Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm

DR-5 Dr. Rhythm, Drum Machine from Boss in the DR series.

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All user reviews for the Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm

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Average Score:4.6( 4.6/5 based on 7 reviews )
 4 reviews57 %
 3 reviews43 %
Not satisfied with those reviews?
MGR/Gerry Aire 02/07/2004

MGR/Gerry Aire 's review"Boss DR-5"

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
I bought this unit not long ago, but don't remember exactly where (that's my memory for ya). But I do remember how much I paid for it, $350. (that's also my memory for ya).

Most people comment on how great the sounds in the machine are, and I'll be no exception. This unit sounds simply brilliant. The drums are top notch, as are the rock guitars...I can't imagine how they could be any better. The basses are also rich and lifelike. Everything else is quite adequate.

At first, I thought I might like to have more than 4 tracks in the sequencer, but now I think more would be overkill. Four is enough for percussion, bass, lead, and accompaniment, and that's all one needs.

I have read complaints from others about the construction (something about the scrolling wheel malfunctioning) but I personally have not experienced any such problems. Memory failed on me once, when I used it outdoors on a freezing cold winter day. Lesson learned: don't use it outdoors on freezing cold winter days.

I enjoyed using this machine so much, I created a CD using it. It's called "CLASSY COOL", and it features pop-jazz reworkings of some well-known classical pieces. Check out some soundclips and hear the DR5 in action at:

This review was originally published on

MGR/one-man-band's review"Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm Section"

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
I aquired My DR-5 at my local music store - Roberson Music in El Dorado Arkansas in order to be a one-man-band. I paid about $350 for the unit. I had used an older Brother sequencer with a DR-660 drum machine in the past and I wanted to have better sounds and more sequencer tracks to work with. I support the DR-5 with a Yamaha MDF-3 Midi Data Filer.

This unit provides a great sounding rhythm section to my guitar and sax playing. It is very easy to program and has great sounds. I can program a copy song in about an hour and have programed everything from siimple pop songs to very intricate rock anthems. You can choose a guitar or keyboard based programing pad and all but the most obscure chord variations. I save the songs to disc on the very fast reading MDF-3, hook the whole system to my PA and away I go. The unit never forgets parts or tempo and has no personality conflicts.

The DR-5 itself does not have enough memory to be a stand alone device for performance. A data filer is needed for that. I very seldom use any of the preset rythyms or samples song licks. In my opinion, BOSS could do away with those and free the memory for more user programed songs.

The construction and quality of the unit are top-notch, just what I expect from BOSS. My experience with BOSS products has me reliably in their camp!

This is a great unit for a guy like me. I want the sound of a back-up band suited to my time constrained lifestyle.

This review was originally published on

ianker's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A great tool"

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
The DR-5 manual is available online for more details, I simply remember the basics:
A midi in / out, 2 jack outputs 6.5, an input jack for guitar, a pedal input start / stop, a headphone jack.
4-track sequencer (one track drums, three tracks for the other instruments), 256 sounds total (82 for instruments, the rest for drums and percussion). It works on 9V power supply or batteries.
No effects (you can simply adjust the pitch and decay), no possibility of editing sounds.
It has almost everything at hand to write, I just regret that the velocity (volume of the notes) is not recognized by the sequencer (mode expander with a MIDI keyboard, it works, but the sequencer takes only 3 volumes ).


The manual is clear and simple setup. The 36 pads are all a function, so we found it very quickly. Those who have already been working on the BAR Boss can even do without the manual to create a simple rhythm. The editing options are few, one can learn most functions in one day.
The sequencer is really nice, you can record in real time or step by step. On screen, it has a keyboard and fretboard to better identify the notes being played. The organization of the pads has been designed for guitarists, very handy when one has no basis in music theory.
The guitar input lets you record notes (DR-5 recognizes the note played and transcribed by noon, he does not record audio), but the system is a bit wobbly and it is not very practical to use (we often end up with an offbeat tempo and you can not play fast or risk seeing half of the notes will not be saved)


The sounds have aged, but they are realistic in the sense that it still manages to recognize a piano of a guitar. The expression is limited, since as I said above, it receives only 3 volumes. Everything sounds right, nothing more. The drum sounds are more than correct for its time (late 90s), especially compared to the price of the new machine.
I said that if it still is great for work, do not you use it for studio recording, it is anyway not think to.


I used this machine for many years since its release, before selling in 2001, then buy it back again 3 years ago. There has been nothing like it on the market, this is why I use it always.
I tested many machines, Roland (Groovebox) and Yamaha (QY series) mainly. The Groovebox do not have a sound general, and if the MC 909 or 808 can get sounds better bill by adding expansion cards, it is far from a portable configuration (it does not work on battery , and given the size of this machine is anyway impossible to use on the move). The Yamaha sound better sometimes, but ergonomics issue is not really that.
This is an excellent machine for Laying out, really intuitive, and allows to focus solely on music. I even used Live for a few years since I used as a sequencer to trigger loops on my sampler, and an expander control (great for MIDI, so even if it sometimes takes a little tweaking).

The most:
- Transportable thanks to its battery power
- Panel of various sounds, although it is far from the quality of sound banks current
- Simplicity when it comes to transcribe a terrible idea. I can not count the pieces that I composed from this machine.

- The limited expression
- Limited memory (200 patterns, 20 songs)

I have long sought an equivalent machine after it was sold second-hand. Having found nothing as simple and light, so I bought this machine and I found this easier to transcribe an idea very quickly. I also always wondered why manufacturers had abandoned the idea of ​​a machine with a small sequencer and sound generalist who can ship everywhere.
The value for money was excellent in nine at the time (the Yamaha cost far more expensive, it must be remembered), and still is used.
Clearly, with current technology, one could easily imagine a DR-6 with more memory for sounds (when you see what you do with a few MB, there are ways to do something decent with very little memory ) and a USB port or a memory card slot to store easily.
Tell Mr. Boss, we leave you when your DR-6???

Alcyon35's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
Excellent for guitar composers. I have this sequencer for almost 10 years and I control my MIDI for Cubase VST. You can get lost sometimes in the menus but its use remains effective when one has the manual side. Also in terms of ergonomics we feel that this product date, because the navigation is pretty archaic. Bought quite expensive (about 500 euros new at the time), the drum machine sequencer is anyway valid for music creation and can be found in OCCAZ in the 100-200 euros.
4 tracks are enough to prepare good models, and we can take it anywhere, thanks to a 9 volt battery.

Attention to the rotating wheel that ages poorly, provide a replacement in a special magasasin.


Midi in & out, making a guitar in to play with Gain at the same time that the sequences created, one volume, a double out-put jack 6.5mm stereo line, a 3.5 mm headphone jack output and an output to control Foot-switch foot-pause playback songs. What could be better?

Some effects of stress and change are available for the groove, such as "tenuto" or "STACC".
Using the keyboard is simple because the buttons correspond to the squares of a fretboard. Is created directly by tablature ... Attractive!

The manual is clear. After a long day, we control the corny.


Use to compose his drums and set arrangement or control vst midi ring tones, but all the same afternoon. Many kits will suffice for different musical styles.


I do not know if this product is still in the back because I had great difficulty in acquiring it 10 years ago, no longer manufactured Roland much. The price was exorbitant for the sequencer (500 Euros) but it took that amount at the time. Anyway my Boss DR-5 is still in my home studio ready for use and withstand time. A good sequencer aging well!

nicokas's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
Already described (see other reviews)

I should add that the memory of the bike is quite limited:
- 200 programmable patterns (+ 200 preset)
- 5000 marks maximum
- Maximum 20 pieces


Leaning a bit on the manual, getting started is quick. The large number of keys makes the little beast easily controlled.
There is ultimately a lot of features, but I do not use them all.

The possibility to connect his guitar to record a line of instrument is not top, the restitition is too uncertain, it makes this feature unusable. Too bad. In fact, for programming lines of instruments, it seems necessary to have a MIDI keyboard.

The manual is clear and precise, nothing to say on it.

Note the existence of software, "DR-5 edit" (light version free full version fee), which can tweak its settings from a PC connected by noon (always more convenient) and make a backup of recorded data.


I find the rhythmic sounds very good, and numerous. I use almost the kit "Rock" is one that most closely matches what I want. You can create your own kit by selecting a sound of interest.

To the sounds of instruments, it depends, some sound a bit "artificial", others are more credible ... but personally I never use them.


I use it for a year. I am very happy because it is small, easy to use and slamming sounds good. The black spot remains for me the memory is too low: at present I have a dozen songs programmed and I still have 53% of the memory allocated to the patterns ... it goes very quickly, especially when using instruments tracks! (Not me)
If it again, then I would choose a bar with more memory.

I bought used in 100 euros so the price / quality ratio seems to me still very good.
dandy ludique09/28/2006

dandy ludique's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
Stereo output, midi in / out As said above
tuner function
power supply by standard batteries or mains 6
Headphone output and volume

the sequencer offers a track "Rhythm" and 3 other tracks to sound.

What minimum service (but I did not need more)


Get started instantly.
For my part I do is that the programming in real time (by slowing down the tempo if necessary). There is an editing function in step by step.
Manuel clear, no complaints


The sounds you they are suitable to your style of music?

I was looking primarily a drum machine, I jumped at the opportunity to have the same time a small sequencer. The drum sounds are still limits to anything other than the model. Other sounds, well, can be used to compose a qd was nothing else on hand, but little else. For realism it is closer Bontempi than anything else.

there are 3 levels of sensitivity (volume), assigning each note (the pads are not sensitive to the swift. default the notes has an average volume of course.


I use it for about 3 years.

I like its relatively small size, its ease of use, that it runs on batteries, so easily transportable (pdt nickel to dial long distance travel by train)

Jaime least the fact that the memory is actually quite limited. We are quickly forced to remove patterns to create other, and this even if all the patterns are not met. The sounds are improved. will have the honest to the disgusting rhythm guitar for the simulation example.

I bought used, between 80 and 120 euros, remember. that is to say not too expensive, so the ratio quality price is right. If I had to renew this type of purchase, I will buy a rather classic drum machines of better quality and I save to buy a real sequencer later. This does not mean that I regret my purchase!

ssl01's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
Stereo outputs, midi in + out




The sounds are really great even higher, a surprisingly superior models of the brand (Roland / Boss)


For my part I adore this machine, c is a perfect "Swiss knife": The sounds of drums are really nice, the bass can make a good tmoin and the keys in the series to make up a small expander everywhere (+ She also works on batteries ...) c is really IDAL. Obviously the price can not ask him the possibilities of large machines (no output spares, etc ...)
In any case a very convenient mini expander