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Old October 10th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #1
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Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

I am looking for a portable multi-channel audio mixer/recorder.
It seems that the Roland R-88 or the Sound Devices 664 may be the answer to
my needs. Has any one had experience with the R-88? Do the preamp's measure up
to professional standards.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 07:19 AM   #2
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

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Originally Posted by Paul DeBaets View Post
I am looking for a portable multi-channel audio mixer/recorder.
It seems that the Roland R-88 or the Sound Devices 664 may be the answer to
my needs. Has any one had experience with the R-88? Do the preamp's measure up
to professional standards.
FYI: I think the Roland R-88 doesn't become available until early 2013, so you're not likely to receive responses about real-world use yet. ;)

I'm also looking for an 8-track recorder. The SD has a lot of great bells and whistles that I don't need. I'm looking at the Tascam HS-P82; it's just a few years old, but it has received very positive reviews and Tascam keeps updating the firmware.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

The Tascam is nice but.. rather big and heavy, OK if your always on a cart. The SD 664 mixer/recorder is new but appears to be versatile and bag friendly. .. Your other options are the Zaxcom Nomad mixer/recorder models. If you just need a.TC recorder there's the 788 and other
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Old October 11th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

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The Tascam is nice but.. rather big and heavy, OK if your always on a cart.
Yeah, so I've read. Right now I have a bag with a Korg MR-1000 stacked with an SD302. Together, they're not insubstantial in size and weight, so I'm thinking a migration to the Tascam won't be much of a difference, aside from not having to wrangle two devices and related connections.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

I played around with the P82 at a trade show when it was released, and as I recall, it was freak'in HEAVY.. like an old analog Nagra. Add to that 4-6 receivers, batteries, cables, ect. You'll probably have a 25 pound bag.
Eat yo' Wheaties and work-out.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 01:49 PM   #6
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

A while back I bought a Zoom R16 which is an 16-track unit (records up to 8 at once). Battery powered and is the same audio quality as the H4n. It's very light and about the size of a laptop. Not quite as "pro" as the other units but worked just fine for the couple of gigs a year I do that require more than 2 track....plus it's really inexpensive. :)

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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

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A while back I bought a Zoom R16 which is an 16-track unit (records up to 8 at once). Battery powered and is the same audio quality as the H4n. It's very light and about the size of a laptop. Not quite as "pro" as the other units but worked just fine for the couple of gigs a year I do that require more than 2 track....plus it's really inexpensive. :)

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I recall looking at this a long time ago. It's hard to knock something that is ~1/8 the price of the other units mentioned here. Still, phantom power on only 2 outputs would kill this as an option for me.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

I hear ya!
Typically I run lavs into it so it's not an issue for me.

I'll keep an eye on this thread to see what you come up with.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #9
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

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Originally Posted by Steven Reid View Post
I recall looking at this a long time ago. It's hard to knock something that is ~1/8 the price of the other units mentioned here. Still, phantom power on only 2 outputs would kill this as an option for me.
If 2 inputs with phantom are a problem have a look at the Zoom R24 that has 6 inputs with phantom..... I did a backup recording on mine seems to work well.
I did a live mix down of inputs 3,4,5,6,7,8 back to channels 1/2 with some custom output cables. This gave me a complete mix on 1/2 as well as discreet ISO tracks for each mic on the other tracks..
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Old October 12th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

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If 2 inputs with phantom are a problem have a look at the Zoom R24 that has 6 inputs with phantom..... I did a backup recording on mine seems to work well.
I did a live mix down of inputs 3,4,5,6,7,8 back to channels 1/2 with some custom output cables. This gave me a complete mix on 1/2 as well as discreet ISO tracks for each mic on the other tracks..
Yeah, OK. I need portability, so that is a step in the other direction.

I guess the OP has a number of suggestions now, if 2013 is too late to wait for the R-88.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

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Yeah, OK. I need portability, so that is a step in the other direction.

I guess the OP has a number of suggestions now, if 2013 is too late to wait for the R-88.
I to had the same thoughts on portability but looking back on 25 years of location TV / Commercial production I can only recall only a couple of times I needed TOTAL portability, most times there are set up shots with cameras, lighting etc.
The day I used the ZOOM R24 it was mounted in a brief case with the radio mic RX's clipped to the lid pocket, I could do a complete set up quicker than the camera tripod and a couple of lights were set up.

YES I acknowledge its not ideal for ALL situations but for 95% of what I do its OK......All said and done I would still love to own the new Sound Devices 664.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 06:49 AM   #12
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Re: Thoughts on Roland R-88 mixer/recorder

The R-88 is likely to be around the £2,500 mark.

But another to consider is the AETA 4MinX.

The 4MinX is an 8-track recorder that has 10 inputs (4 x Mic/line, 2 x Line, 4 x AES3/AES42) which can be mixed in any way you like onto 8 channels - or - mix in any way you like on to 6 channels and use the last 2 channels for a stereo mix.

It is the only recorder that has the option for using both AES42 digital microphones and a Soundfield microphone with Soundfield monitoring.

It is the same high quality level as the Aaton Cantar and Nagra VI at a much lower price level. It is even a good deal cheaper than the SD 788T.

It also is the right size - not so small that it becomes fiddly to use (without buying external control panels), or too large that it can become unwieldy in a bag.

The 4MinX can be purchased in several versions: from a mixer only version, 2-track, 4-track, 6-track or 8-track with or without timecode. If money is tight you can buy less tracks and upgrade later by purchasing a software upgrade. Only of you buy initially without timecode would it have to go back to the factory for the upgrade, as the timecode is an additional PCB.

In the UK prices start at £2,499 for the basic mixer version and rise to £3,168 for the 8-track. Timecode adds £417 and Soundfield monitoring adds £413.

Even maxed-out it is still about £1,000 cheaper than the Nagra VI and SD 788T.

The more I see it, the more impressed I am.
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