In [this interview](http://www.electricity-club.co.uk/html/int_morris.html), Stephen is asked what his first drum machine was. "It was just after [recording Joy Division's album] *Closer* that I got the first affordable programmable drum machine, the Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-55 and that was on the early New Order stuff like 'Truth.' I think there's even a version of In A Lonely Place we did with the drum machine, it didn't work out too well."more
If you had to pick a favourite bit of gear from over the years, what would it be? "That would have to be the Roland DR-55 drum machine. It was the most quantum innovation that ever happened. If I had to pick one machine, that would be it. Being able to program a drum machine was a huge thing."more
"If we can remember rightly, it had only four sounds: kick, snare, rimshot and hi-hat. One mono output, of course. For programming, it had an eight-beat stave, and sequencing was performed by switching on the fly between the few patterns it would hold in RAM. The DR55 had no non-volatile memory or offload facility for storing these patterns when the power was off. Still, reprogramming it was quick enough, as it held so little. It certainly sounded primitive, the biggest problem being the inability to separately treat the sounds of kick and snare, which lacked any kind of attack... unless one turned the volume up to excruciating levels, which of course one did. It didn't sound bad, exactly, just ... primitive. "more
ACCORDING TO THE INTERVIEW IN SOUND ON SOUND : In addition, since his early teens Simenon had been dabbling in making his own music with a Dr Rhythm DR55 drum machine and Yamaha CS01 synth. One of his earliest musical memories is trying to programme the beat of the Human League’s ‘Being Boiled’ into the Dr Rhythm. “That was the one beat that I was sort of tapping out first,” he says. “‘Cause I kind of loved the sound of it and the simplicity of it and it was a rhythm I felt I could actually program on the drum machine with some success.more
I bought this for peanuts when no one wanted them because they're not really programmable and really just used it for home practice. It actually sounds kinda cool like a Roland CR and I find myself sampling loops from her quite a bit to be the backbone of dance tracks. There's a fuzzy warmth to the kick that I really kinda love. I don't think these are terribly affordable these days, but they should be. Boss made enough of them!
This was the only drum machine I ever purchased new- way back, in the day. It has been a real workhorse, and I use it primarily for triggering Korg SQ-1 sequencers with my Paia 4700 modular setup. The only mod I have done is to change the knobs for easier sighting.
Essentially the foundation of the CR-78; the kick, rim, snare and hats are the same but are also the only voices of the DR-55 (the 78 has way more). For how small the unit is and how great it sounds, I believe it is an extremely useful drum machine to have around (especially if modded with sync-in).