Detailed research conducted down the pub reveals that 100% of people had the Boss DR55 as their first drum machine. While this research may not be entirely
reliable, the DR55 was popular for some good reasons: it was cheap, it was tough, and it sounded surprisingly good. Even now, that hard thud of a kick drum can hold its own in a track, and the hats are good, too. The snare is short and punchy, but we've found a way to make it longer if you want it to be. And there's a neat little rimshot sound in there too, quite nicely high-pitched.
The real ace up the DR55's sleeve, though, was its Accent control. You could input Accents in step-time just like another kit piece, and any kit pieces playing at the same time as an Accent would be "punched up" in the pattern by an amount corresponding to the value set with the separate Accent knob. This gave way more variation to patterns programmed on the DR55 than on most of its contemporaries: you could accentuate the backbeat, or go all James Brown and "put it on the One", or have alternating 16ths have different Accents, or whatever you liked. The limitation, of course, was that all
kit pieces playing on an Accented beat would be Accented by the same amount, which wasn't as subtle as you might hope. But again, we're ahead of the game here, and have solved that one for you.
Doctor 55 is the Rhythmic Robot take on the DR55. We've sampled every kit piece individually at 24bit, through the entire range of the Accent knob. You can control how much Accent each kit piece gets either from the front-panel knob (individually – set what you want for snares, hats, kick and rimshot); or you can vary the Accent level with velocity using our "Velocity Retrofit". This enables really varied, expressive playing right from your MIDI keyboard (or you can draw in velocity variations in your DAW) – and it can really bring the instrument to life.