Roland CR-78 CompuRhythm

Roland CR-78 Image

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.

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21 Visitor comments
Machine2A03
December 15, 2012 @ 10:04 pm
This device was used in the 1982 independent new-wave film 'Liquid Sky' by one of the main characters on stage, accompanied by some analog synths.
Bangtheboxbaris
September 26, 2012 @ 11:24 am
@cammy there is more than just a CR78 on that todd Terje track ... but there is some CR78, obviously
cammy
December 23, 2011 @ 8:55 pm
On Todd Terje - Ragysh.... it's a bomb
Leblond
October 6, 2011 @ 4:40 am
In the users, not to forget the band "New Music" a great exemple of how this machine sounds like.
jon
September 17, 2010 @ 1:01 am
To add to the list of artists that used the presets on this box in hit songs. Daryl Hall talks on his youtube channel about how "No Can Do", "Private Eyes" and "Kiss On My List" were all just preset patterns played on the Compu-Rhythm, and they would play their instruments over the beats and write to them. He also said they would mic the the drum machine and record it that way, which gave it that big, live sound.
 
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  • 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
  • Polyphony - 4 voices
  • Sounds - 14 tones: Kick, Snare, Rim, Cow Bell, HiHats, Cymbals, Congas, Bongos, Tambourine, Guiros
  • Controls - Tempo, accent, fade in/out
  • Patterns - 34 preset rhythms
  • Memory - 30 programmable presets
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer : Rock, Disco, Latin
  • Keyboard - None
  • Control - Trigger out, 24ppq (0-5V) V-Trig clock pulse
  • Date Produced - 1978-81
  • Resources & Credits
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