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Author Topic: Starting Over R-09 questions  (Read 946 times)

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Offline Sarfa

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Starting Over R-09 questions
« on: September 24, 2015, 11:23:29 PM »
Some 10+ years ago, I put together a nice little rig. I believe I posted pics of it here back in the day. It was an iRiver H-140, a Church pre-amp and then Chris made me a really cool "James Bondish" mic setup. I had bought a set of Grado SR-60 headphones for cheap on ebay. I sent them to Chris. He took them apart and put some of his card mics in the cans. The best part was the micro switch on one can that would enable the mics and disable the drivers or vice versa. This other would allow you to listen to the headphones normally in the event someone wanted to check the headphones function :) I only got to use the rig a few times. I used it to record local bands at clubs in Deep Ellum. I sold rig here back in 2007. I don't know if the buyers are still active here. And unfortunately I no longer have pics of the rig.

Now fast forward to today. I think I lucked out and managed to pick up a lightly used Edirol R-09 with tripod and mic for $150. I ordered a 32gb SDHC class 10 Sandisk Extreme Pro card. I hope it will work in this unit. I didn't get much time to investigate before having a friend order the card. I bought it because it seemed like a pretty good price, plus it was local and also because I'm going to a show in 3 weeks at the Dallas House of Blues that I'm hoping to get a recording of. I don't have much time and money to add to this setup before the show, so I'm hoping the built in mics can do a decent job.

I know there are tons of threads on this forum having to do with the R-09 and I plan to do as much reading and possible testing as I can between now and the show, but I was curious if anyone could give me some good pointers as to be possible setting for the unit without using a preamp / batterybox and mics. I'm a little disappointed that it's not the HR model simply because of the 96kHz vs 48kHz but I'm sure it will still work out. I had a hard time deciding on getting an R-09HR or the Sony PCM-M10 off ebay. Depending on how things go over the next year and how this one performs, I may still go with one of those units and invest in a pre and some good mics.

Thanks for any input. Sorry for all the background. Just glad to be getting back into this hobby.

Offline rhinowing

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 11:36:20 PM »
iirc unity gain on the original r-09 is level 8. don't go below it or you'll get a weird / clipped waveform
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Offline fmaderjr

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 07:18:35 AM »
iirc unity gain on the original r-09 is level 8. don't go below it or you'll get a weird / clipped waveform

It is true that if you need to go below level 8 to keep record level meters under 0 dB, you will get a clipped recording. If you run into this, keep the level at 8 and move away from the source until the meters are peaking below 0 dB.  This is not the unity gain setting that you may want to use if you are using an external preamp, however. Unity gain is around 13.

The R-09's built in mics are not very good for music. You will want to pick up some external mics as soon as you can. The R09HR's internals are somewhat better and the M10's are a lot better, but the best way to make a big improvement in your recordings is to use a good external mic. If you record a lot of quiet stuff, upgrading the recorder to an M10 or adding an external preamp will help a lot as well (the R09 adds a lot of noise if you need to turn the record level way up) but if you record very loud stuff changing the recorder may not make an audible difference in your recordings.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 07:20:26 AM by fmaderjr »
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Offline hoppedup

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 09:09:31 AM »
The Roland page for the R-09 lists that cards up to 16gb will work.

http://www.rolandus.com/products/r-09/

Not to say 32gb won't work, but I wouldn't expect it to.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 11:43:37 AM »
As mentioned, the built-in mics aren't very good.  However they'll at least do a better job image-wise if you place a folded piece of cardboard or something else in such a way that it acts like a baffle between the two microphones.

Get some better mics and a battery box or external preamp as soon as you are able.  If you plan to use internal mics frequently, a different recorder would be a better option, but the original R-09 can make great recordings using an external preamp and mics.   That will make a massive difference.  Far, far, far, far, far, far more than recording at 96kHz instead of 44.1 or 48, which I doubt you would notice at all.  Although it doesn't hurt other than doubling the storage space requirements, personally I don't bother recording at rates above 48kHz even when I pull out the fancy mics, preamps and recorders.
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Offline Sarfa

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 12:02:40 AM »
Thank you all for the points. I'm looking at some Audio Technica SP-CMC-8 mics since they are similar in size to the 4060's. Plus they are about 1/3rd of the price and seem to do fairly decent. But I don't think I will be able to swing that before this show next month. As for the SD, worst case I can pick of an 8gb or 16gb SD fairly quickly if the 32gb sd does not work. Still working out the battery box vs pre-amp part of this equation. Either way it would need to be fairly small.

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 12:52:17 PM »
I'll second what Gutbucket has posted.  I'll also add that I owned and used an R-09 (non-HR model) for about 6 years and it's still in use by a friend I gave it to.  I was pretty happy with it, pulled some great recordings with it, and only moderately upgraded to another mini recorder when I found a deal that I couldn't pass up. 

I did use the built-in mics a few times and got pretty unsatisfactory results recording live music with them; I don't think they're good for much more than recording dictation.  I also recorded a few concerts using just the plug-in power of the R-09 with external mics, but if the source was loud it was definitely susceptible to distorting, particularly on the low end (I think the PIP is only around 3v).  As GB mentioned, I would strongly recommend using a battery box or preamp with external mics on the R-09.  If you're looking for a small one, I've been using the Microphone Madness MM-CBM-Mini battery box (HERE and HERE) with great success.  Only drawback is that it requires three 3v lithium batteries (the 2016 coin-type) as opposed to a single 9v, but with upwards of 300 hours expected use from a single set you won't have to change them too often. 

Offline furburger

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Re: Starting Over R-09 questions
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2015, 08:23:50 PM »

The R-09's built in mics are not very good for music.

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