Monday, July 22, 2013

Boss DR-110 Dr. Rhythm Graphic drum machine "A sound Innovator" brochure, 1983

Boss DR-110 Dr. Rhythm Graphic drum machine "A sound Innovator" four-page colour brochure from December 1983.

I hadn't turned on my Boss DR-110 for about a month or so. And just this morning when I plugged it in and flipped the power switch,  I immediately noticed the smell of burnt electronics. Doh.

Let me take a few steps back...

I've been building up my Eurorack modular synth lately. And whenever I get new modules, I like to hook 'em into the system as quickly as possible and do a few tests to make sure everything is working properly. This usually involves setting up a short sequence on the Doepfer A-155 Analog/Trigger sequencer and setting up an increasing complicated patch that will try to involve all the in's and out's of any new modules.

This time, the new modules included the lovely Phonogene and DPO from Make Noise and Micro Hadron Collider and Geiger Counter from WMD.  Shazaam!

The Photogene and Geiger Counter were just aching for an external sound source such as a drum machine that I could also trigger the sequencer with to get everything sync'd together. Usually that responsibility is given to my Boss DR-220E (the electronic drums version of the 220). The 220E uses the cowbell as the trigger out, so I just set up a normal drum pattern with the cowbell hitting on every beat and hit the START button.

But, since I knew I was blogging about the DR-110, I thought I would try using that drum machine so I would have something to blog about. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone. And that's when I turned it on only to have that burnt electronic smell fill the air. Thankfully I hadn't turned on the modular yet, so I knew that it was the relatively cheaper DR-110 that was the source on the odour.  So, instead of blogging about triggering my modular with a DR-110, I guess I got to blog about the exact opposite.

Ouch. Will have to open that thing up at some point and look at the damage.

The brochure itself takes its design cues directly from similar brochures/sell sheets that were being designed for parent company Roland - like this one at right for the Roland TR808/606/303. Lovely covers. Really.

Like that front cover for the TR808/606/303, the front cover for the DR-110 brochure is great because it includes such a juicy photo. And not only that of the drum machine, but the drum machine's sister product that was also being advertisement at the time - the Play Bus HA-5.

I am a little disappointed that Boss's "comic book" advertisement theme from both the DR-110 and HA-5 didn't make it into the brochure for the DR-110 at all.Those were truly gorgeous.  Quite the disconnect.

Now, open up the brochure and you will find that Boss decided to take the opportunity to provide readers with some pretty detailed instructions on the DR-110's operational procedures for step writing, tap writing and song writing. They even included all the little button symbols. Nice.

The back of the brochure includes the obligatory specs and accessories sections, including that HA-5 Play Bus headphone amp and RH-11M stereo headphones with microphone. Nothing really new here. Just some nice info.

Well - it's time to get out the screwdriver and see what kind of damage I'll find inside my DR-110.

Wish me luck...

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