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  #16  
Old 12-21-2006, 07:37 PM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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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.
______________________________________

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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'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
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http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563

Last edited by Wingman; 12-21-2006 at 09:00 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2006, 07:58 PM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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I forgot to mention that it has vocal pitch correction. It has an auto function that is supposed to work kinda like AutoTune works in ProTools, if you're familiar with that. But I couldn't get the Boss to lock onto my voice. There are some editable parameters for this but I couldn't get it to work. But it can be used in a manual mode that works well. You give it an in point and an out point that bookend the one bad (usually flat) note. Then tell it what note it should be; C, F, etc., and the machine will shift it to the proper frequency. Also, this frequency is based on A/440 tuning. If you skew the built in guitar tuner to something else, vocal pitch correction will follow suite. Pretty cool. That said, using pitch correction in Sound Forge is faster, more intuitive, and in preview mode you can hear the tone as you tweak the note up or down. Like I said, do your editing and other post in a computer. But in a pinch, you can edit (cuts only) and fix flat notes right on the BR-600.
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'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
Vegas & Sound Forge
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2006, 08:53 PM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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I keep thinking of more things.
Some caveats:
Mic ins are balanced but are 1/4" TRS. There is physically not enough room for XLR connectors. They do give you a little adapter cable though. But only one. Also there is no phantom power. There is no SPDIF or other digital i/o, only a usb 2.o port for file transfer - not real-time interface though. Also there is no midi i/o, but you can import a midi file to drive the drum machine. The footswitch in can take a momentary contact closure switch which can either start/stop play, turn effects on/off, or punch in/out record. Or you can use an expression pedal to control sweepable effects functions like wah. It does not come with a wall wort. An official Boss one is about $15. Also no USB cable, but you will probably want to pull the card anyway instead of doing the USB thing. Comes with a 128mb CF card. You will want a 1 gig for $30-40 which will give 520 track minutes at the highest quality or 784 minutes at the lowest. (1 gig is the largest size "approved" - I haven't tried a 2 gig) Every time you record and then stop, it saves. Also when you change anything like an effect parameter. This is the point at which the high dollar Type II and Type III high speed CF cards would make a difference. The delay would be much shorter. But it's really not very long, maybe a couple of seconds, just a minor break in the creative flow. The cheap cards have no problem keeping up with the data flow during recording/playing.
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'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
Vegas & Sound Forge
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2006, 09:04 PM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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Okay, after this I'll quit, I promise.
Also has a phrase trainer (1/2 speed without pitch change), center content eliminator for karaoke, etc (puts one playback channel out of phase), a guitar tuner, undo/redo button, and a cowbell pad so you can always get "more cowbell!"
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'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
Vegas & Sound Forge
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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  #20  
Old 12-22-2006, 10:54 AM
Tom S. Tom S. is offline
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Thanks Wingman, this is the best BR600 writeup I have seen.
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  #21  
Old 12-27-2006, 01:56 AM
lostedsoul lostedsoul is offline
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Default br-900cd vs br-600

hi, i want to purchase a br-600 but the videos i saw of it doesnt help very much. i want to know whats the big diferencies between the br-900cd and the br-600. its just about the cd drive on br-900cd? thanks
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2006, 05:38 AM
lostedsoul lostedsoul is offline
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Hi again, i wanted to know whats the main diferencies between the Br-600 an Br-864 too if you know anything, one more question is that with the Br-600 we can play a guitar and listen to the drums at the same time without recording it. thanks again and thanks for the best review on the web of the Boss BR-600
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  #23  
Old 01-01-2007, 04:08 PM
theheathen theheathen is offline
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Default br 600 adaptor

can i use a universal ac adaptor or do i have to use the boss psa 120 ac adaptor?
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  #24  
Old 01-03-2007, 04:00 AM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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Yes, you can play into the guitar input and use the effects and sing through a mic into an input at the same time if you want while hearing the drums without recording them. In fact, the drums play on their own track as if being driven by midi until such time as you bounce them to one of the recording tracks which you have to do if you want to take the tracks out to a software DAW.

I put up some a song I did with the BR-600 on my SoundClick page. I used the on board drums, the bass simulator, and the guitars and vocals were all recorded with the on board mics (though I ran the tracks through Sound Forge noise reduction before mixing.)

Look for "Your Eyes" at:

www.soundclick.com/danphilgreen

(you will have to scroll to the bottom of the song list)
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'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
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Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
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http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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  #25  
Old 01-03-2007, 04:07 AM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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About the power supply, output is 9.6v DC, 200ma with center of connector negative, outside barrel positive. But you will have to match the connector size. This type of connector comes in a buch of sizes that all look pretty much the same. I would just spend the $15 at any music store or order one with your unit and have done with it. Also if you should ever have a warranty issue, you can say you used a Boss power supply. May make a big difference in making a claim stick.
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'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
Vegas & Sound Forge
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2007, 07:45 AM
lostedsoul lostedsoul is offline
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thanks for reply, i have my br-600 since yesterday and im loving it, i have to spend more time exploring it, it should comes with the ac adaptor... i hope the batteries last long
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  #27  
Old 01-03-2007, 08:45 AM
Old Fuzzface Old Fuzzface is offline
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I've had my BR-600 for a couple of weeks now and I have a few points that I can add to Wingman's excellent review:

I've found that it does matter what power supply you use with it. I was given a non-BOSS (but correctly specified) wall wart by the store I bought the BR-600 from. I found that this supply would cause some audible funnies in the performance of the BR-600. When I hooked up my old faithful low noise 9V supply the difference was clear. I'll be getting the store to swap the supplied PSU for genuine BOSS one as soon as I get the chance.

Another useful tip came from the FAQ at Roland US web site. There's some reverb added to everything you input by default. It's easy to turn it off when you know how.

The USB connection works fine except that you can only export WAV files one at a time. So if you want to move individual tracks into a DAW for editing you have to do each track in turn. I will check out the card reader option as it sounds like a much more elegant solution for transferring tracks.

The guitar effects presets are definitely overcooked but it's not too hard to edit them into a more restrained and usable form and you do have 100 user slots to store your patches in which is more capacity than a lot of dedicated processors or modelling amps give you. You can also store patches with song data so if you set up a patch with (for example) a delay time matched to a song tempo you can then store that patch with the song and you'll always have the right delay set when you work on that song later.

The FX parameters go pretty deep (well I think it's deep) and so if setting up anything with more than 5 knobs on it gets your Luddite tendencies going you probably won't like this, but it is pretty powerful.

I believe that the data compression used on the BR is the same as in the VS series Roland recorders and there have been more than a few commercial releases recorded on those over the years.
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  #28  
Old 01-03-2007, 05:57 PM
lostedsoul lostedsoul is offline
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Hey, where can i find the Roland conversion/transfer program? i've searched on the roland's website but i cant find it...can u post the link here? thanks
One question about the rythm, how can i make a long rythm by myself instead of patterns that are reapeating always the same rythm?
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  #29  
Old 01-03-2007, 11:29 PM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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you can find "BR wav convertor" here:

http://www.rolandus.com/products/pro...s&ObjectId=753

You will love this little program. Very intuitive and very quick.

FYI: there are different versions for different models, but this is the right one for the BR-600

The drum machine function is very programable. You can edit the patterns or make your own. The patterns are put together to form "arrangements" as you like. You can also just hit record and tap away on the pads, but the pads are very small and frankly not terribly responsive in real time. They do make programming patterns fairly easy though. You can program patterns one drum sound at a time on a timeline which is very precise.

For an example, take a look here:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563

and scroll down to "Your Eyes"
__________________
'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
Vegas & Sound Forge
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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  #30  
Old 01-03-2007, 11:36 PM
Wingman Wingman is offline
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>>I believe that the data compression used on the BR is the same as in the VS series Roland recorders and there have been more than a few commercial releases recorded on those over the years.<<

Somewhere I read a post from a guy who had one of the higher end Roland recorders and wanted something small with the same quality. He said the BR-600 was that solution. Sorry, don't have the reference.
__________________
'72 Martin D-18
Washburn D100M
Traveler
Peavy Fury V bass
LR Baggs Gigpro
DigiTech JamMan
Fishman Loudbox 100
Boss BR-600
Vegas & Sound Forge
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=641563
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