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 ...
Depeche Mode album gear discussion on 1981 album: "I SPOKE TO VINCE CLARKE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND HE TOLD ME THE DRUM MACHINE USED ON SPEAK AND SPELL WAS A KORG KR55 PRESET MACHINE .THE BAND USED JUST THE SNARE AND HIGH HATS SOUNDS FROM. THE BASS DRUM WAS GENERATED FROM AN ARP 2600 SYNTH WHICH WAS SYNCHED TO THE MACHINE AND AN OLD ROLAND MC4 MICROCOMPOSER SEQUENCER. SO THERE THE ANSWER IS!"more
These days Ocasek busies himself while at home with a TEAC 88 8-track tape machine connected to a Sound Workshop 1280 B board in turn hooked up with two Orban 622B equalizers (the board is also equipped with its own parametric equalizers. For keyboards he swears by his Prophets and Roland Jupiter 8. using a Korg Lambda for orchestral coloring and often calling in an assortment of little Casiotones for reinforcement. He probably has more drum machines than anything else-both the old Linn LM-1 Drum Computer and the new LinnDrum. a Korg KR 55, five Roland units (including a TR808. CR8000 and a Dr. Rhythm), some old Univox rhythm gizmos and a drum machine yanked out of a Hammond organ "that has the Liverpool beat." the kind of insect clicking you hear in organ shops in suburban shopping malls.more
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.
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!