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More DR-880 Musings

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

1 comment

Comment from: Chris of Arabia [Member]

Looks like my support request to Roland on the structure of the hex backup files has gone awry in the ether. Try again….

20 Jul 2017 @ 21:21

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