Synth DB

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Ace Tone | FR-2L


Before the wildly innovative Ikutaro Kakehashi founded Roland, he had already achieved some success in the drum machine world.

Working under the name Ace Electronics, Kakehashi developed a preset-based drum machine called the Rhythm Ace. It came with 16 preset patterns, including organ accompaniment mainstays like Bossa Nova and Samba. Like the Korg Mini Pops, multiple buttons can be pushed simultaneously.

A unique function to the Rhythm Ace is the ability to cut specific tones out of the patterns. By canceling the Cymbal, Claves, and Snare tones, you can hear isolated low-end hits, giving a sense of the classic sounds that would later culminate in Kakehashiís invention of the 808.

The Ace Tone FR-2L is the successor to the F-1. This unit retained 4 drum instruments but the cowbell was replaced by a snare. The cancel button for the bass drum was removed but. The casing was slimmed down to allow the placement of the instrument on top of an organ or keyboard. The control panel was largely the same but in reversed rder from the FR-1L with the same 16 preset buttons, 3 cancel buttons and control knobs.

BrandAce Tone
Engine TypeAnalog
EngineVCO Preset
Voices (max)4
DrumsSounds: cymbal, claves, cowbell and bass drum
Sequencer16 Preset Patterns
Key typeN/A
Produced:1966 - 1966
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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