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Old January 10th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #1
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Review in progress: Edirol R44

Hi there, this is going to be a review in progress, I just bought the Edirol R44 and I thought you might like some info on it from a users experience. Since It just arrived last week I do not have field experience at this time the info is spare. That's why a review in progress; every time I have more useful info I'll post it in this tread!

So for now, unpacked it,wow, very light in weight! And small, A bit more than half a Sound Devices 552 or similar. The weight might come in handy for the purpose I bought it; as a small companion for a Canon 7D, even solo Run and gun (oh yes...). Downside of this is that there is no compatible Portabrace or like yet. So I have the improvise a bit on that part for now.

Takes 2/3 seconds to booth up and when booted, you can record immediately. On the net someone mentioned that every time you booth (from a different power source, AKA new batteries) all settings are lost. Not with this one here, maybe a firmware update or so? The casing is made of hard plastic en does feel build very wel. Knobs are easy to use as well. Menu structure is okay, a bit to deep in my opinion.

So an easy Pro an Cons here:

Pro's:
- Small, lightweight
- Switchable Phantom on all channels individually
- Both input/record potmeter in one, works good
- 2x stereo, 4x mono, 1x4 channel and more flavors in WAV selectable.
- Going strong and long on cheap IKEA Alkaline batteries (testing at this moment with 1 boom on phantom + 2 radio transmitters and it's recorded 1,5 hours already with the batt sign halfway).
- limiters work well, as far as I can tell for now, at least with my singing 3 year old ;-)

Con's:
- Metering readout; Small, used to SD type of leds.
- Menu access on top. Like to have it all on the front, but have to find out how much you use it in the field though.
- THE BIGGEST: NO AUDIO WHEN YOU STOP RECORDING. To hear some input you have to put it in rec-pause (or recording). Not that handy.
- So i've you record, and press pause, not stop, it doesn't make a new file. Stopping is almost not an option since previous point.


That's for now. I've got my first shoot with it this tuesday. a TV Documentary shot with the Canon 7D. I'm gonna be the dedicated sound guy, so we're a full team (cameraman, sound guy and director, oh, and the subjects.. ;-)).

The setup: The Edirol R44 with a Rode NTG3 on a boom (wired) and 2 Sennheiser G2 sets. on the 7D where gonna plugin a Sennheiser reciever as well, so whe can have a perfect match for Plural Eyes wich we're gonna use in post.

I'll keep you posted on how it went and to make this review more completed!
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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I used that on a reality show. Very nice mixer and I used it for sit down mixing no run and gun. I mainly used the power supply because it eats up battery power tremendously. If you check out the shows on my page(link below) those two shows used the Edirol R-44. Great sound especially if you know what you are doing. No ADR needed on either show. You can hear the quality once you watch it. But definitely a nice machine. I wish you the best of luck with it. I'm going to be getting a Fostex PD606 soon.



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Old January 10th, 2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Nicole, That's a beast the 606! Can you post the link to your site, it's not in your previous post.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #4
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Oooppss sorry. The link is below.

Reality Show
C.C. Productions - Reality TV Shows


TV Show-I boom on this show but the recorder used was still the Edirol R44
C.C. Productions - TV Shows


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Old January 12th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #5
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So, first day today with the R44 today, here the thoughts:

- When in action operation is quite okay. Since i'm a left handy, I operate the mixer with my right so I can see the metering very well.
- Batteries are ran out quickly, had to replace them during lunch brake
- On/off button on the top is a pain in the rear, especially considering the point mentioning above.
- limiter is good.

tomorrow another day with the gear, with a lot of outside shooting, keep you posted...
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Old January 12th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #6
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I warned you about the batteries. They will eat them up. I use power supply when possible.


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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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The limiter is all digital, right? Seems pretty useless to me.
I don't have the R-44 but the R-4 and I like the clarity of the preamps - but not the noise level which is a little too high for my taste. The R-44 should be better in this respect.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 11:59 PM   #8
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I power my setup with a nano-phosphate battery pack I built using A123 Systems cells. It's the yellow block on the left side of the Pelican case. They're balance-charged with a Cellpro charger. This technology, by the way, comes from the radio-control helicopter industry.

The battery pack also powers a pair of Audio-Technica ATW-1800 wireless receivers for four independent channels of audio. Runs 4 hours at a stretch.
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Review in progress: Edirol R44-audio_box.jpg  
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Old January 16th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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Thanks Dean, I'm looking into these solutions at this point. Today I had a shoot where I had to change the batteries 2 times. It was okay but not that handy since I do not have a proper bag for it so the batt compartment is not that reachable... Since all by equipment is on Sony's V mount batteries i'm thinking of that as a solution.

Dean, what's your further audio setup and what for? The pic is making me curious!

So an update on my findings with the R 44 up until now:

I now had 3 days with it in combination with the Canon 7D. First off all the weight, As mentioned before, it's so light, with the very long days we had that came in very handy. Again, battery life not long, until now not that big a problem.

Overall very happy with it as a run and gun ENG style mixer/recorder. If someone has some questions I'm happy to answer them!
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Old January 16th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #10
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Vincent...

The audio setup is used whenever I go out on boats and cover a few anglers simultaneously. The whole thing can be closed up and remain weatherproof. There's a short two-foot mast that supports four whip antennas. The AT wireless units have proven to be extremely reliable with virtually zero dropouts in the years I've used them.

The camera also has an on-camera mic which provides some backup audio as well as a way of providing a precise sync reference. The camera is set to time-of-day timecode and so is the R-44.

I use SequenceLiner in Final Cut Pro to correlate the hundreds of video clips with the uninterrupted audio clips (the recorder is running constantly). While the initial sync isn't perfect, it isn't hard to manually align them in post, especially if I remember to get a "slate" every so often.

Having the audio recorder running all the time is also very useful in getting those off-the-cuff comments that happen unexpectedly. Especially when a fish gets hooked up. The shouting that happens is one of those dramatic, exciting moments that makes the difference in the final show.

When I made the battery pack I wanted to confirm the proper input voltage range for the R-44. I went through the manual thoroughly and couldn't find the info I needed. After about an hour I looked at the recorder and there was the info I was looking for, right next to the external power port!

Here's a segment in which the recorder system was used. There were four people on the boat. Each person was on a discrete channel.

Hi Ho Silvers, Part 1
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Old January 17th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #11
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Dean,

I really like the clarity of your video encoding. Anything special that you did for that?

Oh, and excellent sound. I can hear the water dripping off the crab pots as they are being brought in to the boat. Brilliant.

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Old January 17th, 2010, 03:21 PM   #12
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Andrew...

The clip was done with Adobe Flash encoder using two-pass VBR encoding. It might be H.264.

The audio of the crab pots being brought in was just an on-camera mic. It's an Audio-Technica AT-4051a. At distances up to about 7 or 8 feet, and in relatively quiet conditions, it can do a great job.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #13
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Thanks Dean, for the info. Especially the remarks about the AT wireless, witch is on my current wish list. Have you tried Plural Eyes for syncing? It's awesome: Singular Software

So today I dug up an old cable with a D-tap on one end, made a powerplug for the R-44 out of it and connected it to a V mount battery from one of the cams here. As a test I'm recording now for more then 3 hours (1 phantom on, usual setup for me) already and the battery stills says it's fully charged! I think that's gonna be the setup for this moment I think.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #14
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Dean,

Looking at the "info" report on Applian FLV Player:

On2 VP6 codec, running at 29.97fps, data rate of 1500kps.

Could possibly be the data rate. :-D

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Old January 18th, 2010, 01:16 AM   #15
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Update on the battery: 11 hours of recording and still going strong, battery just says half way! Definitely a winner. This is the one:

Globalmediapro Li65S Lithium ion Battery 65WH
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