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R-5 At a Glance
User rating: 4.6/5 | Read reviews (14)
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This drum machine pretty much does it all. It should be considered as a Pro-unit. It's easy to use, but to really USE it, you've got to delve deep into the Paramters.
There are 5 Pad Banks (kits)for a total of 80 sounds accessible (out of 94 max). The Pads (keys)are preset but can be user defined. A Performance Bank is also available, which stretches the pitch a single sample across all 16 pads. This to can be user defined + or - 4 octaves in 10 cent increments.. 32 Preset Patterns (some are real good, most aren't.) 100 Programmable Patterns w/ 99 meas. max per pattern and up to 2600 notes total. Memory does run out quickly so it's a good idea to get rid of unwanted Patterns. clock is 1/96 ppq. 6 songs w/ max 999 measures per song. (use repeats and loops) but still there's almost always plenty of song memory left.
Feel Patches are about the coolest thing with the R-5. Roland calls this drum machine a "HUMAN RHYTHM COMPOSER" and for the most part it does. With feel you can create timing inaccuracies, nuance changes and stick placements. Add groove and swing, then randomize. Groove is super important for the High Hats.
Excellent Midi Implementation. Transmits each instrument separately on any channel you wish, or set all instruments to a global setting.
Another important necessity for "home studios" is that there are six 1/4" outs (one stereo pair and 4 individual). A must when you need a dry kick and a wet snare.
There are no built in effects, although some sounds were sampled with reverb.
The R-5 is mighty capable. Too bad it doesn't have as many sounds as the R-8, but it's still a great machine.
I recommend getting a compressor/limiter and a decent multi-fx. Most samples are as dry as bone.
The 16 pads are a little funky, but they respond well. But only if you hit the pads bottom center.
Buy one. You won't be disappointed unless you want hip/hop and rap samples--there aren't any.
Comments About the Sounds:
There's 68 of 'em. and 26 user defined instruments (Copy an existing sample and tweak it, then save it.) Has a decent copy of the TR-808 clap.
Links for the Roland R-5
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