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  • Boss BR-864 8-Track Multitrack Recorder

    Is the Boss BR-864 8-Track Multitrack Recorder any good?

    I am looking for my first recorder, just for clips and practice. The price is right and from the reviews I think may be simpler to use compard to other recorders in this $ range.

    Any thoughts suggestions?
    Geezer Brigade Trooper #30
    1st generation Irish

  • #2
    This was my choice as a first digital multitracker. I've had mine for about six weeks, and I really like it. It's a great value for ~400 dollars, IMO.

    Pros;

    *Easy to use. I was recording my first tracks a half hour after getting the unit.
    *4 effects processors.
    *MIDI output for sync with sequencers, drum machines, with pretty good MMC support.
    *Active yahoo groups user group for unit.
    *USB 2,0 support allows you to send finished .wav/aiff files back and forth to your PC.
    *cheap


    Cons;

    *only 4 faders for 8 tracks, with a button to switch between the pages. A PITA for mixdowns, but can be delt with.
    *No Phantom power.
    *Drum sounds for internal drum sequencer are limited, but you can add your own sounds (not easily)
    * The included 128mb Flash card is useless for recording a real project, so you'll need to factor in another 60-80 dollars for a 512/1Gb flash card.
    *Built in guitar amp modeler comes with weak presets.
    *No track SOLO button. No one else mentions this as a drawback, but I'd really like to have one.
    *Can only record two tracks at once, either 1 stereo pair, or 1 each microphone and line input.
    *Exporting tracks to the PC for mixing in the PC can be done, but it's a very manual/time consuming project.

    I know I've listed more cons that pros, but that cons aren't that bad, and there are more pros than what I mention. I have been happy with my BR-864, and I recommend it.

    Advice from a newbie...

    Todd
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    • #3
      Thanks Todd

      I'm sure this unit is more than good enought for me.
      Geezer Brigade Trooper #30
      1st generation Irish

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      • #4
        In my experience, the BR864 is a great buy. I've recorded about 10 songs since I bought the thing, and mixed down/exported five of them so far.

        My pros and cons:

        Pros--

        1. Excellent sound quality for the money. It's really good for guitar, bass and drums. Vocals are the only area where you can tell it's not high-end gear.
        2. Easy to use, easy to learn the more complicated functions when you're ready. I tried cakewalk a few years ago, and I spent more time messing around with stuff than making music.
        3. Hasn't done anything weird or broken down on me yet. Had it almost 6 months.
        4. Mastering Tool Kit. It's basically a "wizard" that uses a bunch of preset effects to master the song for you. If you don't know how to use an expander, limiter, etc. you pick a kit and let it run. If you like it, keep it. If you don't run a different kit. Mastering for dummies, basically.
        5. Portable. Can take it anywhere.

        Cons--
        1. I also don't like the 4 faders for 8 tracks. Not a biggie, but a nuisance sometimes.
        2. Once you've bounced your tracks down to 2 and then mastered them, you can't pull them back to their original places to remix them. I put too much reverb on my vocals once, then mastered the track. After listening in the car, I realized that I needed to adjust this, but it had already been mixed down. Need a computer for that trick, I guess.
        3. Need additional gear to get the most out of your BR864: headphones and/or monitors, a mixer with phantom power for condenser mics and for recording more than two things at once.
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