(Installed on your machine by circuitbenders)

80's drum machines, don't you just love them? Pure 12 bit filth for every sound. The Kawai R-50 and R-50e could be seen as direct competitors to the Roland TR-505 except they have more sounds, flange & short delay FX, are far more editable (pan, tune, gate and accent amount for each sound), have an extra assignable output, vastly superior build quality and a decent swing control. Basically they piss all over the 505 so we don't quite understand why the 505 is so popular and few people have ever heard of the R-50. Could it be because it doesn't say Roland on it?


20 way main patchbay: More information and details of our patchbay mods can be found HERE. The R50 and R50e sound dirty to say the least and this is reflected in the character of the effects produced by the patchbay connections. The effect are not so much punchy as disgustingly sordid and grimy. If you wanted a drum machine for dirty warm midrange insanity and distorted bent noise then the R50 or R50e are ideal candidates for the job.

The patchbay also includes 2 X Patchable switches and 2 X 3 way Patching multiples for a huge range of further percussion grinding possibilities.

Click on the demo's below for mp3's of what these mods can do.


The new demo below is from a Kawai R-50e. As you can hear the effects are very similar, just using a slightly different original sound set.



Kawai R50 pitch

This mod adds a pitch knob that controls the sample playback speed, and therefore the pitch of every drum sound simultaneously. It can sweep from punchy clicks and blips at the top, to horribly granular crunchy noise at the bottom as the sounds disappear under a wall of aliasing noise. The pitch knob can be used alongside the patchbay effects for some seriously messed up percussion sounds.

For some reason virtually all the sounds on the R50 sound a lot more meaty if you detune them using the pitch knob, compared to using the onboard 'tune' parameter. This is especially true of the snare sounds which gain that same gritty punch that leads Hip-Hop and breakbeat producers to spend large sums of money on certain 12 bit samplers.

All drum machines of this era can be prone to a certain amount of background whine appearing when you pitch the sounds down too far, and the R50 is no exception. Usually the whine is masked in use and it only starts to appear when the sounds are pitched so low they don't even have a passing acquaintance with being percussion sounds,

The demo below is of a R50 with pitch controls. The sounds start out clean and pitch bent, then get more distorted by the circuit bending features as the demo progresses.

if you want your R50 or R50e modded get in touch using the CONTACT form.