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Old October 12th, 2008, 01:05 AM   #1
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Edirol R4 or R44

I'm finally getting the opportunity to move on some better audio gear. I'm looking at purchasing a stand alone recorder for the capturing audio. I'll mostly be using this for interviews, documentaries and short indie movies. I have been a big fan of the Edirol R series unit because of the 4 XLR ports but not sure which would be best for me. I was hoping to get feedback from users or just general thought about the Edirol R4 and R44. They both are relatively the same price for the unit.

Are there any audio quality differences? Would the issue of weight be a factor in your buying decision? What seems more likely to breakdown: a hard drive or removable media? Also, I remember reading in a post about the sync being around 30 minutes. I even mentioned it myself in another response. I tried searching and couldn't find it. Does the R4 and R44 fall out of sync at the same point and when is that point exactly? Finally, which would you go with an why...

I'm just trying to make a wise investment. Thanks for your help.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #2
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As a user of the R-4 Pro, I'm very happy with it and get excellent results.
The only thing I would say is that it eats batteries like no tomorrow :-)
Cant say anything on the other as I have never used it.

Regards

Gary
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Old October 12th, 2008, 04:54 AM   #3
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Don't touch the original R-4 with a bargepole, the others are much better.

The new R-4Pro is much better and the R-44 is also excellent (the R-44 has the same mic. pre's as the R-4Pro).

Also - you can link two R-44 to record 8 tracks if you wish.

Both R-4Pro and R-44 are good.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Barclay View Post
I'm finally getting the opportunity to move on some better audio gear. I'm looking at purchasing a stand alone recorder for the capturing audio. I'll mostly be using this for interviews, documentaries and short indie movies. I have been a big fan of the Edirol R series unit because of the 4 XLR ports but not sure which would be best for me. I was hoping to get feedback from users or just general thought about the Edirol R4 and R44. They both are relatively the same price for the unit.
I've been using the R44 Pro for a while and have gotten some great results with it. I feed it with line level signals from my Sound Devices mixer, so can't advise you about use of it with mics directly plugged in. There's a whole lot of sound-editing capability built into it that I don't use, but as a simple on/off recorder, it works great.

Here is a link to some short clips if you'd like to hear what it can do:

Examples: Location Sound recorded by Stephen Hall

Once it's powered up, the important controls (record, stop, pause, playback, etc.) are on the front panel, so use in a bag is fine. The interior of my Petrol bag curves away enough that it's not a big deal to reach inside to turn the power on and off, though.

Cheers,

Stephen H
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Old October 12th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Don't touch the original R-4 with a bargepole

Mind sharing why?
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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #6
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Mind sharing why?
It's the original model, early versions had input #4 reverse polarity compared to the other 3 - and the R-44 is better and cheaper.

NB: I am *only* talking about the original R-4 and *not* the R-4-Pro which *is* good.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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I'm banging on my R-4 Pro in a bag every day on a feature right now and it's been rock solid. I feed it from the direct outs of a 442 and I love being able to use its meters along with the 442's.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
It's the original model, early versions had input #4 reverse polarity compared to the other 3 - and the R-44 is better and cheaper.

NB: I am *only* talking about the original R-4 and *not* the R-4-Pro which *is* good.

My question was asked because I have an Original R-4 and was wondering if there was something particularly wrong with it.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
My question was asked because I have an Original R-4 and was wondering if there was something particularly wrong with it.
Nothing really wrong with it - other than the channel 4 phase problem - I think they fixed that (but I don't know when - it was a hardware fix and needed a recall).

It's just that it's not worth getting nowadays as the R-4-Pro and the R-44 both have better mic. pre-amps and the R-44 is cheaper than the original R-4 - that's why I said don't touch it.

I hope that's clear.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #10
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Thanks John, I hate breaking out the barge pole. So any advice to leave it in the garage is much appreciated. You guys are killing me with the R-4 Pro. That would be my dream pick if money wasn't an issue... well maybe the Sound Design 744T. Time code is a big deal to me. I rather not have to deal with using clappers but I'm saving money for a couple Tram TR-50s and a Schoeps CMITU5.

Thanks Stephen for the clip.

Still curious about the sync issue. Does anyone know exactly when the R-44 will fall out? I'm hoping most my clips will be about 5-10 mins but could see some times where they could get up to 25mins.. I wouldn't want to push it if that would go over the limit.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #11
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Ok, fair enough. We've used 4 mics in ours and never had any phase issues, so I think we 're good there. I did think the mic pre-amps were a bit noisy though. But it wasn't bought for film/video work originally, it was purchased to record conferences via PZM mics and in that capacity, it is fabulous. I have "borrowed" it to use for my video work and found it ok but certainly not great.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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Hey Perrone, how would you compare it to using the inputs on the EX1. It's is next on my list of acquisitions. I've heard the audio on it can be tricky. I was debating getting a mixer and running audio to the camera but figured a stand alone would give me more freedom. However, the idea has huge appeal cause it would eliminate my concern about timecode.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thomas Barclay View Post
Hey Perrone, how would you compare it to using the inputs on the EX1. It's is next on my list of acquisitions. I've heard the audio on it can be tricky. I was debating getting a mixer and running audio to the camera but figured a stand alone would give me more freedom. However, the idea has huge appeal cause it would eliminate my concern about timecode.
The EX1 is cleaner. No doubt. But it's two inputs instead of 4. Choose your poison.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #14
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Remember that the Ex1 has an undefeatable limiter. It's a tragedy, because the preamps are very clean.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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R-4 : spinning disk (hd based)
R-44 : solid state (SD card based)

The R-44 was the answer to loud rock concerts which were shaking the spinning hard drive in an R-4.

I use our Edirol R-44 all the time and love it. The size is simply amazing. We sell quite a few of them and everyone has been happy. We're giving away a 4GB SD card and offer 5% off to dvinfo members too :)
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