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?

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21 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:

    Hi,

    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.

  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
    cheers

  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.

  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. OLLE says:

    Hi

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

    Thanks

  7. 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 GearSlutz.com and there is a link in that thread. I copied it here for you:

    http://www.mediafire.com/download/tdddsm1qd67a4sd/HR16B_EPROM_Editor_Setup.msi

    There is also a new one and another old one. I think both of these are mentioned on Burnkit2600.com, although maybe they only mention the old one.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    http://www.denhaku.com/r_box/r_box.htm

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.denhaku.com/r_box/r_box.htm&prev=search

  10. 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?
    tom

  11. 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.

  12. gumi says:

    So I finally got around to burning some EPROMs (uh, 4 years later). I loved my R-100s to pieces before but this brings you into a new dungeon of menacing sounds to play with. The new samples sound really good, way better than, say, custom HR-16 ROMs, which tend to be fiddly and noisy. I burned some 303 and synth samples into the longer slots (ride & crash). Those samples in combo with the DAC bends are just brutal–endless fun. Of course drum samples sound awesome too.

    If any R-100 owners are on the fence about this you should just do it; grab a switcher from MTG and go nuts. Here’s what I’m using (available from mcumall.com, gqelectronicsllc.com, or ebay):
    – GQ-4×4 True USB Universal Programmer
    – ADP-054 16 Bit EPROM 40/42 pin ZIF adapter **you need this in order to burn 72C400 chips on the GQ-4×4**
    – UV EPROM Eraser
    – AM27C400 chips
    – Windows 7 running via Parallels 10 on MacBook Pro 10.11.6
    – MTG R-100 Builder Software
    – Audacity (for preparing the samples; I have a template I can share if anyone’s interested)

    @grantb4/MTG – Thanks 100 for putting the R-100 Builder software out there for free. I sent you an e-mail.

    Happy New Year

    • Michael Hannan says:

      @Gumi Do you have that template? I have my switcher on the way and would like to get my kits dialed in on Audacity. Even a list of sample sizes per sound would be great. I saw in a post that said cymbal banks were bigger. This will be my first EPROM burning from a computer. I have only used my Simmons and Oberheim EPROM burners. Thanks – MH

  13. Bris says:

    Hello
    Please, could you post a valid link for download your software MTG ?
    Thanks

  14. SaintYves says:

    Hello,

    I’m looking for those AM27C400 chips and i cannot reach.
    Does anyone can told me where to find one?
    Tanks

  15. Stan says:

    Ohh, having problems trying to put BIN files as Sounds instead of Wavs.. Tried with every Bin file i was able to find on internet – doesn’t work, the manual says:

    ” You can load Linn, Oberheim, Sequential and other u-Law binary files as long as
    they have the .BIN or .OBJ extension. To choose one of these files, change the
    File Type in the Select WAV File dialog. When you load one of these files, they will be converted to WAV first. Then the R100 Builder uses the new WAV file. ”

    But doing all this i have a message all the time from MTG Builder:
    “Unable to open WAV file” – please can you help me out? Thanks!

  16. grantb4 says:

    Feel free to email me the BIN you are trying to convert and I can see if there are any issues on that side. Normally the process is Click the Browse button next to the drum channel you want to load. Change the file type to .BIN, click on the BIN file you want to use, then click Open. At that point a dialog pops up asking the Sample Rate (this will set the pitch information in the resulting WAV file but otherwise is not super critical). Just Click OK. Then a warning pops up reminding you that the R100’s basic sample rate is 312500Hz. Click OK again. This will load convert the BIN to WAV and the WAV will be loaded into that drum channel. At this point you can audition the sound clicking on the Play button for that channel.

    The original BIN file should have a WAV file in the same directory. Possibly there could be an issue with permissions if the program cannot create the WAV, so you should look for it yourself to check.

  17. grantb4 says:

    I just tried one and there is no problem. I’m guessing it’s some permission tied to either where you are saving the files or perhaps some other protection mechanism (since you downloaded a BIN from the internet). I converted 21KICK.BIN to WAV and also downloaded the 21KICK.WAV from Electrongate and they both sound OK (aside from the pitch being different).

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