Boss DR-880 Drum Machine

Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine with 440 Drum/Percussion Sounds, Velocity Sensitive Pads and Effects
Boss DR-880 Drum Machine image 1
Boss DR-880 Drum Machine image 1
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Boss DR-880 Drum Machine
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This Rhythm Powerhouse Is a Guitar Player's Dream Station!

The BOSS DR-880 Dr. Rhythm is a rhythm-programming powerhouse that's loaded with world-class drum, percussion, and bass sounds from BOSS's famous SRX library. It also includes a stunning collection of original waveforms. You can get microscopic with the DR-880, but you also have the option of taking the simple route with its three EZ Compose buttons, which allow original patterns to be constructed without note-by-note programming hassles. Patterns can be taken deeper with the Groove Modify feature, where various groove and triplet feels can be applied. Ghost notes and fills can also be added automatically. Guitar and bass players can join the action by plugging directly to the DR-880's guitar/bass input jack and playing through the built-in COSM drive/amp models and multi-effects.

BOSS DR-880 Dr. Rhythm at a Glance:

  • World-class sounds

  • Direct guitar/bass input
  • EZ Compose
  • Connectivity for all
  • Groove modify

World-class sounds
A remarkable new collection of top-quality, custom sounds was created for the DR-880. But we didn't stop there; some of the most famous sounds from our renowned SRX library were added to the DR-880's sound-set, as well as electric and synth bass sounds. From rich, sparkling studio drums and deep-dish electronic kits to standard and exotic percussion instruments, a world of rhythm and groove is at your fingertips. Plus, on the DR-880 you can customize your sounds with powerful tools such as independent compressors and EQs for the kick and snare.

Direct guitar/bass input
Guitar and bass players can join the action by plugging directly into the DR-880's guitar/bass input jack. Guitarists can play through the built-in COSM drive/amp models, and multi-effects such as chorus/flanger/phaser, delay, and reverb. For acoustic guitar, the DR-880 offers an acoustic processor, chorus, and reverb. For bass players, the compressor/limiter, chorus/flanger/phaser, delay, and COSM bass amp models will help you cook up extra-tasty bass lines.

EZ Compose
You can get microscopic with the DR-880, but you also have the option of taking the simple route with its three EZ Compose buttons on the front panel, which allow original patterns to be constructed without note-by-note programming hassles. Using the Pattern mode, you can select and combine pre-programmed phrase combinations to create new patterns. Press the Chord Progression button to select chord-progression templates. With the Fill-in button, you can select phrases from the Fill-in library and insert them into the pattern. The DR-880 library contains a variety of phrases, ranging from simple fills to bombastic breaks.

Connectivity for all
Play through headphones or route your signal from the DR-880 directly to your choice of recording input or amplification, including outboard guitar amps. Quick output adjustments can be made in the Output Select mode to facilitate proper connection to the outside world. Two individual outs allow independent output of backing tracks and guitars or independent output of kick and snare. The DR-880 has two stereo footswitch/controller inputs; a maximum of four footswitches can be connected using stereo 1/4" cables (sold separately). One of the footswitch/controller jacks supports expression pedal input, so you can connect an EV-5 (sold separately) to control guitar volume, or play wah effects. The DR-880 also has a S/PDIF digital out, a USB port for MIDI interfacing, and SMF Data import.

Groove modify
Take your grooves even deeper with the DR-880's Groove Modify feature, which applies various groove and triplet feels to your patterns. Simply select the templates that are included and inject realistic feels to static patterns. Ghost notes can also be added automatically by selecting the ghost-note phrases that are preset in the DR-880.

BOSS DR-880 Features:

  • Innovative EZ Compose feature for quick, hassle-free programming

  • 440 world-class drum and percussion sounds, 40 bass sounds with COSM bass-amp models
  • Guitar/bass input, multi-effects, COSM amp models
  • 3 independent insert effects (EQ and compression), TSC (Total Sound Control) featuring 3-band EQ and high-quality ambience
  • 1,000 patterns (500 preset, 500 user); easily add fills, ghost notes, chord progressions, and more
  • 20 velocity-sensitive pads
  • 4 assignable footswitch and expression-pedal inputs
  • Individual outputs, digital out, USB port
With the BOSS DR-880, the rhythm doctor is in!

Additional Media

Read the Boss DR-880 Owner's Manual

Tech Specs

Sounds 440 drums, 40 bass
Patterns 1,000
Pads 20, velocity sensitive
Inputs 1 x 1/4" (Instrument), 2 x 1/4" (Footswitch/Controller)
Outputs 4 x 1/4", 2 x RCA, 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
USB 1 x Type B
Power AC adapter, included
Height 2.8"
Depth 9.6"
Width 10.8"
Weight 3 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number DR-880

Customer Reviews

Based on 30 reviews
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Boss Dr-880

I'm new to drum machines, but I've had a blast with the DR-880. I'm not the best at programing so I purchased the Roland DVD manual for the Dr-880 which for me is a god sent. So with the DVD along with the paper manual, I've been able to get my head around what this thing can really do. I'm now able to dig right into all this machine can do and I've had really great results. Once you get past the learning curve, this machine will give you everything that you might need for fantastic recordings or musical accompaniments. Thanks to Matt and Sweetwater for continued great service and tech help! Great buy and purchasing experience!!
Music background: Guitarist/new to recording

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.
Music background: Recording Studio owner and musician

A real drum machine

I am 'old school' my first drum machine was a brand new Roland TR-55 Rhythm 55...yea I'm THAT old. So I have seen a whole lot of them over the years since the 70's. Hard to find a simple drum machine anymore...this baby IS old school. I've wanted it for years....finally the goal is achieved. The best sounds for me. I'm a songwriter now and I need a tool that fits what and how I write. As I said 'old school'. The hip hop sounds are for that generation, I want a beat. Simple and real. It doesn't get closer to real than this baby. Sure I could go to software and there are some great sounds out there but I am a drum machine guy... Thanks to Sweetwater the wait is over. Thanks did it again. I couldn't be happier. P.S. No offense to the music/dj's of today its a generational thing. One day it will happen to you....
Music background: Long long time Musician

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.
Music background: Hobbyist

Excellent Drum Machine DR-880

This 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.
Music background: Recording Engineer/ Pro Musician

Sweetwater Advice

Carson McClain

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.

Jacob Perkins

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.
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Brian McQuoid

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.
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See also: Drum Machines, Boss, Boss Drum Machines & Samplers