roland Dr-880

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roland Dr-880

Postby canefire » 20:47, 4 December 2008

Anyone here use a DR-880? I am thinking I want to get a DR880 or the Alesis sr18.
Please share your thoughts.
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Joined: 16:12, 15 November 2004
Location: silver spring, MD

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby TheOtherEric » 21:11, 4 December 2008

Hello canefire,

Yes, I use a DR-880 for recording, and my neighbor used to borrow it for live acoustic gigs (he and another acoustic guitar player/singer). He liked it so much he bought his own.

You can hear my use of the DR-880 on these tracks (except on the track "Ivana", which is not mine):

(don't mind the bad singing, just listen to the drums :)

I programmed the DR-880 Bass on the song "Anita's Theme" if you are curious about how the bass sounds. I used the setting "fingered bass". The bass on the other songs are real bass guitars, however.

I have found programming the machine very easy, but my neighbor struggles with it. I usually program rhythms for him on my machine and midi them to his machine. I use a digital video cable to connect the DR-880 to a BR-1600 to record without loss of quality.

I am not familiar with the Alesis, as BOSS DR's are the only machines I have owned. If you have specific questions, maybe I can answer them.

Eric (the other one)
Posts: 43
Joined: 18:50, 7 December 2007

Boss DR-880 Memory problem

Postby Matthew_ » 20:08, 12 January 2009

I have the Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm I am getting an error for
not enough memory. I am programming songs for my band using patterns I create and then creating the songs from these patterns.
The pattens I create are the full length of the song in measures.
I am out of memory already on my 6th song and have 35 more to do. How do I solve this problem. The book says to delete patterns but then the songs won't have them to use. HELP.
Posts: 38
Joined: 21:00, 17 June 2008

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby Reis » 21:11, 13 January 2009

Hey matthew. I have had this same problem many times in the past and have lost countless hours of work. For one, this was way back when when I wasnt too computer savvy and didnt do constant back-ups, and two, I dont think there was an update available back then. Go to this link to update your machine...FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY ... 6761&dsp=1

Its actually not about memory reaching capasity. When the message appears on your screen and you lose all your data notice that it says "user data is damaged", it does not say "memory full". This is important. By updating the system software this problem will be corrected. If it were as simple as the memory reaching capasity you would still have all your data, only you wouldnt be able to ADD anything to it without deleting some things first. Since everything gets dumped that shows its a systemic problem in the software, and thankfully its able to be corrected by updating the system....THANK GOD because honestly this is truly a great machine except for this one hurdle. You can use it for simple back beats or, like me, just get downright dirty in the guts of the thing making warped and intricate electronic music. The amount of options you have with the basses alone are so immense you can essentially turn them into something which can compliment and support exactly the kind of music you are programming in many more ways than standard "bass lines" alone are capable. Like waves of roaring electronic attacks which still hold after the notes swell, crest and crash. This is accomplished with the options of attack, release, decay time 1 and 2, rel. time, the bass effects on the amp, etc etc.. Or you can make very full, clear and beautiful sounds for example with the Nz Upright Bass, making it sound like an instrument other than an upright bass, almost piano like. I like going to total sound control and selecting "rich plate", turning the rev time way up, mess with the other settings and just make it sound like you are in a giant stone hall or room with a strange, foreign, beautiful instrument set right in the middle of it.

Again, great machine. If you use it with the right computer software and are able to mix and layer different beats with the samples of your choice this daemon can be truly unleashed. Ultimately, considering the price I have seen many gripe about with this machine, it is worth it. I think these people simply arent using it for what it is actually capable of and only using it for simple "boom, snick, boom boom". . . :P It's great for that, don't get me wrong, but if the price sets one off it's because "boom, snick, boom" is all he really plans on doing with it.
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Joined: 20:27, 13 January 2009

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby TheOtherEric » 14:43, 15 January 2009

Matthew, do you really need to make one pattern for the whole song? Is every measure significantly different? Usually I make about four to five one or two measure main patterns (but I have some patterns that are up to 16 measures long) and a couple patterns of fills and that is sufficient when you mix and match them, especially if you can find a few presets to mix in also. Song mode lets you create a song by mixing short patterns into long songs and that is how the system is designed to work. Or am I misunderstanding what you have done?
Posts: 43
Joined: 18:50, 7 December 2007

MIDI using the DR880

Postby jtmcdon » 04:55, 22 January 2009

I'm new to the forum and could use help. I am a one man band (guitar) and use the DR880 for more than just minor back beats. It's a great piece of equipment. However, I'm looking for a "not-to-high tech" convenient and cost effective way to add organ (B3) sounds to several of my songs. My fist choice is to use a foot pedal, if one exist. In any event, If using MIDI is a requirement I don't have a clue where to start. Can someone tell me how to get started and what equipment is I need. I'm not a power PC user but I do own a laptop if it's required.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Joined: 04:44, 22 January 2009
Location: Atlanta

bought a dr-880 for $175

Postby canefire » 17:40, 20 February 2009

I has been a while since my last question...I bought a DR-880 and it is great. It is hard to keep my hands off of it.
Posts: 311
Joined: 16:12, 15 November 2004
Location: silver spring, MD

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby LuisLeftyGuitar » 14:13, 14 November 2009

I am another one-man (classical latin flamenco) guitar player and I use the DR880 in all my GIGs. It is a great standalone device. HOWEVER, the DR880 has a HUGE limination - MEMORY!!! This may not be a big issue for people using it as a recording tool. However, for those like me that use it in live shows, and record songs (with bass and drums), you will soon discover that memory is only 512 Kilobytes. You will get an "Not enough Memory" after your 7 song. I have learn a few tricks to overcome the memory limitation and I have now about 50 songs in it (without using an external computer). This may not work for everyone since it will compromize each song individual arrangment possibilities and limits the DR880 full potential. All just to save a few kilobytes. Think of the DR880 on a diet!! This works for me since my music is not complex in nature and all I need is a basic bass and drum pattern for support. If you required intensive drum fills, and complex compositions, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU.
1. Pick several 1-2 measure drum/bass rhythm patterns that you can use to play most of your music. For example, I have a flamenco-rumba pattern, a Salsa pattern, a 3/4 rhythm, and a Bosanova.
2. For each pattern, you will create one pattern for each chord. I will also try to stay within a key. For example, In salsa, I have patterns named "Salsa A", "Salsa D", "Salsa F", "Salsa G", "Salsa Intro", "Salsa End D", "Salsa D cut", "Salsa D w HH", etc. Each of this are only 1-2 measure. Also, depending on the style of music, you can eliminate the bass from playing the third of the chord so each pattern can be use for a mayor or minor cord. Stay with in a key (remember that you can create everything in C and then change the key at the song).
3. To create a song, go to the step and start adding the patterns.
4. Change the key and tempo for the song.

Again, this is super limiting but if you plan to use it without a computer, this is your only route. Even doing this, I continue to struggle for memory. I am getting close to move on the next bigger thing. The only thing keeping me from doing that all my songs have a LOOP area for improvisation. I not sure of any other method that allow you to make a part of the song to loop until you are ready to end the song.

Roland, when are you coming with an upgrade for the DR880?????? PLEASE add support for SD memory and 3-4 midi tracks instead of just 2. I will pay anything for that!!!!

I have been able to add about 50 songs using several technicts that I have learn by spending hours and hours on the thing.
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Joined: 13:10, 14 November 2009

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby pickinboy » 02:52, 16 August 2010

Luis thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Its possible to use sparse patterns that take v. little memory - recording MIDI from a sequencer eats it up!!

Roland would make a fantastic product if this only had say a 4GB SD card slot!!

Help Roland..
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Joined: 02:46, 16 August 2010

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby gyjs » 22:46, 5 February 2016

Way cant I programchange on Dr 880 from a midi controller?
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Joined: 22:37, 5 February 2016

Re: roland Dr-880

Postby LooperGuy » 10:23, 29 February 2016

I am having same problem trying to control DR-880 with FCB1010. Strange it is, that if I connect midi out from my RC300 Looper it is working. I can start and stop DR880 from RC300 and they are in sync, even if they are connected through FCB1010. Midi out from RC300 going to Midi IN FCB1010 and Midi out from FCB1010 into Midi In DR880 and I can still trigger DR880 through RC300, but FCB1010...nothing. Did anyone was able to connect DR880 and FCB1010 ?
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Joined: 10:09, 29 February 2016

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