FK12: Roland CompuRhythm CR-8000 for Kontakt
Roland CompuRhythm CR-8000
Forgotten Keys FK12
The subordinate CR-5000 model lacked programmable rhythms and intro/fill-ins, as well as the hand-clap sound.
The Roland CompuRhythm CR-8000 was released in 1980 and was the successor to the CR-78. The sound generation was analogue still but advances had been made to some sounds. The cymbals for example were more metallic sounding, similar in fact to the Korg KR-55/KR-55B models. The famous Roland hand-clap sound saw an appearance along with tom-toms that were used in the intro/fill-in patterns. Both the main patterns and the intro/fill-in patterns were now programmable. The arranger section provided real-time control over the preset rhythms by adding additional sounds and changing the patterns of others, and there was a mixer section to balance the sounds to your liking.
- High Tom
- Low Tom
- Open High-Hat
- High Conga
- Mid Conga
- Low Conga
All 14 sounds of the CR-8000 have been carefully sampled 8 times and are picked at random within Kontakt. All sounds that respond to the accent control have been sampled at 7 different accent levels. It would have been easy to just use the same sample and adjust the volume on accented beats, but accent has an affect on the sound other than just changing the volume, and the idea is to get as close to the original as possible. When playing the sounds from a keyboard or a DAW sequencer, the accent levels are assigned to velocity allowing all 7 levels to be accessed by each sound individually.
A Mytek Stereo96 ADC was used for the recordings and great care was taken to achieve the best signal to noise ratio. The sounds are in 24-bit 44.1KHz wav format.
- Swing 1
- Swing 2
- Slow Rock
- Fox Trot
- Samba 1
- Samba 2
- 8 programmable rhythms
- 7 arranger patterns
- 12 intro/fill-in patterns
The FK12 contains re-creations of all the preset rhythms, intros and fill-ins of the CR-8000. The programmability features have also been included. As is always the case with Forgotten Keys drum machine re-creations, the rhythms are sequenced patterns that trigger the appropriate sound at the appropriate time, much in the same way as a real drum machine. This allows for far greater flexibility in that you can adjust parameters for individual sounds, change the tempo without any artefacts and combine rhythms without creating volume or phasing problems.
There are 8 preset intro/fill-in patterns as well a 4 programmable ones. They are introduced either manually or at a regular interval as set by the measures knob. If the crash button is enabled, a cymbal sound will play on the 1st beat of the following bar, much as a real drummer would do.
The arranger section is an interesting feature. With it, you can change the cymbal and high-hat pattern of any rhythm in real time, add a conga or hand-clap pattern or turn the whole rhythm into a shuffle beat.
The register function allows for 2 rhythm patterns to be selected alternately. This is probably more useful on the real machine in live situations. When playing the Kontakt instrument from a DAW sequencer there is far more control for changing rhythms by other means, but it has been included for completeness.
The mixer section at the top of the interface adjusts the volume of individual sounds in the same way as on the CR-8000. If more control is required, the Setup tab provides that.
The Setup tab offers greater control over how the FK12 sounds and operates. There are volume, pan and tune controls for each sound. Incoming MIDI notes can be mapped to any rhythm or sound. Random tune and volume controls add a little human element to the sounds.
A working installation of Native Instruments’ Kontakt version 4.2 or higher is required. This Kontakt instrument is NOT compatible with the free Kontakt Player.
FK12 costs £5.50 (GBP) and payment is via PayPal. A personal download link will be sent automatically to your PayPal email address once payment has been made. This usually arrives in a matter of minutes, but please allow a couple of hours as email can get delayed en route. Also allow www.forgottenkeys.co.uk through any spam filter. Feel free to contact me if you require more information.