Boss DR-220A Dr. Rhythm
Digital Drum Machine


This was my very first drum machine.  It is a cute little noisemaker.  Its sounds are somewhat reminiscent of the Roland TR-707, and are the typical "produced" 80s kinds of sounds.

The "A" is for "acoustic" - there's also a DR-220E, "Electric", with electronic, Simmons-like sounds.

Boss DR-220A audio demos:

Let's listen to the on-board demonstration song:


Boss DR-220A Demonstration Song

This demonstration song is a cleverly put together series of factory patterns.  In fact, like in many other drum machines, songs are composed of series of patterns linked to each other.

And here below you can listen to the factory patterns - I recorded four measures for each pattern.  I cut the .mp3 samples accurately in Sound Forge so they loop perfectly, in case you want to use them with your sequencer :-)


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 8 Beat(1) 8 Beat(2) 8 Beat(3) 8 Beat(4) Hard Rock Heavy Metal Disco Electric Pop
2 16 Beat(1) 16 Beat(2) 16 Beat(3) 16 Beat(4) 16 Beat(5) 16 Beat(6) Shuffle (1) Shuffle (2)
3 Shuffle(3) Slow Rock 4 Beat (1) 4 Beat (2) Reggae Bossanova Samba Cuban
4 Fill-in 8 Beat(1) Fill-in 8 Beat (2) Fill-in 8 Beat (3) Fill-in 16 Beat(1) Fill-in 16 Beat(2) Fill-in 16 Beat(3) Fill-in Shuffle Fill-in Latin

The manual offers 32 more variations of these patterns, and it's very easy to program them (and new ones) using Roland's trademark "x0x-grid" layout.  Some of these patterns are very good, and with a little compression, eq and effects will be perfect for those '80s-inspired songs.

The "Electric Pop" is a great example of early eighties beat.  The "Cuban" is downright ingenious in its programming.  "Fill-in 8 Beat (2)" recalls "Rockit" by Herbie Hancock :-) and is a typical '80s break.

And now for your sampling pleasures, here are the original drum samples sampled at 44.1kHz, normalized and trimmed in Sound Forge, in glorious mono directly from the drum machine.  Assign them to your favorite hardware or software sampler, and you'll have a virtual DR-220A at your disposal.

DR-220A Drum Samples (44.1MHz, mono, .wav files)

Bass Drum.wav

Closed Hi-hat.wav

Crash Cymbal.wav

Hand Clap.wav

Hi Tom.wav

Low Tom.wav

Mid Tom.wav

Open Hi-hat.wav

Ride Cymbal.wav

Rim Shot.wav

Snare Drum.wav



SITE Type of resource DESCRIPTION
DR-220A at A virtual 220A Fantastic job by Joseph Rivers, the curator of the museum -a software rendition of the DR-220A