The whole category of handheld digital recorders has exploded. No matter what your price range or what feature set you’re looking for, there’s a compact stereo recorder out there waiting for you. A prime example is the new MR-2 from Korg. I’ve been a user of the first-generation Korg MR-1 ever since it came out, so I was eager to check out the new unit. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed! Not only is the MR-2 a worthy successor to its earlier sibling, but it’s also a top-notch stereo recorder for many applications.
Similar to the MR-1, the MR-2 supports standard recording formats – MP3 or 44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit resolution, as well as high sample rates, such as 96kHz or 192kHz. But its big claim to fame is that it also supports DSD (Direct Stream Digital)/1-bit recording for super-stellar audio quality. And while DSD hasn’t caught on in the consumer realm, it does make a great capture/archive format for music-capture purposes. The recorder comes with free AudioGate software for playing, performing basic edits, and converting audio to “conventional” file formats.
The MR-2 has a built-in stereo mic, which you can adjust to aim in whatever direction you like (nice for when the unit is stand-mounted), or you can use external mics or line-level inputs. The menus are easy to navigate, and audio storage is handled by SD cards, so you’ll never run out of space – just pop in another card.
I used the MR-2’s internal mics to record my band performing at a recent show, as well as to capture solo acoustic guitar and other sources. It all sounded great! The recordings were dynamic, natural, and lifelike, with good detail and lots of depth. The DSD format sounds very pure, and it feels good to know that your audio is preserved in a super-high-quality format for future use. It was no problem to transfer my recordings to my Mac via USB 2.0. Everything about the MR-2 operated flawlessly. And did I mention that the recordings sounded great?
These days, there’s no reason not to have a stereo recorder handy for capturing ideas, rehearsals, gigs, events, sound effects… anything, really. With the MR-2, Korg has provided a top-notch solution for capturing stellar audio quality in a compact unit, offering flexible file formats as well as support for audiophile DSD recording. The built-in mics sound great and can be easily aimed, no matter how you position the recorder. The MR-2 is easy to use and highly compact, and it makes great-sounding recordings. Definitely a winning combination!