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

Average rating: 8.8/10 out of 10

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rob a hobbyist user from NY writes:
Can someone PLEASE tell me if a 250mb dzip disk will work on the BR-8? will it record onto it? How many more minutes will that hold? My Br-8 is coming soon in the mail so i want to know what disks to get.......also....does toggling between sound quality save room? how much? thank you.

posted Tuesday, 08-Jan-02 at 21:34
wizzard a Professional user from usa writes:
i'm planning on buying the BR8, have a few questions though. I notice it seems geared toward guitar players, the music i'm doing is drum machine / synth heavy. will it be an efficient enough machine for these uses?

basically I'm tired of recording and mixing down using a medium that will probably be obsolete in five years (cassettes) - if i record to zip, can i mix to minidisc, protools, analong board, etc?

ease of use: i'm coming from a tascam 414. am i gonna be confounded by the manual?

ae zip discs sticking around, or will they eventually be going the way of the laser disc or the ADAT (take your pick)?

should someone in my position just get a good minidisc recorder and mix from 4 track onto that? or is the BR8 worth the money?

thanks a lot wizzard

posted Thursday, 20-Dec-01 at 4:23
Postal a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Having struggled with a VS840 for over two years, I finally traded it in for a BR-8 (and an EV-5 pedal). The ease of use, compared to the VS, is unbelievable. For a guitarist, it's heaven. I did six tracks last night - acoustic, wah, trem, o/driven, classic Tele and convincing bass - all without unplugging my Telecaster! There is almost no learning curve and for my purposes (songwriting) it is perfect. I am tempted to get rid of my mixer, outboard FX and monitoring system and just get cosy with the BR-8, DR-670 drum machine and my CD burner, plus some headphones. It's perfectly possible.

Rating: 10 out of 10 posted Tuesday, 30-Oct-01 at 6:6
Joe a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Do yourself a favor and get a late-model (at least 2-gig hard drive, back-lit, 6 ins) 880EX on eBay for less than a new BR-8 (sub-$600). It beats the BR-8 in literally EVERY area. Spec it out and see. I'll be honest: I've never even owned a BR-8, but I owned an 840EX, which out-specs the BR-8 as well, and took 250mb zip disks, which were limiting enough, but using 100mb zip disks, you'll be limited to 1 4-minute, 8-track song per disk. $10 a song isn't my idea of a bargain: what were they thinking? For highest sound-quality, go with a Tascam 788, for bells/whistles, go with a Roland 880EX (better effects than the 788, coaxil and digital in and out for seamless integration with music software, if your soundcard has a digital in and out, obviously, automation), but do NOT stop at the BR-8: you'll either sell it within 6 months, or you will have purchased enough zip disks to get a 16-track digital recorder. I respect where John's coming from, though: when I first heard the sound-quality of the 840EX, I was blown away, coming from a 4-track cassette recorder. I'm just looking to save people some time & $ in the long run.

Rating: 5 out of 10 posted Thursday, 18-Oct-01 at 3:30
John a hobbyist user from USA writes:
My my. Musicians these days are incredibly spoiled. I'm from back in the days when a studio with this kind of capability could not be had for even $100,000. And that was dreaded analog tape that stretched and didn't offer random access. BTW, $50 a roll for tape...a lot more than a zip disc.

Yes, the BR8 has limitations. But what do you want for $600? On balance this machine is a godsend. I suggest you completely discount all the negative reviews you may have read. Most of those people fail to spell many words correctly. That should be a tipoff.

OK...down to business. Before I forget, make sure you read all the reviews. There is one with a great suggestion on how to maximize recording time. Don't forget to optimize often, by the way.

Pluses: The best equipment in the world is worthless unless the manual is well written. Luckily, the BR8 manual is excellent. Optical digital outs are a nice feature to keep everything digital all the way over to your CD burner. Learning curve is shallow thanks to the Boss engineers trying to aim for the guitarist market. Most guitarists are not too technically oriented, I'm sure we'll agree. Hey! Back off! I play guitar too! The scrub feature is great, as is phrase trainer.

Minuses: Would be nice to be able to have a send and receive for outboard effects. Being able to record on only 2 tracks at once may be limiting. Would be great if it could import wav and mp3 files. Recording time on a 100 meg zip disc is quite limited so you need to think economy. Multiple levels of undo would be nice. It would be nice if the various controls moved to the correct locations when recalling scenes, but obviously we are talking a lot of extra money here.

Tip: To get your money's worth you are going to be doing a lot of bouncing. Emulate the Beatles and get creative. You can do it! But you will be hopelessly confused unless you keep your V tracks organized. I suggest printing out a table with 8 rows and 8 columns. Each row is a V track and each column is a regular track. Document what is in each location. Delete tracks you don't need any more and optimize. You have the V track capability...may as well use it!

Rating: 10 out of 10 posted Thursday, 18-Oct-01 at 1:52
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