FK6: Roland CompuRhythm CR-78
Roland CompuRhythm CR-78
The Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 was released in 1978 and was Roland’s first drum machine to feature user-programmable rhythms along with its 34 pre-sets.
- High Bongo
- Low Bongo
- Low Conga
- Tambourine (short and long)
- Metallic Beat
There are 14 analogue instrument voices which have their own distinctive sound. One such sound is Metallic Beat which has its own volume slider and attempts to add a more realistic metallic attack to the Cymbal sounds and always plays the same pattern as those sounds.
Along with the 34 preset rhythms, there are four programmable memory locations for creating and storing your own rhythms. Each memory has four tracks allowing four sounds simultaneously, or three sounds and an accented beat. Patterns can be input using the TS-1 switch or the optional WS-1 controller.
- Slow Rock
- FoxTrot(A) Tango(B)
- Mambo(A) Cha Cha(B)
- Beguine(A) Rhumba(B)
- Rhythm A↔B
- Fill-In 1–7
- High Bongo roll
- Snare roll
The variation feature selects a rhythm that will play either at the selected interval, or when the Manual button is pressed. Rhythm A↔B alternates between the two rhythm banks while break is an empty bar/measure. Fill-In 1–7 can be used with any rhythm, but Fill-In 1 is best used with the Waltz rhythm while Fill-In 2–3 with the triplet rhythms; Shuffle–Boogie.
Roland also released a cut-down version of the CR-78: the CR-68. Although it had the same pre-set rhythms, it lacked programmability and was missing the Metallic Beat, Tambourine and Guiro sounds.
Famous users include Gary Numan (Mainly his Dance album and also live), Genesis (Duchess) Phil Collins (In the Air Tonight) and of course, the most famous of all: Many Others. Blondie (Heart of Glass intro) is often attributed to the CR-78, but a quick listen tells me that it isn’t. The sounds are not the same. It’s possibly the Rhumba rhythm from a home organ or another drum machine.
The Model used to produce this Kontakt Instrument was an eBay purchase, and right at the top-end of the going rate. It is absolutely immaculate however. You could take it back to 1979, box it up and sell it as new. I’d take it back and give it to myself as a present of course!
The Kontakt Instrument
Details of the Kontakt Instrument and how to purchase it are here. Essentially it is a re-creation of the real thing so most of the description above is relevant. However, please contact me if you have any questions.
FK6: Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 Kontakt Instrument