The KR55 was, for its time (1979), an advanced preset rhythm drum machine with up to 96 preset rhythm patterns! These patterns cover the whole gamut of presets (Waltz, Samba, Rhumba, Bossa Nova, Tango, Slow Rock, Swing, Rock, etc.). The KR55 also featured a "swing beat" control to add a variation to the groove. Each drum sound's level can be individually adjusted for each pattern. It can also be externally controlled via footswitch jack for the Start/Stop and Intro/Fill switches. The KR55B was a black-chassis version released a few years later in 1982 with twice as many rhythm patterns.
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The Korg Rhythm 55 (KR-55) is a non programmable analog rhythm box from 1979. The KR-55 and its little brother KR-33 were the successors of the Korg Minipops series. Same knobs as on the MS/PS-series. The sound of the hi hats is more complex - similar to those on the Roland TR-808/606.
The KR-55 has some special features: a TRIG OUT jack including several triggering modes, SHUFFLE function and volume faders for the most drum sounds.
The rhythms are not mixable like on earlier Korg rhythm boxes (Minipops series). TEMPO and VOLUME controls. It was used by Jean-Michel Jarre (Magnetic Fields) and Depeche Mode (Speak and Spell) among others. It has a very characteristic sound - it sounds fantastic!