BOSS DR-110 Dr. Rhythm Graphic

BOSS DR-110 Dr. Rhythm Graphic Image

In 1980, Roland introduced their first simple and affordable drum machine to bear the BOSS Dr. Rhythm brand (the DR-55), offering four sounds, an Accent and a limited number of programmable patterns. It was followed by the Dr. Rhythm Graphic (DR-110) in 1983, which offers a wider selection of sounds, preset patterns, an increased number of programmable patterns and the ability to chain patterns together to form songs. The simple step programming of the first Dr. Rhythm, with alternating button presses for notes and rests, is augmented by an LCD with a grid showing the individual notes in the current pattern. In addition to step programming there is also a "tap write" programming mode, albeit without a metronome click for timekeeping.

The sounds are Kick, Snare, Closed Hi-Hat, Open Hi-Hat, Cymbal and Clap. The sounds are totally analog, and sound crisp and punchy, thanks to tone generation circuitry that is more sophisticated than the Roland TR-606 Drumatix. A balance knob alters the level of the Kick, Snare and Clap relative to the other sounds, while an accent knob controls the amount of emphasis applied to accented steps. There is also a volume knob, which controls the overall level of both the main and headphone outputs. The main output is mono, but has an unusual feature whereby plugging in a suitable wired lead with a stereo jack plug allows for the feeding in of another signal to be mixed with the drum sounds. Another socket provides for a trigger signal, emitting a pulse for every accented step in a pattern.

The patterns are organized into four banks of eight patterns each. Banks C and D are the presets, while banks A and B are programmable. Each pattern can be switched between 12 or 16 steps, for a 3/4 or 4/4 time signature. Two songs can be programmed, each containing a maximum of 128 bars.

At the time of writing, the Dr. Rhythm Graphic is relatively affordable compared to similar machines such as the Roland TR-606 Drumatix, and are usually found in good condition thanks to the padded carry case that they came with. On the downside, there are no outputs or tone controls for the individual sounds, but a number of well documented modifications can be found on the Internet that add these features.

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19 Visitor comments
January 25, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Buy one before the ebay rats raise the price! This drum machine takes a poop on the 606! Sweet for sure! Sync it with the monotribe!
January 20, 2012 @ 11:18 pm
Toy-ish apperence with mateur analog sound , basic function which can be simple to use. Supposed to get one for below $100 which is the max of its deserved money value.
January 19, 2012 @ 4:11 am
I'm the submitter of the DR-110 review, and just wanted to add that this is my favourite of the dozen or so analogue drum machines I've owned down the years, with the Korg KPR-77 as a close second. The sounds are much "thicker" than on the otherwise very similar TR-606, and as the comment from theoutsider suggests, it's something of a cult machine amongst the modding community. I'd love to have the separate outs that some people have added, but can't bring myself to alter the appearance of my machine!
January 19, 2012 @ 12:41 am
The neglected cousin of the TR-808. I bought one for $40 two weeks ago (New Years 2012). Not the easiest to mod because of the small, tightly packed PCBs, but a whole different machine after modification, and with the wealth of mod info on the net ( for starters), no reason not to. The sync24 mod alone is very simply done, and the parts cost me less than $5. The other mods are more challenging but in the end you'll have more control than on an 808. Have a look at & a listen to my modded DR110 on youtube:
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Rated 3.69 (131 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
  • Polyphony - 6 voices
  • Waveforms - 6 sounds: Bass drum, Snare drum, Open HiHat, Closed HiHat, cymbal, Clap
  • Effects - Accent
  • Patterns - 32 patterns (4 banks of 8 patterns each)
  • Songs - 2 songs (up to 128 bars each)
  • Keyboard - 7 Drum Pads
  • Memory - 16 preset patterns, 16 user patterns
  • Control - Trigger out
  • Date Produced - 1983
  • Resources & Credits
  • Original image from

    Review by Chris Wareham

    Reviewed January 2012

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