The usual functions are easily accessible and all this is very well explained in the manual with schmas and of the representatives of the unit step, we do not take the head for hours with phrases no sense head! SOUNDS The effects are trs effective for voice, but limited, and the only effect guitar overdrive is not effective trs. With exprience, I would resume trs certainly the same device. Did you find this review helpful? But hey, there are connections! Sampling excellent, high quality sound.
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The only card recorder with full-resolution audio and eight real tracks Small and portable, yet comfortable in use. Very acceptable Audio easily transferable to computer.
EQ nonexistent, effects basic and reverb a let-down. No virtual tracks. Four tracks are configured as two stereo pairs. Mac users need a card reader for audio transfer. Full-resolution audio uses card space fast.
Not as many features as competitors. However, it has very strong competition from other, more feature-rich models on the market. Its other claim to fame is that it seems to be the only machine of its kind to offer full-resolution recording: its competitors all use data-compression technology or reduced sampling rates arguably sensibly to maximise the recording times available from memory cards.
Overview Measuring about 10 x 8 inches, smaller than an A4 page, and weighing 1. Indeed, it probably strikes the right balance between smallness and usability, with front-panel controls not feeling crowded at all.
This little machine is capable of recording eight tracks of bit, From this, you can surmise that two audio tracks are recordable simultaneously. The last may be used, obviously, to record a mix to a digital mastering machine such as a stand-alone CD recorder in the digital domain. A nice touch is the built-in microphone — which produces pretty fair results — for those times when inspiration strikes and your Neumanns are out of reach!
Well, two of the eight tracks are arranged as stereo pairs, with one fader each, making six track faders, plus the stereo master fader. Above the faders are the other mixer facilities: illuminating record select buttons, plus pan pot and effect send knob for each of the first four channels, and various other effect-related controls.
However, in practice the stereo tracks are useful as bounce tracks allowing you to record, say, four guitar parts on the mono tracks and bounce to a stereo track and as destinations for a sequenced backing coming in via the analogue ins.
To the right of the mix section is the other main area of the panel, hosting the small backlit display which would have been better angled , transport controls, menu access controls and track editing buttons. For example, new cards must be formatted, and a new Song created. The MR8 has a variable-volume metronome, but offers none of the fancy rhythm pattern options of some of its competitors.
The metronome is hidden in a submenu, and it follows the tempo and time-signature tracks, also hidden in submenus. Routing from source to selected tracks is automatic. The effect of these simulations is rather subtle, but good enough in the right circumstances.
Still, we found the lack of editability a little irritating and the distortion effect best avoided. Extended mode doubles recording times. Sampling frequency: Bit depth: bit. Frequency response: 20HzkHz Normal mode. Inputs: two XLR, two quarter-inch jack. Power supply: 12V external, supplied, or six AA batteries. Pressing the Record button now causes it to flash red, and engaging Play lets you audition incoming audio without recording, for setting levels with the input Trim pots.
Hitting on the right levels took some tweaking initially, but once the sensitivity of the trim pots was mastered, a good signal could be recorded. Level metering is provided by the display and is adequate. Such a unit is a good partner for the MR8 anyway, as it would allow you to compress a vocal during recording. When recording is complete, a Please Wait message flashes on the display, but we never had to wait more than a couple of seconds before the take was available to play back.
Unsatisfactory takes can be discarded via the single-level Undo, or erased via a Track Edit option. If you would simply like to punch in to redo a section, this is quick and seamless, manually via the Record and Play buttons or a footswitch, or automatically by programming the two locate points complete with customisable pre- and post-roll.
All the units offer just four real tracks, though all but the Tascam have 32 virtual tracks too. The Boss BR also has a Rhythm Guide drum track whose patterns can be chained, a tuner, and a Phrase Trainer feature to slow down parts without changing pitch.
Usefully, the send and mastering effects can be included in the bounce, freeing them for use on later takes. Once audio has been bounced, the original tracks can be erased, creating space for more recording. With card recorders that have virtual tracks, saving unused takes in those tracks would allow you to keep them, but it would have an effect on card space — all audio, used or unused, has to be stored on the card.
Although the MR8 lacks RAM-hungry virtual tracks, the fact that it records with no data compression means that recording time can still run out quite rapidly, especially in The issue of recording time means you also have to be careful when doing things like recording a track made up of small bits of audio throughout the course of a Song — for example, a vocal harmony on one line of each chorus.
Mac users wanting an easy backup system will need to invest in such a reader. The card in its reader is recognised by the Mac as a drive, and its contents can be copied to the hard drive.
It also becomes clear, with tracks that have been recorded in sections rather than in one go, that each section appears as an individual file in the copied folder, which is not terribly convenient.
Luckily, the ADL list gives you enough information to place the bits in the right location for correct playback, though this can be quite fiddly. Obviously, the files can now be edited in the computer with a suitable application, but if you want to return them to the MR8 later, you must not change their names or lengths.
Audio Editing Once recorded, audio can be edited with a small but useful selection of tools. First of all, tracks or pairs of tracks can be erased, copied and pasted, moved, or exchanged where the contents of selected tracks are swapped.
Sections of audio referred to as Parts within tracks can also be edited. Parts are defined by the two Locate points, which are entered on the fly with an option to quantise the points to the nearest beat.
Remember that we said we prefer to work to a definite tempo and click? With the Part-editing operations, a section of audio can, for example, be copied and pasted multiple times, allowing the creation of a complete backing track from a verse and chorus, say, or multiple choruses from one lead or set of backing vocals.
The remaining Part editing options are the same as those available for tracks: Parts can be moved or exchanged, but only to the same temporal location in another track, and erased. The editing process is otherwise straightforward, hindered perhaps only by the necessity of navigating the menu system for each edit.
Especially when working unquantised, it would be useful to move the points to the start or end points of actual audio which may not have a fixed relationship to bars and beats.
Mixing With just six level faders and a master fader, plus pan pot and effect send for only four channels, mixing is a simple process.
We did find, however, that audio tended to cut out suddenly at the lower travel of the faders: the audio fades to a certain point, where you can hear a little digital noise, then the sound goes dead.
We were also disappointed to see that there is no way to mix external audio from a synchronised MIDI sequencer, say, alongside MR8 audio unless you route the inputs of MR8 and sequenced instruments through a separate mixer. The delays are fine, but the reverbs, while usable on demos, sound ringy and a little noisy.
However, we feel many owners may prefer to mix in their computers, using the MR8 as a handy, portable and quiet audio acquisition tool. Conclusion This is a fairly basic recording machine in terms of facilities, but it does have a budget UK price to match, its features work as designed, and it produces good-quality, uncompressed recordings. However, various compromises mean that it is too limiting for really serious use, especially on the effects front. Indeed, the preset nature and indifferent quality of the effects, and the lack of EQ, has a tendency to take the shine off the rest of the machine.
Nevertheless, it has a range of applications — as an easy-to-use introduction to digital recording, perhaps for guitarists or songwriters, as a portable ideas machine for those with full computer-based studios back home, or even as a way of recording quiet bit, However, if your need for greater sophistication and more facilities outweighs your need for full-resolution audio and eight tracks, you should look carefully at the other contenders in the card recorder market before investing.
All user reviews for the Fostex MR-8
Fostex MR-8 MKII Manuals