted to share my experience briefly that the Dr-880 has been truly an inspiration. I've learned alot about writing bass and drums while paying attention to dynamics, flow, rhythm, feel...all those hard to teach methods. I'm a guitar player who relies on bass and drums to help push me rhythmicly in ways I can't teach myself alone, although I have my own natural rhythm style. Excellent samples with a deep pallete of ideas to work with, make the Dr-880 a success in my opinion.
from Johnsonville, SC
November 21, 2008Music Background:
Pro Harp player-28 years
Playing The BassI actually play the Boss DR-880 in church every Sunday. Note by note! I use it instead of strings. I have been playing two of these units at the same time. I use one to play the highs (Vintage-Bass) and the other to play the lows(Vintage Bass-). It sounds pretty good running through a delay pedal. Other true bass players wonder how can you get the real sound through push buttons. I been playing with this thing for about four years.
March 29, 2006
Great Drum SoundsThis is one nice box. The sounds are very realistic and worth the price. There is a learning curve but EZ Compose helps while you learn the unit. One reviewer mentioned the tempo changing when patterns are switched. This feature depends on how you program the song. In Song mode you can choose to set the tempo or allow each pattern to use its pre-programed tempo. Actually this is not a drawback but a useful feature that allows for tempo shifts if you want them. I am sure that after a few hours the previous user found this out too.
from Salt Lake City, Utah
February 4, 2006
REAL drums, REAL guitar cabinetsI won't wax poetic about this unit. Simply put it delivers in spades. The drum sounds are frightningly REAL with all the parameter choices you could imagine. The overall layout and use is pretty darn user friendly overall. The guitar input provided me with scary cabinet emulations and I simply could NOT put my guitar down. I found a nice patch, adjusted the key of the bass riffs and played on for a long while before finally having to go to bed. Overall THIS is THE drum machine you want to own.
October 1, 2005
Tempo issueWith reference to previous post, DR-880 seems to design for live pattern playing with the favourite buttons and foot switch control - you can setup favourite buttons to call a pattern directly, or set the footswitch to select next/previous pattern.
But the problem lies with the tempo setup at pattern mode. If you set the correct tempo at the start of the song, and proceed to change pattern, the next pattern will reset your original tempo. This makes changing patterns live unusable.
from Los Angeles, CA
July 1, 2005
Excellent soundDrum sound: Excellent!
Easy to use: hhmmmm.... you have to be patient...
I own this for about 3 months already, it fits my purpose as a jingle and minus one producer.
But as a pro musician with weekly gigs I have 1 thing to plead for Roland: ..... please add 1 function/feature (and it's an easy one..) in LIVE situation I need to run from pattern to pattern back and forth such as: Intro-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-ending, etc.. it's an easy one...pleaseee...
And another one (oooppss..) please add Flash Memory in the unit for the next model so we can store more songs, etc....
February 1, 2005
methe boss dr-880 is awesome!! it is great for hip hop and pretty much any style of music u would need it for. i got it a few weeks ago and after a few days i wuz makin pro quality music. i havnt really tried out the chord progressions but everything else they say it does it does. I highly recommend this for any1 who wants to up there game in music production
The Boss DR-880 rhythm programmer is an invaluable tool for songwriters. It allows you to easily program drum and bass backing tracks for new songs and lets you tap in to preset loops to spark your creativity. There is even a guitar input so you can plug in and play along with the patterns using the COSM amp simulator and effects. I was programming my own patterns only minutes after I took it out of the box and plugged my guitar and headphones in to hear everything without disturbing the neighbors. This is a great tool to help form your ideas whether you are a songwriter building a new song or a drummer hammering out some new licks.
If you want to play like a pro it's no secret that you need to practice. And if you want to practice anywhere, anytime, and have great "players" behind you, the Boss DR-880 Drum Machine is the answer. The Dr-880 offers 1000 world class drum and bass patterns that give you instant access to hundreds of awesome sounding grooves right out of the box. From rock to blues, hip-hop to salsa, funk, R&B, gospel, latin, techno, jazz... the list goes on and on. A well-rounded musician will not only appreciate all of these genres of music, he will be able to play comfortably in them. The DR-880 is a great place to start.
With the DR-880's manual still wrapped neatly in plastic, my inner rock star was quickly taking center stage as I cascaded through the plethora of drum grooves. A truly shocking discovery was the built in guitar processor based on the Boss GT-6. It's amp modeling and multi-effects sound great, and made me sound even better. From a clean JC-120, to a heavy Marshall stack, or a bluesy Vox, it brought to life a whole new set of possibilities for my performance. First I can choose the style of music I want to play (500 presets), then I pick the gear I'm going to play through (GT-6), and finally I can choose the venue I'll be performing in. This kind of quick and total control put me in the driver's seat like nothing else I've ever used.
The Rhythm Dr. is perfect for working on your improvisation skills. I played one loop for about 15-20 minutes, just hammering away at every riff that came into my head and the DR-880 never got tired of indulging my ego. It was the perfect rehearsal and every nuance was within my control. Every pattern is so accessible with an easy to use jog wheel, ready to go like a band waiting in the wings. I don't even have to put my instrument down, I select a new groove while one keeps playing.
This drum machine can be used a lot of different ways, but primarily it is about making better music and better musicians.