MATRIXSYNTH: Roland R8/R8M patchbox used with a Roland U220

Friday, May 08, 2020

Roland R8/R8M patchbox used with a Roland U220

Published on May 8, 2020

"It turns out our Roland R8/R8M audio grinding patchbox with the fake ROM card interface works on the U220 as well, and by extension probably the U110, MV30, U20 and anything else that uses the same style ROM cards.

More info at:"

"The R8 / R8M percussion grinding patch box is an external patchbay case that plugs into the main unit via the sound ROM expansion ports 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 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."

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