Roland R-88 8-Channel Recorder and Mixer

Roland R-88 8-Channel Recorder and Mixer

Roland R-88 8-Channel Recorder and Mixer

B&H # ROR88 MFR # R-88
No Longer Available

Product Highlights

  • 8-Track Recording + Stereo Reference Mix
  • Up to 24-Bit/192 kHz PCM Recording
  • 8 XLR In, 8 XLR Out, AES/EBU I/O
  • 8-Channel Mixer with 3-Band Equalizer
  • MS Microphone Decoder
  • Built-In USB Audio Interface
  • Touch Panel Display
  • SMPTE Timecode In/Out for Video Sync
  • Can Be Operated Using Four Power Types
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Roland R-88 Overview

  • 1Description

The R-88 8-Channel Recorder and Mixer by Roland is an 8-channel field recorder that is designed for recording and mixing in professional field-audio applications. In addition, it provides USB audio interfacing for use with DAW software.

Ideal for field recordings that require multiple microphones, the R-88 provides simultaneous recording of 8 channels at a maximum sample rate of 96 kHz and will record 4 channels simultaneously at a sample rate of 192 kHz. It also conveniently renders a summed stereo reference mix as it records. The R-88 is capable of up to three hours of non-stop recording at 24-bit/96 kHz using a 32GB SDHC card, and up to ten hours at 16-bit/44.1 kHz. It provides 8 standard XLR mic inputs plus 2 digital inputs using the AES/EBU connection. Each analog input is equipped with 48V phantom power. The recorder also boasts 8 analog XLR outputs for connecting to other audio gear such as an analog mixing console. Digital output of the stereo bus is available via the AES/EBU output, while a stereo analog mix can be routed via the 3.5mm mini-jack output. Furthermore, there is a built-in slate mic on the R-88's front panel for recording quick memos.

For slaving to video cameras or VTRs, the R-88 can be run in slave mode and will accept SMPTE time code via the SMPTE-in BNC connector. In addition, the R-88 can be the master, sending out time code to slave devices via the SMPTE-out BNC connector. The R-88 also acts as an 8-channel mixer for doing on-board mixes and is equipped with 3-band EQ on each channel. An integrated USB port enables it to function as an audio interface for recording when using a computer running DAW software. There is an additional USB memory port for quickly copying files to a USB flash drive.

Simultaneous recording of 8 channels + stereo mix (up to 96 kHz)
Up to 24-bit/192 kHz uncompressed linear PCM recording (up to 4 channels)
3 hours of recording using 32GB SDHC card (24-bit/96 kHz)
8 XLR inputs, 8 XLR outputs, AES/EBU input/output
Built-in 8-channel mixer with 3-band equalizer and Mid-Side microphone decoder
Can act as USB audio interface in conjunction with DAW software
Touch Panel Display for intuitive navigation
SMPTE timecode In/Out for video sync
Built-in slate mic for recording quick memos
Four different types of power - Alkaline battery (AA), Rechargeable Ni-MH battery (AA), AC Adapter, External battery (4-pin XLR, 9 to 16V)
Mixer includes input limiter, low cut, stereo channel link
In the Box
Roland R-88 8-Channel Recorder and Mixer
  • AC Adaptor (PSB-1U)
  • AC Adaptor to 4-Pin XLR-Type Connector Conversion Cable
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Roland R-88 Specs

    Channels 8 channels + 2 channels (44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz)
    4 channels (192 kHz)
    Signal Processing AD Conversion: 24-bit
    DA Conversion: 24-bit
    Data Type Format: BWF (mono/stereo)
    Sampling Frequency: 44.1/48/88.2/96/192 kHz
    Bit Depth: 16-/24-bit
    Recording Media SDHC Memory Card: 4 to 32 GB
    SD Memory Card: 2 GB
    I/O 8x XLR Inputs (Phantom powered)
    8x XLR Outputs
    1x 3.5 mm Mini Jack (Mix Out)
    2x XLR type (Digital AES/EBU)
    1x Stereo 1/4" headphone jack
    2x 1/4" TRS phone type
    2x SMPTE BNC Connectors
    Built-In Speakers Yes, Stereo
    Phantom Power 48 +/- 4 V, 10 mA per 1 channel (8 channels of phantom power available simultaneously)
    Residual Noise OUT 1-8: -80 dBu (Input Level Knob: Min)
    MIX OUT: -90 dBu (Input Level Knob: Min)
    Audio THD + Noise 0.02 % or less (SENS Knob: +4 dBu, Input Level Knob: 0)
    Frequency Response 20 Hz to 40 kHz (0 to -3 dB, Sampling Frequency: 96/192 kHz)
    Built-In Microphone Slate Mic: 1 kHz, -20 dBFS/Alarm Tone
    USB Interface 1x Type-A Connector (For USB Memory) supports USB 2.0 and 1.1 Mass Storage Device Class
    1x Type-B Connector (For Computer) supports USB 2.0 and 1.1 Mass Storage Device Class or USB Audio (Hi-Speed USB, 10 channels inputs and 8 channels outputs)

    *When sampling rate is 192 kHz, the USB audio interface is inactive.
    Display 160 x 160 dots graphic display (touch screen)
    Indicators IN 1 to 8 Peak Indicators, Slate Mic Indicator, REC Indicator, Play Indicator
    Power Supply AC Adaptor (PSB-1U), Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 8, or Rechargeable Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) x 8, External Power Supply: 4-pin XLR type (9 to 16 V)
    Recording Time Using 32 GB SDHC memory card:
    1ch: 100 hours (16-bit/44.1 kHz),16 hours (24-bit/192 kHz)
    4ch: 25 hours (16-bit/44.1 kHz),3.8 hours (24-bit/192 kHz)
    8ch: 12 hours (16-bit/44.1 kHz),3.8 hours (24-bit/96 kHz)
    10ch:10 hours (16-bit/44.1 kHz),3 hours (24-bit/96 kHz)
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 10.25 x 9.25 x 3.69" (260 x 235 x 93 mm)
    Weight 5.9 lb (2.67 kg)
    Packaging Infobuarqdeqbwyazezx
    Package Weight 8.65 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 13.5 x 12.9 x 8.4"

    Roland R-88 Reviews

    R-88 8-Channel Recorder and Mixer is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 7.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely lovely machine I use this device for recording independent sound for indie movie making. It's been incredibly easy to learn to use - though I expect that I am only scratching the surface of what it offers. I use it jammed to a Denecke Dcode SB-3 for rock-solid time-code / word clock - and when further linked to my SONY movie cameras, the synch is frame-perfect after an hour and, I am sure, would be for the whole day if I ever needed that. Using Sennheiser MKH 8040 mics it is superb. I take the .wav files it produces and download them to Logic when I mix and resample them - but very little is really needed. I have found it very very quiet in the pre-amp section and reckon I'll use this in preference to the Fostex FR-2 for recordings as the batteries seem to last better than they do on the Fostex. It's an extremely versatile piece of equipment - and wish I had been able to afford it a couple of years ago.
    Date published: 2014-11-09
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid recorder, with some quirks I have had a chance to play around quite a bit, but I haven't really put it through many paces yet. I was previously recording on a Zoom H4n, so here are my observations so far: The good: -Having a recorder that can handle timecode is really helping my company's workflow, bonus points that the recorder can act as a generator -Multitrack recording is a huge benefit, and it's even better that it also records the mixdown -PFL menu is easy to access, and the onboard RTA is a great bonus (although, I wish it were a little more sensitive) -The audible alerts for low/slow media, low battery, and clip are great when you're pulling the one-man army -Ability to use the recorder as an audio interface for a DAW -Poly wav files make life a lot easier in post -The hold switch is a small thing, but the ability to change what gets locked is a nice touch -The onboard M/S decoder has a few more settings than I'm used to having access to in the field, which is nice (and, I can always leave them separate for better decoding in post) -The touchscreen is really responsive, and for the most part, the menu is laid out very well -Boot time: I can go from powered off to ready-to-record in 7 seconds, which beats the H4n by 30. I like that phantom power is controller per-channel, with a hardware switch The not-so-good: -The gain system is a bit confusing. Initially, I thought the outer ring was gain (upstream of the recorder), and the center knob was mix level (downstream of the recorder, but upstream of the mixdown). However, both knobs, by default are upstream of the recorder. If you want a level that only affects the mixdown, and not the multitrack file, it's in software. You can re-map the center knob in software, but you lose the level adjustment (more on that later) -Along that line, some of the terminology is also a little confusing. Like, a project is a single recording, not a collection of recordings. However, you can make folders, which is useful. -When changing the sens level, there is a momentary cut-out in audio, so it's very tough to adjust gain if you sense a clip coming. The level adjustment, however, can save you... As long as you haven't re-mapped that knob to mix, in which case, you don't have a way to save yourself from a clip -Being able to make markers during recording, and address them in playback is convenient, it would just be nice if any DAW or editor was able to import them -When I saw the ability to copy files to USB media, I was ecstatic. However, it's a bit of a lie, because you can only copy one file at a time (I was hoping to be able to just dump my card over for the DIT and have a second copy for myself) -The scene function also looked useful, but it's also a bit of a lie. You can only preset 8 names, and typing isn't exactly the fastest. And, the way my company handles the scene field, I need way more than 8 slots of preset, or the ability to type quickly -Being able to connect to a DAW is great, but it still leaves both the echo from the DAW, and the output from the mixer, which you can mute, but you have to do it in the recorder software. -Batteries. I can deal with AA's, but it really seems like it would be easy to make a rechargeable pack that fits where the sled goes. For that matter, it's kind of annoying that the sled is held in by one thumb screw, and held closed by two more. It's not fast to change. I read a few places that said you could buy a second sled and have it pre-loaded, but I haven't found anyplace that sells them. -The flap covering the SD slot and USB ports is difficult to open. So much so, that if it were easily removable, I would, but I don't really want to cut it off. -I wish there were a second headphone jack for a boom op, but it is possible to run them from one of the XLR outputs on the back, through an adaptor, which is actually even better, because you can send them only their own feed, and if you put a volume pot in the line (which I would highly recommend), then they can adjust their own headphone level -The tone switch only has locked mode, and you have to hold the switch to activate it, which makes it inconvenient to make markers for the editor to find All-in-all, I am very happy with my purchase, and would recommend it to others.
    Date published: 2014-06-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good unit My first impression was at NAB, I took my own SD card, barrowed a mic from Schoeps and did a few channel short recordings, played with the unit for about an hour and left.I thought it looked ok, listened to the files, and they were quiet, but needed more input for my hungry mind and ears.Well after many, many frustrating months of trying to find a decent review (that wasn't a sales pitch) on the ROLAND R-88, I decided to go ahead, set some time aside and do all my own tests and post it. First I checked the Roland Sound Systems site and the unit, found that I needed the firmware update so I did, from 1.10 to 1.11.First off I enabled every channel, boosted the +8 in the input software then cranked the gain all the way to the max on the front pots, and added the +6 DB on the second gain page so to be clear this was VERY VERY loud. With nothing in the inputs I plugged my head set and can hear some slight rain, and hiss, amplification noise, well I thought - that's no good, there is noise-, well after a plugged in the mics ( Sennheiser MHK416, MK67,MK8070) I realized that it would probably be impossible for me to ever need this much gain it was so amplified and loud that the dog across the street barked, and me from inside the house made the channels peak immediately and the level never went down, tremendously hi. So a took all the gains out (+8,+6,+8) and brought everything to what would be normal use, and calibrated with tone. Very, very clean, lots of head room the Senn 67 and 66 needed a little more than the other but good, workable. I plugged 8 different mikes from good to bad including some old hard SM57, measured Phantom power with and without load, it didn't flinch, right on the nose. Then I plugged in 8 Wireless, 6 Lectrosonics (2 SRB, 1 CR187 at 182.500, and 1 CR 195 at 216.100), and 2 Sennheiser G3, G2. Sounded very good, normal I would say, good manageable levels, and nice ample breathy mic sound on all, including the Senn (toys) with MKE2 and some other * mic made in china $18.00, (2 month shipping included). Passed RF Spill: Did not find any, tried everything, with the transmitters and receivers mentioned, and nothing, put all my SMQV in 250 (HI) and danced around the mixer and nothing, I also put everything in the bag and wired and nothing, except from the CR 195 which is an old unit VHF, it could of picked up some RF on the cable, but only that one and barely. Update (I later found the problem, the Comtek need to be switched to another channel the CR195 was picking it up). Timecode: So I setup the TC clock in RTC in the R-88, then jammed 1- Panasonic Broadcast Camera, a JVC Broadcast, a Leitch Studio master control clock, a Denecke Time code Display, and a Denecke TS3 Slate. I let it run for exactly 4 hours. I did not see a drift at all, then went for 8 hours more, total 12. The R88 was 2 frames short, but the slate was 7, the Leitch was 1 ahead and the display, was 5, The bench was cold overnight and the variation of temperature over all was between 20 and 30 degrees, so to me it's very acceptable (by the way, I don't go more than 2 or 3 hours without re-clocking all equipment on set, Jam slate and camera, etc., so I don't see a problem). Then I turned the R88 off and left it off for 4 days, no batteries (AA), no backup, nothing, also a temperature swing from about 65 degrees in the day, to 25 degrees at night, on a shelf, out of the bag, in the garage. Plugged in the IDX to the 4 pin and low and behold, the clock was on time minus 2 seconds, to me very accurate, better than the slate does sitting next to the craft table with Lithium Ultimate batteries. Also locked all the pieces of equipment to a Horita generator, and they all kept up to the frame for about 8 hours test. Limiters: The individual one on every channel responded very good and smooth, I was really surprised, because the reacted and sounded almost exactly, to all the others, Sound Devices, Zaxcom, etc.Over all I don't use limiters, because it always sounded unnatural, (Eg. Shure mixers), but I was pleasantly surprised, I gained up the boom to very high and screamed at it and the peak light came on once, then I listened to the recording, and no pumping or shelving of the audio, you do notice its going down and trying to level it, but it's very subtle, definitely will use it in yelling or loud explosion situations without a doubt. Using it on normal speech did not notice anything. All the same with the master output limiter. Frequency response: I fed a generator to the input at mic and line level, and swept through with noticeable level deflection on the display itself and the direct outputs on a scope from 16HZ to 24KHZ, which its pretty good, since most people can't hear bubcus over 20K and most wireless don't do very well over 16K, but if you will do music, or instruments, it becomes somewhat important, especially at higher sample rates. Bit rates and Samples: I tried them all, and passed with flying colors even the 24 bit was accurate, I put the files in the computer and did a Salomon Reed bit rate test and it was there (so I don't know what people are saying that 24 bit was not good, and that their not all created equal, 24 bit is 24 bit, and I think Roland is using a 32 bit floating point accuracy comparator, which makes it much better (probably selectable in some future update). I did a wind recording at my backyard pine tree, with a Sanken, a Schoeps and a AT boundary mic at 192K it really sounded sweet !!!.Physical unit: Yes the buttons feel plasticky, because they are, and the pots are not attached to the face like other units so they waver a bit, and gives it that home stereo feel, of course not a NAGRA tank, but they are reliable, no noise, no sweep problems, no dead spots, they are shielded and sealed, so it works. The overall of the unit seems solid, the battery case is plastic, but the thumb screws are metal and tight, the whole assembly comes out so there might be some rechargeable battery in the works for it.All the connectors feel solid and click right, the XLRs all lock and release perfectly. The headphone jack is a and in the front, it locks, but if you use a 90 degree right angle adapter as you move it to the side it sort of ramps up the edge and disconnects.The connectors in the back are also good and a welcome idea to have all inputs to direct selectable outputs, can be used for many things, multiple backup records, broadcast feed mix to Sat truck, track minus talent, talent minus track, effects minus talent, Air minus talent, IFB mix, RTS mix, Secondary language mix and so on, other sub mixes, if doing stage a sub mix to monitoring, or talent, etc.) I would say useful, does not hurt to have. Features: I think it has great features, very easy access to everything, I would say you can do a variety of changes with 2 button pushes and display, everything is right there, simple interface, fast access, and easy way back with one button push (for quick changes). File structure is good and customizable, it does not have pre build templates like SD or others, but I like the hands on approach, I easily created a Movie Title Project, a sub with the scene number and take and then 7 users prebuilt for other scenes, so 2 quick pushes I had this.BATMAN------| |Scene22A_T00018 Channels + Mix |Scene22A_T0002---8 Channels + Mix |Scene22B_T0001---4 Channels + MixEtc., etc., etc, you can create yet another sub under scenes, for Room tone, weird noises, farting, spiritual encounters, or some other unknown reason, as far as i tested you can have as many subs dirs. as you want, with in the FAT32 file system. Writing with the display is very easy, has all letters, caps, symbols, numbers etc., complete. I would like the Display a bit bigger, color and better definition, but as is, works perfect, accurately. I think the touch screen and the choices on it are good and a pleasure to use. Metadata entry/editing: Yes it's very lacking, bare minimum at best, but I sat down for probably 2 minutes and with wave agent it had it all in, of course we want to run after day wrap, and a minute more on set seems a day, but it's not said that it could not be improved, keyboard added and so on, with future models or updates Controls placement: Everything you need in a flash is there, including a hold, slate and tone, easy to switch headphone monitoring to any source or combination you like, gain right away, phantom individually controlled and a physical switch on each input (not some cumbersome, file, menus tree, and system 7 knob selections).Record and play 1 icon on top of display, all important information on main screen, a Spectrum analyzer (pretty accurate too) Display, very visible during daylight. A good delay adjustment (if needed) on all channels. A 3 band sweepable EQ, (no other production mixer has it) the ability to gang (link) multiple things together (inputs, outs, eq, arm, levels, individual sets or sets of 4 and 4). Ins and Outs: All the 8 inputs are XLR, all the direct also, 2 XLR for main mix, plus a 3.5mm mix (for Comtek, or second head set), Time code in and out on BNC very convenient (instead of Hirose, or Lemo). Pretty solid USB connectors. Solid springy SD card port, solid in and out. Digital in and Out, very good and noticed NO (Unusual) delays or lag in AES. (I embedded and de embedded to HDSDI and back to analog, and it was solid, with a couple of AJAS, a NANO Flash, Broadcast camera and JVC & Panasonic Broadcast/Film monitors with Audio de embedder to analog audio. Audio interface: Runs great, test it with Sonar X2-3, Reason, Protools, Sound Forge, Vegas and a few more, perfect, no noticeable delay, and it sounded good and does simultaneous no problem, with a Mac Pro and a PC. I ordered the UM one midi interface to test a couple of fader units see how that goes (that would be the final complement to this unit, because nobody else does that either, except, Tascam and that one looks basic too, with no options to use anything else). There is an Icon Pro (looks a little clownish in colors and under developed/basic) The J Cooper, looks like an industrial project box, and its expensive for what it is and does, there's a Beringer.My goal would be the Mackie Pro Universal Midi/USB, has 8 channels plus master, none of the others do, and according to the Roland Midi assignments sheet of the unit, I could have almost everything programmed to the control surface including, EQ, gains, sends, arm/disarm, soloing, etc., etc.Overall: I personally think it's a great unit, it has a lot of features none other has, the only one that can be sitting in a cart fully loaded, with control surface and computer simultaneous back up, and disconnect one USB and run to the field to do a pickup, wild sound or a hero car run, comeback plug in one USB and up and running from your favorite chair chewing on a Twizzler. Wish List: A better definition color display, a bit bigger inner knobs (or a bigger knob and gains software driven, once its set don't need to vary it much) changeable frequency of tones, 440, 1k, 10k (or anything in between), Polyphonic wav files with the mix too (10 channels), a second headphone jack on the side , another stereo mix output, selectable assignment cross channels (e.g. Audio in 1 to 8 only with or without slate mic or arming track, no slate mic to mix). A square footprint, instead of that triangular trapezoidal waist of space. All controls attached to front face. Separate cover for USB and SD card. Simultaneous record to SD and USB storage (SSD Drive), EXFat and/or NTSF file system choices, plastic framing to a anodized aluminum. More space or no frame, on bottom input XLR to accommodate right angle connectors.I think that's it for now, let's see what Roland or Santa can do.
    Date published: 2013-12-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Recorder/mixer for my needs! Touch Screen is a welcomed tool for navigation into the parameters/limiters etc. Phantom power per channel is noise free and easy to control. Wish list and maybe a feature in later version of firmware: Control individual output channels to output port(s).
    Date published: 2014-09-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I use this recorder constantly. I love that I can get individual track wav files and mix them after the fact. The build quality is great and there are tons of features.
    Date published: 2014-11-01
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from So many batteries The product is almost perfect...., you need to use 8 AA batteries!!!!
    Date published: 2014-03-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from exelente gravador tenho 2 gravadores r88 e recomendo, possui um pre amplificador fantstico, muitos recursos tecnicos alm das varias formas de alimentao de energia sem dvida muito bom aparelho ...
    Date published: 2014-01-19
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