MTG R100 Builder – Kawai R100/R50 EPROM Builder Software

This software will enable you to create your own custom EPROMs (BIN files) for the Kawai R100 or R50/R50e legendary 12-bit drum machine/rhythm composers.

In a nutshell you collect/create a bunch of WAV files, one for each of the 24 instruments and then this software compiles and converts them into the compressed Kawai format. It’s been a pretty big undertaking, starting with the dissection of the Kawai ASICs.  I will eventually include a User Manual and a bunch of WAV and BIN files to get you started.

Your WAV files should each be:

  • Mono (1 track)
  • Sample rate of 31.25kHz (you can resample easily in Audacity or similar)
  • 16-bit linear PCM (standard WAV)
  • Should fit within the sample space of the pad you are targeting.

Kawai R100 Builder

The look and feel of the software is based on the HR16 Editor by Dustin Licis. You can save file sets as a project to save time in the future.

Why bend and mutilate a fine instrument when you can bit-crush samples and add them to your kit? My EPROM Switcher boards will be available again Jan 1, 2014. Watch my eBay page.

Email me if you want to try it. It’s pre-release at this time.

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14 Responses to MTG R100 Builder – Kawai R100/R50 EPROM Builder Software

  1. gumi says:

    I’m stupid excited about this. Thanks for putting it together! I’ll definitely be buying a couple boards from you. Unfortunately I’m a Mac user though :/ I don’t expect a Mac version of the software but it would be awesome if you could post a thorough how-to for those of us who are Windows ignorant delving into Parallels, et al. My main question is (and has always been): What EPROM burner do I need to burn the custom chips? And which chips?

    Anyway, really looking forward to playing around with this. The R-100 is king of vintage digital drum boxes in my opinion. Custom ROMs will take it to a whole new level. Thanks.

  2. grantb4 says:


    I am a follower of your blog as well (and a JX3p user too). I don’t have any Mac experience, but I have at least one guy in Sweden using the software on a Mac so I know it works. You will probably have to ask some Mac people for help there.

    The preferred chip is 27C400 though I think there are other chips that are equivalent but as I’ve never used them I’ll refrain from mentioning their names for now. They are made by ST Micro, AMD and others. So that would be what you would look for in a burner. I have two burners, Galep-5 by Conitec and a SuperPro-600P. The Galep is a nightmare on Windows8 so that’s why I bought the Xeltek. There are definitely cheaper models as those are each about $600USD.

    And I have one board on eBay at the moment, and more to follow after Jan. 1, 2014.

  3. brad holland says:

    hey man,
    I’d love to burn some sounds for my kawai.
    I use a TOP853 eprom programmer. so i can just burn bin files to eproms an et voila?
    let me know

  4. grantb4 says:

    Assuming the programmer will program the EPROMs you buy, then yes! I use AMD 27C400’s but there are some other names/numbers for this format as well. The 27C400 is 4 Mbit (512Kb x8 or 256Kb x16 selectable by one pin) and the Kawai R-50/R-100 use the 256k x 16 arrangement. Just check the pinout versus the 27C400 and you should be OK.

    The Builder software download is free so you can try it for no cost. The version I ship with my expander board has a few minor improvements over the free one, but you should be good to go either way.

  5. Shony says:

    Hi, maybe i am blind but i don’t see link for software download, plase write post or mail me. I just want try it, thanks much for reply.

  6. grantb4 says:

    The free software is here:

    The software that comes with the expansion board has a few minor updates since then.

  7. OLLE says:


    The HR16 Editor by Dustin Licis you mention, is that on the web somewere? I can’t find it.


  8. OLLE says:

    I will buy you R100 3 eprom exp. soon by the way , just need to find an R100

  9. grantb4 says:

    I think there are at least three editors now for the HR16B. The one I looked at, but never really got a chance to use was Dustin’s. I heard about it on and there is a link in that thread. I copied it here for you:

    There is also a new one and another old one. I think both of these are mentioned on, although maybe they only mention the old one.

  10. grantb4 says:

    They are up on eBay all the time. I got mine off Craigslist locally for $50! There were a few minor issues with it.

    My Pro One was only $300 but I had to drive a way into the countryside to get it and it needed some repairs. Also through Craigslist.

  11. grantb4 says:

    A little information on the R-50 family, which uses the same sound ROMs as the R-100. As far as I can tell, the R-50 family consists of the R-50, R-50e and R-50iii. The last one being a unit that has all 3 ROMs in it, just like an R-100 would with my ROM switcher installed.

    One curiosity about the R-50 is that although it has the same 24 sound samples in the EPROM, it only has 10 pads on the front panel. The R-100 has 8 pads setup in 3 selectable banks. So what the R-50 has done is allowed for Preset and User Pad Setups (or drum kits if you prefer). What I had never seen until recently is that Kawai supplied plastic overlays for some of the preset kits. You can see them rarely in pictures of the R50. They say “PADS INSTRUCTION OVERLAY PRESET1/PRESET2” and the names for the drums in those kits. I’ve only ever seen this one, so perhaps the other presets are printed on the back.

    Regarding changing an R50< -->R50e I think this would be pretty easy. You’d have to swap both the sound rom and the OS rom so that the menus matches the sounds.

    Finally here is a guy that sampled a bunch of the sounds. Again, it’s the same sounds as a loaded R-100. The R-50 also has built in effects so you have to watch out for that when comparing to an R-100.

  12. thomas story says:

    I recently picked up an R-50III, but I am having a problem when loading kit 2, the machine just glitches out and will not boot. 1 and 3 are fine.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to find the eprom data for the III and burn a new chip?

  13. grantb4 says:

    It’s probably the OS eprom if it doesn’t boot. I think if it was the sound ROM (well, one of them), you would just get crap on the outputs.

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