Korg Rhythm 55 (KR-55 & KR-55B)

Korg KR-55 Image

The KR55 was, for its time (1979), an advanced preset rhythm drum machine with up to 96 preset rhythm patterns! These patterns cover the whole gamut of presets (Waltz, Samba, Rhumba, Bossa Nova, Tango, Slow Rock, Swing, Rock, etc.). The KR55 also featured a "swing beat" control to add a variation to the groove. Each drum sound's level can be individually adjusted for each pattern. It can also be externally controlled via footswitch jack for the Start/Stop and Intro/Fill switches. The KR55B was a black-chassis version released a few years later in 1982 with twice as many rhythm patterns. It has been used by Jean-Michel Jarre, Trio and Depeche Mode.

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24 Visitor comments
December 5, 2008 @ 7:54 am
Hmm .. seems like anything that doesnt have midi gets rated down by this site ....Hook up this baby to your other premidi synths through the trigger out get on stage and play live .
[beep] ingoldman
October 22, 2008 @ 10:00 am
The swing on/off button of the 55 is in the 55B integrated in the swing poti as push/pull button. In that place the 55B has the A/B Button.
September 17, 2008 @ 8:18 pm
I highly recommend picking up one of these if you see one, great, great sound, sure, you can't program them, but there's enough presets to choose from all with individual instrument volume control to suit taste. Nice and crisp hats and disco style patterns all triggering your korg synth too. I have the KR-55B model which apparently has twice the presets than the first model, which I'm not sure about seeing how visually they have the identical amount of buttons/knobs on the front? Any ideas?
August 15, 2008 @ 11:16 pm
it may be limited but it has its charm.
i mean it has been sampled to death and despite its lack of programabiltiy it has seen new life in the last decade .
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.96 (230 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Sounds - 12 Tones: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, HiHat x 2, Cymbal, Low Conga, High Conga, Rim Shot, Claves, Cowbell, Tom Tom x 2
  • Patterns - KR55 - 48 Rhythm patterns: Waltz, Jazz Waltz, Rock, Ballad x 3, 5/4 Beat x 3, Mambo, Rumba, Beguine, Pops x 3, Rock x 12, Disco x 6, Foxtrot, Shuffle, March, Swing x3, Bossanova x3, Chacha, Samba, Afro, Enka, Tango, Habanera
    16 Intro Rhythms
    16 Fill-In Rhythms
    KR-55B - 96 Rhythm patterns
  • Controls - Level for each Drum Sound, Tempo, Swing Beat, Start/Stop, Intro/Fill
  • Keyboard - None
  • Effects - None
  • Control - Start/Stop and Intro/Fill functions triggered by external footswitch
  • Date Produced - 1979 - mid-eighties

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