The New Roland R-26: A Six-Track Field Recorder


If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate handheld portable digital recorder, the new Roland R-26 should be on your radar. It’s capable of recording up to six channels of high-resolution audio and supplies you with an army of high quality, built-in microphones and audio inputs to get the job done. An array of stereo omnidirectional and directional X-Y microphones adorns the top of the R-26. The bottom of the unit features two combo XLR/TRS mic/line inputs; a stereo mini-plug mic input is found on its starboard side. The R-26 can be set up to record using different combinations of these microphones and inputs to suit your needs.

You control the R-26 with its touch screen LCD interface and carry out other mission-critical commands with hardware controls (such as its large input-level dials). It also doesn’t hurt that the designers at Roland are well known for creating intuitive user interfaces—and speaking of interfaces, the R-26 doubles as a computer audio interface (Mac and Windows compatible) when connected to a computer via its high-speed USB port. It comes with a free copy of Sonar LE audio-production software (Windows only).

There’s a lot to like about this recorder. It’s capable of making excellent-quality recordings; the preamps are high quality; it can accept professional line-level inputs; the XLR inputs supply phantom power and the mini-plug input supplies plug-in power; it’s compatible with up to 32GB SDHC cards; it runs on four AA batteries and gets up to 10 hours of use; it can be mounted to a tripod or to an HDSLR camera with a ¼”-20 shoe adapter; it has a built-in speaker; low-pass filters; limiters; and Roland’s new auto-sensing technology that can set your gain structure automatically. It’s available for pre-order now from B&H, and should be shipping in October 2011.

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is it possible to get line level output from the headphone jack?
I'm wondering how well this works for HDSLR video?

The headphone output would work as your line level output. If you are planning to use the Roland R-26 along with a DSLR's microphone input, I would recommend picking up the Sescom LN2MIC-ZMH4-MON Line Out to Camera Mic In Headphone Tap Cable. With this cable, you will be able to record a reference audio track on your video recordings, using your DSLR camera.

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How do you set XLR inputs to accept line level devices?

I could not find this in the manual.



Thank you very much. I did not know what unbalanced input mean.


Has anyone tried this direct into an iPad? I am guessing it won't work as the ones that do (Zoom H4N, M-Audio Mobile Pre, plus many more) do not require a specialist driver...

This thing does look amazing...

Might be worth mentioning this product having (broadcast) BWF format

This could be the all-in-one unit that dethrones my current champion setup, the Sound Devices MixPre paired with a Zoom H4N. If only the MixPre had a built-in recorder. 

I've got a 2 channel Tascam recorder and it does great, but this is incredible for the size. 6 channels of digital audio, I believe this will be a great addition to my setup, live or in the studio. Can't wait to get my hands on it.