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Microphone Month

Roland R-44-E Reviews

4.5 stars based on 6 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland R-44-E?

Questions about the Roland R-44-E?

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  • from Lawrenceville, NJ August 24, 2012Music Background:
    Home studio

    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.

  • from Detroit area June 30, 2011Music Background:
    semi-pro filmmaker

    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 strap....wow 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......

  • from Maryland May 8, 2008Music Background:
    Musically inclined

    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.

  • from Minneapolis, MN July 10, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Post, Game Audio Designer, Video Producer.

    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!

  • from Detroit, MI, USA September 29, 2009Music Background:
    Electrical Engineer, Signal Processing Engineer, Acoustician

    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. Oh...one 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.

  • from New Jersey, USA May 4, 2009

    A year in use

    After using this using since February / March 2008 (since the day it was released) I have used it in numerous situations and environments where it has performed flawlessly.

    Using a simple RE50 mic and bagging the unit in a Wendt run-bag (the unit fits perfectly, although you have difficult access to the top function buttons) where I only need to power the unit on and use record is great.

    I record a, a lot, in the field - maybe a loud nightclub, maybe the middle of the street or in a crowded room - it really is a simple set and forget process. Using the 4xAA power option it works great for the 4+ hours (I run one channel unpowered) with a 2Gb SDHC card (about 11hours at the setting I use).

    If someone was to ask for a good field recorder - I originally used the Zoom H4 - I would highly recommend this unit. Controlling 4 inputs is a breeze when in group interviews or for OB work. The line out patches great into the Comrex Access Portable Unit for more control over the live OB.

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