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!

Lookup BOSS DR-202 Dr. Groove Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a BOSS DR-202 Dr. Groove? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

34 Visitor comments
July 10, 2014 @ 12:14 pm
can anyone tell me if there is a way to turn off the metronome during realtime recording? this machine would be AWESOME if you could that....
May 20, 2014 @ 11:55 pm
The DR202 + Electribe Em1 combo has been in my permanent setup for a while now... Anyone knows where I could find a replacement backlit screen? I can't see a thing most of the time when I use it live... :( Thanks!
April 23, 2014 @ 1:57 pm
Man, I love this thing. I picked mine up from goodwill in practically new condition for $20. I adore everything about it with the exception of only having an 1/8th inch out and rca rather than 1/4 inch out. Even when I am not using it for drums, I can just use the bass synth with my kontrol49 and have fun with that. Like everyone else, I love the knobs for effects. One thing that many people have failed to mention is that these get incredibly good battery life. Pop in six AA batteries and you're set (as long as you dont leave it on). Seriosuly, if you can find one relatively cheap, buy one.
February 27, 2014 @ 12:35 am
Forgot to mention this thing is a bit iffy when it comes to using batteries. The connection from the battery compartment to the actual circuit board gets cut off sometimes; on more than one occasion I've had to give it a bit of a squeeze on the left side (creates contact to the circuit board) in order to get it to turn on. Eventually, I'm probably going to need to open this up and bend the little L-shaped prongs on the battery compartment so they can make constant contact.
February 27, 2014 @ 12:29 am
Bought one of these used for about $50 (was missing the power adapter and a few knobs, of course) and was surprised at how much you can do with it. I accidentally stumbled upon a decent acid sound (which surprisingly doesn't use any of the tb-303 bass sounds, but instead one labeled "SoulB") and have been making good use of it ever since. Portamento can be tweaked to provide anything from split second slides up to insanely long drifts that last over a minute, which is great for slow ambient tracks. The internal reverb effect can also be tweaked to get some nice results.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.37 (265 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.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.