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Gear / Technical Help => Recording Gear => Topic started by: adam111 on April 19, 2019, 06:08:26 PM

Title: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: adam111 on April 19, 2019, 06:08:26 PM
Curious if anyone has tried this out:
https://centrance.com/store/MixerFace-R4R-Mobile-Recording-Interface-with-micro-SD-Card-Stereo-Recorder-p121815331

$449 with microSD recorder
$499 with microSD recorder and XY mics
$349 interface alone (no microSD recorder)

Curtis Judd reviewed it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5R470PH2VA

Pros:
Decent pre-amps (comparable to Zoom F series it seems -- except on max gain, see below)
Compact (slightly smaller/lighter than Zoom H4N)
~6 hrs with 2 XLR phantom on built-in Lithium batter (or longer with USB C battery pack)
Simultaneous recording to microSD and phone/laptop

Cons:
no LCD display (no indicator of remaining recording time, for instance)
max Preamp Gain of +53dB
2 LED monitoring
microSD
no mic in with plugin power

I've been looking for a good quality, compact 2 channel mixer recorder with decent battery life for concert/field/VO with dpa 4060s, MKH 8040s, other mics. My MixPre-3 arrived yesterday, but I was disappointed by the unreliability of the USB-C connector. Came across this and now weighing the options for highest quality, most-portable 2 channel XLR recorder.

Any one have experiences with this unit?




Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: jerryfreak on April 19, 2019, 06:46:21 PM
seems cool though im not sure why you would need to double up to microsd and phone (in the field), have never seen a microsd slot fail to write

do you need a realtime mix-down or just 4 channels?
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: aaronji on April 19, 2019, 07:06:26 PM
There are a lot of folks here using the USB-C on the MixPres successfully, so maybe one of them has some advice.

There are also a bunch of alternatives. I have been using the 8 AA sled for my MixPre-6. With two channels of phantom (2.8 mA draw per), two channels of board feed, and the mix, I have recorded for a bit over four hours with only one click on the battery indicator going down. That’s with Eneloop Pros. A friend uses the L-mount sled and loves it. Great pres and loads of gain...
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: adam111 on April 19, 2019, 07:19:18 PM
Thanks Jerry.

I agree, backup/redundant recording is not essential in most cases. The ios/android connection could be useful in other ways (i.e. to see the waveforms, write metadata, see how much space is left, etc) since the device itself doesn't have a screen.

I don't need realtime mix-down or 4 channels.

I'm looking for something in between my Sony M10 and my Zoom F8: something very small/portable with great battery life like the M10, but can accept 2 XLR inputs with good quality preamps. My Zoom F8 is just a bit larger than I'd like for some field recording projects I have coming up.

So I've been looking at handhelds (Zoom H4/5/6, Tascam) trying to find something like my M10 but with XLR inputs vs Sound Devices Mixpre-3/6, something like my F8 but smaller.  It seems this device might slot in somewhere between them, but I'm curious to learn more about it....
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: adam111 on April 19, 2019, 07:29:43 PM
There are a lot of folks here using the USB-C on the MixPres successfully, so maybe one of them has some advice.

There are also a bunch of alternatives. I have been using the 8 AA sled for my MixPre-6. With two channels of phantom (2.8 mA draw per), two channels of board feed, and the mix, I have recorded for a bit over four hours with only one click on the battery indicator going down. That’s with Eneloop Pros. A friend uses the L-mount sled and loves it. Great pres and loads of gain...

That's helpful. My experience with the included USB C to double A cable was disconcerting (the device flickered on/off, or the connector itself separated after minimal jostling). But it could be a bad cable.  4 hrs on the 8 AA sled would plenty for most of the situation I have in mind. Hmm.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: justme on April 20, 2019, 02:11:13 AM
Using an attached AA-sled as power backup to a USB-C power bank as primary works great.
Also remember that you can connect an iOS device to the mixpre-series and use the iOS as a secondary recording device. Mostly depending on how you set it up although you will lose the possibility use a midi control surface.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: Niels on April 20, 2019, 04:27:59 AM
I have been eyeballing that R4R as well for similar reasons and with similar concerns. I can't wait to hear more reports from actual use.
I am looking for something compact self-contained w XLR and was for a brief moment thinking Sony PCM D10 would fit the bill until I realised how big it was, very un-Sony-like.
The Mix-pre 3 is tempting but with a battery sled it grows, so I'll probably wait to se the specs of the new Zoom F6 before I make a decision.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: goodcooker on April 20, 2019, 10:58:52 AM

I couldn't live without a screen showing me the levels and other info and having to use a phone to do it would drive me nuts.

Take a look at the Tascam DR100. It has what you need and is the size you are looking for.

Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dallman on April 20, 2019, 01:26:41 PM
I have the R4R and it is a great deck. Super easy to use with excellent preamps. Rock solid metal construction. The lack of a screen is not an issue for me at all as the levels are super easy to set, but some people need the meters. You can get the meters on your phone, but I have not even tried that.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dogmusic on April 20, 2019, 06:58:23 PM
I have the R4R and it is a great deck. Super easy to use with excellent preamps. Rock solid metal construction. The lack of a screen is not an issue for me at all as the levels are super easy to set, but some people need the meters. You can get the meters on your phone, but I have not even tried that.

I'm very interested in this machine. How would you compare them with the MixPre 6 preamps?
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dallman on April 20, 2019, 07:58:33 PM

I'm very interested in this machine. How would you compare them with the MixPre 6 preamps?

I thought the Pre's sounded fantastic. Very much in the league of my MixPre6 which I use regularly. The premise of the machine is to be a mixer and that is why it works with so many different apps, but for me I just like that it is a small very easy to use great sounding recording deck. It is certainly not for everyone, but within my deck collection this  is one that will get used. I think it would also be very good for those that like to mix a sbd and aud, but that is not something I have done very often, so maybe I am wrong there. Also I have found it very easy to communicate with Michael Goodman who is the CEO of CEntrance. He will answer emails and questions.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dogmusic on April 20, 2019, 08:16:11 PM

I'm very interested in this machine. How would you compare them with the MixPre 6 preamps?

I thought the Pre's sounded fantastic. Very much in the league of my MixPre6 which I use regularly. The premise of the machine is to be a mixer and that is why it works with so many different apps, but for me I just like that it is a small very easy to use great sounding recording deck. It is certainly not for everyone, but within my deck collection this  is one that will get used. I think it would also be very good for those that like to mix a sbd and aud, but that is not something I have done very often, so maybe I am wrong there. Also I have found it very easy to communicate with Michael Goodman who is the CEO of CEntrance. He will answer emails and questions.

That's great news. Thanks for that info. I also think the R4R is a deck that I would use a lot. The design is very practical. And I found the CEO Michael Goodman very accessible as well for answers to my questions about it. This bodes well for support.

One more point about the preamp comparison with the MixPre 6 which I own and like. Sometimes I find its preamps to be a little too smooth. That's great for music but not so much for sound effects and nature recording. Is the R4R a little more transparent and realistic?
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dallman on April 20, 2019, 08:26:49 PM

I'm very interested in this machine. How would you compare them with the MixPre 6 preamps?

I thought the Pre's sounded fantastic. Very much in the league of my MixPre6 which I use regularly. The premise of the machine is to be a mixer and that is why it works with so many different apps, but for me I just like that it is a small very easy to use great sounding recording deck. It is certainly not for everyone, but within my deck collection this  is one that will get used. I think it would also be very good for those that like to mix a sbd and aud, but that is not something I have done very often, so maybe I am wrong there. Also I have found it very easy to communicate with Michael Goodman who is the CEO of CEntrance. He will answer emails and questions.

I do not have enough experience with the deck to answer that question. I think it too may be smooth, but I need more outings to be sure.

That's great news. Thanks for that info. I also think the R4R is a deck that I would use a lot. The design is very practical. And I found the CEO Michael Goodman very accessible as well for answers to my questions about it. This bodes well for support.

One more point about the preamp comparison with the MixPre 6 which I own and like. Sometimes I find its preamps to be a little too smooth. That's great for music but not so much for sound effects and nature recording. Is the R4R a little more transparent and realistic?
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dogmusic on April 20, 2019, 11:35:55 PM

I'm very interested in this machine. How would you compare them with the MixPre 6 preamps?

I thought the Pre's sounded fantastic. Very much in the league of my MixPre6 which I use regularly. The premise of the machine is to be a mixer and that is why it works with so many different apps, but for me I just like that it is a small very easy to use great sounding recording deck. It is certainly not for everyone, but within my deck collection this  is one that will get used. I think it would also be very good for those that like to mix a sbd and aud, but that is not something I have done very often, so maybe I am wrong there. Also I have found it very easy to communicate with Michael Goodman who is the CEO of CEntrance. He will answer emails and questions.


That's great news. Thanks for that info. I also think the R4R is a deck that I would use a lot. The design is very practical. And I found the CEO Michael Goodman very accessible as well for answers to my questions about it. This bodes well for support.

One more point about the preamp comparison with the MixPre 6 which I own and like. Sometimes I find its preamps to be a little too smooth. That's great for music but not so much for sound effects and nature recording. Is the R4R a little more transparent and realistic?

I do not have enough experience with the deck to answer that question. I think it too may be smooth, but I need more outings to be sure.


Please post your findings when you get a chance.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: checht on April 21, 2019, 12:05:35 AM
Left the bizzaro Sound Devices accessory usb cable in the box, and got one of the usbc-usbc cables from the mp-3/6thread:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MSMOMAR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Totally rock solid.

Monoprice 15k ah batt powers 2 schoeps caps for 9:50 before voltage dips in my tests.
8AA sled lasts 4:50.
Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: adam111 on April 21, 2019, 11:03:44 PM
Thanks for the reports on the R4R and the other suggestions.

Some follow-up thoughts...

The R4R is a bit smaller than the Tascam Dr-100 mkIII, but the latter has the standard handheld features (screen/file management, plug-in power on 1/8th in, built in mics). The dimensions are probably similar if you get the optional attachable mics on the R4R. 

R4R -                   4.76"     2.76"    1.42"     9.7oz
DR-100 mkIII -     6.02"     3.15"    1.37"     10.24 oz w/o AA batteries
MixPre 3 -             6.53"     4.65"    1.40"    19.84 oz

R4R internal Li battery - 8hrs no phantom, 7 with Phantom power on mics drawing 3 mA according to the CEO (yes - great corresponder!)
DR-100mkIII internal Li- 12 hrs no phantom power, 6 hrs phantom power, according to the manual.

Regarding the MixPre 3 USB C connections: thank you all for the suggestions. Apparently my problem WAS the included Y cable, which just wouldn't stay attached to the MixPre 3. I was finally able to test it out with a USB A to C direct from my laptop.

I'm still mulling things over. All good options. I'm tempted to return the MixPre 3 and go for the R4R or a handheld like the Tascam. After playing more with the MixPre 3 I think I'd like to go as small as possible (and, in particular, avoid external USB power) on the second XLR rig. I still have my Zoom F8.

Title: Re: CEntrance R4R Compact Recorder/Interface
Post by: dallman on May 16, 2019, 12:04:33 PM
I have been traveling a great deal but did get a chance to try out the deck before my travels started but did not have a chance to post a link. If you want, you can from this link check the other recordings I made. I really liked how the recording sounds, and I had no issues getting it up and running even without any chance to do anything more than turn it on and format a card.

https://archive.org/details/cj2019-04-11.flac16CEntranceR4R_DPA4021 (https://archive.org/details/cj2019-04-11.flac16CEntranceR4R_DPA4021)