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Roland R-70 Human Rhythm Composer Question

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:00 am
by hinotori
Im thinking of purchasing an R-70 and just have a couple of quick questions about the R-70 that i hope someone could answer for me. :)

Firstly im wondering if it is possible to edit patterns whilst the drum machine is playing. ??
<< I use my Yamaha ry-30 machines a lot but one drawback of them is that if i want to add sounds to a pattern i have to stop it playing and put it into record mode (not good live) >>

What are the major pros and cons when comparing the R-70 to the R-8(mkI/mkII) ?

many thanks for your time..


Re: Roland R-70 Human Rhythm Composer Question

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:07 am
by Z
It's been over 16 years since I messed with a R-70 at the pro music shop I used to work at, so I had to do a little research before answering.

After seeing the R8 for many years, I was not real impressed with the way the R-70 looked, especially the giant "band-aid" at the bottom. I did like the feel of the rubbery pads opposed to the R8's pads.

The R-70 adds built-in digital FX, but they're rather limited from what I remember. From one webiste I just looked at, it appears that you cannot use the built-in FX if you also use the AUX outs. You would think you could still use the FX on anything going through the MAIN outs.

The R8 has stereo MAIN outs along with EIGHT individual outs whereas the R-70 has stereo MAIN plus 2 AUX outs.

The R8 also has internal power transformer and uses standard 3 prong plug. R-70 uses external power, but I can't remember if it's a wall wart or lump-in-the-line.

Both the R8mk2 & R-70 have more sounds that the original R8, but you'd need to refer to the manuals for the sounds. YOu can DL the manuals for free at

I can't comment on the ability to program whilst the machine is in "play" mode. That was a long time ago. Since there is a red REC button, I would image that all you have to do is press that button either by itself or along with the play button to add more sounds to a beat that's already playing. See what the manual says.

Re: Roland R-70 Human Rhythm Composer Question

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:14 pm
by FX23
Im pretty sure you can edit whilst playing. Also you can edit parameters such as pitch for each drum hit. Very cool. Was a great next drum machine after my boss550. I moved on from it years ago though

Re: Roland R-70 Human Rhythm Composer Question

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:37 am
by hinotori
many thanks for the replies :)
I'm still torn between the R-8 mkII and the R-70. i may buy one and try it and trade for the other plus or minus cash in the future.

Re: Roland R-70 Human Rhythm Composer Question

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:54 am
by Dane_Xoth
I've had the R-70 since '94. still using it. I also have a R-8M (the Module not the desktop) and previously a R-5 (which i regret giving away)

Edits cannot be done in 'Play' mode.
However, you can do 'RealTime Record' with the clock running. It will seemlessly loop the Pattern so you can build a pattern instrument by instrument. You should arrange the sounds in 1 or 2 Pad Banks, because you wouldn't be able to audition sounds (without recording them).

Comparing specs, they come pretty close, and iirc they have the same sound set (or atleast all the sounds on the R70 come from the R-8) it's a hard choice. (expandable sounds or a lot of them?, 8 indiv outs or 4 + FX?) The 2 thins the R-70 have in it's favour over anything else, imho, are the soft pads and the BACKLIT DISPLAY.

You do lose the Individual outs to the FX if you choose to use them (as stated earlier), but the FX are really not that impressive.A Reverb or Delay and a Chorus or Flange (no distortion :cryhard:)

Assigning Pads to a Note# is a bit weird (on the R-70). You assign the Note # to a sound (in a kit), then assign the sound to the pad, then the kit is assigned to a MIDI Channel.. It's done under 2 or 3 different menu pages. (i'm building a pad set to trigger an external drum module and synth/sampler from the R-70)

Re: Roland R-70 Human Rhythm Composer Question

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:40 am
by hinotori
many many thanks dane xoth for the the information
i missed out on an r-70 last week but have all my scouts and scopes on the look out :)