Roland CR800 compu rhythm?? CMU-800!!

From geoff
Sent Sat, Apr 22nd 1995, 02:46

on Thu, 20 Apr 1995, Legion <redacted@example.com> scribbled:

>I found an old Roland Compurhythm sequencer/synth thingie in a local
>store. It's been there forever and looks like its in good condition. It
>has a cable coming out the back and does power up but there's no manual
>and no disks.
>
>In an old Roland Users Group mag there is a description of this beast. It
>evidently has a synth and drum kit built into it and will sequence a
>number of CV/gate synths. Sounds wonderful but the only thing it didn't
>say is what computer it was made to hook up to. I understand you also
>need an internal card to hook it to and the roland software to run the
>sequencer. I have a dozen 286 machines floating around (I imagine
>hoping this will work on a 486 is dreamtime) but i  don't know if this'll
>work or not given the other parts missing from the equation.
>
>Has anyone ever used this beast? any ideas of where to get the
>software/internal card? And just what computer can this work with (old
>Apple, XT, Atari?)

Not CR800, CMU-800. The CR800 was a black wedge-shaped box that was one of
Roland's last preprogrammed rhythm boxes.

The CMU-800, though, ahhhh, now *that* is another story entirely!!

The CMU-800 is a medium-sized, off-cream metallic wedge, with a barrage of
jacks on the back and a bare minimum of knobs on the front. It also sported
this ruddy great ribbon cable hanging out the back!

What is it? Essentially, its a computer-controlled CV/gate output system,
designed to work with three computers - a Japan-market-only NEC Z80
machine, the humble Apple II range, and  (of all things!) the IBM PCjr. No
MIDI, no inputs as such, just a means to let your "brand spanking new 8-bit
computing marvel" be the controlling heart of your System 100M. The box was
the same for each model, you just bought the interface and software to suit
your particular CPU.

Imagine an MC-4 sequencer. Now take away all the smarts. Coming close :-).

Because a lot of people didn't *have* 8 channels of VCO-VCF-VCA to play
with, Roland provided 5 'channels' with incredibly simplistic monosynths
that made the same horrid "paaaank" noise. Ghastly things :-) Fun, though,
at the time -- I could plug one into my Apple II and make the most
horrendously sounding Bachian diddle-doddle noises :-).

I think I still have the circuit diag and some software for the Apple II
version of the interface  ... somwhere in the bowels of my aging A2 floppy
collection!


Geoffrey

Really? Geoffrey Peters, Macintosh Support Wizard, redacted@example.com
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