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Rating and Reviews: Boss BR-600 8-Track

Like the Boy Scouts famously advise, Be Prepared with the Boss BR-600 digital recorder. The BR-600 is a multi-track recorder, guitar effects processor and drum machine built into one compact package.

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"Buy This Thing." submitted February 20, 2007

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Sound: I've used all sorts of processors from higher end Line 6 units to Digitech units and I have to say, the sound quality of this thing is pretty amazing. It seems like some of the presets are a bit cheesy, but thats not totally fair to say, because some people want to sound like 70's rock, and still others want that cheesy 80's metal lead sound. Whatever your preference, this thing has it all. For professional integrity, you still need to have a real, quality amp and all but for capturing those ideas on the fly and even for good quality demo recordings, you can't go wrong here. Feature: One major complaint is that when you pay over 200 dollars for something, it should come with AC power included, rather than making you pay another 20 bucks to get an adapter. With that said, there is really no end to what is capable of happening with the br-600; it has mastering tools and fully programmable rhythm arrangements, and it's perfect for getting your ideas down. A lot of people on other sites have complained that it only comes with a 128mb card in it, but considering I'm only using it to build ideas, and then transfer those ideas to the pc, 128 is more than adequate, so I don't see any need to go spend more money on a card, because we do all of our real recording in a studio, where the space allotted for media storage isn't my problem. Ease of Use: I'm not going to say this thing is totally easy to use, but it could be a lot less intuitive, thats for sure. On the other hand, don't lose the manual, because you will be needing it, a lot. At least you'll need it a lot if you're like me and you're used to looking at actual waveforms on a computer screen, there is going to be an adjustment period because you'll feel totally blind at first. You get used to it pretty quickly, but considering the manual is almost as thick as the unit itself, theres always a lot more to learn. Quality: The product is very sturdy and seems reliable to the hilt. It's expensive so you'll want to be pretty careful anyway, but it's much better quality than lots of more expensive models I've used, like the Fostex and Tascam units. Value: This unit has everything you need, and at this price, you're wasting your time if you're trying to find a better deal. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it. The Wow Factor: Whats not to like? Overall: I don't think I'll be needing anything else until Boss outdoes themselves. They've come out with other models since this, but nothing with as many features for such a crazy cheap price tag.
73 of 77 people (94.81%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Boss BR-600 8-Track Customer Review submitted November 18, 2006

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Sound: The sound actually impressed me quality wise. Although the guitar effects are kinda cheese but you can tweak them to get decent tones. So far its a really good deal for making demos or getting that idea down. Feature: well i am little upset it didn't come with a USB cable but I have one handy anyways. the actual feature in the unit itself are quite impressive such as effects, rythm arrangemnts and patterns so its super easy to make up cool riffs when u lack a drummer. Hey if you don't have cash for a microphone...WHO CARES!!! it has one built in which works very well...i was so blown away by the quality of this feature....all you need is some batteries(which are included) and yourself and u can make amazing music in no time Ease of Use: so easy to use. i read a review that said it took a guy 2 hours till he was recording. i have no experience with workstations and i was recording within 20 minutes not even. the manual is something to have next to you till you get comfortable. i made a full song only utilizing 4 tracks but it sounds amazing in only 15 minutes!!! Quality: oh man when it comes to quality this gets a 10!!! yes i know its made out of plastic but so are cars now adays so relax!! haha....anyways everything on my unit seems to be perfectly fitted and the size of it is so cool its smaller than any of my books(most of them) its so small but it still manages to be of high quality....10!!!!! Value: honestly i paid $450 for mine and i am satisfied. for what it does its completely fine. they way i look at it is....no worries about latency or software bugs so $450 seems to save me alot of headaches and trust me I have used pro tools and other software and its not as easy or less stressful to use than this....amazing value The Wow Factor: the slim cool design is so appealing to me. it just looks like a little silver book and when u turn it on wow its the coolest little tool any musician should have....so portable Overall: buy it....if your reading this. you owe it to yourself...take your time with the product it won't do wonders for you unless you know most of it. trust me i return things all the time and i read the reviews but this thing can really make some cool demos or like i said its great to capture that moment. c'mon whatelse can u say....it has an amazing built in microphone that does wonders if ur strapped for cash and can't get a decent mic....no phantom power!!!! but who cares...i don't the qaulity is good enough that i don't mind
53 of 57 people (92.98%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Fantastic!" submitted January 10, 2009

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Reggae
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Sound: Great sound. Feature: This thing has many features, so many, it took me over a week learning how to use only some and I havent even started yet. Ease of Use: I would not say it is easy to use because it does so many things, it takes some time to learn how to use them all. Quality: Its made by Roland, what do you expect? Great engineering. Value: Good price. Manufacturer Support: Regarding support, it took me a while to find the memory cards for it as hardley anyone makes less than one gig but I did find. Delkin Devices sells 1gig, and even less. It is good to have small memory cards as you can keep them just like you would keep your tapes. The Wow Factor: Looks great. Overall: I love this thing.
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"Great value" submitted June 9, 2006

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Sound: Sound quality is decent, I would say any deficiency with the sound is due to me being inexperienced with the recorder. Otherwise sounds near cd quality. Feature: The guitar models are fantastic, bass modeling is very cool (of course not as good as real bass, but very useful nonetheless). Drum sounds are very good, I've used multitrack programs on PC with real drum samples and the ones on the br-600 sound just as good. Plus you can customize everything (most sound good without changing anything), from loop effects (delay, chorus, reverb) to the guitar modeling (tube, acoustic, bass, 60's uk, 90's metal, there are tons). I've had tons of fun just using the br-600 as a guitar effects pedal... Ease of Use: I'm familiar with multitrack recording, even so, it took a solid 2 hours for me to get comfortable with everything. The manual could be arranged better, but all the information is in there... Read the entire thing and keep it handy... Quality: Quality seems good, has a fairly solid feel. It is very small... but that is a good thing Value: For $400 this is a fantastic value. It does everything I need. Recording and sending to my PC is easy (and just about the most important feature to me), the br-600 will convert your song to a .wav file (or aiff) on your pc. Depending on your pc you might need another program to convert .wav to .mp3 Manufacturer Support: haven't need it Overall: Very happy with the br-600, it was worth the money and is superior in nearly every way to other multitracks I have owned
22 of 24 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Some job lad!" submitted June 18, 2008

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Sound: Great sound, everything I was looking for in home recording! Feature: Although, not easy to get to know, there are oodles of them! Ease of Use: For the basics, you'll be flying in no time! Gets a little trickier as you get further i nto it...DONT LOSE THE MANUAL. Quality: Great quality, duarble...attractive to the eye, light and as it is all digitall there are no moving parts so makes for a great "on the road" companion. Value: Good value, I got no extras though...bought the Dc supply as extra. I also bought a recording mic, but the unit has pretty decent built in mics so you don't need one...pretty sweet. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed any. The Wow Factor: ...."sex appeal"?....I'm not into it...that way Overall: Very pleased...anyone who likes to write music will like this product!
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"BR-600 = amazing" submitted September 3, 2008

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Music Style: Progressive, Death Metal, Metal, Jazz, Rock, and many other genres (except some country and rap)
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Sound: The actual sound quality you get on this machine is 16 bits, Which is infact CD Quality. So in technicality a band could actually record a whole album in this recorder if they had enough 1 GIG cards. Reason i gave it a 9 was because its not in 24 Bit recording which is what the professional, but for the price the quality is still amazing. the onboard mics are actually pretty good i recorded my amateur drum parts to a song and it picked up everything well. it also pickups bass Freq well so it'd be good to record a rehearsal and everyone will be heard. Feature: Guitar processor i would say is quite good. Bass is my main instrument so im not a guitar expert but when i play through their with a guitar all the effects sound pretty good and the bass effects although limiting are pretty good too.the drum machine sounds pretty realistic and with the ability to program your own beats, you can make a believable drum track if edit velocity and etc. the 8 tracks part is slighly misleading i would say as 5/6 and 7/8 are combine as stereo leaving you only 5 tracks (1 for mastering) Of course there may be a way around it but i read most of themanual and i may have missed that part. onboard mics are of great quality Ease of Use: decently easy to use. READ THE WHOLE MANUAL.i read it for around 2 hours and i havent referenced to it in like a week i got it around a week ago. although buttons are small you get around it Quality: even though its plastic its of decent quality. Value: i got it for 250 used with power cable and a 1 gig card. looked brand new when i got. however if it was stolen i would buy 350 for it and get the additional supplies. Manufacturer Support: N/A The Wow Factor: when i started to do research on it i became almost obsessed with it and i actually almost jumped in joy when it arrived. id say very worth it. Overall: this is the one multi-track recorder you need to make demos and capture those ideas. i wouldn't recommend it for a professional CD because of the fact it only has 8 tracks. I suggest this for the person who wants to record rehearsals of live gigs and even sending a demo to a record studio. The USB function also makes it possible to almost use it as a audio interface. In the end dont expect this to be your complete recording studio. expect it to make good quality songs and record those ideas.
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Decent Product, Bad Support from Roland" submitted November 10, 2007

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active musician, play daily, small gigs now and then.
Music Style: Classic, rock, acoustic, country
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Sound: Excellent sound quality. Feature: Lots of features, effects, etc. My favorite feature is the mastering toolbox. You can select the type of recording and it masters it perfectly with compression, effects, etc. Ease of Use: Somewhat complex menu system, but that's par for compact devices. It's trade-off you have to accept for a studio smaller than a notebook. Quality: The onboard mics hummed. Value: As far as compact records, I think it's superior to other products in the $350 price range. Manufacturer Support: Went back and forth three times with tech support via e-mail, then they told me to contact customer service for an RA. They should be able to issue the RMA, not make the customer call a different department for it. Then when I did call customer service, turns out the warranty is 90 days labor and 12 months parts...so I have to pay $70 per hour to get something fixed that I bought 4 months ago. It was obviously defective from day one, it was just that long before I actually used to onboard mics.
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great recorder for small bucks!" submitted January 15, 2008

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
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Sound: The sound is excellent. Through headphones or monitor speakers, it is overall very well balanced. Feature: Boss should package this with a power adapter and a larger memory card, but I'm sure overall price was the contributing factor - each of these owuld have added $20 to the selling price. The effects, built-in microphones and rhythm machine all are great features. Ease of Use: You need to read the manual first, then refer to it often until you are familiar wiht the controls and what can be read in the small display screen, but after that it is very easy! Quality: I bought mine used, but everything seems high quality. I wouldn't want to "road" this without a better case -the included padded carrycase does not offer much protection. Value: For this price,there's no other choices on the market. Manufacturer Support: Have not used The Wow Factor: Once I saw the pictures and read about it, I had to have it! Overall: I hope to get many years of use out of this. Future upgrade would be to a model with built-in CD burner, or model that allows more tracks to be mixed down at one time without bouncing.
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"Nice Box" submitted January 30, 2008

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Sound: The sound quality is great for a $300 recorder. My only complaint on the sound is when I try to double an existing track and it gets too distorted or overdriven Feature: It has a foot pedal, but I haven't needed it yet. I think the foot pedal is for volume control. If it can be used to control the Wah-wah effect (I'm not sure if it can be), then it's more useful and will get my use when I need wah. The most useful features are the guitar effects and bounce. The memory card is way too small and requires dumping tracks to your PC (takes a few minutes to do one track) Ease of Use: I love the guitar effects. The preset mix downs have to be tweaked/edited for my tastes. The drum machine is the most difficult thing for me to use. I find it extremely difficult to cut to another beat or time signature. I haven't figured out how to effectively customize drum patterns or use the drum pads. It takes some reading of the User's Guide to use this. I referred to it profusely the first few months of ownership. Quality: Quality is good. The thing is the size of an ultraportable laptop PC and weighs about a half a pound. I've accidentally dropped it a few times on a carpted floor from about 4 feet and it didn't affect it. The jacks are all good - no loosey-goosey jacks. Value: Yes, I bought one for $299 with free shipping. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to use it The Wow Factor: I don't want to bone it, lick it, or anything else. Overall: For what I do, I suspect I will get 4-5 years use before moving to something better and less expensive.
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"if your are a tech. guy, as well as musician,you may like this recorder??" submitted December 13, 2007

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: guitar,bass, twenty years. digital recording five years.
Music Style: country, 50s rock, classic rock, blues
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Sound: I recorded two songs,six tracks each,in about 90 minutes,right out of the box? but then it gets complicated! This is not a easy unit to use,unless you happen to be a tech guy as well as musician? The drums are a lot to be desired? They sound cheap and tom-tom like? you can't get a snare sound no matter how much you work with it? Why did they(Boss) have to go an mess up up a good thing? The boss BR-8 Digital Recorder was simple,easy to use ,great sounding,for the four years i owned it,and then it went out on me,and i bought the BR-600!,because the BR-8 had came obsolete?Go figure!! Feature: it came with a 128 card. Ease of Use: I've had it one year now,and i still can't get use out of it i would like? Quality: I had trouble with it trying to accept new flash cards? Value: its hard to say? Manufacturer Support: never used it. The Wow Factor: its sleek. Overall: I'm looking for something easier to use,with better sounding drums.that want break the bank?
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