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Microphone Month

Roland R-05 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 24 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland R-05?

Questions about the Roland R-05?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from September 15, 2016Music Background:
    50 years of picking.

    Roland R-05

    Nice gadget for recording myself. I was wanting to re-establish my old recording method (reel to reel) and this device fills the bill. Too boot, I can load it in my 'puter and burn a hard CD disk and clear up the on board chip for further recordings.

  • from May 16, 2016Music Background:
    novice @ recording

    Roland R-05

    like it! Great tool for novice wanting to record live performance that sounds respectable

  • from C'Ville & Frisco (USA) March 15, 2016Music Background:
    Professional Vocalist-Songwriter

    Only one with ONBOARD EDITING in its category!

    Now that I could finally test it in all the possible ways, simply because I'm privileged to own one myself, I can say with no hesitation whatsoever that THE "R-05" IS A LITTLE RECORDING MIRACLE. Before, of course, as every scrupulous prospective buyer would do, I dedicated hours to research it and to compare its characteristics with those of all its other handheld digital little...'colleagues' around. All I hoped for was that the strong perception I had held true. Yet one thing is a well-informed decision (as it certainly was the case with me and the "R-05"), and a totally different thing is the actual 'hands-on' (and, in this case, 'ears-on'!) experience. MY ALREADY VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS HAVE BEEN LARGELY EXCEEDED, and I totally love this baby!

    The feature I appreciate (and bless!) the most in my new, inseparable friend are THE "R-05" SOPHISTICATED ONBOARD EDITING CAPABILITIES, which make this high-quality piece of technology unique in its own category —including those many handhelds that are twice its price or more. The "R-05" is so intuitive and easy to use (despite its innumerable functions and options), that I never found onboard 'Dividing', 'Combining', 'Trimming', etc., more quick, more effective and even more fun to perform.

    I AM AN UNSTOPPABLE SOURCE OF MELODIC INSPIRATION, I play acoustic guitar rather well and sing better. But when I strive to do all these things at once (which means: every day) I have to take frequent breaks, especially since I tend to compose an average of a new song a day, and this allows for little or no time in order to memorize it as a whole. Well, thanks the "R-05" 's prodigious (and surprisingly high-precision!) onboard editing capabilities, I can now combine the different...'moments' of my new song in such a seamless and —at the same time— 'natural' fashion, that it really seems like I have played the song all at once, in one single take. And what a breathtaking sound! A CD-quality production from such a small unit, all without a computer. UNBELIEVABLE!

  • from Florida February 25, 2016

    Not right for DJ set recorder use

    I tried with Two Different recorders, to make it work., as a line In from DJ mixer (*I use a Urie and Pioneer DJ mixers) recorder., but no luck. It never did give me a "Flat" signal. It was always compressed, and cut out the low end, so didn't work for ME as a DJ set recorder.

  • from San Diego September 27, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Hobbyist, Amateur Recording Engineer, Student

    Roland has done it again!

    My rating takes into account the price, AND the performance.

    I have always favored Roland products, my entire life every roland product I have had has surpassed my expectations, lasted forever and they have great service.

    That said lets take a quick look at the R-05. It comes with a high or low gain switch, two mics on each side of the device, a low cut filter, and a built in limiter. All of these are great featured which I have used on and off depending on the situation.

    It come with an SD card (I believe 8GB?), a peak meter, and a little fuzzy cover top for the mics.

    -Crystal clear sound. I mean even super low end bass, this thing picks it up with extreme clarity. The whole spectrum besides sub bass (even a little sub bass makes it through) shines brilliantly on this device.
    -Extra features, included SD card, make a huge difference depending on the situation you are in
    -The menu and buttons are easy to use and navigate
    -A few cool built in features in the menu for tracking, recording your band etc
    -Sturdy, can take high SPL, battery lasts forever.
    -Well worth at least a little over what I paid if not more.

    -Fuzzy top wind screen barely fits and constantly falls off
    -No external speaker, you MUST have headphones handy (which is barely a con, because with this type of clarity you definitely want headphones.

    My band practices in the same room without isolating any instruments. We have some decent sound foam set up, but nothing special. I placed this R05 near the middle of the room during a practice session to record it.
    The end result was beautiful, with some minor EQ on the computer it was actually a darn good track quality-wise. It picked up the kick drum beautifully (for a field recorded, heck even for a normal mic/preamp), it picked up the bass perfectly, only downside was the bass was a little overwhelming. Nothing a tiny bit of EQ cant fix. And finally the drums, despite being not right up against them, came out super clear. All without peaking!

    Great product, highly recommend it, well worth the money you WILL NOT regret this purchase. Easily better than products 1.5x the price.

  • from Des Moines, IA December 3, 2013Music Background:
    radio farm news reporter

    Excellent Journalist Tool

    This is our second Roland R-05. It is solid, compact and has great audio quality. We use it hard as a major part of our daily radion and television reporting. At times, we use the audio track and sync it wth a DSLR for television video from a consumer camera and a professional recorder.
    The battery life is great and we bought the 16 gigabyte chip that will run for about 21 hours of mp3 recording at 44.1.
    The unit is not bullet proof and the record button has to be on steady red, not flashing red, to get audio. I wear it with a lanyard and put it in my pocket when not in use. For the money, a great recorder.

  • from nyc September 11, 2013Music Background:
    all of the above

    Great recorder

    It's great recorder we use it for recording our dj set and to sample stuff for production. easy menu and levels are nice. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is you can't continuous record track ID's without stopping. I hope they make a new firmware to fix this then I will put the 5 stars like it deserves. BTW don't waste your money on the zoom it distorts even will the volume not even near clipping.

  • from Slidell, LA USA May 6, 2013Music Background:
    Software Engineer

    Outstanding Recorder

    Great functionality, outstanding product, superb recording quality

  • from Bay Area, Ca. April 26, 2013Music Background:

    Great for the price!

    Having a lot of fun recording with my accordion and arranger. Sounds almost like a pro recording when played back through a good sound system. Easy to use and some nice extra features.

  • from San Diego, CA February 11, 2013Music Background:
    church audio tech

    Fantastic quality in small package

    Did everything advertised, works well amazing size.

  • from Seattle, WA November 16, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist muscian

    Amazing sound from a small recorder

    I LOVE this recorder. It's very user friendly, has a number of convenient and useful options for working with the recording. But above all it sounds GREAT!

    When I took it out of the box, one the first things I did was put the R-05 in front my stereo and recorded a piece with a wide range in dynamics, tone color and frequency from booming deep base to the high pitched "chimes". The result was very impressive -- I couldn't tell the difference between the original and the recording. The bass was clear, rounded, full and body vibrating, the high pitched chimes were crystalline. All was balanced and the spatial separation of the instruments well preserved.

    Then I placed the recorder about 35 feet away and whispered -- very very quietly. It was almost scary. I could make out every word on the recording, though I had to put the volume way up. Since there was no background hiss that was no problem.

    Time will tell its durability, but it looks rugged to me. But clearly, in every other way I can see the I "scored" with this product.

  • from Santa Rosa, CA August 2, 2012Music Background:

    Very easy to use

    Very handy recorder---does not require time saving to file, unlike my previous recorder. I have not used the features yet, but so far so good. Easy control buttons. The only surprise was that I couldn't change the position of the mics.

  • from July 24, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician, sound engineering, sound exploration and development and other stuff here and there.

    Does what I need it to.

    I know the two main competitors for the portable digital recorders are ZOOM and Roland as far as the price range they're in. I haven't tried the ZOOM and chose the Roland over it because I've been buying Roland gear for a while and am a loyal consumer. That isn't the only reason, though.

    I like that it's exterior is metal. I would think that plastic would feel kinda cheap. It has some heft to it. Not a bad heft but the kind of heft that lets you know it's build to do it's job right for a long time.

    Navigation of the menu is very simple and is extremely easy to switch between formats and bit rates. The gain level features could be a little better but for the price you won't find much else that offers something similarly as good. The limiter works really well. I tested it near my washer and dryer and I got some nice metal clanking noises out of it without the deep hum of the dryer.

    I've done some field recording and as long as you have the case for it, it won't make hardly any handling noise if you're trying to avoid it. The record button is a tad awkward because it's sunken into the device and when the cover is on it, it's even more difficult to get to it but I'm only saying this because I'm a picky person.

    One of the great features I do like about the recording is that it has rehears mode when you press it the first time. This allows you to mess around with the settings with the gain, limiter, lowcut, etc and get the proper levels before you actually start recording. When you press the record button a second time, it begins recording. Very nice feature.

    The sound quality is definitely wonderful. I'm not sure how the xy xy setup on the ZOOM sounds but the Roland's stereo mics are perfect for recording samples or oneshots of stuff you find outside to bang on. I carry a pair of drumstics everywhere just in case I see something I think would be a good perc sound. You can hook sound devices up to it also (with a Y adapter.) with the line in feature. I use it a lot to get a thicker noise out of my sounds being filtered thru a tape cassete recorder. I now have the ability to make my sounds feel a bit more "fuller" because of this device.

    It's also SUPER handy if you're recording acoustics wile jamming with a buddy. I haven't ran into any problems recording any acoustic instruments. Even if you feel you're not getting the quality or correct sound you want, it has a mic line in that allows you to use the appropriate mic you want.

    I put five stars down because this is the first portable digital recorder I've had and it's surprised me with the many creative things you can do with it. Even if you're in the middle of nowhere, you can edit your sounds on the fly or shorten a sample that's too long. I haven't had any trouble transferring files. I use FL Studio and haven't had any problems getting the sound files I recorded to work in it.

    I definitely recommend this device. I even use it to record my verbal recollection of my dreams and have also used it to start a dream diary. If I can use it when I'm extremely sleepy from waking up then I'd say it's fairly easy to operate. It really is nice to have a portable recorder.

  • from Chepachet, RI. USA May 14, 2012Music Background:
    Part Time Luthier, Hobbist Musician

    Great Recorder/Player

    Sound of my Acoustic guitar from onboard mics and inside the guitar condenser mic is first class. There is no overdubbing though, requires an external mixer. If you make a mistake deleting is easy. Did a great job of the birds in the morning. Can make wav and mp3 file at the same time. Comes with 2 gig SD card but get a 16 gig one if you want to do wav files.

  • from NC May 1, 2012Music Background:
    Praise Band

    Great gear to have

    The R-05 does the job. Easy to use and sounds great on playback. It gets the job done. Exactly what I ask for on the phone, they delivered. Ask for Nick

  • from KCMO April 23, 2012Music Background:
    pro guitar player

    live band recording is excellent

    recording was excellent, however my display went black so I am returning it and will probably get another since I am a loyal Roland customer

  • from November 17, 2011Music Background:

    Roland R-05

    I loved working with Sweetwater and am so happy my brother found them. I liked his recorder so much that I bought one.
    The device is easy to use & has several features for saving, editing, copying, etc., and the sound quality is fascinating.

  • from Canberra, Australia November 14, 2011Music Background:
    pro videographer

    Brilliant little recorder

    The on-board mics are great (thinking here particularly for the money) and pro. mics can be used via an RCA mini-jack. I used a Sony radio mic setup on my last job, and the sound quality was excellent.

    The controls are simple, and perfectly adequate.

    I added the silicon rubber case (reduces handling noise considerably) and one 8GB SDHC card. All works as advertised.

    Can't take XLR inputsbut is the fraction of the size and weight of the Zoom H4n I also own.

  • from atlanta November 10, 2011Music Background:
    prophetic worship leader

    oh yeah!

    Its very handy! Works great for quick tracking new acoustic riffs. Captures many things very well.

  • from San Antonio September 13, 2011Music Background:
    29 years of public school choral directing, bluegrasser

    Roland R-05

    Love the product and the trustworthy advice from my Sweetwater rep, Jeff Barnett.

  • from Louisville, KY May 15, 2011Music Background:
    Bassist, composer

    Easily One Of The Best!

    While I haven't tried ALL of the recorders priced under $300, I have tried enough of them to know that the Roland R-05 is one of the best, if not THE best.

    It's the perfect size and weight (I like a little bit of heft to a device like this; too light and it just feels cheap). The controls are neatly and conveniently laid out, so that most functions can be accessed in the dark because you don't have to go searching through menus, and the display shows a lot of useful information. Battery life is awesome; probably the best in this class, and with the limiter and low-cut features this thing can make some great recordings. The rehearse feature, which lets you play something for a short time while it automatically adjusts to the best recording level is both very nice and unique.

    I gave it 4.5 stars for overall awesomeness, but I do have a few very minor complaints: Playback sounds very clear, but just a tiny bit bassy, if you're fiddling with settings, there's no way (that I could find) to quickly get back to the Home screen without backing out of menu levels, and it would be nice to have the unit remember what folder you were in the last time you used it; it currently defaults to the Root folder each time you turn it on.

    Still, these are so minor that together they still don't matter enough to keep it from deserving 4.5 stars from me. I am glad I bought it and I have enjoyed it and use it daily since the day I received it. Strongly recommended.

  • from Washington May 1, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Greatest Recorder Of 2011

    This is a great recorder. The sound is quiet and clear. I am a self recording acoustic guitar player and singer and when I recorded my first song on the R-05 I couldnt believe it wasn't recorded in a studio! I love this recorder, it's very easy to use, easy to transfer files from both the machine and any external source. Very portable and microphones are very high quality. Definitely worth the price and highly recommend to anyone looking to buy a good portable recorder.

  • from Pickerington, OH USA March 18, 2011

    Excellent Portable Digital Recorder!

    I just got this recorder on Thursday, March 1, 2011, and I love it! The sound quality is excellent! You can even record audio in wave and mp3 format at the same time. Also, You can edit and convert your recordings from wave to mp3 format without using a computer. For $249.00, you cannot find a better portable digital recorder!

  • from Pickerington, OH USA March 5, 2011

    Excellent Portable Digital Recorder!

    I just got this recorder on Thursday, March 1, 2011, and I love it! The sound quality is excellent! You can even record audio in wave and mp3 format at the same time. Also, You can edit and convert your recordings from wave to mp3 format. For $249.00, you cannot find a better portable digital recorder!

Questions about the Roland R-05?

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