Edirol / Roland R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable Field Recorder

Edirol / Roland R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable Field Recorder

Edirol / Roland R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable Field Recorder

B&H # EDR44 MFR # R-44-E
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Product Highlights

  • Compact and Portable
  • Support for 24-bit/192kHz Recording
  • Records to SD/SDHC Flash Media
  • AA Battery Operation
  • XLR/TRS Combo Inputs
  • Built-In Effects
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Edirol / Roland R-44 overview

  • 1Description

The R-44 portable field recorder from Edirol/Roland is an ideal choice for videographers, musicians, sound designers, and more. The ultra-portable unit weighs under three pounds but packs a number of great features. Record up to four channels of linear PCM audio at a variety of bit rates and sampling frequencies; up to 24-bit/192kHz!

The recorder offers four XLR/TRS combo jack inputs for great versatility. The XLR connections have phantom power, allowing you to use your favorite condenser mic. The R-44 can record to widely-available SD or SDHC flash memory cards, making it easy to store and share your audio. Because there are no moving parts, the R-44 delivers silent, reliable operation that you can depend on.

In addition to the input connectors, the R-44 also offers built-in stereo microphones and monitor speakers, allowing you to record and play back audio without any additional equipment. What's more, is that the unit will operate for up to four hours on four AA batteries. You can also use the included AC adapter to use it via wall power.

Built-in effects include a three-band parametric EQ and a six-band graphic EQ, a noise gate, compressor, de-esser, limiter, and low-cut filter. A pre-record function keeps the R-44 listening at all times, so that when the record button is pressed, the previous few seconds of audio (selectable) are captured to your memory card.

The R-44 has an easy-to-use interface, complete with a high-contrast OLED display, perfect for viewing under any conditions. You can also capture up to eight channels of audio by linking two R-44 units together. A high-speed USB 2.0 port lets you transfer your audio files quickly to a Mac or PC.

Compact and Portable
Weighing under three pounds, it's easy to take the R-44 anywhere you like.
Four Channels of Professional-Quality Audio
Record up to four channels of audio at 16 or 24-bit, at sample rates from 44.1 to 192kHz.
SD/SDHC Storage
Your audio is recorded to widely-available SD or SDHC flash memory cards, which provide great reliability and silent operation.
Versatile Connectivity
Four XLR/TRS combo inputs allow you to connect a variety of microphones. Phantom power is provided for condenser mics. Four RCA phono jacks are provided for output connection, and a stereo headphone jack provides private monitoring.
Built-In Mics and Speakers
Built-in stereo mics and monitor speakers allow you to record and play back audio without attaching any external equipment.
Power Options
The R-44 can operate for up to four hours on four AA batteries. You can also use AC power with the included AC/DC adapter.
Built-in Effects
High-quality effects include a three-band parametric EQ, a six band graphic EQ, noise gate, compressor, de-esser, enhancer, limiter, and a low-cut filter. You can also sequence play along your play list.
Intuitive Interface
The simple interface makes it easy to record and play back audio. The bright OLED screen is viewable in practically any environment, and the high-speed USB 2.0 port allows you to transfer audio quickly to your Mac or PC. You can automatically set the gain sensitivity as well as zoom out of the level meter for use with a micro display
Record up to eight channels of audio by linking two R-44 units together.
UPC: 761294405420
In the Box
Edirol / Roland R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable Field Recorder
  • AC Adapter
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Edirol / Roland R-44 specs

    Type Portable Field Recorder
    Recording/Reading Methods Linear PCM Files to SD/SDHC Memory Cards
    Recording Bit Rate 16 or 24-bit
    Sampling Frequency 44.1, 48, 88,2, 96, or 192kHz

    Limited to Stereo x 1 @ 192kHz

    Number of Channels 4
    Frequency Response 20Hz - 40kHz (+0/-3dB)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio -100dBu
    Dynamic Range AD: 100dB
    DA: 104dB
    Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.02%
    Inputs 4 x XLR/TRS Combo Inputs
    1 x Digital RCA Input
    1 x Power Input
    Output 4 x RCA Phono Outputs
    1 x Digital RCA Output 1 x 1/4" Stereo Headphone Jack
    1 x USB 2.0 Mini-B Port
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 6.2 x 7.25 x 2.4" (157 x 183 x 61mm)
    Weight 2.9 lbs (1.3kg) (Including Batteries)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 4.35 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 11.0 x 10.4 x 5.1"

    Edirol / Roland R-44 reviews

    R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable Field Recorder is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 32.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Beginner's Recorder Other than the lack of gain control in addition to and separate from the level control, the need high recording settings on low to mid priced mics to attain acceptable sound levels and the inability to remember the last settings after it is turned off, this is a great recorder for beginners. It is extremely simple to learn and easy to use. The recording levels problem can be easily solved by adding a mixer before the R-44 and turning up your gains with that.
    Date published: 2008-08-31
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice sound, but disappointing design ! BE SMART: Always purchase from B&H ! PROS: Over the past two years I have carefully reviewed nearly every 2- and 4-track field recorder on the market. It was my expectation that the R-44 would be the long-awaited alternative to the extremely expensive Sound Devices recorders, which we all wish we could own, but can not afford. Unfortunately, the R-44 does not fully step up to the challenge. The positive attributes of the unit are: solid-state SD memory (not included); superb sound quality (except at high sensitivity/gain settings); highly compact miniature design (plastic), made in Japan ... not China; well-organized controls; good work flows; and an excellent, but very small, outdoor-viewable LCD. Except for some unnecessarily small, poorly marked control buttons, and inadequate button illumination, the unit's logical layout makes it quite efficient to operate in daylight. Recording in low light is a different story. CONS: (1) The R-44 does not retain important settings between power cycles. Among these, and especially distressing, is that it does not remember the project folder last selected. There appears to be no practical method of updating the firmware or customizing the menus to correct this problem; (2) The R-44 was designed as a portable recorder, and owners will no doubt have many occasions to use the unit outside at night or in dimly lit environments, both indoors and outdoors. However, the unit is ill-equipped for this task because many of the switches are not illuminated, and because a number of important buttons, although lit, are too small, not marked, and therefore unreadable in the dark. Also, the illumination levels of the power and record buttons are preset to a high intensity, the bright glare of which makes operating the unit in darkness distracting, conspicuous to others, and very annoying. These two buttons cannot be dimmed. Ironically, the illumination of these buttons, and the other buttons indicating mode selection or unit activity, although bright in the dark, is not visible in daylight or even in bright shade. Obviously, vivid, but dimmable, LED button illumination should have been employed throughout the unit's design; (3) There is no Standby button for headphone monitoring. Instead, two buttons must be pressed simultaneously. This may be acceptable in a desktop unit, but in a portable this two-finger exercise makes initiating recording awkward, day or night; (4) The level of introduced noise, or hiss, at high sensitivity (gain) settings, is clearly audible in standby monitoring (using headphones). The resultant recording quality could be better at higher gain; (5) Projects, i.e. WAV files, must be deleted one-at-a-time. Folders containing files can not be deleted at all. This makes multiple file deletions an unnecessarily tedious and time-consuming chore. The only efficient way to delete more than a one file at a time is to reformat the SD card ... an impractical non-solution that will not thrill users; (6) A carrying case (important), an SD card (essential), as well as a starter set of batteries (got to have power), should all have been included with this rather pricey recorder. Most customers will want their recorder ready for use when they receive it. Including these small, but essential items would have been a thoughtful courtesy and probably created a happier state of mind with the new purchase; (7) No remote control is provided or supported. A good, long-range remote is often essential for recording whether in the field or indoors; (8) The R-44 has no treaded mounting holes or mounting provisions whatsoever. This is too bad because it greatly limits use options and negates other virtues and potential flexibility of the unit's compact size. It's use is thus relegated to either a carrying case (not provided) or table top. If this small unit had mounting capabilities, and if it were not entirely plastic, it could easily be attached to microphone stands, light stands, or positioned most anywhere. Flexibility in positioning is particularly important in small mobile devices. I had to fabricate a small platform, and use a small bungee cord, in order to attach the unit to a light stand, otherwise I had few options for using it; (9) The unit requires high sensitivity/gain settings with most low-end to mid-range mics. Hot mics, such as the Audio-Technica 4073a or Sennheiser ME66, are therefore highly recommended. I first tried a Rode NTG-2, which yielded fabulous results for voice over or close recording situations, but was wholly inadequate for wildlife and ambient sound pickup due its relatively broad supercardioid pickup pattern and concomitant high gain requirements; (10) Wi-fi is a must have convenience that dramatically increases efficiency and usability of portable devices in many situations. Even low-end video cameras have it for years. It was unwise not include this feature in the R-44; (11) Two SD card slots would have been nice. I often have occasion to copy files to a separate card for distribution while continuing to record to the one in the unit; (12) The R-44 could also have acted as a computer interface. Other manufactures are starting to incorporate this highly sought after and flexible function, e.g., the Zoom H4; (13) Firewire is much faster and reliable than USB, and it is designed to stream media. Surprisingly it was not implemented in this unit, even though much less expensive devices have it, e.g., Alesis (all); (14) I was a bit surprised at the high power consumption rate for such a small device. Even with only one phantom-powered mic attached the batteries last just a few hours, even while not recording, and they get very hot in the process! Users of the R-44 will want to use the much more economical and much longer lasting NiMH rechargeables rather than relentlessly swapping out sets of 4 alkaline AA's. Because this potentially innovative field recorder could have been a great recorder with very little effort or extra design and manufacturing costs, because it inexplicably did not incorporate several obvious and thoughtful refinements common in other units, and because the recorder does not come ready for use, I have awarded the R-44 only 3 stars.
    Date published: 2008-06-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Beatiful Sound I have been looking for a portable/battery operated recorder with 24 bits/96 KHz since about a year ago, for recording mainly my sons piano solo performances but occasionally also piano concertos. The minimum criteria I have for the recorder are as follows: - Four channels (so I can record piano solos, piano concertos, piano + solo singer, or piano + solo violin) - Compact & battery operable (so that I can do field live recording where line power is not always available). - Flash memory based (no moving parts or the associated motor noise) - XRL inputs with 48V phantom power for the microphone (so that I can use my AKG 414s and other high quality microphones that require phantom power) - 24 bits/96 KHz sampling (so that I can justify the cost of a separate recorder in addition to my professional camcorder which is 16 bits/48 KHz only) - Overall dynamic range of 100 dB or better (realized, not just theoretical value based on the bit depth) - True professional recording sound quality with no audible hiss or other noise from the recorder (i.e. the recording should be publishable). Well, my search was over when I bought this recorder a week ago. After some extensive testing while recording my sons piano playing, I am convinced that this recorder meets all of my above criteria, and more. First I used a pair of AKG 414 B-XLS, while my son played on a particularly beautiful-sounding Steinway B. I am particularly impressed by the absolutely beautiful and crystal clear piano sounds that it records, with all the nuances and tonal details. There was not a slight hint of hiss or mechanical noise, in stark contrast to my professional camcorder that always had some inherent noises. The ease with which to do the recording was just icing on the cake. Then I tried a Rode NT4 (a single point stereo microphone) and other microphone that I own, and the end results were also very impressive. I have done quite exhaustive research on digital recorders currently available on the market, and believe that the only other recorder that also meets my criteria is the Sound Devices 744. However at about $4,000 it is more than 4x of this recorder, and I could not justify it given that I do not make a living doing recordings (and my son is only an elementary school student). The Edirol R44 looks and feels very solid, very substantial, has a fine build quality down to details typical of Japanese products (it is made in Japan), although it does have a plastic housing. To give you a perspective how solid it is, it is much smaller, but actually slightly heavier than the Sound Devices 744 (data on Sound Devices 744 per published specs). In short I am very happy with the build quality of this recorder. The relatively low-resolution display is the only area I wish it could have been be better.
    Date published: 2008-05-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Recorder Just used this to record 4 channels at a few concerts, as well as two channel interviews. Was able to split the mics to seperate wav files, or have the combined to a single 4 channel wav file. Inputs and buttons are durable. Only complaint would be the read out of the levels is a little small. Trying to hit -12db can be tough because its so small. Wish they could make a firmware update to use more of the screen, which doesn't seem so hard. I highly recommend the bag for it as well. I used it on house power and battery power and could hot swap with no problems.
    Date published: 2011-05-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great quality in a tiny package Internal mics are actually quite good if convenience is most important factor for you. Internal speakers are pretty much worthless, but that's not why you buy this piece of equipment. The user interface is simple enough, and the quality of the recording is outstanding, particularly when using good external mics. I do wish that it had RCA line level inputs in addition to the mic inputs.
    Date published: 2008-06-17
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great but with caveats I've been using R-44 mostly for small film sound recording gigs for the past year. I think it really is the best option at $1K price point - sensible set of features, good build quality, relatively easy to operate, and most-importantly good sound quality (if you have a high-output mic!)There are a few cons though, most of which are mentioned in the 3-star review by user named Wizard below. - You need a high-output mic! My Audio-Technica AT897 requires the gain knob to be turned up almost all the way and at that point the hiss of recorder's preamp becomes quite noticeable - I'm currently looking into getting an additional high-quality mixer/preamp to cleanly boost the gain of my shotgun- Not very comfortable to operate inside of a bag! Many of the controls and all of the menu buttons are on the top surface of the recorder, which means I have to take it out to rename or replay a take - that does keep the front of R-44 very clean and overall dimensions compact though.- Not so great file management and overall menu surfing - a bunch of tiny buttons are required to change settings and you can't delete whole folders, etc.That being said I still like this thing and am happy to use it until I get the money to upgrade to real pro equipment (which costs several times the price tag of R44). The only viable alternative at this price is Tascam DR-680, which has its own set of limitations and quirks.
    Date published: 2013-05-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from simply the best I had another, less expensive 8(really six) channel field recorder. The sound quality of the r-44 blows it away. The build is excellent and the form factor/size is perfect for me. Very easy to use. Very nice sounding preamps with plenty of headroom.
    Date published: 2012-11-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from THIS HAS TO BE THE MOST UNDER RATED PRODUCT ON THE MARKET LOCATION RECORDING, FULL ORCHESTRA, LARGE CHORAL ENSEMBLES, Orchestra Chorus combined, Small vocal & instrumental ensembles I have 4 and can use them alone or as a full 16 channel system if used properly
    Date published: 2016-09-28
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