Ever wished you had a mobile recording studio that could fit in your pocket?
Item: Boss MICRO BR-80
Price: US $299, UK £170
At A Glance: The Boss MICRO BR-80 is a pocket sized multi-track recorder that is great for musicians who want to make quick demo recordings and experiment with musical ideas. It runs on batteries so that you use it wherever you are and its built-in microphone allows you to record your voice or any instrument without the need for extra equipment.
High Notes: The BR-80 has a simple interface which enables you not just to make recordings, but also overdub, mix, and add effects to up to 8 simultaneous playback tracks all on the device. As well as the devices built-in stereo condenser microphone, it also has a 1/4″ guitar/mic input, 3.5mm stereo line-level input, and a 3.5mm stereo output for connecting to headphones or speakers. Singers will be pleased with Boss’s inclusion of a multitude of vocal effects that are taken from their VE20 Vocal Processor. Also included is a phrase trainer that allows you to slow down phrases for practice and a selection of backing tracks that you can jam along with.
Off Pitch: Although you can connect an external microphone through its 1/4″ input, it does not include phantom power which limits the range of microphones you can use with it. For some people, the main competition to the BR-80 will come from apps for smartphones and tablets that can do similar things and cost a fraction of the price – however it is worth noting that the sound quality from the in-built microphone on the BR-80 is far better than found on any mobile phone.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Although you’re unlikely to record your next album on the device, the BR-80 is a great way to capture ideas when they come to you. It has a full range of effects for most instruments as well as a guitar amp simulator and pre-programmed drum tracks. It can also be used as a simple stereo recording device, making it great for making live recordings of choirs or bands.
For alternatives you may also want to look at Tascam’s DP-004 and DP-008.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.bossus.com