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Using Rhythms from the Discrete Drums CD with your Boss BR-1180CD

A number of BR-1180CD owners have been hesitant to use the Discrete Drums CD that was included in the package. This collection of loops, fills and cymbal sounds can really help you add some “snap” to your songs! Here, courtesy of Roland/Boss, is a step-by-step guide to putting Discrete Drums to work for you. There are several steps, but each is simple if you just follow them one at a time!

The BR-1180CD’s built-in drum sounds are recorded as PCM-format waves stored permanently in its memory. You can also load .WAV-format drum files, such as those found on the Discrete Drums CD that shipped with your BR-1180CD. Here’s how to use the pre-recorded rhythm files on the Discrete Drums CD.

To start, create a new song. You’ll generally want to set up your rhythm before recording other tracks so that they’ll be recorded in time with the rhythm.

Preparing the Rhythm Guide

  1. We’ll start by setting the tempo for the song.
  2. Press EDIT above the STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP fader so the button lights.
  3. Cursor to BPM if it’s not already highlighted.
  4. Turn the TIME/VALUE dial to change BPM to 136.
  5. Cursor to “100” underneath the letters “RHY.” The RHY parameter sets the volume of the rhythm.
  6. Turn the TIME/VALUE dial to set RHY to 0, turning the volume of the built-in PCM drum sounds all the way down. This way, all you’ll hear are the .WAV audio Discrete Drum files we’ll be importing into the BR-1180CD.
  7. Press the STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP ON/OFF button once so it’s blinking. This
  8. sets the Rhythm Guide so it will sound after you press PLAY.
  9. Make sure the STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP fader is turned up.

Importing Discrete Drum Files
Now we’re ready to import .WAV files from the Discrete Drums CD, storing them on the BR-1180CD’s own built-in hard drive.

  1. Insert the Discrete Drums disc into the BR-1180CD’s CD-R/W drive. See Page 24 of the BR-1180CD’s Owner’s Manual if you don’t know how to operate its CD-R/W drive.
  2. Wait for the CD-R/W drive’s amber LED to stop flashing.
  3. Press LOOP PHRASE IMPORT, located at the right side of the BR-1180CD’s front panel. The LP.PHRASE screen appears:
  4. Cursor to “IMPORT”-the icon at the left, as shown above-if it isn’t already selected.
  5. Press ENTER. The BR-1180CD checks the contents of the CD and displays a list of the folders it finds:
    EASY GO
    FAST ONE
    FUNK MAN
    HAIRY
    ROCK HEAD

  6. Press 6 or turn the TIME/VALUE dial to select the SLAM IT folder and press ENTER. The contents of the SLAM IT folder are displayed.
  7. Cursor to the DRUM folder and press ENTER to view its contents.
  8. To quickly import all the files in this folder, cursor to “ALL” and then press ENTER.
  9. The BR-1180CD presents a screen that lets you set the location to which the .WAV files are to be imported. It selects Bank A by default, which is fine for our example.
    FOLDER NAME:
    CD:SLAM ITDRUM
    TO BANK: A (this is the destination)

  10. Cursor to GO, and the press ENTER.
  11. If the BR-1180CD asks you if you want to save the current state of your song, press ENTER/YES if you’ve got changes you want to save, or EXIT/NO if you don’t. For our brand-new song, you can press EXIT/NO.
  12. The BR-1180CD imports the files. When “Complete!” appears, the import operation is complete.

Assigning Loops to TRACK Buttons
You can press the TRACK buttons to “fly” loops right into the Rhythm Guide. This is a very fast and easy way to build your own drum track for an entire song. We’ll start by assigning our imported loop phrases to TRACK buttons.

  1. If the LP.PHRASE screen isn’t already displayed, press LOOP PHRASE IMPORT.
  2. Cursor to select BUTTON ASSIGN as shown here:
    LP.PHRASE: BUTTON ASSIGN

  3. Press ENTER to display the BUTTON ASSIGN screen:
    Tr. 1 – — NOT ASGN
    Tr. 2 – — NOT ASGN
    Tr. 3 – — NOT ASGN
    Tr. 4 – — NOT ASGN

  4. Cursor to “—” as shown above and turn the TIME/VALUE dial to select A005 INTRO. This loop is designed for use in a song’s introduction.
  5. Repeat Step 4 to assign loops to TRACK Buttons 1-6 as follows:
    Button: Section:
    Tr: 1 A005 INTRO
    Tr: 2 A006 VERSE
    Tr: 3 A004 FILL
    Tr: 4 A002 BRIDGE
    Tr: 5 A001 BREAK
    Tr: 6 A003 END CRASH

  6. To hear a loop, simply press its TRACK button. Press the TRACK button again to stop playback of the loop.

Bringing Loops into Rhythm Guide
Now you’re ready to fly these loops into the Rhythm Guide using a simple process called “Step Sequencing.” Once you know your song structure, you can simply press the desired TRACK buttons. In our example, a Discrete Drums loop perfect for each song section is now assigned to a TRACK button, as follows:
TRACK Button: Section:
1 INTRO
2 VERSE
3 FILL
4 BRIDGE
5 BREAK
6 END CRASH

  1. Press EDIT.
  2. Cursor to “EDIT” onscreen and press ENTER.
  3. Cursor down to the bottom line of the RHYTHM ARRANGE Edit screen.
  4. Press ZERO to rewind to the beginning of the song.
  5. Press the TRACK buttons in the order listed below. Don’t worry about playing the TRACK buttons in time. With each press, the BR-1180CD records your button-press – and the loop it plays – and moves automatically to the next empty section of the song.
    TRACK Button 1
    TRACK Button 2
    TRACK Button 2
    TRACK Button 3
    TRACK Button 4
    TRACK Button 2
    TRACK Button 2
    TRACK Button 5
    TRACK Button 4
    TRACK Button 3
    TRACK Button 6

  6. When you’ve finished, press ZERO and then PLAY to hear how you’ve constructed a song from your imported Discrete Drums loops.
  7. Press EXIT/NO to return to the BR-1180CD’s main screen.

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