85 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2007
I have had this recorder now for almost 3 months and I am blown away by the capabilities of this unit.
2) Light weight
3) Excellent sound quality
4) Easy to operate basic features
5) Can back up songs to computer (and reload them back into unit)
6) Programmable drums (you can string together patterns into a "song" or tap in your own patterns)
7) Nice amp modeling (lots of "stomp box" settings and Bass guitar simulations so you can play bass with a regular guitar..and it sounds believable)
8) Nice effects (reverb, chorus, delay, comp. limit, etc.) that you can program to some extent
9) Has a line in so you can use an external mixer if you want
10) Onboard stereo Mic is astonishlingly clear and sensitive (you can record live gigs with nothing plugged in)
11) Seperate rhythm track fader so you don't waste a track for drums
12) 64 virtual tracks so you can have different 8 different performances on say Track 1 (but you can only play select and play one at a time...but cool for alternate versions of a song)
13) Cut and paste performance data on the same track or between tracks
14) Punch in/out recording so you can zero in and re-record over "bad sections"
15) Pitch correction that actually will correct your off key singing (not the best quality but ok)
16) Excellent tool for the singer/songwriter to "flesh out" ideas into a digital quality recording
Don't Expect This:
1) No way to sync with external sequencer (no SMPTE or MTC)
2) Can only record two "things" at a time (guitar/mic, 2 mics, or 2 guitars) unless you use external mixer
3) Easy access to features (with a single small LED display you are stuck with "menu trees")
4) The batteries to last long. I put new batteries in and got the "low battery" message only after 1 hour of use. I use AC all the time so not a big deal to me.
5) The 125 Meg card to hold more than about a single fullup 8 track song (get the 1Gig card immediately...only about $30)
6) To have 8 independent tracks. You have 4 mono tracks and 2 stereo tracks so it is really a cross between a 6 track and 8 track recorder...depending on how you look at it.
7) Export your whole song in .WAV or .AIFF format (only individual mono/stereo tracks can be exported so do all your tracks is sort of time consuming...but it can be done)
8) Great microphone performance (the preamp is a little weak...at least for the dynamic cardioid that I use
Given all the above I still give it 5 stars and here is why:
1) Form Factor (small and lightweight)
2) Sound quality
3) Ease of use (to lay down multiple tracks quickly)
4) Onboard rhythm (hundreds of patterns (intros, verses, fills, and ends) that you can string together.
5) Onboard amp modeling (and especially the bass simulation....don't have to buy a bass guitar)
6) Cost....incredible amount of features/quality for $350. I had a studio in LA 15 years ago and this unit is the equivalent of over $5000 worth of gear (8 track cassette deck, effects boxes, bass guitar, guitar amp, and drum machine). I can't believe how all this stuff is now part of something the size/weight of a magazine.
7) Easy backup of data on computer so you can have a downloadable "library" of songs and download them seperately when you want to work on them.
The only feature I wish this thing had was a way to sync up with a DAW sequencer. But you can always export your tracks out as WAV or AIFF files and import them into your DAW.
But for me, I just want something that is always ready to go if I get an idea for a song and I don't want to have to boot up a computer or play with a bunch of cords and gear. I just turn this thing on with nothing attached, grab my acoustic guitar, and sing/play thru the built in Mics to "get the idea down". Then I go back later and "do it right".
My two tips are:
1) Get the 1Gig card as the 125Meg card is just too small for real work
2) And "if" you are unhappy with the Mic sound, run your Mic into a preamp and feed the signal into the unit thru the line in. When I did this my vocals became "alive". The guitar in has plenty of "oomphf".
I love this unit. It does everything a singer/songwriter who wants to quickly sketch out ideas could want. And if you want to do some quality recording it will do that too.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2009
I've had the BR-600 now for three months and have created several songs that I am overjoyed with. The box is fairly small and turns out some really nice sounding production--professional quality to my admittedly hobbiest ears. The upside is that the system is fairly easy to use--it gets easier with practice--and there are no recording artifacts like white noise, tape noise, etc. Onboard effects for guitar and bass guitar are great. There are a few downsides, however. The biggest is that this is a complex system that takes a lot of time to master. You can do simple songs within a couple of hours of opening the box, but there are so many features that the average Joe will never learn them all. I don't think I've used more than 10% of the system's capability yet. The other downside are the drum tracks. While there are many of them, and there is a cool way to layout drum arrangements for songs, none of the tracks really seem to suit my needs (basic rock and roll and basic jam band styles). In theory you can create your own drum patterns with the touch-sensitive buttons, but I haven't yet figured out how to do this well. Seems like you need two VERY talented and agile fingers to make a useful pattern. But all of these are fairly minor gripes if you aren't looking to be a Grammy winning ar-teest quite yet. Overall the system does all that I need it to do--record four to eight track songs, add effects, mix, and then transfer to my computer. I transfer the songs in .aiff format to I-Tunes and then either play them through my I-Pod on my home stereo system, burn them to CD, or convert them to MP3 to share with friends. All of my friends think the recordings were done professionally!
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2008
The BR-600 is a useful machine, but there are some limitations. The 8 tracks are actually 4 unique tracks and 2 stereo tracks. This is limiting when recording back up guitar, two drum tracks, bass and then, oops, out of tracks, have to mix down. The unit uses 1G Flash Memory or smaller. You can't use a larger capacity memory. 1G will fill up after 5 or 6 songs if you've recorded a few takes and mixed down a few times. The unit comes with a 256M chip that won't last long. At $50 - $60 each the 1G memory chips will eat up a lot of cash. Also, the 1G Flash chips are getting hard to find since most consumers want larger memory capacity for newer devices.
For about $50 more than the new BR-600 you can pick up the Fostex MR-16HD. This machine has a 40G hard drive. It also has 8 unique inputs, with 4 stereo tracks. A similar problem to the BR-600, but 8 tracks give you much more versatility than 4.
I'm going to keep my BR-600 to use to record rehearsals and live gigs, but I'll rely on the Fostex for studio work.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2009
- Excellent sound quality.
- Built-in, high-quality stereo condenser mics.
- Tons of features in a very small package.
- Battery or AC power.
- Balanced mic inputs. They are not XLR connectors but they are balanced, so as long as you use a balanced XLR to 1/4" adapter, you get fully balanced quality inputs from your XLR mic inputs. One balanced adapter is included.
- 64 virtual tracks allow you to record 8 tracks then bounce a mix onto two virtual tracks and then record even more tracks while listening to the mix you've already recorded. You can continue to add tracks this way until all 64 virtual tracks are full. The great thing is that, as long as you don't record over your original recordings then you can still remix everything either in the machine or by dumping all of the tracks to your computer and mixing it there.
- You can record your tracks dry (no effects) but still hear the effects while you record. This allows you to edit or change the effects during the final mix rather than being stuck with the effects that were recorded with the track.
- Ability to dump all of your data to computer for backup.
- Ability to dump all of the tracks from your recording onto a computer where you can edit them with your audio editing application of choice. You can download the software to do this free from Boss's website.
- Built in drum machine. It sounds pretty good and is fully programmable. Plus, it has its own dedicated stereo track so it does not take up any of the 8 recording tracks. You can even load in tones from CD, computer or another drum machine or sound module.
- Built-in effects that sound pretty good, are customizable, and allow you to add stereo loop effects to individual mono tracks for your final mix and really add some thickness and stereo richness to your mix.
- Very well though out design and fairly easy to use - once you get the basics down.
- Excellent manual! I've heard a lot of people bashing the manual but I think it's great. Very well thought out and easy to use. Yes, it's thick and full of information and words and stuff. But this machine is packed full of features so it required more than a pamphlet to explain it all. And they do a great job of presenting the information in a tutorial format as well as in an easily accessible reference format so you can either look up something quickly or spend some time reading and learning in depth.
- No phantom power for microphones. You have to use an external mic preamp or phantom power adapter.
- A/C adapter not included.
- Should come with a larger memory card. The included card is virtually useless. Buy a 1GB card that has been tested (see the chart on Boss's website). Anything larger than 1 GB is not supported and some brands and formats will not work.
- Tracks 5/6 and 7/8 are locked as stereo pairs. This means that you cannot record two separate instruments onto these two tracks and have individual control. I don't know why they made half of the tracks on the machine locked like this but it's not that big of a deal because you can work around it by bouncing tracks. Basically, you can record either stereo instruments like keyboards, etc. onto these tracks or you can use them to bounce portions of your song onto and then continue recording more tracks.
- The learning curve is not terribly steep but you will have to spend some time learning the system to get the most out of it. If you have a basic understanding of recording, effects, drum machine programming then you will catch on pretty quick.
- Because of the small size of the machine, plus the fact that it has a full set of drum pads, there isn't much room for a lot of buttons so you do have to dig around in the menus a lot to edit tracks or program the drums, etc., which can slow things down. But once you learn where thing are and how they work you can navigate through the menus pretty quickly.
A fantastic, portable machine with tons of features and excellent sound that will fulfill almost any need from recording quick ideas or live performances to recording your own album. BUY IT NOW!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2007
I read reviews on other sites and it looks like some of us forget that for this kind of price, the amount of possibilities and independence the br-600 provides a musician would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.
If the br-600 were as basic as someone else wished it were in another review somewhere else, it would be booed and wouldn't sell. I found the manual challenging to read but definitely not impossible. The challenge is actually fun and the recorder can also be used in a very basic way.
I had no issue with noise from the stereo microphones and the tracks sound crystal clear. Stay away from other adapters, appliances or neon light that might generate interferences.
To sum it up, I am no gadget geek nor a digital recording expert, actually I am mostly a musician and rather old school at that, but buying this thing finally made me give away my old Tascam 4 track tape recorder. I say buy it if you're open minded and have a little spare time to learn how to use it! :-)
Cons: does not ship with an AC adapter (minus 1 star)! duh...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2009
As some other reviewers said this device is not intended for professional studios..... That being said, it is pretty amazing compared to analog 4 tracks of just a few years ago. The effects it comes with are pretty good, as good as the boss or digitech multi-effect guitar boxes. It has a lot of cool practice features as well, (metronome, phrase trainer etc)I am having a lot of fun with it. It even has a vocal pitch corrector for those of us who are less than stellar singers.
The mic preamp section is kind of noisy, but not too bad. also it does not provide phantom power for condenser mics
It will not work with just any CF card, only older single speed up to 1 GB
This card will work:SanDisk-SDCFB-1024-A10
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a practice tool or a sort of musical sketch pad. It is easily worth the money and then some.
UPDATE: There is a bios upgrade that improves the CF card compatibility. The transcend card I originally purchased now works.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2010
This thing is packed with everything you need to put together music by yourself. I am a musician that usually works by himself, and I could assemble a four piece band by myself on this. You can assemble lengthy drum tracks with a drum pattern editing tool and can select from several drum kits. There are built in stereo condenser microphones for vocals or acoustic guitar that rivaled my mxl 990 in clarity and sound. There are also ports in the back where you can use external stereo mics if you wish. There is also a 1/4 inch cable input that you can use to record guitar and bass with. Not only that, but the amount of built in effects is awesome. There are marshall stack emulators, tube emulators, ...all kinds of stuff you can use. Tons of amp, effects, and simulators are included...basically everything you are going to need if you want to do some basic recordings.
For multitracking, you have almost an infinite number of tracks you can use because you can bounce tracks back and forth between each other, combine tracks, and even store virtual tracks elsewhere on the machine when they aren't in use.
I have used computer setups before and honestly, I get the job done faster and better with this.
Ease of Use: 3
It's a little complicated sometimes and I had a little trouble figuring out some things even with the use of the manual. I watched tutorials on youtube of how to do certain things on the boss br-600 and it cleared up a lot of questions i had. Be prepared to put some time into figuring this thing out before you get it. After a while, though, you will get the hang of it and be able to work magic with this thing.
I find the average price of $250 to be a little high for this recorder. I found one of these on eBay for $150 and to me, that was well worth it. Don't get me wrong, this piece of equipment packs a great punch, but the price you see here is set a little high so I've given it a 4.
Everything about this machine feels high quality. When I first got it, I was stunned at how sleek it looked...and mine was used! This feels like it will last a long time and the screen display is great. You can change the brightness if you need to.
This is a great machine and I would recommend it to anyone. It will always have a place in my equipment collection. Later on, I will actually build a nice home studio, but for now, this thing is the ultimate recording studio...and it's so portable... It even has a battery slot in the back where it can run off AAs if you don't have a place to plug it in. It is so small and can be taken anywhere with ease. I can even take it traveling with me if I wanted. I take this, my guitar, and a cable to my friends house and we mess around and record all kinds of random stuff. He programs drum beats on his computer and runs them into the machine via a stereo in on the boss so we can record pretty sweet drum beats. Then we record guitar and bass. To me, it's so easy to use because I have spent time using it and figuring it out.
I don't think you would regret buying one of these, especially if you get a good deal on one like I did. It's a great home recording studio all in one box.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
...as in the end it turns out to be far easier to use than imagined. I spend far more time actually playing than messing around with technical equipment, so I had a few nagging doubts at the back of my head that I'd actually be able to master the device. I'd previously tried using recording software but failed miserably, and besides, the guitar effects all sounded too digital for my taste. But after a week I'd managed to lay down tracks for my first song, although programming the rhythm arrangements took a bit longer to get the hang of. The guitar effects have the quality you'd expect from normal Boss pedals. I don't know how this compares with the Boss BR-864 8 Track which I see goes for the same price now, roughly $250. If I were a potential customer, I'd compare them a bit more closely, as I can't guarantee that this one is the better one. IMO though, it's worth spending a bit extra on this device than getting the Boss 4 track Micro recorder, while the next in the series, I believe the considerably more expensive Boss BR800, possibly has more to offer than some customers will ever use or need. I don't understand the complaints about finding Compact Flash memory cards, search the Net and you'll find yourself spoilt for choice there are so many different types available. I paid 6 pounds plus shipping for a 1GB card from a British electronics store (the 128MB card this device comes with is only big enough for 2 to 3 multitrack songs), so even if the technology is a bit old, all you need do is stock up with 3 or 4 of these and you need never worry about memory in the device's lifetime.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2008
Pros: Easy to use - read the manual first, then consult as needed. Pretty easy to get the hang of the selection dial, buttons and controls.
Built-in microphones work very well, but the automatic compression will pick up background noise during silent passages.
The built-in effects are useful and sound very good.
The "Virtual Track" feature is excellent as you can record up to 32 mono tracks and 15 stereo tracks (they count these as 62 total virtual tracks -plus the target 2 tracks) before mixing/bouncing down to a stereo track. This can allow you to keep your originally recorded tracks after mix-downs in case you want to make a different mix-down or decide you don't like the sound of the mix-down.
Cons: Recorder does not come with the AC power supply (but it does run off batteries too)
The included memory card is too small for practical use - first thing you need to do is find a compatible 1Gig card.
You can only transfer two tracks at a time to a computer in WAV format (but you can back up everything at once with typical Windows drag-and-drop).
Recommended for: Band/solo demos; amateur musicians who want to share their music
on November 20, 2008
The reason this device was made is to have a full studio in your lap while traveling, for beginners this device is highly recommended, it has everything you need even a tuner, so instead of just playing one guitar(you can play rhythm and solos with a drum beat and jam all by your self) you can use 4 mono tracks and 2 stereo tracks. what i do for more tracks is that i record the tracks on (jet audio) then record it back on a stereo track so by that i have recorded the rhythm with the drum beat and have 3 stereo tracks left for a solo (because when you push track 1 and track 2 they record together giving you a stereo track) so you can record track 1&2 then track 3&4 then track 5/6 then track 7/8 giving you 4 stereo tracks. the whole concept of music changed when i started recording on the BR-600. about the mic if you put 2 mics you will get different sound effects then installing one mic (for example the chipmunks sound is with 2 mics and darth vader sound is with one mic)my sister likes to play around with these funny sounds lol(i really liked the sound used in the movie screem you know on the telephone with my friends lol) i didn't know that mics had sound effects before buying the BR-600, about the drums you can select (PAD) this option gives you a complete drum set by pushing on the buttons what i liked is that when you push hard on it it gives you a loud sound and when you just tap it it gives you a very soft sound as like playing on real drums, the device has a right and left built in mic (but with out sound effects) this is cool for recording an idea instantly.the device has lots of features so i don't know all of them yet, the BR-600 is really awesome and loaded with fun and can be used in recording any kind of sounds.