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Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine  

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The Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine is a rhythm-programming powerhouse loaded with world-class drum, percussion, and bass sounds from Roland's ...Read More

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OVERVIEW

The most powerful and easiest-to-use Dr. yet.

The Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine is a rhythm-programming powerhouse loaded with world-class drum, percussion, and bass sounds from Roland's famous SRX library. It also includes a stunning collection of original waveforms. You can get microscopic in programming the DR-880, but you also have the option of taking the simple route with its 3 EZ Compose buttons that 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.

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 ambiance 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

If you ain't got rhythm, order the DR-880. The doctor has plenty.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
BossDr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine
 
4.2

(based on 65 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (36)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good quality (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Great Device - You just have to know how to use it properly.

      Overall great unit. There's a reason why it's still being produced after 7 years on the market.
      One thing Boss/Roland is good at is features. The feature set on this device,...Read complete review

      Overall great unit. There's a reason why it's still being produced after 7 years on the market.
      One thing Boss/Roland is good at is features. The feature set on this device, like many Roland products, is so deep that you not only need a manual to get at them all, but a tutorial. At the same time, the machine can be used in the simplest, most intuitive way possible.

      EZ Compose feature lets you create patterns by configuring four parameters. That's it. You can have a drum/bass pattern up and going in less than a minute. Afterward, you can do a deeper dive and edit the pattern in step recording or real time recording mode.

      Somebody mentioned that you can't export your drum patterns as MIDI. If you have a MIDI interface, you can easily record the MIDI output from one of your patterns to your DAW or sequencer in real time, so that statement was a little misleading.

      Great drum, percussion, and bass sounds are to be had with this unit. It might be going on 7 years old, but it still plays drums. The Alesis SR-16 is still being sold too, and it's about a decade older than the DR-880.
      I would have liked a metal case for this. It's plastic, and I don't like plastic gear. If you're keeping it in the studio, then I guess that's okay. But any trips to the stage are going to require a decent case. The buttons seem to hold up well. No other quality concerns.
      Excellent value. I've spent far more money on drum samples and sequencer software that I can't take with me without my computer. The interface and workflow are perfect for a non-drummer like me. The biggest value comes from the amount of time I save when creating drum and bass parts compared to the complicated programming I used to do with my software sequencer and samples. I can have a basic song structure up and running in minutes.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

      It doesn't import or export general MIDI files. It can't be upgraded. They quickly jumped on board to get into the DJ/Looper/Rap market and totally mislead real musicians on the...Read complete review

      It doesn't import or export general MIDI files. It can't be upgraded. They quickly jumped on board to get into the DJ/Looper/Rap market and totally mislead real musicians on the features.

      I'd like to say I'll never buy another Roland/Boss product as long as I live, but the fact is they make great gear... That's why I'm so shocked that they would produce this horrible piece of equipment and be so misleading in their marketing.
      While the unit has some pretty good sounds, both bass and drums....it lacks editing capabilities in a BIG way. The memory is non existent, unless you just want to jam along to a loop.

      As far as using this unit in a live performance situation, this is simply a click track with good samples. The DR-880 doesn't have nearly enough memory to handle the data that is required to record more than a few (6-10 Depending) songs.

      Editing is a long tedious process using the data wheel and the DR does not have any short cuts using the number pad.

      If you are inexperienced with MIDI, especially sequencers, it will take you forever to utilize what little this machine has to offer.
      Boss makes great gear but "quality" is too general a term. What they advertise this unit as verses what it does...quality is poor at best.
      It seems like a reasonable price for all Boss "claims" this machine has to offer... but this unit falls well short of having any bang for the buck.

      I'd rather spend a little less on an old Roland Mark II Micro composer and find an Alesis D4 Drum Module and a decent Bass Module. Realistically you could put that package together for a lot less than the DR costs and have WAY more flexibility, memory and power.

      Reviewed by 65 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      5.0

      Great Boss Product

      By jeff_o

      from San Diego, CA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Practicing

        Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

        Realistic drum & bass sounds seem as if you are playing along in a real band. My first DR-880 practice session lasted four hours as it was difficult to stop having fun. My finger tips from guitar strings were sore for three days but that's a good thing! Haven't had this much fun since my garage-band days back in the '60's. Should have bought one years ago!

        Comment on this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great Sounds/Needs More Memory

        By TheOldDog

        from Thunder Bay, Ontario

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Quality
        • Great Sounding Drumbass
        • Guitar Effects Very Good
        • Well Thought Out Os

        Cons

        • Bought A 2nd For 20 More
        • Dvd Almost Necessary
        • Memory Maxed 20 Songs
        • Takes A While To Master

        Best Uses

        • Backup
        • Concerts
        • Practicing

        Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

        The sound quality of drums and bass are first rate.
        The guitar input [am using a Godin nylon solid body]
        sounds amazing after tweaking a patch or two for it.
        Play the unit through two medium PA systems with added subwoofers. People at the Christmas party --your music sounds just like a CD playing. Like many, would like to see more memory or an upgrade made available. Bought a 2nd unit. Am addicted to this unit. Its made me a better player. Love creating solos over top of drum bass combo. Add a Voicelive 2 for vocals and you can sound as if 4 or 5 are playing at once.

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        NICE SOUNDS AND USEABLE BEATS

        By Violin Guy

        from California

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Good Quality
        • Improves Sound

        Cons

        • There is a learning curve

        Best Uses

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          I have had at least three different drum units and had to take them all back for what ever reasons. Finally bit the bullet and ordered this one. Spent two hours jamming with my guitar on it when it came. Now I'll have to read the manual to get the most out of it. I see some say the memory is short. Guess its time to learn to use tracks at my solo gig also. You will find yoursel playing along to beats you never thought you'd be playing to. I like the clean and jazzy guitar sounds the best that comes with it. Finally drum loops that are useable. To me at least. Man if they put piano chords on this it would be killer. Back to jamming.

          Comment on this review

          (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          DR 880

          By marcus davis

          from Ontario Canada

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          I own the DR 880 as well as the Alesis SA16 drum machines.I love the DR880 i love all the programming functions for programming my own patterns ,my only beef is the limited memory use.I had programmed 109 user patterns before the memory full message came up.Other than that its a great machine.

          Comment on this review

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Device - You just have to know how to use it properly.

          By Karl Houseknecht

          from Palmyra, VA

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          Overall great unit. There's a reason why it's still being produced after 7 years on the market.
          One thing Boss/Roland is good at is features. The feature set on this device, like many Roland products, is so deep that you not only need a manual to get at them all, but a tutorial. At the same time, the machine can be used in the simplest, most intuitive way possible.

          EZ Compose feature lets you create patterns by configuring four parameters. That's it. You can have a drum/bass pattern up and going in less than a minute. Afterward, you can do a deeper dive and edit the pattern in step recording or real time recording mode.

          Somebody mentioned that you can't export your drum patterns as MIDI. If you have a MIDI interface, you can easily record the MIDI output from one of your patterns to your DAW or sequencer in real time, so that statement was a little misleading.

          Great drum, percussion, and bass sounds are to be had with this unit. It might be going on 7 years old, but it still plays drums. The Alesis SR-16 is still being sold too, and it's about a decade older than the DR-880.
          I would have liked a metal case for this. It's plastic, and I don't like plastic gear. If you're keeping it in the studio, then I guess that's okay. But any trips to the stage are going to require a decent case. The buttons seem to hold up well. No other quality concerns.
          Excellent value. I've spent far more money on drum samples and sequencer software that I can't take with me without my computer. The interface and workflow are perfect for a non-drummer like me. The biggest value comes from the amount of time I save when creating drum and bass parts compared to the complicated programming I used to do with my software sequencer and samples. I can have a basic song structure up and running in minutes.

          Comment on this review

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          DR-880 Short on Memory

          By Ray Martin

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          Great potential but disappointing as described above.
          Great features.
          While the DR-880 is basically a great machine, it does not perform as advertised. The literature claims to be able to store 500 user patterns and 100 user songs. After 21 user songs and 90 user patterns, I received a "Memory Full" error message. After doing some research on line, I found a number of other owners who received the "Memory Full" message with fewer songs and patterns than I have. This, so far, is my only major complaint, however, since I fully expected to use this machine as my full time back-up band, it is a great disappointment.
          My goal was to use this machine for multiple sets. If it met this requirement, I would give it a ten, but since it falls short on memory, it is a lot of money with very little return on investment.

          Comment on this review

          (9 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

          By paul taylor

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          It doesn't import or export general MIDI files. It can't be upgraded. They quickly jumped on board to get into the DJ/Looper/Rap market and totally mislead real musicians on the features.

          I'd like to say I'll never buy another Roland/Boss product as long as I live, but the fact is they make great gear... That's why I'm so shocked that they would produce this horrible piece of equipment and be so misleading in their marketing.
          While the unit has some pretty good sounds, both bass and drums....it lacks editing capabilities in a BIG way. The memory is non existent, unless you just want to jam along to a loop.

          As far as using this unit in a live performance situation, this is simply a click track with good samples. The DR-880 doesn't have nearly enough memory to handle the data that is required to record more than a few (6-10 Depending) songs.

          Editing is a long tedious process using the data wheel and the DR does not have any short cuts using the number pad.

          If you are inexperienced with MIDI, especially sequencers, it will take you forever to utilize what little this machine has to offer.
          Boss makes great gear but "quality" is too general a term. What they advertise this unit as verses what it does...quality is poor at best.
          It seems like a reasonable price for all Boss "claims" this machine has to offer... but this unit falls well short of having any bang for the buck.

          I'd rather spend a little less on an old Roland Mark II Micro composer and find an Alesis D4 Drum Module and a decent Bass Module. Realistically you could put that package together for a lot less than the DR costs and have WAY more flexibility, memory and power.

          Comment on this review

          (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          disappointed

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          First the good news, it does have good drum kits and bass sounds. Unfortunately it has severe limitations. First of all there's no drivers for Windows Vista 64bit. So if you have software on your computer and you want to play it throught you're DR-880 you will have to buy a separate midi interface. While you can import midi files into the machine, you can not export your drum patterns as midi files. You can only backup the DR-880 as a whole. It also has a very limited memory.On page 76 of the manual it say you can record up to 100 songs with up to 500 patterns per song. This may be true if your songs are not very complicated and have a lot of the same patterns that repeat over and over, but if your songs are more complicated you will run out of memory fast. I've loaded ten midi files into the machine and it's out of memory already. You really have to micro manage it if you want to save on memory.

          Comment on this review

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great Sounding + Highly Addictive

          By Nicky6Wire

          from Long Island, NY

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          I went into the store to buy the Alesis SR18 because of the features and the price was right for me. Got to the store and started playing with the Alesis thru speakers. Not great. THEN I started playing with the DR880 thru the same speakers!! The drum sounds are so much more authentic than the Alesis! Only had enough $ for the Alesis. Left a deposit on the DR880, returned the next day with the rest. Took it home, plugged in my guitar using the on-board FX and only stopped playing because I was getting a headphone headache. Became addicted. THIS is the drum unit to def have if you can handle the $ cost!

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          SWEET PRACTICE TOOL

          By darthvedder321

          from San Diego, CA

          Comments about Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine:

          I bought the Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 Rhythm Machine about a week ago and can't stop playing with this little gem. It has a ton of preloaded drum and bass beats to jam along with or edit to your own liking. I'm a bass player so I bought it as a cool little practice tool when you don't have a live drummer to play with. I like to play along to the preloaded bass tracks and then turn the volume completely down on only the bass track, while leaving the drum tracks playing and creating my own bass jams to go along with the drumbeats. It's a great asset to practice your timing at various tempos. It's also got such a variety of song styles and effects to run your guitar or bass through that you can really get creative with your jams! All in all, I plan on keeping this drum machine in my arsenal of toys for a long time to come!

          Comment on this review

          Displaying reviews 1-10

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