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Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3

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The Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3 will add incredible-sounding drums to your music! Dr. Rhythm's loaded with acoustic and electronic drum kits, as well as a s...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A fast and easy solution for fantastic rhythm tracks.

The Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3 will add incredible-sounding drums to your music! Dr. Rhythm's loaded with acoustic and electronic drum kits, as well as a selection of bass sounds. Great for jamming, the DR-3's Rhythm Progressions and multiple variations make it easy to create a realistic-sounding drum track for any style of music. The Total Sound Control (TSC) feature allows you to tweak your kits to perfection.

The Rhythm Progressions feature lets you choose from 100 preset styles and use the 8 panel buttons to switch between different sections of your song. Up to 3 variations can be selected for each Intro, Verse, Fill, and Ending.

TSC lets you change the sound of a drum kit with specialized effects. The Sound Shape function can be used to adjust the 3-band compression and 3-band parametric EQ, or add some spaciousness with the Ambiance effect. An optional footswitch can be used to control anything from Intro/Start and Ending/Stop to Verse Change, Variation On/Off, Loop On/Off and more. Battery power lets you take the DR-3 just about anywhere.

FEATURES
Affordable drum machine for jamming or practice 
Realistic drum, percussion, and bass sounds with velocity-sensitive pads
Programmable rhythm progressions with 3 variations each for Intro, Verse, Fill, and Ending
Total Sound Control with Sound Shape function and Ambiance for professional drum sounds
100 preset styles and 100 user styles programmable via realtime or step recording
Footswitch input for easy live control
Runs on AC or battery power
SPECIFICATIONS
8-7/16"W x 2-1/8"H x 7-5/16"D 
1 lb. 10 oz.
12-voice polyphony
120 drum and percussion sounds
12 bass sounds
20 - 260BPM
Realtime or step recording
13 velocity-sensitive pads
Backlit LCD (16 characters x 2 lines)
I/O: L, R (RCA), L, R (1/4"), footswitch jack (stereo 1/4"), MIDI in, DC in (AC adapter jack)
Power Supply DC9V: dry battery (R6/LR6 (AA) type) x 6, AC Adapter (PSA-series)
Power Consumption 200 mA * Expected battery life under continuous use: approx. 5 hours (This figure will vary depending on the actual conditions of use.)
Accessories Dry Battery (Alkaline LR6 (AA) type) x 6, Owner's Manual, Roland Service (Information Sheet)
Options AC Adapter: PSA Series, Foot Switch: FS-5U, Foot Switch Cable: Roland PCS-31

The specifications are subject to change without notice.
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BossDr. Rhythm DR-3
 
4.2

(based on 47 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (29)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Functional (6)
  • Good quality (5)
  • Easy to use (4)
  • Improves sound (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Back-up (6)
  • Practicing (6)
  • Concerts (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (4), Experienced (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great product,Easy to use

I purchased this for a drum backing for the duo act that I am doing and, so far it is giving me everything that I was looking for. Plenty of sounds and, choices...Read complete review

I purchased this for a drum backing for the duo act that I am doing and, so far it is giving me everything that I was looking for. Plenty of sounds and, choices for programs. I haven't found a song yet that I can't use it on. I would definately suggest using the double pedal for starting and ending the programs and providing fills, even though if you keep it at arms reach it's fairly easy use the buttons manually,if you're playing a guitar footswitches are always easier. I have also added another switch between the unit and my amp to stop the sound or add a drum break at any time. It's really a Great little unit with a lot of features for a decent price. I found a tilt stand that will clamp to any mic stand to hold this unit and, it just made the whole thing come together perfectly. Stagg MUS-ARM 1 is the stand. The cables will go through the holes in the stand even making it more secure and stable. I would reccommend this unit for anyone looking for a drum machine and not wanting to spend a lot of money and, also for ease of operation.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not User-Friendly

The DR-3 does everything you would expect from a unit that costs less than $200. The sound is pretty standard, and I am satisfied with its capabilities overall. Its major flaw is...Read complete review

The DR-3 does everything you would expect from a unit that costs less than $200. The sound is pretty standard, and I am satisfied with its capabilities overall. Its major flaw is its complicated interface. Given that much can be accomplished with this thing, the user must navigate through many lengthy menus even to use it at a basic level, which is confusing because each menu item is displayed individually on a small screen. Moving through these non-linear menus with a linear interface is extremely complicated, and the manual is only somewhat helpful. There is an instructional video available for it, but of course it's $30-40. I figured the thing out myself, but it took a long time and was very frustrating. If you are willing to spend many hours figuring it out by yourself in addition to reading the manual thoroughly, the unit does everything a hobbyist will need.

Reviewed by 47 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great product,Easy to use

By terrygh

from Kansas

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good features
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Backup
  • Concerts
  • Drums for a single or duo
  • Practicing

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I purchased this for a drum backing for the duo act that I am doing and, so far it is giving me everything that I was looking for. Plenty of sounds and, choices for programs. I haven't found a song yet that I can't use it on. I would definately suggest using the double pedal for starting and ending the programs and providing fills, even though if you keep it at arms reach it's fairly easy use the buttons manually,if you're playing a guitar footswitches are always easier. I have also added another switch between the unit and my amp to stop the sound or add a drum break at any time. It's really a Great little unit with a lot of features for a decent price. I found a tilt stand that will clamp to any mic stand to hold this unit and, it just made the whole thing come together perfectly. Stagg MUS-ARM 1 is the stand. The cables will go through the holes in the stand even making it more secure and stable. I would reccommend this unit for anyone looking for a drum machine and not wanting to spend a lot of money and, also for ease of operation.

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Not User-Friendly

By B. Holtz

from Honolulu, HI

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

The DR-3 does everything you would expect from a unit that costs less than $200. The sound is pretty standard, and I am satisfied with its capabilities overall. Its major flaw is its complicated interface. Given that much can be accomplished with this thing, the user must navigate through many lengthy menus even to use it at a basic level, which is confusing because each menu item is displayed individually on a small screen. Moving through these non-linear menus with a linear interface is extremely complicated, and the manual is only somewhat helpful. There is an instructional video available for it, but of course it's $30-40. I figured the thing out myself, but it took a long time and was very frustrating. If you are willing to spend many hours figuring it out by yourself in addition to reading the manual thoroughly, the unit does everything a hobbyist will need.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Boss DR-3 Drum Machine

By stratosaurus

from N Dallas TX

See all my reviews

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

Not a bad unit for practice. I have had a lot of fun jamming with it. So much better for your playing than standing their by yourself. Fun to have a fake band to play around, in and out of the pocket, helps your technique and development as a player. You can adjust the key of the bass or remove it which is cool. I cannot for the life of me program a drum machine so I use the canned "song" patterns. Some cool ones in there, but I am getting tired of them. I find I can change the tempo and use the kit and option buttons to vary the patterns but I need new patterns. If you can program useable drum tracks you are a better man than me.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Pretty good

By Ken-OIatR

from Augusta

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

This device works well for jamming but obviously you would not want to use it for live performances. Just practice jams. It is 1000 time better that a metronome!

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Metronome on Steroids!

By Bodhi

from Raleigh, NC

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I'd recommend it for practice. I don't know if it really provides sounds of the caliber to use it for live performances or serious recording. Get a decent sequencer and sampler for that.This thing actually has quite a few features I will probably never use due to the complexity of the interface. I did try programming it once and got very frustrated after getting just a few bars programmed. If you're really into that, you should have a PC sequencer. For what I want - something to practice chops without always doing it solo - this thing is fantastic. I think of it as a super metronome. Add the dual footswitch and you'll really have a blast and a great practice.I've had mine about two years and tossed it into bags anddropped it on the floor a few times and it is built like a tank! I never had a problem with itI guess it's a decent value considering a high-quality metronome costs almost half the price of thing.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Guitar , bass

By Country My kind of Music

from Eastern Virginia

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I HAVE HAD MY DR3 for four years and I can say for the bucks you can't beat it. I use it live in my one man gigs. Most songs I can use with out too much trouble. setting up the bass parts are somewhat of a problem. Once you get use to the programing it get easer. I use #3 #10 #19 #76 I pick my key for the bass and off we go. I Play classic country some old 50s stuff.In my case I will recommend the DR3. By the way when I'm on the bass, I just turn the bass part and off we go.I have two Yahama That I use for recording.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Frustrating To Use

By RR

from Ohio

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Functional

Cons

  • Difficult To Use

Best Uses

  • Backup
  • Practicing

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I bought this because it's advertised as an entry-level model that allows a musician to construct rhythm tracks for individual songs (I write a lot of original material). I hoped to be able to use it in small live settings as well.

I don't know how many hours I've spent trying to figure out how to do this, and I'm no closer than the day I bought it. After my first attempt, I bought the DVD instruction manual. That didn't help in the least, and it feels more like a demo video than an instruction video. There's a whole lot of "You can do this and this and this" with no explanation of how or why.

The preset styles don't seem to follow any kind of common chord progression, they're mostly just random patterns strung together, so they're not really helpful even as a practicing tool.

I'd say, if you want to spike your blood pressure, if you want a grey box with a lot of flashing lights that makes random sounds, then this is the product for you. If, however, you're looking for an easy-to-use backup player for practicing and performing, then give this a miss. It's far, far too difficult to use to be considered entry-level.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Works great, sounds great.

By Yamahafan

from Northern MN

See all my reviews

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I use this for jamming, either by myself or with another guitarist, bassist, or both. For that purpose, it is excellent! I run it direct into the PA and it really sounds awesome! Turning the bass on or off is very simple to do, as is changing the tempo. I didn't need it for crafting entire songs with custom beats, but you can do it.Definitely get a footswitch. I have the Boss FS-6 which is great because I can do intro/end or fills between verse while still playing guitar. To jam by myself with this is great because I can practice endless leads and the drummer and bass player never get tired of it. There are hundreds of rhythm combinations to choose from. Personally I think a lot of them are overkill. Finding a good solid rock or blues beat is very easy to do though. Again, for jamming and having fun without your human drummer, this thing is fantastic. Remember, it is only going to sound as good as what you are running it through. If it's some dinky playback device, yes it will sound like crap. If you run it direct into a nice PA setup, you will be blown away.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Private Drummer!

By Bass Player From Another Planet

from Washington,DC

See all my reviews

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

This machine is OK! It's great for jammimg and for keeping time. You may program it for your own style. The styles that come with it are somewhat basic, however this machine is only for jamming. It will help you with your timing and also will help in constructing drum patterns for your own music. This is a great deal for the price! Buy it, play with it.....then find a real drummer!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Not bad for the price

By Bodhi

from Raleigh, NC

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

As long as you know up front what to expect it's a nifty little device for the price. I basically was looking for a metronome on steroids to practice - and it's that and more. For a guitarist or keyboardist looking to practice/compose simple ideas it's more than adequate. Clearly you won't use this to perform (except maybe playing Christmas carols at the mall:). Despite being plastic it has a sturdy feel to it. The keypads are small, but I was able to tap quickly with index fingers of both hands. It's very programmable. The sounds aren't as bad as some purists' rants, but of course it isn't going to sound like real drums nor like a $2000 digital sampler. Negatives: the out-of-the-box presets are disappointing - nearly every one has four measures of one pattern followed by four measures of a second pattern followed by two measures of a third pattern and then repeat over and over. They're more like demos. Some realistic song structures would have been nice. But it is easily programmable and very portable.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Brilliant design and execution

By jl-l8vz2

from OR

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

Great basic drum machine with all the drum sounds you expect from Roland. Very realistic and shapable sounds. Songs are easy to compose - backing tracks are a snap. Foot switch control is brilliant. I don't use the bass at all-just needed good drums to augment Guitar Tracks Pro (another simple no excessive frills bargian) studio. I control the beat and position with GTPro-integrates brilliantly. Have used a ZOOM, a SR-16 and an older MKII Boss machine-This sounds the best and is much more intuitive.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This Thing Rocks!

By Willie Half Nelson

from NYC Area

See all my reviews

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

All I can say is that this little box has added so much to my solo performances. I play the lead and the DR-3 backs me up with realistic drums and bass. It is VERY intuitive and I just use the presets because most of them are based on common vamps used in the industry.I have used it for recording too and it sounds great on stereo tracks. I brough mine second hand from the music store and it works perfectly. I wished it had a full metal chasis like my stomp boxes but the foot switch is metal and I haven't had any problems. Once of the best investments you'll make for your gigs and recording needs especially if you perform alone or with a minimum crew.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very Useful

By Jake-foQEo

from Minnesota

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

This machine has been invaluable to me, but then again I haven't lamented the purchase of any musical equiptment; it all comes in handy at some point in my opinion. Now, I haven't used this for a performance. What I have used it for is writing. I usually start with chords and then try to harmonize with bass next which i program into this machine. This gives me a visual picture of the bassline and allows me to place the beat and accents on and around it with the drums and percussion. Then I teach it to my boys. I might be using this live for some stuff that is beyond the abilities of my bassist and drummer, possibly any bassist or drummer. I'm not to worried about the sound. Just put this thing through a pre amp of some sort or even a mic'ed guitar amp and tweak the setting a bit and you can get some interesting non-stock sounds. And don't worry about shuffles and blue's timing. It does triplets with ease if you need a 123 123 instead of a 1234 on 4/4. Not to mention it does all the other singnatures and goes down to 32nds.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Not what I was looking for, but I'm not sure it exists

By flying fingers

from San Diego, CA

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

So I'm looking for a simple drum machine to replace my ancient TR-505, which is still functional but showing its age. I was hoping that this machine would do that, but it has too much of things I don't want and not enough of what I do need. I use the TR-505 to play drum loops along with my piano playing. I have a set of simple patterns with fairly spare playing, and I use a pedal to start and stop the loop, and the tempo dial to change tempo. That represents about 1% of what this machine is capable of, but it's not easy. The learning curve is relatively steep, and I'm a techie. I set up my loops with a lot of help from the manual, and I'm sure that if I want to make changes I'll need to pull out the manual again because the user interface is not very intuitive. I don't like the way the machine forces you to step through patterns when playing, I don't like the way the start and stop pedal works, and bottom line, I'll be keeping my TR-505 a little longer and continuing my search for a replacement. I've tried the Alesis SR-16, and that's OK, but still not exactly what I need. I hate the thought of dedicating a laptop to solving the problem, but it may come to that. However, if you want to make bass and drum loops and create songs, this is probably a good value. The sounds are pretty good, but the functionality is just not a match for me.

(1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A must have for me!

By thetyguy

from mid michigan

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • All Good
  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound
  • I Use All These Codes On
  • Using All These Codes On

Cons

  • Dont Like Doin A Show Wo
  • Pedalcordac Should Be I
  • Shouldnt Be Sold Wo Ped

Best Uses

  • All the above
  • As Important As My Mic Or
  • Backup
  • Concerts
  • Practicing
  • Working Venues Important

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

Its become part of me and my style format since the 550, to this, since 1999! Can ya grant me an endoursement? Pics and all!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

lets jam

By Glenn

from Rochester New York

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Functional
  • Good Quality

Cons

  • Difficult To Use

Best Uses

  • Practicing

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

great for practice and as a teaching tool.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice bang for the buck!

By Synthartist69

from Van Buren, Arkansas

See all my reviews

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I have been playing drums/keyboards for over 20yrs and have owned a ton of drum machines. The Boss DR-3 does not sound horrible or like a Casio keyboard like some of the posters are saying. If you have ever heard a zoom 123 then I would say that this one is in that neighborhood of sound quality, but a little better, especially on features. Some of the drum sets sound weak, some are very usable, like most drum machines. The bass guitar sounds good, not horrible or like a toy. I especially like the 80's electronic bass patterns and sounds, since that is something I am into. If you are into heavy metal then this machine isn't for you. If you are into electronic music then it is.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A great jamming and recording tool!

By Cp Colwell

from San Diego

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I am a long time guitar/bass/keyboard player. I have played in many bands. This machine sounds greats through a suround sound stereo system. The tracks are in stereo! You can play the pads yourself or use the 50 auto settings to jam to or a combination of the two. I bought two of the optional footswitches so I have more control while playing. You can also program the bass lines and drums and assign them to user define settings. I initially bought it to use for drums in my backing tracks but now I use it to compose songs. If you like to tune down, no problem, it has a key shift to play the parts in any key step you want. THE THING I LIKE BEST. IT IS THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT, NO PERSONALITY ISSUES TO DEAL WITH AND DOESN'T NEED TO GET PAID. When I record songs with it, most people who hear them can't tell that it is not a real drum set. You can tweak the sound so much. This is one best things that I have bought it the last year! I can't wait to see what the new DR 880 will do. Maybe I won't need a band anymore?

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great product

By rdjones

from Nevada, USA

See all my reviews

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I think its a great little machine.Its very programmable and configurable.You don't generally get this kind of adaptability without making some effort to learn about how to use it.Run it through a decent sound system. I have heard a decent PA system works great. I run mine through and old Magnatone 240SV (its and old 240 watt SS amp with 15" speakers built around 1968 or so. My parents bought it when it was brand new for me with an accordion). and it sounds great through that.Don't like the way the bass sounds? Well, read the manual and you can change that. Like Slap bass? You can make it do that too.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Drum Maching

By Starfurry-rBCu.

from Caro Michigan

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3:

I have had my Boss DR3 for 4 days. It has a ton of features. I have just begun to learn them. I also got the Boss BR 600 at the same time. None of the rhythms were appropriate for my style of music. No problem I hooked up the output of the DR3 to the line-in of the BR 600 and tapped out my own percussion to back up my recording. The DR3 has many percussion possibilities that you can create on your own. The one draw back (in my opinion) is the built in rhythm sets are geared heavy towards Rock. But you can make your own to suit your needs. Like the BR 600 the case a bit fragile so don't just toss it in your guitar case. I suggest you use the box it came in to transport it, for safety sake. It is well worth the price.

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