Ever since I first spotted the Edirol R-09 SD-based flash recorder at the NAMM show, it’s been an absurdly hot item. There are some 50 comments going on that item, largely from people wanting to know how it is. Only problem: I don’t have one. While I talk to Edirol about that, here’s an early reader report.

Via the CDM forums, our friend masterslave (guessing that’s not his real name), sends a detailed first impressions report, complete with sound samples. It’s not a full review, but the sound samples are impressive; the built-in mics sound great. (Never knock lowly electret-condensers; they’re cheap, reliable, rugged, and have a nice, warm sound.)

Edirol R-09 First Impressions [r09.ocbka.org]

Anyone else who’s gotten a hold of this or other gear and wants to share the results, don’t be shy!

  • [posted this before @ 'beethoven's violin' article by mistake – sorry, beethoven, this is abouth the R-09 instead! – jan]

    I also carry one of those around – for about a month now (although not in such a nice bag; where's that from? 😉

    generally, i'm happy with it, too.

    i like the no-nonsense-concept, and generally, i like the built-in mics.

    here's a recording of early morning noise in venice:


    but i also had some minor disappointments.

    having read about the low noise levels that can be achieved with solid-state-built etc, i expected to be able to do recordings of *very* low-volume sounds; the built-in microphones however add a very noticable hiss when used at these levels:


    so if anyone has a tip about using the R-09 with very low volume signals (external mic? which one?), i'd love to hear about it (as well as ideas about the best wind protection method, btw – the mic capsules catch wind easily..).

    i have another problem with the 2Gb SD-card that i bought very cheaply. i admit, i was a bit astonished that it actually worked at all – and it in most of the cases, it really does.

    only every now and then, when *stopping* a recording, the R-09 tells me "card error" – probably because that card was not fast enough..

    of all the possible choices, the *end* of a recording is the worst point to discover that something went wrong, so i don't really dare to do important long recordings on the 2Gb card at the moment.

    as far as i recall, the problems happened when recording 48khz @24bit though, so lower-resolution-recordings might be safe.

    i'll investigate that later.

    but this probably isn't the fault of the R-09.


  • simon

    I got mine a 3 weeks ago, not so wise about the quality of the recorder.

    I want it for field recording, i have a Sony ECMMS907 mic.

    Recording does slightly hissy, but that could be lack of experience on my part, but at least you can change the batteries, made the M-audio Microtrack a no-no (My ipod put me off that).

    So far very happy, though it does seem a bit flimsy and plasticky, especially the door for the batteries/memory card/usb, I am sure this will be a problem one day..

    Got mine from the states via a friend, would not pay The European price…..


  • hi,

    I have found an interesting review of the

    edirol r-09:
    there is more info about the hiss-problem, and

    how to solve it.

    so, anyone knows a good, not too expensive, battery-powered preamp?



  • Matt

    I've been trying it out for a couple of days, and it's really nice sounding. The display is also very bright and easy to read. Too bad it lacks phantom powered tele ins though. The M-Audio Microtrack 2496 offers that.

    Cheers, Matt

  • Jim Flannery

    I've used mine for 3 days, recording nature sounds, interviews, "test" soundbytes of traffic, aircraft, sirens, and a live concert in the park. I am AMAZED at the quality, and the sensitivity of the internal mics. Only things I would change would be a better battery cover design, and I'd put the headset jack on the TOP rather than the side. The side jack is a nuissance in a shirt pocket. Note: I found that "low cut" sounds much better. It seems too bassy unless I cut the bass. I also use the AGC, which I find to be very smooth. It doesn't "pump" like most AGC circuits.

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  • Enrico

    It seems very cheaply built. After using it for one day, the four switches on the back toggle back and forth themselves and thus became useless.

  • Syl

    I bought the R09 to record voice interviews for my podcast.

    The product is fantastic if it were not for the unacceptable level of hiss noise in the recordings. The level is particularly high with the built-in mics and still annoying using a high quality mic (SM58 or C1000S). Given the low level of complaint about this (searching for hiss + R09 on google), I presume most units are not as bad as mine (Serial AU99258). I've emailed Roland my recording samples and waiting to hear from them.

    I also compared with my friend's Microtrack and found his unit to be much cleaner. Another annoyance on the R09 is that it doesn't have separate mic inputs, so I need some clunky adapters to plug in two mics for interview.

    I love the R09 enough to give it a second chance if I can exchange it for a quieter one, otherwise I'll exchange it for a desktop unit (hopefully better) or get the microtrack.

  • Shiv

    I recently got an R09 and used it to record choir practice. I had set the level fairly low and used only the built-in mics, but despite this the recording was very clean. No hiss and the quality was excellent. I was expecting to be disappointed by the built-in mics but was very pleasently surprised at the quality of my recording.

  • Rose

    I bought the R09 to record voice interviews for my radio class (journalism school). I have also bee using it with the SM58, and the levels are so low, I've been having to pump them while dubbing, leaving me with hissing. The record levels are pumped to full on the machine, and the level boost switch on the back is set to high… not sure what to do about this problem.

  • the bert

    Why don't people just use mini-disc instead ?

    It's cheaper, probably smaller and i've never heard of any serious issues wuth them.

    Plus, because you are using a disc to record to, you are creating a sort of back-up as you go. (Ie, stuff recorded to any kind of disc is less volatile than solid-state memory.)

  • Hello

    I record dialog for indie movi-makers, so I bought this R 09 – What

    a Let-Down!

    The Battery door lasted ONE day! I could never close the damned door,

    so of course I was waiting for it to snap off—which took three more

    days. I sent it to Edirol who fixed it and returned it to me. Lo and behold

    on its next outing the door behaved the same way-would not close tight

    so I lost my temper and rang the Company and gave them a tongue-

    lashing. Where is it now? I'll tell ya – sitting on a shelf over the Desktop

    I just hate to see it, so I think one dark night I'll finish it off – and to

    Hell with it. I now have the Marantz PMD-660 a True Pro Recorder

  • Guy Cruls

    Build is very flimsy, which is unacceptable, especially since I paid £250 for this.

    The lid to the batteries is VERY dodgy: if you don't handle it with great care, you WILL break it – guaranteed.

    Have been recording meetings, and it does the job.

    I can confirm I experience hissing as well, despite using recommended settings.

    I hope that when I start using it to record nature sounds or music I'll get acceptable results.

    Recommendation: don't buy. Better something a bit bigger, but more sturdy and greater range of commands.