Cherry Audio Releases CR-78 It’s First Virtual Drum Machine


Cherry Audio has released its first drum machine, a plugin emulation of the much-loved Roland CompuRhythm CR-78. Released in 1978, this used analogue synthesis to create sounds that are more delicate than you’ll find in later boxes such as the 808 and 909, and can be heard on classic records by the likes of Blondie (Heart Of Glass), Phil Collins (In The Air Tonight) and Hall & Oates (I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)).

As you’d expect, Cherry Audio’s emulation promises to recreate the sound and look of the original, but it also adds 16- or 24-step X0X-style programming for a smoother sequencing workflow. There’s a song mode for pattern chaining and looping, swing and velocity features, and a preset library that gives you more than 250 additional sounds and beats in multiple genres and styles.

Rather than use samples for the sounds, Cherry Audio has employed “modelled synthesis”, and if you open up the voice edit panel there are extensive parameter tweaking options that go way beyond the original. The effects and mixer panel, meanwhile, offers level and mute/solo controls, and the option to adjust the overdrive, flanger, delay, and gated reverb. There are effect send buttons for each voice, along with a master compressor and a six-band graphic EQ.

This particular software emulation of the CR-78 was modelled on the machine owned by none other than Greg Hawkes, keyboard player and founder member of The Cars. “It sounds great, and I’ll be spending a lot of time with this,” he says, adding that “Cherry Audio has done an awesome job, and I’m proud to be a facilitator.”

CR-78 Drum Machine Features

  • All 34 factory preset rhythms and “variation/fill-in” patterns included
  • Simple shift-click action to combine two factory presets
  • Over 250 additional rhythm and sound presets, including special categories that go far beyond the classic CR-78 tones and patterns
  • All original sounds exactingly modeled — no samples used
  • Voice Edit panel for mild or extreme sound editing
  • Familiar X0X-style 16- or 24-step pattern programming
  • Super flexible pattern and instrument copy and paste capabilities
  • Swing percentage setting
  • Real-time step entering via Trigger button
  • Unlike original, all sounds independently addressable in user pattern mode
  • Easy to use Song Mode with up to 99 patterns and 99 steps per song
  • External MIDI sound triggering with velocity sensitivity and user-assignable note mapping
  • Effects/Mixer panel with studio-quality effects for overdrive, flanger, delay, and gated reverb that can be individually applied to each kit instrument through an innovative “one-button mixer send”
  • Mixer with independent level, pan, and solo/mute for each instrument
  • The Effects/Mixer panel also includes a wild and characterful master compressor and six-band graphic EQ
  • Drag-export function allows simple mouse-drag conversion of patterns to DAW MIDI tracks (plug-in version) or Standard MIDI Files on the desktop (standalone version)
  • Separate out plug-in version for independent processing of each instrument in a DAW
  • Super accurate DAW sync
  • User-adjustable oversampling control
  • Complete MIDI control and DAW automation for all controls, with easy-to-use MIDI learn and mapping (Preset and Global)
  • Cherry Audio’s popular Focus zoom-in feature, as well as standard UI zoom and resize via drag
  • Complete documentation available directly online from the instrument or in downloadable PDF format


The CR-78 runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX and standalone formats and is available now priced at $49. There’s also a 30-day demo, and if you want to go beyond the extensive preset library, which promises to take the machine “from wild to mild”, there’s also a Compu-Rhythms for CR-78 Preset Pack that you can purchase separately.

Find out more on the Cherry Audio website.

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