Roland R-44-E

Portable 4-channel SD Field Recorder with Built-in Effects, Pre-record, Onboard Mic and Speakers, USB
Roland R-44-E image 1
Roland R-44-E image 1

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Roland R-44-E
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A Compact and Professional Field Recorder

The Roland R-44 is ideal for field recording situations that demand the highest quality. Weighing just less than three pounds, the R-44 uses SD or large capacity SDHC cards, handling 4 channels of professional, uncompressed audio with selectable bit depths and sampling frequencies. Quiet and reliable with no moving parts, the R-44 also features multiple built-in effects including a limiter, low-cut filter, 3-band EQ, 6-band GEQ, Enhancer, and DeEsser for further polishing your recordings. As profesional as it is portable, videographers, musicians, teachers, and sound designers everywhere will enjoy high-quality recordings with their Roland R-44!

Roland R-44 at a Glance:
  • Built-in microphone and speakers
  • Onboard studio-grade effects
  • Handy pre-record function
  • Variety of inputs and outputs
  • Operation-oriented user interface
  • Can link units together
  • Connects to your computer via USB

Built-in microphone and speakers
While the R-44 includes a host of input and output options for nearly any field recording situation, it also comes to you ready-to-go with its high-quality onboard stereo microphone and monitor speakers.

Onboard studio-grade effects
The Roland R-44 includes multiple professional effects for polishing your audio tracks - either as you record them, or for monitoring and playback. An onboard limiter helps suppress sudden peaks in sound from an input source, helping free your recordings from any unwanted distortion or clipping. Just as useful, the included low-cut filter prevents wind noise or mic handling noise. Other effects include a 3-band EQ, 6-band Graphic EQ, Enhancer and DeEsser that can all be applied to greatly improve the professionalism of your audio tracks.

Pre-record function
When you're out in the field, sometimes you're waiting to record that right sound or moment, and having your recording device just continuously record can be a waste of battery and a waste of space on your memory cards. The R-44 comes with an incredibly useful pre-record function, so you never have to miss the important moments again. Buffering input signals for a certain amount of user-selectable time, the R-44 includes the previous seconds before you actually hit the record button. Not only is this incredibly useful when you're waiting for the sound of a passing train, or for some other event to occur, but it also helps reduce lengthy dead time at the beginning of a recording by not having to start the recorder too early.

Variety of inputs and outputs
Four combo input jacks on your R-44 support the connection of both XLR and 1/4" plugs. While onboard phantom power ensures that you can use your favorite condensers with your R-44, eleven steps of selectable input sensitivity help you easily record devices with a variety of input levels - from microphones to musical instruments.

Operation-oriented user interface
With its high contrast, high response LED screen, the R-44 is viewable from wide angles, ensuring easy operation in any field recording situation. Responsive level meters make precise level adjustments possible, while easily accessible, self-lit buttons on every key control help you fluidly operate your R-44 in lower-light recording situations.

Can link two units together
If you need eight affordable channels of simultaneous recording, you can use the Control Sync terminal with two R-44s connected via a stereo mini-cable. In this way, the master unit can remotely control record standby, record start, and record stop of the slave unit.

Connects to your computer easily via USB
You can easily mount your R-44 onto your computer via any available USB 2.0 connection. The R-44 operates just like a regular USB storage device, letting you copy data back and forth by simply dragging and dropping.

Roland R-44 Features:
  • 4-channel, solid-state field recorder
  • Uses SD or large capacity SDHC cards
  • Selectable bit depths: 16-bit or 24-bit
  • Selectable sampling frequencies: 44.1kHz/48kHz/88.2kHz/96kHz/192kHz
  • Onboard effects including limiter, low-cut filter, 3-band EQ, 6-band GEQ, Enhancer, and DeEsser
  • Weighs less than 3 lbs
  • Built-in stereo microphones and monitor speakers
  • 4 combo input jacks (XLR / 1/4") witih phantom power
  • 11 steps of input sensitivity
  • High-contrast LED display
  • Pre-record function
  • Can link two units together for eight channels
  • Connects to your computer via USB
  • Four hours of recording with four AA batteries at 16-bit/44.kHz stereo, phantom power and pre-record disabled
  • Takes four AA batteries, AC adapter, or external battery
Roland's R-44 is an excellent solution for high-quality, portable recording!

Additional Media

Portable Recorder Buying Guide

Tech Specs

A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Rec Tracks 4
Simultaneous Play Tracks 4
Built-in Mic(s) 2
Analog Inputs 4 x XLR (Mic)
Analog Outputs 4 x RCA, 1 x TRS (Headphone)
Digital Inputs 1 x S/PDIF
Digital Outputs 1 x S/PDIF
Headphone Outputs 1 x 1/4"
Built-in Speaker Yes
Memory (removable) SD, or SDHC Card (Not Included)
Built-in Effects Yes
Power Supply AC Adapter Included, 4 x AA Batteries Optional
Max Battery Life 4 hrs.
Height 2.44"
Width 6.19"
Depth 7.25"
Weight 2.88 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number R-44-E

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Write your review

Roland R44-Absolutely a Great buy

The R44 is probably the most underrated product Roland has ever produced. My primary activity is arranging background music for and then recording female vocals. For the music, I use a Yamaha Tyros4 which has its own recorder and mixer. Then I feed 2 of the R44 tracks with the output from the Tyros4 and record the vocal on a 3rd track. The sound quality is very high quality and the unit is easy to use. There is no recording 2 tracks and then playing them back over and over with different vocal tracks. Each recording is a new file but this doesn't matter because the recording medium is an SD card so there is no limit to the number of "takes" you can make, each one unique. You still need a 4-track mixer to get the right balance between the vocal and the music and an external reverb, but these are minor considerations. For my situation the R44 is perfect and the price is very reasonable. I would like to thank Ryan Sloan for recommending this product to me.
Music background: Home studio

Worth every penny

Just got this to be used mainly for recording dialog while shooting video. Replaced a very unreliable/glitchy competitor. Absolutely flawless, wonderful sound. With 1 mic on phantom and rechargeable batteries, battery life is about 4-5 hours using a ksm32( which might have a higher load then a typical shotgun, not sure ). Data/data transfer is flawless. Power on/off is almost instant, a plus for conserving batteries. I will eventually try to use all 4 channels for capturing certain scenes. Honestly the only con against this thing is the lack of timecode, which doesn't matter for the cammera I use right now. And maybe it needs a place to hook a am I reaching....... As long as this thing never breaks (which it is a fairly beefy btw, not worried about the accidental drop test ). I my never buy another audio recorder again. I never write these things either......
Music background: semi-pro filmmaker

Absolutely Beautiful Sound

I have been looking for a portable/battery operated recorder with 24 bits/96 KHz since about a year ago, for recording mainly my son’s piano solo performances but occasionally also piano concertos. The minimum criteria I have for the recorder are as follows: - Four channels (so I can record piano solos, piano concertos, piano + solo singer, or piano + solo violin), -Compact, battery operable (so that I can do field live recording where line power is not always available), - Flash memory based (no moving parts or the associated motor noise), -XRL inputs with 48V phantom power for the microphone (so that I can use my AKG 414’s and other high quality microphones that require phantom power), -24 bits/96 KHz sampling (so that I can justify the cost of a separate recorder in addition to my “professional” camcorder which is 16 bits/48 KHz only), -Overall dynamic range of 100 dB or better (realized, not just theoretical value based on the bit depth) -True professional recording sound quality with no audible hiss or other noise from the recorder (i.e. the recording should be publishable). Well, my search was over when I bought this recorder a week ago. After some extensive testing while recording my son’s piano playing, I am convinced that this recorder meets all of my above criteria, and more. First I used a pair of AKG 414 B-XLS, while my son played on a particularly beautiful-sounding Steinway “B”. I am particularly impressed by the absolutely beautiful and crystal clear piano sounds that it records, with all the nuances and tonal details. There was not a slight hint of hiss or mechanical noise, in stark contrast to my “professional” camcorder that always had some inherent noises. The ease with which to do the recording was just icing on the cake. Then I tried a Rode NT4 (a single point stereo microphone) and other microphone that I own, and the end results were also very impressive. I have done quite exhaustive research on digital recorders currently available on the market, and believe that the only other recorder that also meets my criteria is the Sound Devices 744. However at about $4,000 it is more than 4x of this recorder, and I could not justify it given that I do not make a living doing recordings (and my son is only an elementary school student). The Edirol R44 looks and feels very solid, very substantial, has a fine build quality down to details typical of Japanese products (it is made in Japan), although it does have a plastic housing. To give you a perspective how solid it is, it is much smaller, but actually slightly heavier than the Sound Devices 744 (data on Sound Devices 744 per published specs). In short I am very happy with the build quality of this recorder. The relatively low-resolution display is the only area I wish it could have been be better.
Music background: Musically inclined

liked it so much I had to buy two!!!

For the price point, this is the best field recorder out there. Sure you could spend 4x as much and get some additional features but with Plural Eyes, who needs those features anymore? The pre's are extremely clean, there is a lot of headroom and the limiter works great. I have used it for recording a dynamic grand piano recordings, interview voice recordings as well as to the extreme of a marching band and close up fireworks recording in quad surround! The unit performed flawlessly in all situations. My only suggestion for improvement would be to add xlr or at the least, 1/4" trs outputs instead of the rca's that it currently has. (This would be great for teathering to a camera) Other than that, I'm completely pleased!
Music background: Recording Engineer, Post, Game Audio Designer, Video Producer.

Edirol R-44

I'm extremely pleased with this unit. From a noise and distortion point of view, it's great - the inputs are very forgiving (i.e. very large signals are needed to overload the first stage), but I love that the sensitivity settings are in 6 dB steps (and there's a fine-adjust as well). I'm a fan of known steps in a gain / attenuation setting, so from a set up / repeat set-up perspective, it's a time-saver. You do tend to go through batteries when phantom-powering four mics at a time, but that's to be expected. However, one cool feature is that you can dial in the external DC voltage that you plan to use (it's a user setting), so whether you are running from the batteries, wall wart, or an external DC source, you have a lot of options to power the unit. My only gripe with the unit (and this is minor) is that the high-pass filter setting only goes down to 40 Hz - I would have preferred a 20 Hz setting, but perhaps this is something that could be updated and the unit re-flashed (firmware). I bought these to replace some Samson Zoom H4's that I had, and I did so because I wasn't happy with the unpredictable nature of that unit's inputs (as well as their max input voltage). This wasn't an issue for most jobs, but the R-44 just has a much more solid feel to it than does the H4 (I know those have been updated, but frankly, if you need a four-channel unit that is a tremendous bargain, then I would suggest checking out the R-44). I can't say much about the built-in effects and such as I really don't use those things as a rule, but again, if you want a solid, reliable, affordable, and well laid-out recorder, I would strongly suggest that you look into this. Plus, you can sync two units to get 8 channels of recording. That's a plus. more thing...there's a buffer as well, so if you set up the recorder to enable this feature, if you "miss" the start of the recording, you really haven't missed it all all as the recorder will pull a few seconds from the buffer (the length and time available is user-set / depends on the channels, sample rate, and so forth). This is very handy (and comforting) for those gigs when you might be distracted, away from the recorder, or the band starts ahead of schedule - a very important feature for those "one take only" gigs.
Music background: Electrical Engineer, Signal Processing Engineer, Acoustician
See also: Portable Recorders, Roland, Roland Portable Recorders