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  #61  
Old 01-09-2008, 04:02 AM
beuf59 beuf59 is offline
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Hi Wingman, this review is really good. But there's still a few things that I don't know (I'm from Holland, maybe I don't understand vereything in the right way) Is it possible with this product to choose different measures? Can you use it for example in a live gig?
Thanks a lot,
Beuf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingman View Post
Okay, here is the review I left on the web site of the store I bought it from with a few updates. I would be glad to answer any other questions.

I have recorded several things on the unit, one with multiple guitars, bass, drums, and three vocal parts. But it's a tune by Ty Tabor. If you guys can tell me a place I can put it up for your reference I'd be glad to do so. I got set up on SoundClick but don't think I can put it there because of the rights issue.
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The left mic in the first one I got had a noisy short right out of the box. G***** C****r exchanged it for another unit the next day. No problem. After that, what a blast! I am very pleased with it and what I am getting out of it. My hedging in the quality rating is just because this thing is so light and small and plastic it just feels like it might be a bit fragile. The buttons and sliders on mine are already getting a ton of use. We'll see how they hold up. They may be fine - it's kind of a vibe thing. The feel of the buttons and knobs doesn't inspire an expectation of a long, rugged, bullet-proof life. And if something breaks, I don't know how fixable it would be. May be a throw it away and get a new one deal. Okay! All that said, in such a case, I WOULD get a new one! This little guy is awesome! Although I can't quite nail down in any of the documentation I've found whether it's really 24 bit. Somewhere it talks about 24 bit internal processing and 24 bit AD/DA, which lead me to believe it is 24 bit, but it doesn't actually say that anywhere and they don't list that as a feature. (update: the Roland file format is proprietary. Somewhere I read that it is some kind of non-linear type of .wav, if I remember correctly) Also, it can import 8 bit or 16 bit .wav files but not 24 bit. Rate is always 44.1. In any case, the sound quality is stellar. (update: I've been using this thing for hours and hours and I'm feeling better about the build quality. It seems to be doing fine. I think my hands were just used to high-dollar broadcast video gear which is made to be beat to death day in and day out.)

It's amazing what they have packed into this thing. A very pleasant discovery is that they really thought through the process of recording a song and what a musician would need to do it. The features are set up to be really usable. A few examples: Other units I've used require an input to be mapped to a channel before you start. This unit sends the input in use to all the channels so it's there for whichever record enable you punch up. If you are using two inputs, it assumes you want 1&2, or 3&4, etc. Another ex: When trying to fix a bit with a punch in/out, you can set the locater to a bit before the section, and use the foot switch to punch in and out. If you don't like it, press the locater button and you are back at the run in still in play and ready for another punch in. Very fast and intuitive. It does have auto punch in/out if it's a tight spot. Also, I should mention the virtual tracks. Awesome feature in something in this price range. You get eight virtual tracks per channel for a total of 64. (You can only record to one virtual track of a channel at one time and can only play back one at a time. But you can move a track to any other virtual track so if you move one to a different channel then you could play both. Make sense? The Korg D-1600 I once had access to would let you do loop recording of multiple takes and auto switch between the virtual tracks so you kept the last eight versions. The BR-600 does NOT do this, but you can certainly change virtual tracks with your finger between takes. One other thing that might not be clear: When mixing down on the machine, or bouncing anything, it always records to a pair of virtual tracks on ch. 7 & 8. You can play a different pair of virtual tracks on 7&8 at the same time.

There is a built in programmable drum machine with eight or so sets of drum sounds and the ability to download others or load your own .wav or .aif sounds to a drum. There are velocity sensitive pads but they are marginal for actually playing multiple drum sounds in real time. They are quite handy for editing one drum sound at a time. Patterns and arrangements are editable. So far I have used the included patterns and just modified them when there wasn't something just right in the stock offerings. Basically you get a Roland drum machine (albeit with really small and marginal velocity sensitive pads) thrown in. The drum machine has it's own track so it doesn't take up any regular tracks. However, if you want to get a .wav or .aif out of the machine to edit on your computer, you have to bounce the drums to one of the regular tracks in real time. BUT, you don't have to do that in the same pass as anything else, so you can always put the drums on a different virtual track of a channel you have something else on.

A very cool feature is the bass simulator that lets you substitute your guitar for a bass. There are five or so different versions of this and to my non-bass playing ear, at least one of them sounds great. With the bass thing and the drums you can really get a song done all by yourself that sounds like a whole band. Some people have loved the guitar effects and some have not. Some sound quite good to me. Others are cheezy, but they are editable so one might possibly dial down the over-the-top ones to something usable. Haven't spent all that much time tweaking them yet. I don't think anyone can fault the loop effects - reverb, chorus, etc. They are excellent and available to every track at the same time with adjustable sends.

The ability to export .wav or .aiff gives you the best of both worlds. You can edit and mix on your computer but the onboard editing and mastering functions are not bad considering the interface screen has only two lines. But once you try the Roland conversion/transfer program (free download on Roland site) you won't want to use the onboard transfer function or editing. I'll note here that except for Pro Tools systems, when I have tried overdubbing on a computer using multi-track recording software, I've always had latency problems that left me struggling to get a computer to work instead of getting into the zone and making music happen. The stand-alone multi-track recorders eliminate this problem and to me, it is much easier to be a musician instead of a technician using them. You can get reflexive with the buttons so they interfere minimally with your creativity. Clicking around a complicated interface with a mouse just kills the zone for me. On the other hand, graphical, leisure-time editing in software is the only way to mix. So, if you ask me, track with the dedicated device, do your post on a computer. And pulling out a CF card, pushing it into a card reader, and using the graphical Roland transfer program is the fastest, most painless way to get between the two worlds that I've ever seen.

The size, weight, and (6)AA batt. power make for some wonderful convenience for recording in different spaces to which you might not bother to haul and set up more cumbersome gear. All the knobs are made to be basically flush with the surface so that nothing is sticking out to get broken if you put it in a brief case or shoulder bag and haul it around.

Also the silent CF card technology is great. You don't have to wait for a hard drive to spin down to have quiet. As has been said, the on-board condenser mics sound way better than they have any right to for what this thing costs. My Samson S12 dynamic (very similar to a Shure Beta-58) doesn't sound near as good as they do for my voice. There is one thing that is an irritation and I've not been able to get any info about it. While the onboard mics sound great, when using them there is a low hissy-hashy noise floor. I have been able to get rid of it very handily using the broad spectrum noise reduction plug-in of Sound Forge. Even after the NR processing, it sounds great - much better than my dynamic mic. It does add a step though, and that's a drag. However, those mics are “comes with” free. The regular mic ins, the hi-Z guitar in, and the line ins are all extremely quiet. So you're really not loosing here. The mic on the Fostex MR8 is just for scratch reference and mono. I'm quibbling about stereo condensers that are actually amazing for being built-ins.

All in all, it's fairly easy to use, but if you dig into it the capability is surprising. They cut corners (to keep the cost down) in places that make sense for many of us. Like the two inputs at one time. That's what I need. I don't need 8 or more at one time. You will find that it is just very well thought out for real world use. I came very close to buying a Fostex MR8 before I saw one of these. The Boss is so worth the extra $150 ($125 with the current rebate). IMO, it just blows away anything anywhere near the price point. And at any price, the size and portability allow for some very interesting possibilities for which bigger units would a lot more trouble. Like: “This stairwell sounds interesting, I think I'll record something here.” I have never seen so many powerful and usable features packed into such a small and elegant device. I have used other larger and much more expensive digital recorders that don't have near this feature set. I've wanted one of my own for a long time. I now have so much more than I expected to be able to afford and I must say I am delighted - and recording, tweaking, and mixing like crazy! If you get one you will loose a lot of sleep for a while!
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  #62  
Old 03-04-2008, 04:21 AM
IanRicH IanRicH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beuf59 View Post
Hello everyone, I'm a guitarplayer and was looking for a drumcomputer. So I found out there is some product like the boss DR 880. But, I also found out that there is a product called boss BR 600. That is a recorder, I know. But with a drumcomputer built in and cheaper! So I have a few questions for those people that are a little familiar with the BR 600. I'd like to know if you can use this product during a live-gig. And is it possible to assemble all kinds of measures (like 3/4 or 6/8) ?
Just came across this thread, so if you're still out there, yes you can use it live. However, you need to be aware that when you start and stop it doesn't reset to pattern start like a drum machine - it just stops at whatever position it is in, and will continue from that point when you hit the footswitch again - it behaves like a recorder! You have to press the rewind to zero button every time you stop it. If you can remember to do that in between each song then it's fine. It does have a very good drum editor so you can program whatever patterns/measures you need.
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  #63  
Old 03-04-2008, 09:21 AM
thomas brian thomas brian is offline
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Default Zoom or Boss into cassette?

OK, this may sound like a low tech crime against nature or apples and oranges, but can would it work to record out from the Zoom or Boss to a cassette deck? (my car has a cassette player).
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  #64  
Old 03-05-2008, 02:12 AM
IanRicH IanRicH is offline
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Can use the BR-600 line out and connect directly to your cassette recorder's line in (if it has line in) and record on cassette.
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  #65  
Old 11-04-2008, 12:10 PM
BuleriaChk BuleriaChk is offline
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My BR-600 just arrived, and I am very, very impressed, especially with the effects and the fact that I can record my own tones to a drum kit.

It is definitely a keeper!
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  #66  
Old 11-16-2008, 07:18 PM
Tom S. Tom S. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S. View Post
All the talk about the ZOOM H4 has attracted my interest in recording. I have been looking at the Boss BR-600 and Micro BR as possible alternatives to the ZOOM. Anyone have expereince with either of them or a comparison to the Zoom.
I have been absent from the forum for awhile due to work issues and just dropped in. I was amazed to find my thread still kicking around. 11817 views is amazing. Shows what great and interesting tools there are to consider. For the record, I ended up with the BR600 and an RC2 looper. I also recently got the Zoom H2 for rehearsals and recording my lessons.
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