ROLAND AUDIO DESTRUCTION PATCH BOX: £110
Works with the Roland R8 / R8M, U110, U220, and probably the MV80 and the U20.
The circuitbenders.co.uk Roland Audio Destruction patch box is an external patchbay case that plugs into the main unit via the sound ROM expansion ports of a R8 / R8M, U220, U110, MV80 or U20, using a custom sound card connected using a 25 way cable as an interface. This allows the creation of circuit bent digital glitching effects without the need to perform any invasive mods on the machine itself. Just plug in the patch box and be immediately transported to a full on jamboree of wall to wall noise terror!
The patch box was originally designed for use with the R8 and R8M so the main bulk of this page refers to these machines, but then we discovered it would also work with any other unit that uses the same style of sound ROM cards. See the bottom of the page for more details.
The patch box itself consist of a 20 way main patching area and three combination patchable switches / patching multiples . Connections made between the patchbay sockets result in the digital drum sample data being temporarily glitched causing all kinds of bizarre percussion warping and digital brutality to be applied to the audio. Connections can be routed through the patchable switches so they can be turned on and off at the flick of a switch, or via the patching multiples in order to connect several sockets to each other at the same time.
The supplied DB25 cable is plugged into the back of the patch box, and is then connected to the sound ROM interface card which is plugged into machine via a ROM expansion card socket.
The patch box can be used with either the R8 or the R8M as the sound engine is identical for both machines. Unfortunately due to the fact that the R8 only has one ROM card slot you can't use other sound cards at the same time as the patch box, but with the R8M it doesn't matter which PCM card port of the three available you use, and the other two can still be used for extra sound cards.
Both the R8 and the R8M are very keen on brutally savage, but also sometimes strangely beautiful distortion sounds. It also excels at strange digital gurgling and shuddering sequenced effects on the longer sounds such as the cymbals and some snares. The R8 and R8M take a little more work than most circuit bent drum machines as many of the possible patchbay connections will produce variations on distortions rather than the common effects found on similar machines, but with a little patience there are plenty of interesting and more complex sounds available.
What you will receive will be;
Audio Destruction patch box
25 way cable
9 x patch cables
The patch box instruction manual can be downloaded from HERE.
Below there are a couple of demo videos of the kind of effects this box can create. The second video has some appalling video quality as some cretin forgot to set the camera up correctly, but the audio is possibly better than the longer first demo, so we've uploaded it anyway.
Heres Speedy J using one of these boxes to create nasty distorted percussion all the way through this live video.
This is a half hour long in depth video on building sounds and jamming with one of our R8 patch boxes and a modded Alesis HR16 (not modded by us), from Blush Response.
There are some more demos from an older version of this mod that can be found below. Details of this version can be found in the mods archive HERE. All the same types of effects can be created with this new version of the patch box.
If you want to buy one of these units click on the Buy Now button below. These units are currently only available in our etsy shop, so the Buy Now button will take you there.
We have a new write up on bypassing/replacing the official R8 power supply HERE
It turns out that this patch box also works with any other Roland units that use the same ROM card format. We have tested it on a U110 and U220. Presumably this also includes the MV30 and the U20 as well, but we haven't tested those.
You can see a couple of videos of the patch box with a U110 and U220 below. No, they're not meant to be musical. Its just some random notes looping to test what might be possible.