BOSS DR-202 Dr. Groove

BOSS DR-202 Image

The DR-202 from BOSS is a compact programmable rhythm/drum machine from the Groove Zone. It features 256 drum and bass sounds (207 drum, 49 bass) arranged into 128 kits exclusively developed for groove music production--from hip-hop to jungle, drum 'n' bass, trip hop, house, Latin and more. Classic TR-808, TR-909 and TB-303 sounds, vinyl sounds, Lo-Fi drum samples, various synth basses, sound effects and more can be found inside. Its authentic groove music patterns can be used "as is" or broken down into User patterns. It's compact, easy to use and can run on batteries or AC power.

Included are 400 authentic groove patterns organized into categories like "Old School," "Slow Tempo," "Medium Tempo," "New Jack," "Trip Hop," "Jazzy," "Abstract," "East Coast," and "West Coast"--each with many variations. There are on-board realtime control knobs for adjusting cutoff, resonance and decay parameters (for instant tweaking of individual instrument sounds); reverb and delay effects; Tap Tempo control for realtime BPM adjustment and 13 pads for triggering sounds from any of its 128 kits. The way the pads are laid out gives you 2 kicks, 2 snares, 2 hi hats (one open, one closed), a ride, a crash, 2 percussion, and 3 hit pads. Each pad also has a separate send to the effects which is nice but the effects can also be applied to all the drums at once.

A 3-track sequencer (which offers a 13-part drum track and a dedicated bass track) lets you build a rhythm from scratch in either step or live edit modes. Up to 20 complete songs can be stored in the DR-202's internal memory. There's even an external source track for triggering external MIDI gear like samplers and other instruments. It doesn't have a backlit display so it may be hard to read on stage.

Aimed straight at dance music producers and DJs, the DR-202 is a cheap but awesome little tool for sketching drum & bass patterns, accompanying DJ sets or building up your music tracks. This is one drum machine not designed for guitarists or drummers to play along with - it's a full fledged Groove Machine for the budget conscious bedroom producer or DJ on the go!

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34 Visitor comments
Level One
November 2, 2009 @ 7:15 pm
Hey guys just got one of these to go along side my Akai MPC500, and I must say for the price I paid, 90.00 for it, with power, manual, 12 AA Very Good re-chargeable bats and a soft case for it... WOW!!

I see you guys are a little "P"-ed about just the RCA outputs, just do what Joe and I did, the fellow I got it from added a 1/4 inc. head phone jack. Go to Radio Shak grab a pack of 1/4inc. female inputs, (they come balanced or unbalanced in a pack of 2) Drill 2 nice holes in the lower part of the rear housing. Solder jumpers from the RCA outs or just un-solder them and put the connections directly to the 1/4inch outputs, the hardest part is driving to the store to get the jacks!
I have had a pack for years now and did not know what I was going to use them for..I do now! :-)
Email me if you need to know how to do it.
levelonegds"REMOVE NO SPAM"

Again a great little unit, great bass and effects, oh and some nice drum sounds and patterns too!!
August 2, 2009 @ 1:20 pm
It's a shame Boss missed the bus on this one. With a bigger display, 1/4" outs and the ability to isolate the effects and filters this box could have been really something else. Realizing that they were trying to keep the costs down some sacrifices and compromises had to be made but I feel they cut too much. The RCA outs are inexcusable. Pro DJ's do own 1/4" cables guys! In the plus column, these do have some great sounds and some pretty decent rhythms programmed into them. A bit of tweaking and you quickly have some very useable patterns. These are going for a song nowadays. Definitely worth a look.
April 21, 2009 @ 10:23 pm
i love this thing...cheesy and weird enough to sit right with me
plus a bass cut/boost knob
and a decay knob...
January 12, 2009 @ 3:57 pm
this machine only has RCA outs and they are prone to crapping out. one other negative aspect of this machine is a hiss that reminds me of tapes before Dolby. It is a great entry level beat box tho.
Wesley Cook
December 23, 2008 @ 1:24 pm
This is a great drum machine for any analog style drum programming. I have used this extensively for electronica and soundtrack work. I wish it had a larger display, but otherwise this drum machine is limited only by one's imagination.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.38 (264 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Demos of various beats and grooves. From Future Music CD issue 78.

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 24 voices
  • Oscillators - 256 Drum and Bass samples
  • Sampler - None
  • Sequencer - 3-track sequencer: rhythm track, bass track, external source track for sampler or other MIDI device. 14,000 of note storage
  • Effects - Reverb (8 types)/ Delay (2 types), Flanger (4 types)
  • Memory - 128 Preset drum kits, 400 Preset patterns, 64 User drum kits, 100 User patterns, 20 Songs
  • Keyboard - 13 drum and bass pads
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT
  • Date Produced - 2000 - 2002
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Roland (Japan)

    Reviewed August 2008.

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