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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23 Visitor comments
January 31, 2011 @ 8:04 pm
I loved this machine back when I was a performer. I see one out on ebay right now. Great machine. I still use Korg today - great products!
Harlem Nights Music
January 28, 2011 @ 10:46 am
Note Bobby Orlando's use of its disco presets in the early 80s: Native Love (Step by Step) - Divine, Passion - The Flirts, She has a Way - Bobby O and many others.. Just add hat clap!

It has good sync out options, but in the Korg -/+ volt trigger system, so to avoid time lag with other synths you'll need trigger polarity conversion
Dale Yoho
December 5, 2010 @ 2:42 pm
I had a Korg55b rhythem machine back in 86. It was an excellent rhythem unit. Easy to use and very adaptable to the music I played as a soloist. Unfortunately I sold it. Now, I need a Korg 55b rhythem machine with the foot pedal for on /off and fill in. Where can I purchase one? Who has one for sale.
Please contact me at musicman1.5@frontiernet.net
Thank you
Bob Meaker
October 9, 2010 @ 8:25 am
The Bristol Duo "Mischief" also used the KR 55
It had a great sound
You can hear some live "on stage"recordings at
Tony Flagg
June 5, 2010 @ 4:43 pm
Ya'll missed the most prominent appearance. Joe Jackson recorded an entire album, "Night and Day", with this box. It can be heard unmistakenly on his biggest hit ever, "Stepping out".
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Rated 3.94 (227 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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