Tag Archives: drum

Ace Tone FR8L recapping and external psu, trigger mods

Assorted pics of the actual boards.. might be useful to someone.

That good old recappin’ blues:

Since one of the boards was GLUED to its standoff, i had to solder some caps on top of the older ones.. now one of the caps had leads so short i thought it might be useful to remind myself where does each lead went (see pic w scribble).

And the odd freaky transistors that didnt have its legs cut off (and indeed they were perilously almost touching)

The FR8L can produce 13 drum sounds-and very crispy too, thats why i decided to modify it..

Circuitbenders.co.uk’s trigger module: wires aplenty, but this will allow me to trigger each drum sound from a midi to trigger highly liquid board, that has been assembled back in the day to control my fr3-a build/mod and brilliantly carried out by circuitbenders.co.uk (you can see it HERE and HERE TOO).

The trigger board for the fr8l can be ordered HERE but remember, stock is limited.

Please note a male/female hex spacer (m3 22mm) is needed to screw the trigger board to the existing hex nut.

I decided to put the trigger input jacks in an external box-lots of fun soldering all the tiny jacks!

External PSU mod:

From an idea by circuitbenders.co.uk

READ ABOUT IT HERE

Due to the nature of the machine it is best to reduce background noise as low as possible-and an external power supply may be a better power source than the provided transformer since the filtering in the power supply section is basically nil.

I had to make a quick mod here so if you may, bear with the crudeness of these connections-i was also low on cables so pardon the lacking colour scheme..

Remove the transformer (WARNING: Dangerous voltages around this area)

First of all take a nice picture or two of where the transformer cables were originally.

The plastic thing where the red orange and black wires go is a diode bridge-check the schematic from the FR8L service manual, it has to be removed along with the transformer. We’ll reuse thosw wires so just cut them and leave them hanging for now.

Then when everything has been unscrewed and cables cut, make a bridge connection between the two pins of the on off switch at the tagboard end (pink cable).

Red and orange cables soldered to the positive side, grey cable connecting all black leftover cables to the negative side.

To attenuate noise from using a switching psu i put a choke in series with the positive pole, and a 2200uF 50v capacitor in parallel between + and – like this:

Remember the resistor between + at the psu and the orange cables (you can barely see it in the picture because i used some spare shrink tubing to prevent shorts).

🙂

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Acetone FR1 FR2L recapping

Since there were some errors on the schematic, please refer to these values should you need recapping your vintage Ace Tone drum machine:

Recapping divided by board

TR707 TR727 reset, midi out, tricks etc

Reset your TR707 or TR727 to factory settings.. here is the buttons combination to give your drum machine a fresh new start and to check leds and screen, buttons.

Keep pressed CLEAR and INSTRUMENT/GUIDE and switch on the legendary (yes, legendary) drum machine.

All the lights will turn on, then step leds will blink one by one.

After the light show, press ENTER/CARTRIDGE to proceed with the screen test.

Press the buttons and see the relevant dots show up on the screen.

Switch off.

How to use the TR707 or TR727 to output midi notes, and use it as a midi controller to play other midi modules, samplers (bear in mind its defaut midi channel is 10):

STOP the pattern/track if it is playing.

Enter TRACK PLAY mode.

Holding SHIFT press INSTRUMENT/GUIDE and MIDI CHANNEL.

This procedure will mute the instrument’s internal sounds but will allow you to control external gear using the TR707 or TR727.

To revert back to default, using the internal sounds but NOT transmitting midi notes, and if you have a TR707/727 that is silent, just use the same keypresses again.

Common troubles with these machines:

PSU jack fail, power transistor 78M05 (can be substituted with 78S05), power supply section electrolytic caps.

Dim screen=check the power supply section.

Try different psu transformers too: Roland’s own are recommended, etc

These are machines that heal themselves.. put them aside for a while or leave them turned on for some time and they will fix themselves.

Maybe.

Creating a drum program on the Akai S900

Ok this is as basic as it gets, but still it’s nowhere to be found on the actual Akai S900 manual, since it deals mostly with pitched sounds and how to spread them on the keyboard.

How do you make a drum program from recorded samples on the Akai S900, and play those sounds from a controller in midi in?

Well, first of all you must understand what a keygroup is.

The keygroup is the number of samples in the program. Or something like that.


Here the guide, how you do it, step by step:

-press the function button sample rec, press “letter” function and enter the name of the new sample, scroll down and set the sample rate: choose 16000 for best definition (it will be punchy nevertheless) then scroll the page down until you can assing that specific sample to a key on the keyboard- I normally start from A1. For easier operation, use a keyboard plugged in the midi in port.

-record sample.

-press edit sample function, since they are drum samples you dont want any scaling of the single hits so deactivate any transpose function, then set the sample start and end points.

Scroll the page down and choose (right arrow twice) to discard whatever is before the start and after the end points (aka sample truncate).

-press edit program and choose (right arrow) the name of the sample you just recorded.

At Program screen 03, KEYGROUP,  add one more keygroup to the total keygroups by pressing + on the COPY line. Then scroll page down, assign the keygroup to the sample you just edited, and set the sample pitch range-since it is a drum sample, you want the range to be of just one key, so set it to the key you assigned upon recording for both range figures. If you assign it to another key, the sample’s pitch will be affected. You will not be able to listen to the sample as you do this so make sure you write down what note the sample was assigned to.

-press save, scroll down page to (right arrow twice) save prg and samples.

That’s it, plain and simple, easy guide to make drum programs on this legendary sampler.

Remember to drive the inputs a bit when recording-i always record at 16000 (best quality) but sometimes in a drum kit i like to have also low fidelity drum hits, so i record also some kicks and snares at like 8000-they add some dirt, just dropping them in the pattern, they add character.