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Rating and Reviews: Boss DR-3 Dr. Rhythm

Velocity-sensitive pads. 100 preset styles. 100 user styles.

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Features
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The Wow Factor
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"A Guitar Players Drum Machine" submitted April 3, 2004

By a customer from shaw.ca
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Music Style: Rock, Blues
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Sound: The sound from this machine is very, very good. It is adjustable through a TSC Total Sound control module that lets you control, with a few clicks of a button, 8 preset sound shapes and 8 tones that can be controlled separately. There are also 8 user settings that you can program. You also can get deeper into the software and control a three band equalizer, compression, attack and some filtering plus other features. Overall the sound is very good at this price - not quite like the more expensive boss products but I run this through a Fender Acoustasonic Pro Amp and it sounds pretty real. Feature: If you are a guitar player and you want a great drum machine - this should do it for you if drumming is not your specialty. Some great preset styles (100) that each have 5 patterns (intro, A,B,C Verses and an ending). You can control the key (numerous bass voicings)of each of these patterns and set up nice runs in the user styles section (100) and then shift verses with pedals. Or you can record your patterns in the exact manner you want them played in the song section (100) and have the song play any verse in any order you like. Each pattern also has a variation on pattern, drum kit, or muting. All features can be recorded as you like and also switched with pedals. To set up and play almost any song - pick a style and go through the verses. If you want the bass included, manipulate the key so that the key pattern in A,B, and C is in the same key as your verses of your song - (say A nad B fro the melody and verse C for the chorus). Once you have your three patterns in the correct keys save this style to one in the user section and call it you own. You can also manipulate any sound function from time, beats, drum kits, patterns etc, etc, etc. If the song is long with many differing keys say like HOTEL CALIFORNIA you can record your own bass and string it together in about 12 verses and then string them together as you want in the song section and have it play back in any manner you choose. It also loops. The record function has all types of edit, copy, paste and delete functions as well as very easy step-recording which is great for a non-drummer for me. There is a good variation of preset styles and with changes of drum kits or sound control the variations are probably in the millions. The kit does not come with an AC adaptor or pedals. The chord required for the kit if you want TWO PEDALS to control numerous functions that are user selectable has to be ordered or you can use any "Y" CABLE BUT IT MUST BE "TRS" (TIP-RING-SLEEVE) just not your normal stereo splitter cable (This will not work). Another great feature is keys that light up. you can see what drums, percussion, or bass notes are being played if you can't figure it out. It did not come with a mounting bracket for a stand so there is no means of attaching this neatly to a secure stand. If this unit were to be dropped - oouch Quality: I have not had this unit long but it appears to be well made. It did come with batteries but no AC adaptor, no pedal(s) or chords. It does not have attachment mounts for a stand or rack. The buttons and lights appear rugged and stable. Value: This is one of the lower priced units and I am amazed at the value I am getting. I'll probably never use all the settings and variations and I was not ready to pay a lot more money to only get slightly more. GREAT FOR GUITAR PLAYERS. Manufacturer Support: N/A The Wow Factor: This unit has a ton of functions that are not featured or well described in the brochures. There is nothing that you can not do with this unit. Sure it doesn't have as many buttons as other machines but a lot of the buttons have multiply functions AND they do light up!! I cannot believe I didn't get this gear earlier. I didn't know what I was missing. It adds so much to a solo act. Boss has created a very user friendly drum machine for guitar players. Overall: Well recommended. I would suggest to anyone if you are considering this unit - it is a great deal and a great drum machine
103 of 107 people (96.26%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"little drummer boy gets techno" submitted December 16, 2004

By a customer from eaton57.fsnet.com
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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: over 40 years guitar playing; amateur /pro/session
Music Style: tex-mex-eagles-s stills-
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Sound: i have used drum machines since their inception, this must rank as one if not the best i have used. i would love to have a machine with only one button !!! Feature: all ok ecept too many buttons, when you're playing you want as little distraction as possible Quality: rock of gibraltar solid The Wow Factor: sounds like a band, but doesn't drink and swear and run off with your girl !!!
27 of 28 people (96.43%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Drums with cheese but no body odor." submitted November 26, 2007

By a customer from arthousedesign.co.uk
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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: Acoustic alternative
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Sound: Ok, but not great. Sounds a bit cheesy. All the patterns of all the drum machine in all the world suffer from over-loud hi-hats and this is no exception. This means creating lots of user kits which is a headache. Bass sounds are weak - unless you want to recreate that bit from Seinfeld. Hi-hats are all poor. Some of the snares are nice, but nothing there that makes you actually want to sit and experiment. Feature: It does lots if you're patient and have a degree in computer science. To get beyond the fromage and create your own songs is a nightmare. "Styles" "Patterns" "Songs" "Verse A" "Fill B". Your head will explode. Trust me. Ease of Use: As a cheesy metronome to play along with ok - as a serious machine for programming your own stuff - nearly impossible unless you have hours and hours to play with Quality: Ok. Obviously very plastic, very light. If you get to the point of throwing it because you've pressed edit-left-down-left-left-left-scroll wheel-enter-edit, just that once too often, it will probably not survive. Value: You get what you pay for. This is a budget bedroom jamming machine. Drums without the body odor and bad timing. These sell new for over £100 GBP in the UK - thats $200 to the rest of the universe. It's worth half that. Manufacturer Support: Not tried The Wow Factor: Got one - it's now on Ebay. Overall: I've had Boss (dr660) and Alesis (SR16, D4) over 10 years ago, and to be honest the DR3 is my least favourite. You get what you pay for I guess, but it's fiddly, confusing and doesn't sound that hot. It really is only for jamming and practice. I'm going to try the 880 next. Don't tell the wife.
14 of 15 people (93.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Boss Dr 3, if your hesitating to buy one, read this!" submitted May 22, 2007

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: This product is amazing, the easiness to use, the realistic drum sounds and the simplicity to setup. The first day i got after 15 minutes i was using like i had owned it for years. I put through a guitar amp because its easier, the sound was fantastic, the amp was tinny when a guitar was played through but sounded great with the Boss. I also use it for recording as i don't know any drummers and it provides excellent both in the studio and gigging. Feature: Being able to write your own patterns provides you with versatility and peace of mind, because if the machine does not have the pattern you are looking for (which it probably will) you can just make it. Also stringing patterns and fills together means if don't like a verse pattern or a fill you could choose one from a different pattern. Ease of Use: The Boss is so easy to set up, having well marked outs and ins, plus a midi out made extremely easy to use. With 100 patterns already in their, plus tempo modifier, and reverb effect you can change it to your personal taste. Quality: Most products made by boss are of the highest quality, this no exception. Only suffering minor cosmetic scuffs after plenty of gigging I have had no problems with the DR.3 Value: The DR 3 is great value for money, because of it's realism, ease of use and fantastic features Overall: If I was ever unfortunate enough to break my Dr 3 i wouldn't ever hesitate to purchase another one,
11 of 13 people (84.62%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Not so great for an old rocker!" submitted November 15, 2005

By a customer from triad.rr.com
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Musical Background: Home recording for about 20 years
Music Style: Blues/Rock/Country
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Sound: The Alesis DR-16, which I also own, has far more realistic drum sounds that are easier to edit. The DR-3 bass sounds are not very good, so I will stick to playing my own bass lines for recording. The preloaded patterns are not very useful to an old rocker like me. If I were 30 or under, the patterns might be more to my taste. The volume seems to be a little low even turned all the way up. Feature: There are a lot of features which help to edit your sound. But the controls are not intuitive. I also have a music sequencer which requires entering songs note by note. But I find the sequencer easier to use. Quality: Looks and feels pretty sturdy. But the real test will be its condition is a couple of years. My Alesis-16 is 12 years old and still trucking. Value: For me, this product was a waste of money. I don't like most of the preloaded patterns, so jamming is not much fun either. My first attempt at constructing a song took 3 hours and with poor results. Others may find jamming with this machine a thrill. Manufacturer Support: Don't know. Can't rate this one other than trying to find a few things online. The Wow Factor: It looks sharp. Overall: Well, I'm already not satisfied. The test, I guess, will be if it grows on me as I continue to use it.
7 of 8 people (87.5%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great Jam Box for Drums, although bass is very poor." submitted December 15, 2004

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Blues / Jazz
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Sound: Drums = 9 Bass = 4 I really like this machine w/e of the bass sounds. I have an 1990s vintage Proteus module with better bass sounds. For me, most of the time I'm playing bass so I turn off the bass sounds. However, if you want usable bass sounds, then look somewhere else. Feature: Good features w/e of a midi out. If it had a midi out, I could have it trigger my keyboards bass sounds and that would have been an acceptable work around. Quality: I've had this for close to a year and I take it over to a friends house for a practice session weekly. Never had any problems. Value: I gave it an 8 because it is a great jam box. Manufacturer Support: N/A The Wow Factor: I would probably get the DR-880 now since it is more versatile. However, the 880 is $300 more expensive. In the long run, I think the better sounds of the 880 would be worth it.
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Very useful tool for a musician" submitted January 20, 2008

By a customer from blueyonder.co.uk
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Jazz - Bass
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Sound: Sound is OK but obviously electronic but thats OK. I have never owned a D/Mc before so can't compare it with anything else. I have come across some pretty bad sounding real drums/drummers in my time. This is better - I am in control (or will be when I have got to grips with all the features). The sizzle cymble sound is not too good but that may be down to some tweeking within the controls yet to be discovered. Feature: No accessories. Should have come with a mains adaptor as battery life is not good. This is no doubt due to to all the lights the unit has (very useful). I suspect the low battery warning indication comes up rather early though as am still running it an hour later. Will cost a mint in ordinary batteries - rechargeable and mains adaptor is the way forward. A carry case would have been useful. programming your own STYLE AND SONGS to meet MY needs is trhe main selling point for me. Ease of Use: Quick start is easy - plug in (earphones/amp) and go. The manual is OK but the manual needs a manual to undersatnd how it operates. Many of the editing steps it shows are not necessary when you understand what the manual is trying to tell you. I have owned the product for just a few hours (already I am looking on the internet to get advice from others).Many reviews mention the complxity of the m/c - this may be true but the manual does not help. I play bass guitar- I do not need the bass backing provided and just want to turn it off - nothing in the manual states ' how to turn bass track off' . However it can be done (and it is easy) but you have to dig deep. There is a steep learning curve which the manual could ease if it were better prepared. Quality: Nothing gone wrong since I bought it - one day ago. Seemed flimsy at first but with batteries in I am satisfied the fan in my amp will not blow it away. Value: I suppose so - with the mainds adaptor would be more reasonable Manufacturer Support: Dropped the product as I took it out of packaging (on carpet)- does not seem to have come to any harm. I assume therfore it is reasonably well put together and robust. The Wow Factor: Looks good - demonstrated it looks even better - flashing lights, I love them. It is a handy addition to practice and as a bassist will give a better appreciation of pulse and working more closely with a drummer. Overall: So far I am happy with the product though a little frustrated by its (seeming) complexity. I think the ability to programme 'styles' and songs and save them attracted me the most. I practice with two jazz guitarists without a drummer so providing I can come to terms with this product it should be very useful to us. It can offer a fair bit of flexibilty for instant change or tweak (in a practice situation) if something needs to be changed for the given moment
7 of 9 people (77.78%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Pure and Simple Rock'N'Roll." submitted August 6, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
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Musical Background: Home Studio Musician/Producer
Music Style: Rock / Progressive Jazz /Blues
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Sound: a humanizer would be nice addition Feature: should come with A/C Adapter. Quality: Roland Quality Speaks for itself. 10 because they design for todays application and are always leaders. Value: My dealer always offers me a pro discount .... Manufacturer Support: Cannot say I ever had a problem The Wow Factor: I like the small package because it makes it easy to intergrate into my set-up at home or on the road.
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"I can't stop using it!!!" submitted February 17, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobby, 2 years playing bass
Music Style: Blues, Jazz, Latin-Salsa Rock blues
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Sound: I think it sounds fantastic....>I am a beginning bass player (2years) and it is awesome. I am running it through my home stereo and I am amazed at the sound quality. Feature: I was shocked that it didn't come with an AC adapter...>Really weird. I love how easy it is to change the tempo. I have only had it for about a week, but when I start using it I can't stop until my hands are cramping!! It is so much fun......I have not been able to use even a fraction of the features so I can't comment on anything else yet..... Ease of Use: Seems pretty easy so far.... Quality: It seems sturdy to me. I love the buttons that light up. If I take care of it hopefully it will last for at least a good 10 years.....I wish it had mounting brackets..... Value: I thought the price was great for what you get and the sound quality.....Except for the extra $20 for the AC adapter....:-( Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to use it yet. The Wow Factor: It has a clean look. Very appealing Overall: Great buy!! No regrets!!
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The New Experience" submitted July 26, 2005

By a customer from bellsouth.net
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Musical Background: Artist,Producer,Sound Engineer
Music Style: Rap,Hip-Hop,Rock
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Sound: I would say that for the price of this unit it surprised me and made feel very comfortable in making this purchase.Now there are some sounds that to be looped with another component to give you your overall sound in the beat your are looking for. Feature: That I need really a beat pad to get a true sounding bass hit out of my beat. Quality: This product is made securely to my knowledge of the shipping process.I think that the product will last as long as i take care of this product.There is not really any aspect of the product at hand. Value: In a nutshell yes. Manufacturer Support: No i have not tried for any upgrades yet but i will real soon.I have not needed to deal with the manufacture of this product for the it has held up mvery well. The Wow Factor: Just a start-up unit to get on the path of my production.
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"You're better off just clapping your hands and snapping your fingers." submitted February 10, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Guitarist, singer, home recording enthusiast.
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: Some decent drum sounds, but the bass sounds are truly awful. Quality: This thing needs to be well built in order to withstand being thrown against walls -- which you will undoubtedly do more than once with this machine. Value: It's relatively inexpensive, but the sound quality and difficulty of use makes it a terrible investment. The Wow Factor: I really regret buying this machine. I gave it to a friend about a year ago. I'm pretty sure that he's already thrown it out. Enough said. Overall: At the end of the day, it's a case of a BAD product made by a GREAT company. I've had success with other Roland-Boss products in the past, but this machine is quite poor. Mediocre sounds, and very difficult to use.
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"'Crash and Burn' I was totally excited to buy the Boss dr3, and I feel I gave it my best shot. I spent 4 wasted hours trying!" submitted March 26, 2008

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Features
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Value
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Adult contemporary
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Sound: sounds are good, if you can figure out how to program them! Feature: Incredably hard to program. I spent 4 hours trying and am planning on returning the unit for something easier to understand. The presets are worthless unless you plan to use the exact track! How many muisicians do that? For a live application, not useable unless every note is pre-programmed. No 'jamming' even thinkable! Quality: Boss makes good stuff usually. The programmed tracks sound ok, but who would use someone elses tracks to do your own material with!? Value: Good Manufacturer Support: We will see soon, because I am sending the unit back. The Wow Factor: Slick ads make it sound great. And evfen one sly comment about spending more time playing and less time programming. That is only if you use the pre-sets. Otherwise, don't plan anything else for the next few weeks; you will be programming, if you can figure it out! Overall: I am returning the product.
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"Didn't do it for me." submitted June 2, 2009

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Overall: Outdated, unrealistic drum sounds, cheesy bass sounds, I figured that I could program backing tracks for acoustic guitar / vocal performances, but forget it..... I can make better sounding / more accurate backing tracks (and much faster) using my audio / midi sequencing program on the computer or just buy pre made professional backing tracks on line.
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