Reviewing the Korg KR-55 and KR-55b Retro Analogue Rhythm Equipment

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I’ve lately ordered and have been applying both equally the Korg KR-55 and KR-55b on some new Anjelicas Baby tracks. I actually appreciated the fingers on use and retro seem of these two equipment. If you are into electronic, electronica, new wave, electro, synthpop, dance or pop songs in general you will really like including these appears to your music productions.

Manufactured in (1982), the Korg KR-55b was the successor to the well-liked (1979) Korg KR-55. Korg were being one particular of the providers at the reducing edge of analogue know-how when every person was attempting to recreate the sound of a genuine drum kit. For its time it was revolutionary and really uncomplicated to function. It had twice the allotted 48 drum systems of the KR-55 with a extremely useful swap for altering the swing time on some of the designs selected. However, on the KR-55 all of the designs could use this swing function considering the fact that now the new equipment experienced routed the swap for accessing the new bank of 48 preset drum patterns. Also, the drum patterns were not similar to the primary KR-55 with basically a new established of 48 courses extra for very good evaluate. For some this could be disappointing. For other folks this expanded the designs of an otherwise restricted preset drum sample arrangement. Clearly, a single would want to have each drum devices to reach this.

Apparently, it could be utilised as a set off gadget for other Korg synthesizers these types of as the Korg Delta. It had a foot peddle jack socket on the back for plugging in a foot peddle for halting and starting off the drum device and inserting drum fills in are living performances. The peddle arrived with the initial device as common as I recall. It even had six knobs for managing the drum volumes.

It was comparable in numerous strategies to the Roland TR808 analogue drum machine in terms of its extra fat bass drum and electro like hello hats and snare and so on. So why did it not stand the examination of time like the Roland TR808 has?

Perfectly equally drum devices experienced in the mid (1980’s) from the overriding motivation by artists to use the then exceptionally fashionable digitally sampled appears from real drum kits offered by, for case in point, the Fairlight Tunes Personal computer.

Nevertheless, what may perhaps have saved the Roland TR808 was the weighty use of the drum device by the then new electro and hip-hop artists from the Usa particularly from New York.

Also, additional damming to the Korg KR-55 and KR-55b was the reality that the drum machine was preset and could not be programmed. It performed in mono and experienced no separate outs for every person drum and did not have any midi implementation.

Even with its downsides, it has held a cult like position. Quite a few feel that Depeche Method made use of the KR-55 on their 1st album Communicate and Spell. To my ears I suspect this is real. Also, they are quite exceptional these times and make an fascinating alternate to the done to demise TR808 and with modern-day computers the appears and drumbeats can be simply recorded and edited in program packages this sort of as Cubase or Logic. You can even get retro matches to maximize the volume of outputs the drum machine has. They can be brought for all around £150 or allows say $200-300. It is a really affordable price tag looking at what you can do with it once you employ it into a modern studio location.

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