Burning Custom Drum Machine Sound ROMs

alesis hr-16

The Alesis HR-16 was an inexpensive, easy-to-use MIDI drum machine from the early ’90s. [Burnkit2600] had a lot of experience circuit bending the HR-16 and decided to burn some custom sound ROMs for it. The HR-16 has two 32-pin ROMs that are conveniently socketed. He pulled the chips and dumped the image using an EPROM reader/writer. The ROM only contains sound samples, so you can open it up in raw mode using a program like Sound Forge. The samples are separated by short negative regions. All you need to do is place your new samples between the pits and burn a new ROM. You can piggy back the chips using the chip enable line to add even more samples.

10 thoughts on “Burning Custom Drum Machine Sound ROMs

  1. Pretty cool hack, though often the nostalgic sounds are the best thing retro gear has.

    Attempted first-poster, you have a small penis, and I have denied you your prize.

  2. A true hack and a great application of “kiss”. Just like the summary says, you only need a sound editing program to do the job – how many of us programmers would have spent forever reverse-engineering the storage format first?

    Also, the bit about circuit bending is almost deserving its own hackaday article.

  3. i knew i should not have gotten rid of this thing. now i wish i could do this with my alesis DMPRO. I tried adding sounds using the SoundBridge tool but it’s a curddy tool and I think my DMPro has a bad midi in jack. boo sob story.

  4. great hack, I gotta see if I can pick up a HR-16 somewhere to try this out. the circuit bending adds a nice touch to the final output.

    aargh, man I hate those stupid 1st poster guys. mabye hackaday should put a filter that blocks comments with “1” and “post” in them

  5. Isn’t it funny how just as many posts seem to be people getting upset at the whole ‘first post’ thing. My advice to everyone is to deal with it the same way you do when children misbehave: ignore it. It’s a cry for attention, probabbly from somebody who is desperately lonely or just too immature to distinguish between the value of positive and negative attention.

    This site is a very nice find: I was particularly thrilled to find the TR505 circuit bending hacks! Now all I have to do is dig out that old 505 whereever it is….

    Nice hacks

  6. I was going to tell number fourteen that yes, it would be nice if hack-a-day wasn’t cluttered with attempted fsirt psots, people complaining about the 1st poists, and complainers complaining about the complainers and that example setting is in order, i.e. not mentioning them in the first place. But on second thought, I think I will be the one to make an example and not even mention it, Ever!

    This story reminds me that i have an awesome drum machine that needs both bending and rom alteration, thanks for the motivation and a interesting story!

    p.s. as usual, enjoy my capital letters, Hack-a-day!

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