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Roland R-26 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland R-26?

Questions about the Roland R-26?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • Michael Charvet
    from California October 23, 2015

    Sound Quality, but Too Many Other Problems

    I returned the R-26 within a few days. Sound quality was actually pretty decent, especially for the price. But there were a number of things that killed the deal.

    1. Not usable hand-held. The plastic case transmits way too much noise to the internal mics. To get a clear recording, it must be mounted to a mic stand or frozen in your hand without movement of any kind. No fiddling with the menu or adjusting controls once recording has started. This is the key design failure. I got this specifically to use the internal mics in hand-held situations, without a lot of setup time.

    2. The internal mic housing at the top of the unit looks beefy in the photo, but it's actually wimpy plastic, designed to look like cast metal. One drop and it would snap right off. Not robust enough for field use. Is there a law against using real metal parts? Even a simple metal mesh covering the entire top of the unit would be far better - the same proven system we've seen on hand-held mics for what, 50 years?

    3. The display is pretty awful too; technology from 10 years ago. Not enough contrast for easy reading, more like medium gray on a light gray background. Max time in backlit mode: 20 seconds. That's all you get. There's no option to leave it turned on. Touch-screen action is also poor. If you think it's going to function and be responsive to touch like your smart phone, it's not. Not remotely close.

    At the end of the day, I didn't feel confident using this Roland to record anything of value. It's too quirky and plastic. Too bad there doesn't seem to be a middle ground between low-end Roland and Zoom units and high-end Sound Devices units.

  • Peter
    from Beaufort, NC June 23, 2014Music Background:
    hobbyist

    Excellent unit!

    I was an outdoor concert, about 60-80' away and off to a good angle. The quality of the internal mics (XY & Omni) recording was impressive. I also recently did a band (at a bar) at 6 tracks with 2 external Rode M5 mics. Placement of the R26 and mics was highly problematic yet I eeked out a decent recording, the vocals being the weak part.

    Using a 32gig card there is tons of room, even at 6 tracks. Battery life is not good when using phantom power. Use the a/c power supply or a large battery pack.

    Love this modern digital piece of engineering.

  • Customer
    from California December 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Bassist

    No overdubbing???

    I think everything about this recorder seems like great quality for field recording.. the big issue I have is that it does not allow you to overdub. In other words, you can't listen to one track while recording another one. That seems strange as it's made by Roland and I was assuming made for musicians. I won't be keeping it.

  • Saklayeen Nabid
    from February 28, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer

    Good for Recording, Not much Portable

    I own a Zoom H4N for a couple of years. But recently i decided to buy a new recorder. And mostly for the 6 channel recording function, I bought this piece. But when in hand, it is way toooooo big as to be portable, the body is very light and not rugged at all. It is made of simply Plastic (I guess) !! There is no external case to keep the recorder safe as there was in zoom h4n.
    But the touch response is good. The recording quality is good too. Though one thing I am suffering is that no quick switch function for changing Input. You have to click at least 6 times to change the input. That was handy in my Zoom. You know, whenever you are recording some natural ambience, sometimes you need to switch the inputs very quick. But this is not possible in R26.
    All in all- It is a good piece for recording but not much of portable.

  • John Rosenfelder
    from Southern New Hampshire March 12, 2012Music Background:
    amateur musician and sound engineer

    Capable recorder

    Easy to use, capable, versatile, good sound, long battery life. Used to record rehearsals using built in mics. Used to record concerts through PA system.

  • R. Kirt McLaughlin
    from Cortez, CO USA March 1, 2012Music Background:
    Producer

    One Issue

    I hate to retract an earlier review and for now, I'm not. I did, however encounter one problem so far with the R-26. As you may know, the R-26 digitally records in 2GB increments. You can record longer than 2GB at once if your SD card is large enough but the performance is automatically divided into multiple files. Now, the R-26 is designed to seemlessly move from one file to the next during recording and playback. However, on one of these 2GB "transitions" (there were 3 total during this performance) my audio had an inserted blank space of about 3 seconds in the middle of a song. Further, the subsequent tracking was out of sync causing a little bit of distortion. I was annoyed to have to re-sync each song individually since the tracks varried in syncronization for the last 40 minutes of the performance, but it all came together in the end.

    Roland insists that this is a digital anomoly and could easily be an issue with my SD card. I will also point out that the 16GB SD card in question would not work in my Zoom Q3HD for some reason. The first two 2GB file transitions were seemless and flawless. Roland has noted this occurance and vowed to replace my R-26 should it happen again with another SD card. I'll leave my rating at 5.0 stars unless this happens again.

  • R. Kirt McLaughlin
    from Cortez, Co USA February 21, 2012Music Background:
    Producer/recording engineer.

    Ultimate in portables

    My sales enginere, Carson at SW, turned me on to this unit. It was a side-note while discussing the Zoom H4n. The fidelity of the Analogue inputs on the R-26 were most intriguing. I also soon realized that the triple stereo tracking on the R-26 would be far more than expected from such a device. A great return on the cost.

    So, I'm mastering my first gig with the R-26 on my Roland VS2480, only to find that the built in XY/omni mic tracks blow the FOH mix out of the water. I couln't believe it. This unit has not only set the bar for tracking versatility, but also for its built-in Mics.

    I suppose that a lot could be blamed on the sound enginere at the afore mentioned gig, & there's room for discussion that I'm too bias towards condensor mics vs. stage mics. The fact remains though, that the R-26 saved my ***.

    Furthermore, the built-in mics (coupled with the limiter) are eloquent enough to deliver the performance & not pick up every other disturbance in the bar.

  • Jim Welch
    from Denton, Tx USA November 10, 2011Music Background:
    Professional composer and sound designer

    Great unit! One complaint.

    I really like the touch screen, the mic options, the sound and the interface.

    The only complaint I have is there is no quick way to delete a take. When I'm recording sounds in the field I'll often have a bad take or two before I get what I need. This leaves a lot of junk files and I wish the main screen had a delete option. Currently you have to hit menu>finder>(find the file)>select delete>confirm delete. I wish I could stop a recording knowing it's bad and hit a single button to delete it so I could get back to recording. Right now I just have a lot of file managing when In ready to transfer to my comp.

    I havent yet tried out the external mics or the unit as an audio interface. My rating of the unit is based of its internal mics and user interface.

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