Friday, August 7, 2015

Review of the Boss-BR 800

My Boss Br-800 has been the single best investment to my Home Studio. I have used it extensively for over 4 years now. It has been my go to Audio Interface, an easy to use Controls Surface, and an excellent Effects Processor. So I thought I'd share my thoughts with you about this little gem!




The BR-800 is a compact and lightweight digital audio recorder designed for ultimate versatility and convenience. The BR-800 provides 4 tracks of simultaneous recording, and 8 tracks of simultaneous playback. It has an additional stereo track that's dedicated to the onboard drum machine, which also includes an editor. The built-in stereo condenser mics lets you record anytime, anywhere without the need for extra equipment. Your files are captured to widely-available SD/SDHC memory cards, supporting capacities up to 32GB. A 1GB card is included to get you started.

The BR-800 has an easy-to-use interface that's based on touch sensors, giving you precision control over all features. An onboard effects processor gives you a wealth of guitar, bass, and vocal effects, while a "Song Sketch" feature provides quick stereo WAV recording. A USB connector allows you to use the BR-800 as a USB audio interface with your Mac or PC, as well as use it as a control surface for DAW applications. Cakewalk SONAR 8.5 LE (Cakewalk Sonar Music Production Software) software is even included for computer-based audio manipulation. For terrific versatility, the BR-800 can operate on a set of 6 AA batteries, USB bus power, or the included AC adapter.



After doing some research I have posted the cheapest price I have found for a new unit. I paid $449 over 4 years ago and this thing has steadily remained within that price range. So when I found it for only $365, I was tempted to buy another one!

 

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design, ideal for musicians, journalists, and more
  • 4 tracks of simultaneous recording, and 8 tracks of simultaneous playback
  • Dedicated stereo track for the onboard drum machine, which also includes an editor function
  • Built-in stereo condenser mic lets you record anytime, anywhere without the need for extra equipment
  • Records to widely-available SD/SDHC memory cards, supporting capacities up to 32GB. A 1GB card is included to get you started
  • Easy-to-use interface is based on touch sensors, giving you precision control over all features
  • Onboard effects processor gives you a wealth of guitar, bass, and vocal effects
  • "Song Sketch" feature provides quick stereo WAV recording
  • USB connector allows you to use the BR-800 as a USB audio interface with your Mac or PC, as well as use it as a control surface for DAW applications
  • Cakewalk SONAR 8.5 LE software is included for computer-based audio manipulation
  • Operates on a set of 6 AA batteries, USB bus power, or the included AC adapter for terrific versatility
  • 4 XLR inputs on the back of the unit, 4 trs 1/8 inputs on the back as well, and 1 high z on the front
  • Headphone input on the front of the unit for zero latency monitoring or night time jam sessions
  • Line in for recording from various sources 

Cons:

  • The Guitar to Bass simulator can have some hiccups and is not able to pick up polyphonic Bass chords without low end garble
  • Most of the effects that include distortion are "overdone" in my opinion, but can be toned down and shaped into something more feasible 
  • The touch screen panel can be hard to get used to and if it gets oily fingerprints they will have to be cleaned before it will work properly again
  • 24 bit recording is only available on while plugged in via USB
  • Of the 4 XLR preamps on the back of the unit, only one of them has phantom power
  • When using the Loop Record feature, there is a delay in the changing of tracks that can cause a little drop out of audio (1 sec. tops, see video)

Specs:

Simultaneous Rec Tracks 4
Simultaneous Play Tracks 8
Sample Rate 44.1kHz
Bit Rate 24-bit
Effects Yes
Compression Track Compression, Multiband Mastering Compression
Phantom Power Yes (1 channel)
Number of Mic Preamps 4
Audio Interface Yes
Computer Connectivity USB
Built-in Mics 2
Analog Inputs 5 x 1/4", 4 x XLR, 1 x 1/8", 1 x 1/4" (Footswitch)
Analog Outputs 1 x stereo RCA, 1 x 1/4" (Headphones)
USB 1 x Type B
Storage SD (up to 32GB)
Faders 8
Fader Throw Compact (short-throw)
Power DC 9V Adapter (Sold Separately), 2 x AA Batteries, USB Bus
Height 2.31"
Depth 7.25"
Width 11.44"
Weight 2 lbs