If you're lucky, your portable audio player has some lousy
recording capabilities. Or it may have none at all. So many people
resort to MiniDisc recorders, which are decent, but employ lossy
compression — and do you really want to be swapping tapes and manually
copying to your computer in the year 2005?

Edirol's R1 is the answer to all this nonsense:

  • Portable 24-bit recorder
  • Use built-in mic (sounds surprisingly good, actually), or mic or line input
  • Built-in effects, tuner, metronome, and mic simulation
  • Record to CompactFlash
  • Connect via USB 2.0 (or S/PDIF out)

The only bad news is recording time on the battery is 2.5 hours, but
for CompactFlash recording taht should be fine — and reduced CF prices
mean you can actually use this for recording music, interviews,
whatever, without shelling out $1600 for the R1's pro sibling, the R4.
Throw in goodies like a microphone simulator (who would've expected
that on a cheap portable recorder?), and this is a must-have. I've been
in love with it ever since I got hands-on at AES in the fall. Check the
recording samples on the Edirol site; they're amazing.

With a street of around US$400 and 1GB of CF under US$70 (no, really!),
forget the iPod photo and get something you can actually use for music.

  • Guest

    🙂 there is NO digital in of any sort, only optical out. it is the only thing that's restraining me from purchasing one

  • admin

    You're right, of course. Corrected the story. I thought I remembered seeing one at AES in October.

    For me, that's not a deal killer, though, as I wouldn't ever use it on a portable recording device — why do you need a digital in?

  • Guest

    the battery life (for recording) is only one hour for 2 AA's, a big negative.

  • Guest

    …well over twice as big as it should be.

    If it's that huge, where's the speaker???

  • admin

    Making a device too small can create circuit layouts that create noise interference, or (for economy / scale) require substituting sub-par components. And there's the price point.

  • Guest

    I've had a Zoom PS-02 (google it) for about 3-4 years now which does the same, but also has:
    * 3 tracks
    * Guitar (distortion, etc )and bass effects
    * Pre programmed Bass tracks
    * Pre programmed drum tracks
    * Is smaller

    These can be had on ebay for under $100 now. In case anyone's looking for one.

  • oconnor

    er… be careful — the Zoom is sampling at 32k, so it's a way different recording than what the R1 will produce at 44k…


  • Guest

    A must for Midi

  • admin

    I agree, I'd like to see optical ins. Can't find another device that has them, either (other than pro DAT / MD). Then again, if the line in is good enough, I'm happy. I'm more concerned about the lack of XLRs — writing up a Marantz option that fixes that and will have the story by tomorrow or Monday.


  • Guest

    The problem is getting your hands on one of these — most retailers (I contact about 6) are backordered until at least August…