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Boss - DR-202

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1 Review
  • digital interface took some time to understand
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      29.02.2004 02:29
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      • "digital interface took some time to understand"

      This was the first drum machine I ever bought, so I didn't exactly know what I was getting into, but I had to at least try something out. I've learned that it not exactly the best hing for me, but I'm sure someone would find it useful in some way. Samples I liked some of the samples I heard on it and I played around with it a bit before deciding to buy it. After having it for a while, I've noticed that it isn't really that useful for me. I primairily make Drum 'n' Bass and Trance, and it's sounds are too widespread to be useful to me; there are too many sounds that I wouldn't use that it had. Things like acoustic basses and bass guitars, and cheap distorted TB-303 imitations. My hardware setup consists of a Novation K-Station and a Korg ESX-1, and quite frankly it just doesn't stand up with those two machines present. It would probably sound better if loaded with EQ and compressor, but I dont have those resources just yet. Sequencing I was also disappointed that it does not use step sequencing: You have to literally play the rythmns with the pads (Which have a shaky triggering system) and your fingers, and record them using midi signals. It does have a quantize function, but it wasn't that great. I thought it would be as simple as step sequencing, but it wasn't. It also has a roll function, with a few different types of rolls (pitch bending, filter tweak, amp. mod. etc.) but it wasn't tempo locked. In other words, the roll was not actually 32nd notes. It's a constant rate that can't be changed, and it's basically a bad idea. The good thing is that once you have a beat down it plays it perfectly with no stops or bumps in the road. I noticed an interesting thing when I was using midi (from Fruityloops on my computer) to control the patterns. If you're playing a beat and then hit stop, the 202 will jump ahead by about an 8th note to whatever the midi signal was at that point
      in time, and play those notes. It would still stop, but there was always this speeding up at the end that i couldn't control. I have no idea what that is all about. Preset Patterns The presets are no good. I would never use them. Very cheap beats and basslines that have been used too many times, or not used at all (because they're just awful). There's not a whole lot to say, I mean, they're presets. They do demonstrate the ability of the machine, but thats about it. Filter/ Effects The intrument selector knob (for the knobs to be applied to) doesn't lock into the different positions, so you have to watch the screen to see if you're actually on the right part, and if you're not, then you just messed up the filter on some other sample by accident. Now you have to go back and fix it. The method of filtering was also a bit strange. Dry is considered to be in the middle (which is not that case on most equipment, usually it's fully clockwise), so what happens when you turn it fully clock-wise? It sounds to me like its boosting the highs, but I can't really tell. It was hard to understand. The bass generator is also a bit strange with the filter. I think that they take a bass sample and then loop it at a certain point, but the samles arent alway totaly dry. Some of them sound like they have filtering ont he already, so then when you apply the filter, it just gets real muddy real quick. Despite all my complaints, it does a fairly good job at some things. There are actually a few samples that are worth using in my opinion, but it couldn't beat a sampler like the ESX-1. The reverb and delay are worth using, but in my opinion the flanger is way too buzzy. I really hate to bash on a machine like this, because it does have some potental for a lto of people, but for me it just didn't work. I'll probably end up selling mine sometime. The fact is, when I bought this, I did not realize how ge
      neric it was. Labeled right on the front was a list of all the styles of music that it was capable of. Too many of them were ones that I had nothing to do with (Hip hop, acid jazz, latin, rock, and "other") I needed something more specific and tuneable than the 202. Don't get me wrong, this thing doesn't suck, it just depends on what you're aiming for. I would only recommend this as a backup instrument for layer percussion or simple FX.

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