Is The BR-532 boss digital recorder any good?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by crown_of_thorns, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. The BR-532 it 400$ and I was wondering has had any expieriance with it?
  2. I have one. What are you planning on doing with it? Recording a band? personal recording (like doing all instrument parts, and then mixing it down, like solo project type stuff?), if its the second for you, then this is the recording unit for you. You can only record two things at the same time (as opposed to other "high end" multi track recorders, which can record quite a few at a time.) which are xlr in, and guitar/bass in.

    it has a "drum machine" so to say, where its not anything like the DR-5 built in, but its good quality, you can program it, so that it has fills where you want them, intro's, outero's, and various other things. You can select the "kit" for different styles/attack on the kit.

    The built in "cosm" effects are good... for guitar. Unless you have a pre-amp and then go in though the xlr, you'll get pretty bad sounding bass imho. I didnt mess around much with the bass cosm effects, but the preset ones were pretty bad. The guitar ones on the other hand, are good... presets werent that good... but they're really just a suggestion of what you can do, and then you change them to fit your tastes. You get 30 factory presets (non changeable) 30 user presets (your settings, and saves to the units internal memory, not the smart media card), and 30 song presets (just like user, but saves wiht the song, and not to the card, once you take the song off, the setting goes with it. ). For recording bass, i use my Jazz bass, into my Tech 21 bass driver DI, into the XLR input of the BR-532.

    If you didnt already know, it saves to a SmartMedia card, and comes with a 32mb card. I think the SmartMedia was a good change from the BR-8's zip drive, simply because with zip-disks, theres moving parts, which arnt friends wiht single coil pickups. The Br-532 has ZERO moving parts, so it doesnt make noise from single coils. With the stock 32mb card, you get roughly 4 min of song time if you use all 4 tracks, and usage of 8 virtual tracks. I decided to upgrade to the 128mb card because of this, since i like to keep my previous work, so that if i need to go back, i can. I got a SanDisk smart meida card reader, so that i could back up my files on my computer. Roland just released the software for free, which changes the files from the smartmedia card into .wav files, meaning you dont have to buy a special sound card, just so that you can keep the digital quality, and not have to transfer the files analogely.

    Somthing i particularly like about this unit is that you can keep bouncing tracks down digitally, and not lose much sound quality (if any). Also, you can digitaly copy and paste things around, and digitaly edit (which you cannot do with a analouge reorder), and really, if you make a small mistake, you can punch in, redo the riff, and listen to see how it came out, if it takes up too much space, and you need to do it again, simply hit the undo/redo button, and its like you didnt do anything, wiht analouge, you'd have to re-track a ton of stuff with a small simple mistake like that.

    If you have anymore questions feel free to email me or whatever... and i'll be glad to answer them for you. The link is a sound clip of the first project i made with the unit. After fiddiling around for about 20min, i recorded this... its 3 guitar tracks, layered in various ways, and whatever... and mixed down... if you dont reconize the song, its Pink Floyd, Wish you were Here. Its only guitar tracks, and REALLY primitive....

    song sample
  3. i forgot to add... i brought the song over to my computer analougly.... i didnt have the software for the br-532 ->.wav file software yet, because it was not yet out. so i brought it across from an RCA -> mini plug, which went in the line in of my sound card. I dont have the best soundcard in teh world, so it wont be the best quality. If you'd like, i'll email you a full song that i did (bass, drums and guitar) all on teh br-532, its Whats My Age Again by Blink 182 (dont haze me... i know that song sooo well... and this was the first song that i did with programed drums as well... i just wnated an easy song to do... it only took me an hour to make and mix down) so just email me and i'll send it to you... its too big to attach to this board, and i dont want to wait a bunch of time for it to upload. my email is [email protected]
  4. *sigh* this is the last time i respond to a first time poster... esp. when i type out this much on a product...:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  5. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN

    I don't have any personal experience with either recorder - only what I've read. It sounds like you prefer the BR-532 to the BR-8.

    Is the drum machine better? I don't think the BR-8's rhythm guide can be programmed with fills, etc. Is this correct?

    Does the 128 MB card give you 4 X the song time as the 32, and is the upgrade simply a matter of replacing one card with the other?

    Can you use the "line out" on this machine to record to a cassette (so you can play your song for your friends who don't have computers and CD players:))?


  6. One other thing, boss just released the software free via their web page which turns the files extracted from the br-532 smart media card via a smart media card reader, and turn them into .wav* files on your computer, and then you can burn them to cd or encode them into .mp3* or whatever you want to do with them. its really neat. You can also turn .wav* files into .bro* files (br-532 files)

    Hope i helped, feel free to ask anything else.
  7. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN

    I didn't download your song sample yet (kind of long), but your answers have been VERY helpful.

    I'm a bassist by trade and a born-again hack guitarist just for fun. I'd really like to get the BR-532 for home projects, if it's everything you say it is.

    If you feel long winded, please indulge me with more details on the differences between these two models. Is the cut & paste new to this model? How about the track bouncing? BTW, have you recorded any vocals with yours?

    You said ...."$200 more for less features" (BR-8). Is this really accurate? I REALLY want to get one!

  8. here... read this...

    Its everything you'll ever need to know about hte BR-8. I dont have any links of simular sites to the br-532... but it should answer a bunch of your questions.
  9. Alright, well here's my question. I'm looking to put out my debut album in the near future. Of course i got to record it. So i'm looking at either the BR-532 or the Roland 890HD. Obviously the 890 is nicer for many reasons, but how does the quality of sound on the 532 compare? Cause if it's really close in comparison, i'll go with that to save $600.
  10. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Mutt..... THANKS for your most informitive post. ;)