The CR-78 is a really great little box from Roland. It's a classic analog Rhythm Machine, not a drum machine, and was the first to use a microprocessor. It has 34 built in preset rhythm patterns which can be varied at the push of a button. These patterns include Rock, Disco, Waltz, Shuffle, Slow Rock, Swing, Fox Trot, Tango, etc... Some are cool, but the ability to vary them gives you some creative control.
As for the drum sounds, the CR-78 offers 14 very electronic yet analog drum tones. Sounds include Kick, Snare, Rim, Cow Bell, HiHats, Cymbals, Congas, Bongos, Tambourine and Guiros. With 11 variation effects and the ability to adjust Tempo, accents, and fade in/outs the CR-78 is still capable of producing nice rhythms for use in ambient, HipHop, dub, and other electronic forms of music.
The CR-78 could also be programmed using the standard TS-1 Memory Write Switch or the rather hard-to-find WS-1 programming switch. They allow for pattern programming via a step-programming method similar to that on the TR-808. You program 2 bar patterns one voice at a time and up to 4 voices can be simultaneously played. Each of the four voices can be independently muted from the front-panel allowing for building up and breaking down your rhythm patterns. Patterns can also be set to fade-in/out. User patterns are stored to battery-backed memory.
The CR-78 also has external trigger using 24ppq V-Trig clock pulse. It has a very unique and familiar sound that has been used in all forms of HipHop, R&B and electronica, whether sampled and processed or straight out of the box itself. It's used by Underworld, Fatboy Slim, BT, Gary Numan, 808 State, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Ultravox, Jimmy Edgar, Genesis and Überzone, Blondie, Brian Ferry, Men Without Hats, John Foxx, OMD, and many others.
Demos & Media
Images from Perfect Circuit Audio.
Additional information provided by DAC Crowell.