Sonic State Studio / Recorders / BOSS / ROLAND BR-8

Average rating: 8.8/10 out of 10

page 5 of 5:   1   2   3   4   5    
AnvilMonkey a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Excellent unit for the project studio and for demo work. I should think that this unit would be very handy for songwriting, and for integration in a (as is my case) Cakewalk project studio.

========= Pros ========== *Very easy to use. A very good interface.

*Portable and fast. At home on the road, (take stereo outs from a live mix), in my basement or in my studio. Fun!

*Great effects.

*Good selection of outputs: digital OUT, MIDI out, Line OUT.

*Rhythm Guide is more "natural" to use than a metronome.

========= Cons ==========

* Limited record time. Maybe 250MB Zips will help, but even so it is pretty limited time in MultiTrack mode. V-Tracks works fine, and would be an excellent complement to software like Cakewalk but for the limited record time :(

* No indicators for volume faders unless you record a scene. Would be nice to simply mark it visually on the main screen somehow.

* MIDI IN. Would love to MMC this thing from Cakewalk. (Or maybe Cakewalk MMC from this. As of 8.04, anyway, it can't).

Rating: 9 out of 10 posted Monday, 12-Mar-01 at 15:35
David S a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Oh, yeah. About the limitation of 100 MB. Think about this. The average pop/rock song at 4 minutes gives you, at the highest quality level on the BR-8, 12 full tracks. Go to the lowest (still very good) quality mode, you have 75 minutes, so about 18 full tracks. BUT... there are ways to expand the apparent time. First, you don't have to use (or keep) full tracks for every instrument, do you? Take that rhythm guitar part that is a stab on every downbeat in the verse only. Record it... then erase all the dead space in the choruses and wherever else. Then you regain all that time you erased. Another way to optimize track time: Record that backup vocal one time and use the one recording three times, rather than recording it three times. Since it's pointer-based editing, when you "copy" the backup chorus to choruses 2 and 3, you don't triple the time used up for the audio; instead, you just point to it two more times and it plays, without needing to occupy disk space.

Oh, and about that drum machine. It is NOT sold by BOSS as a drum machine, but as a rhythm pacer. It is VERY useful as a metronome and for creating a tempo map that makes editing by the beat and measure incredibly easy and powerful.

Another feature you will greatly appreciate if you give it a whirl: The phrase trainer. Record ANY length of audio (up to about 30 minutes---that's enough, isn't it?) you want to learn or practice, and you can use it easily: Cancel the center (usually voice, lead, and bass), slow down to half speed, pump up the bass and balance... very versatile.

Rating: 10 out of 10 posted Friday, 09-Mar-01 at 15:10
David S a hobbyist user from USA writes:
The BR-8 is an incredibly good price-value package. It provides a usable amount of recording space (see below about the supposed limitation of 100 MB disks) on its selected medium. In addition, it is hard to even conceive of an easier to use digital recorder. Its recording and mixing functions are one-to-a-button. Its system utilities are easily accessed through a menuing page system, easily picked up with a little help from the manual. The effects units (loop and insert) are comprehensive and easily operated. And the quality IS very good.

The system for keeping track of what you're doing is very powerful. You can name: song, virtual tracks, markers, mixing scenes. Moving through songs is really easy: You can make markers at song locations, and then if you need them to be more precise, you can move them back and forth by finding your location TO THE FIRST SOUND--you do it using the Time/Value wheel as a jog wheel in Scrub mode. It's incredible---the more powerful and expensive VS-840EX and VS-880EX don't even have this.

The recording quality is not the quality you'd use to put together a major label CD. But that's not what you want it for, and if you want that, you pay a lot more for it. (Nothing wrong with that, but I'm talking about price-value here! You get your money's worth from the BR-8.) And mixing is very easy and flexible. It would be nice to have motorized faders, and if you want them, pay more for them on some other machine.

But for the one-man-band, or the band that wants to record live and studio-cum-basement with a lot of power, this baby is just great.

Rating: 10 out of 10 posted Friday, 09-Mar-01 at 15:2
Dave Sherriff a hobbyist user from UK writes:
It's unfortunate that the original review was posted by someone with a chip on his shoulder. The BR8 is actually a great unit. The sound quality is, to my ears, excellent. The compression alogrithms used are VERY good - better than ATRAC and considerably better than MP3. The effects are superb - considerably better (and lower noise) than those in my Zoom RFX2000. It's extremely easy to use, though there are sometimes more menu steps required to achieve something than you'd like. The digital out is great - you can mix straight to a PC soundcard SPDIF in (or minidisk or dedicated CD blower) with no AD-DA conversions required.

Downsides:

Only 6 minutes song time (with all 8 tracks used) per Zip disk.

Only a single stereo line in - so you will need a separate mixer if you have several synths etc.

The built-in rhythm box is very poor - it's really intended as a fancy metronome only.

MIDI out only - you can slave a sequencer to the BR8, but you can't go the other way round.

For the money (and it IS very low cost) it is superb.

Rating: 9 out of 10 posted Friday, 09-Mar-01 at 9:0
STEWART a Professional user from ENGLAND writes:
THE BOSS BR8,FOR WHAT IT IS, IS A SUPERB PIECE OF GEAR. FOR QUICK, EASY AND AFFORDABLE DIGITAL RECORDING, TO MY MIND ANYWAY, YOU'LL FIND IT HARD TO BEAT. AIMED SQUARLY AT THE GUITARISTS OF THIS WORLD THE 'COSM' FX WORK SUPERBLY, OFFERING A LARGE PALLET OF EDITABLE SOUNDS. WITH DEDICATED INPUTS FOR BOTH GUITAR,MIC. AND LINE LEVEL SOURCES, GETTING KILLER RESULTS IS EASY. NOT ONLY DO YOU GET GUITAR FX,YOU ALSO RECEIVE VOCAL FX AND LINE LEVEL FX PATCHES AS WELL-AGAIN ALL EDITABLE.THIS BABY IS SO EASY TO USE.FOR FIRST TIME DIGITAL RECORDING YOU JUST CANT BEAT IT.....AND I AM SURE EVEN THE MORE EXPERIENCED AMONGST YOU WOULD ALSO SEE THE ABILITY TO RECORD DIGITALLY AT THE DROP OF A HAT.THE BR8 IS AN HONEST,SOLID AND WELCOMING PIECE OF GEAR TO USE.....BUY ONE NOW......I DID.

Rating: 10 out of 10 posted Tuesday, 06-Mar-01 at 15:43
page 5 of 5:   1   2   3   4   5    

Add your review
NEW SYSTEM - to keep the user reviews focussed, we are now approving all submissions before they appear.
We will endeavour to process your comments within 24hrs

Do not post items for sale or wanted here (they will be removed)
Use the Sonic Free Ads
Name
Email
Mail me Sonic State News
From:
(Country)
[ Professional Part TimeHobby-ist ] User
Nature of comments:
comment question
Whaddaya think: (blank lines are converted to paragraph breaks)
No HTML please.
Score 1=low 10=hi