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Category: "Music related"

More DR-880 Musings

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on July 10th, 2017 @ 16:32:00 , using 366 words,
Posted in Music related

A long time ago I started something to somehow find a way of turning the data loaded in the Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-880 drum machine into an instrument definition file for the Cakewalk Sonar DAW. You can see that post here - Painfully Slow Progress with the DR-880. "Painful" was the word then, and some 8 years after I posted that, it would seem it is still an apt description.

So what's changed then? Not a lot where the DR-880 is concerned to be fair, but I am perhaps now better prepared to look again at the task having completed my Web Development Immersive course down at General Assembly, and also being back in the UK and away from the desert of Saudi Arabia.

The purpose isn't so much an update, as an attempt to collect all of the resources I'm aware of into one place, and perhaps provide an alternate source for some of the files before they disappear; after all, the DR-880 has been around for a good while now, and I'm guessing it won't stay on Roland's roster for ever.

Excel spreadsheet

This is a file I put together manually to map out the data from the DR-880 in human readable form.

Boss DR-880 Owner Manual

Currently too large a file to be held on this site

Boss DR-880 Service Notes

Currently too large a file to be held on this site

Boss Dr-880 MIDI implementation

This is an original Roland Boss document available at https://cms.roland.co.uk/assets/media/pdf/DR-880_MI.pdf at time of writing.


Boss DR-880 backup files

These files were backed up from my own DR-880 and appear to be in a hex data format.

Sonar 'instrument definition' file for the DR-880

This file was download from a post by 'Mamzar', a member at the Cakewalk Sonar Forum - http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/3493919. It should represent a version of the instrument file that could be uploaded into Sonar and used immediately - YMMV.


You can also find a useful discussion on the various things the Sonar Forum members have had on this subject on this thread - DR-880 Instrument Definition

C&K talk...

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on July 13th, 2015 @ 12:28:00 , using 2243 words,
This is old, maybe 5 years old, but it has the germ of something contained within it, a rambling discourse going everywhere and nowhere. We've not talked like this in a while, but I hope we pick it up soon. Be well K...

C: Demonic or not, me being late or not, not having knowingly listened to Slipnot before or not. Whatever, that's a fine set of words to guide the pushing of the shutter button. You look good too. Stick with it.

K: First, lateness is a forgivable offense in my book, I live in a state of perpetual lateness, but pride myself on being non hypocritical and I organize my closet in rainbow order so I figure it's a wash there.

Next..Slipknot. ditto. My husband listens to them, so I ended up hearing their one or at least one of a very few "slower" songs that don't totally offend my sensibilities in a sort of freak accident type way, and i liked it very much. I still don't and never will really like or listen to a certain type of heavy metal music, I just usually don't like it and don't find it very melodic, but I do now however have a new interest in READING some of their lyrics as well as a new respect for some of the crunchier bands and I will now give certain recommended ones or ones with particularly appealing lyrics a 10 to 15 second test shot of their songs I've never heard in case it's a hidden beauty like this one.

Annnnd. Thank you. These lyrics speak to me in a deep and intimate way, it's now a challenge of mine to portray images which are deeply connected to me in some personal way..but to do so in an image that isn't always a self portrait. Sometimes I can't and when that happens...this happens. Thanks again...your supportive words and your kind encouragement have been more important to me on my journey of artistic discovery than you probably know. I appreciate it all very much.

C: Where's the blushing smiley when you need one? :oops:

I do listen to a fair bit of metal (Metallica, Trivium, even some Lamb of God (am I really 48 listening to this stuff?)), or at least stuff that's inclined in that direction, but I'm probably more your 70's classic /prog rock type of guy. So I'm more comfortable with Thin Lizzy, Rush, Genesis and those sort of guys, but I'm equally happy with Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Massive Attack, Depeche Mode and many others.

I love this sort of portrait work, but haven't the faintest idea how to pull it off to be honest. My skills were honed in film and at a time when fine grained sharpness was the order of the day - movement was anaethema (unless it was the obligatory flowing stream), tripods a must and the rule of thirds enforced by the Inquisition. Breaking that mold is something I aspire to, but it's proving tricky I must say. I keep watching an looking and hopefully learning along the way. I'm starting to look into things more, rather than through or past them - there's hope yet.

K: You took the words out of my mouth. I'm about to turn 40, and very much still in love with the music I grew up on. Music for me is like a definition of my life, I define and recall all of my life through the musical soundtrack playing in the background at the time.

I don't think your ALLOWED to be 40-50 and not have a place in your heart for Metallica. That's one reason I made sure to say that I didn't like a "certain" type of metal music, namely the stuff that is what I call (probably incorrectly) death metal. If the vocals sound like a growl....I'm not going to like it. Metallica is not in that category, nor or misfits, or any other band pre1987 for the most part, or hell not many pre 1993 in my book either.

Love Radiohead, a group of guys that I grew up with and went to high school with opened up for Radiohead during their world tour in the 90's. Remy Zero. If you don't know them....get to know them. They are incredible. Wonderful guys as well. The drummer was a special person in my life and he just passed away on Jan 1st of this year and so they are likely going to be releasing a new Remy Zero album this year in his honor...all unheard stuff..if your just discovering them, now is a great time to do so.

Here is one of my favorites: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEEJecwFG0w

If you can find it, listen to a track called "Hollow" it's a track that I love and it's one that really showcases my sweet friend, Gregory Slay, on the drums and his talent is highlighted on that track. I can't find a video for it though.

I could talk to you for hours about the film issue. I'm going in the opposite direction of you, I'm trying to shoot more film, but I don't have a space for a dark room and I'm weird about letting others develop my film. I do have a fair amount of it on my stream, but I don't usually note it or anything. In my opinion, and that's all it is, I have ZERO photographic training, is just throw the rule book out, let go of "pretty" and look instead at light and also give your attention to the "edges" of things. The interesting parts of everything in life are always on the peripheral, out on the fringes in the outer spaces. The other thing I have found helpful is to look through your favorites and find the recurring theme, find the thing that makes art lovable for you and then aspire to emulate it. And of course it goes without saying, do what you love, post what you like, don't shoot with the preconception of pleasing anyone but you. No matter what you do or how you do it, there will always be those people that just don't get it, and those are not the people that you want to direct your art towards. Art is more of a magnet than a hunter, and people are much more alike than we are different so if you do what speaks to you, it will speak to those that need to hear it, those that are listening, and those that are open to it. The only real rule you need to follow is being truthful, being genuine and authentic to yourself and the rest will follow. It's much better to be heard perfectly clear by a few than to be misunderstood by masses. Anyway, these are just my philosophies and in the spirit of truthfulness...I'm a bit of flake so take it with as many or as few grains of salt as you see fit. oh...and lightroom helps. ;)

holy crap...I just hit preview and that's realllly long. sorry about that.

C: Weeee! When you get going, you get going don't you? I'm not complaining though. It's rather nice to find people on here that you can just fall into a natural line of conversation with.

Well I've found Hollow, but it's playing like crap for me - bad internet connecton tonight (it's about 23:00 here). From what I'm getting though it's a good song, very intense and I can see where the hook up with Radiohead came in from. I was just reading about Gregory on Wikipedia. It doesn't say too much as you'd expect, but it's always sad when someone so young (I can say that these days) passes on. I've already had one brush with mortality and this kind of stuff touches a nerve. I'd not heard of Remy Zero before, but they sound like they're worth checking out. I'll see if iTunes has anything to offer up.

I like your take on shooting. I might have to copy that out somewhere and re-read it at a later date. I'd be fascinated to know how that sort of mindset develops and what sort of environment is needed to encourage that level of free thought. My upbringing encouraged conformity and knowing ones place in the greater scheme of things. Couple that with an education heavy on science and the three 'r's, drilled forcefully into an unwilling skull in a single sex school run by Christian Brothers and you tend to find free thinking at something of a premium. LoL. From there it was straight into the RAF and more discipline.

As far as film itself goes, I've done the developing and printing thing years back, but that I suspect was never an issue in itself, just the way photography was viewed in the sources I learned from and the very occasional foray into the world of male dominated camera clubs. I must admit that I hate the photography for competition thing and being sized up by ones peers - where does that fit into art I wonder? One of the few pieces I've done recently that I actually like, was this one called "In Your Room" (another musical connection) - that one resonates for me, check out the lyrics, there's a message in there. Even that photo was inspired by someone else though, I'd not have thought of trying it otherwise.

Well I think I've written enough for one evening, I have work in the morning. Til later then.

K: brevity is not one of my strong points, I know this.

Brushes with mortality? Doesn't sound good...hope your weren't left any lasting health problems, take care of yourself!

I actually can relate more than you might expect, if you've read very much of my many diatribes (also not brief) on pimps stream(s) you might even be surprised, but I spent 13 years of school in a private christian environment that included an hour of church service daily in addition to a religion class every day. Not sure how much church that adds up to over the years but the way I see it, I've done a lifetime worth and so my Sundays are spent elsewhere. But point is, I know very well that these environments do nothing to promote free thinking. Quite the contrary. My take on it is that the control and order in life has it's place and you needn't abandon it in all other areas but it might come as a relief to free yourself of it in the area of creating art. Aren't we all just complicated and multi-faceted! How one goes about releasing that control and expressing their emotions through art isn't something I could make a good call on, but I do think that it could be nothing but of benefit, both emotionally and even physically. I carry stress and emotions in very very direct physical way, it's visually obvious even and art is absolutely a means of bleeding that off. I think in some ways you have to assume that no person will ever see it, as if it's just for you and then just put if out there quick, like ripping off a bandage. I don't think that competition has really any place in art beyond the maybe the educational stages, it's a interesting point though and one that is debated often. The 2 schools of thought being that all art is at some level self promotion rather than self expression and the other being that is only expression. It's probably both as we are all in possession of an ego. I think the more you take art into the core of humanity the less it is about promotion but I certainly know of good and talented artists that don't bother to hide the fact that there is self promotion going on and that 's fine when it's not contrived or denied I think. While I'm making presumptions I would guess, based on my own experiences, that you likely have a wealth of untapped inspiration within your very discipline oriented life structure. You will likely find if you explore your deeper feelings about that and it's effect, both positive and negative it will just flood out into your images before you realize what is happening. The act of creating art is in and of itself an act of self exploration and growth. I already see plenty of depth of thought and quality of technical process in your work so it's already all there and the fact that you express a desire to take it to another level means to me that's it's already available to you, it's just a matter of you taking that step into that zone that you keep right under the surface.

Ugh. gone on and on to long again. These subjects are so interesting to me that I find it hard to not have full on lengthy conversations about them when they come up. I need to learn how to do this better and shorter!! sorry again.

C: Stop apologising (please). It would be great if there were a way of tracking down the (public) thoughts of other flickr members, other than asking them to point them out or stumbling on them by accident. You can see their favourites or contacts, but not what they've had to say for themselves.

The rest of your musings and observations I need to digest with a good cup of tea and most definitely outside the office (where I am now)

Another List Post

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on August 5th, 2012 @ 23:16:00 , using 239 words,
Posted in Music related

This is going to be exactly what it says on the title - the list in question being as many concerts/bands as I can think of that I've seen over the last 35 years or there abouts. It will take a little doing, especially as I'd like to see if I can put dates, venues and support acts to the list as I go on. Inevitably, it will start in a rather haphazard fashion, as it'll take a bit of time to piece things together; not least because my memory is somewhat hazy in places. I'll see how I go along with this though and take it step by step. So without further ado, here's a list...

  • Electric Light Orchestra, Steve Gibbons Band (S = Support). Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Hawkwind, Motorhead (S). Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Genesis, Manchester Free Trade Hall, Manchester
  • Peter Gabriel. Trentham Gardens Ballroom, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Siouxsie & the Banshees, Spizzenergi (S1), The Human League (S2). Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
  • The Buzzcocks. Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
  • John Miles. Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Judas Priest. Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Knebworth Festival: A Midsummer Night's Dream - Genesis, Jefferson Starship, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Devo, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Brand X, Roy Harper. 24th June 1978
  • AC/DC
  • Monsters of Rock, Donington Park - AC/DC, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Queensrÿche, The Black Crowes
  • Rush. Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester. 22nd May 2013
  • Joe Satriani. O2 Apollo, Manchester. 8th June 2013
  • To be continued, when it's not nearly midnight...


Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on October 16th, 2011 @ 23:20:00 , using 0 words,


31 Day Photography Challenge: Day 29 - What I Did Today...

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on July 29th, 2011 @ 13:08:47 , using 0 words,

Anyone any good with knots? - 31 Day Photography Challenge: Day 29 - What I Did Today...

31 Day Photography Challenge: Day 02 - Something You're Passionate About

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on July 2nd, 2011 @ 18:16:59 , using 0 words,

Music Was My First Love... - 31 Day Photography Challenge: Day 02 - Something You're Passionate About

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