The FR-6 represents, in many ways, the ‘classic’ Rhythm Ace drum machine. It doesn’t have all the features of more sophisticated units such as the Rhythm 77, but it has the standard Rhythm Ace voice board and sounds, plus the typical array of preset rhythms you’d expect from a drum machine of this era.
The FR-6’s voice board (where all the sounds are generated) is identical to many other Rhythm Ace units of the era (check out the Rhythm Fever page for more info about this). It’s fairly simple, with only six sounds, but it’s a classic sound heard on many recordings from the past forty years.
Like many Rhythm Ace models, the Rhythm Fever has the standard ‘rotary preset selector’ for two of its button, which can be found on many Rhythm Ace units. The bass drum, like all Rhythm Ace units, is a very low frequency thump (around 60Hz) without much snap or attack; the snare drum sound is a mix of a tuned oscillator tone with a burst of transistor noise, which makes it completely unrealistic (isn’t it great?), and let’s not even talk about the “Cymbal”…
The bottom line: it sounds great as an analog percussion synthesizer, and sounds terrible as a drum emulation!
Technical Info / Service Notes
I’ve never had any issues with my FR-6, so there’s nothing much to say here. I haven’t modified it for multiple outputs yet, but it would be very easy because I can basically follow the same procedure as on the Rhythm Producer, since both voice boards are identical.
|Manufacturer||Ace Electronic Industries (Japan)|
|Sounds||6 (BD, SD, Cy, low conga, high conga, claves)|
|Presets||20 (waltz, slow rock, ballad, rock'n roll, rumba, beguine, mambo, bossa nova, cha-cha, tango, samba, fox trot 1, fox trot 2, swing 1, swing 2, swing 3, march, haba-nera, bass snare, bass)|
|Controls||Balance control (BD/Cy balance)|
|Outputs||2 (low/high impedance)
|Footswitch||Start / Stop|
|Related models||Ace Tone Rhythm Fever and other Rhythm Ace units|