Edirol R-09

Edirol R-09

You may not like the sound of the price, but you'll love the quality of the sound.

 

With portable digital audio recording devices such as the Edirol R-09 around, there's no need to use a portable tape recorder anymore. The Edirol R-09 is small, light, and has a useful set of recording features. Is it perfect? Not quite - but it's close.

 

Measuring 2.5 by 4.06 by 1.25 inches and weighing less than 6 ounces (with batteries), the Edirol R-09 fits comfortably in a shirt pocket. Its straightforward recording and playback controls also navigate through the R-09's easy-to-set options. By pressing the Finder Menu button, you rename, delete, and get information on the audio files. By holding the same button down, you access the R-09's Setup menu, where you can set the audio format, format the SD card, adjust the brightness of the display, and other options.

 

The white-on-black display is easy on the eyes, and you get all the feedback you need. Particularly nice is the responsive, animated level meter. It's crucial to have snappy visual meters so you know that there's no distortion. The useful 30-step input level control allows you to use the R-09 for recording a quiet conversation or a deafening rock concert.

 

On the back of the Edirol R-09 are four smart features. The first is a switch to set mono or stereo recording, depending on the microphone you're plugging into the R-09's 1/8-inch mic jack-recording from a single-channel microphone sends the signal to only one side of the stereo field. The mono switch records the mono microphone signal to both sides of the stereo field so it sounds dead center. Thank you, Roland.

 

The second switch is AGC, or Automatic Gain Control, which, when turned on, automatically adjusts the volume level of the audio during recording so that the level is fairly consistent. This is helpful for recording group meetings, where voices at different distances from the unit's microphone would normally result in voices at different volumes. Thanks again, Roland.

 

The third switch, Mic Gain, can be turned to Low or High. Most recordings can be made at High, but the Low setting is a must for loud environments. While we couldn't get this unit into a venue to record a metal concert, we were able to record in a car with a ridiculously loud stereo system. The result was surprisingly clear and undistorted. Did we thank you already, Roland?

 

The last switch on the back is the Low Cut switch. This is the kind of feature that is especially useful in indoor, air-conditioned environments. In our tests, the Low Cut switch eliminated the rumble of an office building's environmental system, resulting in a very clean recording.

 

The audio quality of the Edirol R-09 is excellent. The 24-bit, 48kHz WAV format ensures high-fidelity audio for when you absolutely need it. You can fit almost an hour of stereo audio on a 1GB SD card. When you need longer recording times and not-so-high fidelity, you can record as MP3 files. On a 1GB card, you can fit about 980 minutes of 128kbps MP3 stereo audio. If, for some reason, you need to record longer times, you can use a bigger card (up to 2GB) and/or knock the MP3 bit rate down to 64kbps. Crazy, but you can do it.

 

The bottom line. The Edirol R-09 is one of those great products that just might be too expensive for casual use yet not suitable for a picky professional sound designer. It is, however, a quality portable recorder for capturing events, meetings, interviews, and podcasts.

 

COMPANY: Roland
CONTACT: 213-685-5141, www.edirol.net
PRICE: $450
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.2 or later, USB
Excellent audio quality. Great microphone. Smart feature set.
Pricey. Superfluous reverb capability.

 

 

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Bruce Garlock

The only negative I have with it, is the plastic construction. It would be nice if it was almunium or some other tough and light metal.

The recording quality is great, and with the Edirol CS-15 external Mic, it is even better. I cannot wait until 4GB SD cards become standard.

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Revelator

The mic quality on this unit is top notch.

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