Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm

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DR-880 Dr. Rhythm, Drum Machine from Boss in the DR series.

43 user reviews

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Boss
  • Model: DR-880 Dr. Rhythm
  • Series: DR
  • Category: Drum Machines
  • Added in our database on: 08/04/2004

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Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm user reviews

Average Score:4.2( 4.2/5 based on 43 reviews )
 18 reviews42 %
 17 reviews40 %
 4 reviews9 %
 2 reviews5 %
Value For Money :

Before_'s review"Overpriced"

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm
MIDI, audio in, out, etc.


I have the DR3 and this one was lent to me. I had heard a lot about it and it was the perfect chance to try it out!
If you want to edit anything, you'd better be a MASTER with drum machines and have a lot of patience, because it's not easy to use.
The manual explains well how it works.


The sounds: Some are nothing to write home about (and take after the sounds of the DR3).
You can edit sounds to make them seem more real (and it works well);
You can adjust the drums and bass volume separately, connect your guitar or bass and use a small effects set that is pretty useful.
Reggae, ska, dub, rock ─ it has all sort of patterns.
Kick, snare, crash etc ...


I've been using it for one month and a half, I have the DR3, which I use to compose, to practice a rhythm.
The sound palette is pretty diverse, not always very realistic, but it can be adjusted at will, it has some interesting stuff.
BUT, its secondhand price is very high, IMHO. A friend lent it to me, but I would've been enraged if I had bough it. It might be very useful for some, but, personally, I'm not satisfied with it. I think I got seduced by all the rave about it.
Try it out before you buy it.

KekeDeLuxe's review"Perfect if you like to program"

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm
See the manufacturer's specs and other reviews on AF. This yellow metal box is ultra stable and sturdy and the display can be easily read even if you are short-sighted.


The overall setup is rather simple if you don't venture too far.
The manual is clear, but menu browsing is a bit opaque.
Editing of sounds and effects: If you start from a factory pattern and limit yourself to inserting fill-ins and doing copy-paste, it's pretty easy, specially with the EZ function. If you want to create a pattern (and especially a song!) from all the pieces, it gets tricky (the time you spend programming you stop using the instrument, don't you?). It's a pity because the possibilities are very large.


Sounds and effects are adapted to my needs (demo making and/or playback). All rock, funk and blues patterns are nice and you can have fun with the shuffle function. The more classic patterns (waltzes, 6/8, jazz and anything else that isn't binary) are nothing to write home about, you have to reprogram everything.
The guitar input with amp/effects simulation is cool, it allows you to rehearse or jam with headphones without taking up too much space.


I've been using it for 6 years, for home studio only.
I had already used Dr Rythm 10 and the drum machine included in the Korg D1600MKII. I occasionally mix the Korg and DR880.
Which feature do you like best? The default patterns are truly realistic and easy to edit. The "world" percussions are superb (gong, Chinese cymbals, etc...). Its good velocity response make playing live with it quite enjoyable.
The least? Programming, but only because I am not gifted at it... Too many parameters to master.
How would you rate its value for money? It's justified, given the possibilities it offers.
Based on your experience, would you buy this product again? Certainly, but I still prefer a good drummer!

ericthegreat's review

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm
The Boss DR 880 is a old drum machine that you can get now adays for pretty cheap, I remember seeing a commercial with this drum machine in it back in the 90’s. You can still use this today, especially if you can afford some of the high end drum machines like the MPC Line.


Programming is very simple and complete. ;I use the meter and tempo changes and it goes smoothly. The ghost function gives a human touch that I appreciate. I use it in rehearsals and on stage. The only downside, the bass programming is a bit long for my taste, but it does it anyway. You can really personalize its pieces and it's very significant, and for the stage, possibility of 4 outputs, in order to have a balanced facade (personally for me: an outlet for the GC, one for the bass B, and the rest , in stereo L & R).


sounds are great, comes with some great stock sounds as well.


This drum machine in my opinion was made for guitar players and bass players that either just want to hone their guitar playing chops or for those that like to be creative and enjoy writing songs. The DR-880 is so easy to work with. That's the beauty of this unit, you can just take it home and start jamming! I love to hook it up through my PA system and jam for hours. Who has time to read manuals? Yea there is a small learning curve to most electronics but this baby is great for live gigs, recording and so much more. You will be blown away with the sound effects for the drums and the effects for the guitar. Absolutely Killer!!!! Buy one today. Don’t wait, even though its an older drum machine it works great and will work great for you with your current setup. No matter what you are running.

yoTrakkz's review"This should be your first.."

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm
The Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm drums machine was the very first and I mean first piece of equipment that I had. I used this thing for ever! I loved it, and was extremely easy to use. It had Separate outputs for the different instruments/drums and/or guitar, outputs for your headphones or external monitors and even midi.


The response, sensitivity and after touch are pretty good, and the price of this unit was great. This is a must try for anyone looking to get their fist machine. Notice I said first, because after you get some experience you will need to do more than this machine can deliver. There aren’t many effects, just the basics like reverb compression and some delay. But its everything you need to get started. I am very happy with my decision to try this. It set me up to understand other pieces of equipment that I use today!


The sounds are good, not great though. I was a fan of some of the drums, just needed to tweak them a little bit to get them to my liking.


This was ready right out of the box and it was very straight forward. Nothing was complex about it. Start it up and start going. The manual was simple to understand as well, nothing was difficult about this machine.
The memory did get full pretty quick though, it didn’t hold much. So I had to have extra storage for it, this is definitely a beginners machine and it’s a classic machine that will never be forgot about. You cannot compare this to an MPC or MV 8000. This wasn’t made to handle what they can handle. This was made for the basic beginners and it served its purpose. This has a step mode for the sequencer or you can record your patterns in real time, just like all of today’s software and workstations.

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