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Author Topic: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4  (Read 7078 times)

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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2006, 07:12:00 PM »
Get in touch with busman for more info... It's 2 chan of a w type mod that he is not officially offering and 2 chan of his 'normal' mod.  You would need to talk to him to get the exact details and if he would be willing to do it for you.  As of now I've run my 483s twice through the 2 side (sounds nice) and SBD once through the normal side.

couldnt you run a splitter and run 483>wmod(2 chan)
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Offline china_rider

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2006, 07:19:14 PM »
Get in touch with busman for more info... It's 2 chan of a w type mod that he is not officially offering and 2 chan of his 'normal' mod.  You would need to talk to him to get the exact details and if he would be willing to do it for you.  As of now I've run my 483s twice through the 2 side (sounds nice) and SBD once through the normal side.

couldnt you run a splitter and run 483>wmod(2 chan)
                                                    >normal busman mod(2 chan)

Yep... If I ever get a splitter I was going to do that.  For Vegoose I know a few people that will be there with unmodded R-4s.  If I get a splitter I'm going to do a comp between the mods/unmodded with the 480s.  If not one of them will also be running TLs and I'll have a set of those along with me also.  There was a good silver splitter up in the loaner section but I think it's been out for a while.

Would also like to run a comp with my Oade WMod UA-5 in the chain.  Honestly though when I got the w mod from busman it was not a mod he wanted to offer on a regular basis publically and at first did not really even want me to mention I had it so people would not bug him about it.  Any w comparison I did I would probably get his approval before releasing.  I would not be surprised if I am the only one with the w version right now.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 07:29:23 PM by china_rider »
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Offline poorlyconditioned

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2006, 07:32:50 PM »
For your information, I've done a comparison of *my* mod.  The files are at:
   www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mannr/R4

My mod would best be described as "warm", but I'm still experimenting with various Opamps.  This was done with a pair of CK91's, a self made battery box, and a splitter into a mod (Ch1/2) and unmod (Ch3/4) R4.  The mics were about 10-15' from the stage in a very small club.

I didn't really notice that much difference, maybe I can improve with different opamps, but please let me know if you notice anything (and which sample you prefer...)

  Richard
Mics: Sennheiser MKE2002 (dummy head), Studio Projects C4, AT825 (unmodded), AT822 franken mic (x2), AT853(hc,c,sc,o), Senn. MKE2, Senn MKE40, Shure MX183/5, CA Cards, homebrew Panasonic and Transsound capsules.
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Offline ford prefect

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2006, 05:43:17 PM »
Good thread.

I feel like I've lost a bit of the sonic characteristics I like in moving from the Oade Transparent-PLUS UA5 to the Oade Transparent R-4, namely transient detail. 

I definitely agree with Brian here.  I don't have the Transparent mod on the R4 (I have the basic mod), but I do know that after running the R4 for an entire weekend at Camp Bisco, my favorite combo was running P+ UA-5 > R4.  I ran the majority of the festival straight 481 > R4, but my ears definitely prefer a brighter, faster, more detailed sound - which the Oade Presence/Plus mod UA-5 gives me a lot more of when I used it. Then again, my ears prefer this pre over pretty much anything I've listened to.   ;)  Honestly, I don't think I'll ever sell it unless I stop taping.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2006, 05:57:45 PM by ford prefect »

Offline MattH

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2006, 08:00:30 PM »
I wonder which really sounds best with a variety of different mics?

nice pre to stock R4

Oade/Busman mod R4

nice pre to Oade/Busman mod R4 (assuming line-in is affected by the mod)

I know there are other mods and different types of mods to consider so any opinions on specific mods in this comparison would be very interesting.
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Offline poorlyconditioned

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2006, 08:27:16 PM »
Good thread.

I feel like I've lost a bit of the sonic characteristics I like in moving from the Oade Transparent-PLUS UA5 to the Oade Transparent R-4, namely transient detail. 

I definitely agree with Brian here.  I don't have the Transparent mod on the R4 (I have the basic mod), but I do know that after running the R4 for an entire weekend at Camp Bisco, my favorite combo was running P+ UA-5 > R4.  I ran the majority of the festival straight 481 > R4, but my ears definitely prefer a brighter, faster, more detailed sound - which the Oade Presence/Plus mod UA-5 gives me a lot more of when I used it. Then again, my ears prefer this pre over pretty much anything I've listened to.   ;)  Honestly, I don't think I'll ever sell it unless I stop taping.

If anyone is curoius I've (partially) traced the front end of the R4.  As suspected, "line in" is just an attenuated version of mic-in, so everything goes through the same pres/opamps. Now, perhaps a better preamp improves the sound since it adds the first 20dB or so in a nicer/cleaner way than the internal pres.  I don't know.  I'm still experimenting with my mods.  My next step is to try a really fast opamp on the front end.  Maybe I can get a more "transparent" sound this way.

  Richard
Mics: Sennheiser MKE2002 (dummy head), Studio Projects C4, AT825 (unmodded), AT822 franken mic (x2), AT853(hc,c,sc,o), Senn. MKE2, Senn MKE40, Shure MX183/5, CA Cards, homebrew Panasonic and Transsound capsules.
Pre/ADC: Presonus Firepod & Firebox, DMIC20(x2), UA5(poorly-modded, AD8620+AD8512opamps), VX440
Recorders: Edirol R4, R09, IBM X24 laptop, NJB3(x2), HiMD(x2), MD(1).
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Offline bgalizio

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2006, 07:53:56 AM »
I went from a stock UA-5 to a bm2p+ UA-5 to a stock R-4. I also switched from C4's to the Peluso's for a few shows before buying the R-4. IMO, The stock R-4 pre does sound a little flatter than the bm2p+ UA-5, but much better than the stock UA-5. However, I am very happy with the sound of the R-4.

Perhaps I'll do a busman2 upgrade sometime, but funds are now diverted from the "AV equipment" (as my fiancee says), as we just moved into our new house this weekend. At any rate, I haven't heard any true comps yet, so I can't really make a decision as to the mod's sound anyway!

Offline Busman Audio

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2006, 03:02:44 PM »
Well,

I also agree that different circuits just sound different.  I will throw in that I use the same op amps for the R4 that I used for the UA-5 and I love the sound. I do find that the noise generated by the R4 is pretty bad if you need to crank the gain but I also think this is do to the completely different gain structure between it and the UA-5. Personally I thought the R4 sounded good stock until I did the mod then after hearing the differences from the String Summit I thought it sounded completely flat and not musical(sp). The mod brings it up to snuff for music recordings and I also will continue to develop the mod to drop the noise floor.

From what I can see the only way to drop the noise in the unit is to change the gain structure and naturally it will appear to be less noisy because you will be able to crank the gain more before hearing the hiss. The problem there for me is I like the gain structure. I feel it gives me more options for different environments (loud and quiet shows).

Yes I do have op amps that I can use for a warmer mod than the current one I offer.
I will be trying to put more of my recordings up on the archive so if you want to hear how my mod sounds check there.

Oh and I love the functionality of the R4. It is such a great piece of equipment and easy to use. I have a hard time doing 2 mic recordings now that I have run 4 mics a few times it just sounds huge and in your face.
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Offline MattH

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2006, 03:08:27 PM »
Well,
I have a hard time doing 2 mic recordings now that I have run 4 mics a few times it just sounds huge and in your face.

I could not agree more with this statement. Mod or unmodded, 4 mics seems to sound much better than two.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2006, 03:41:07 PM »
Well,
I have a hard time doing 2 mic recordings now that I have run 4 mics a few times it just sounds huge and in your face.

I could not agree more with this statement. Mod or unmodded, 4 mics seems to sound much better than two.

I've had mixed results running 4-ch.  I've mostly run my 414s split omni + a center pair of ORTF/DIN/DINA cards or hypers.  I recently tried XY for the center pair and if my recent Tortoise recording is any indication, I like the sound much better.  With near-coincident cards/hypers + split omnis, the sound seemed to lack focus and came across kinda smeared and undefined.  Not sure what to call it, really.  At any rate, changing the center pair to XY really locked in a strong center to the image, while the included angle + the split omnis help open up the soundstage.  I'm looking forward to trying this option to get a better feel for it v. the near-coincident center pair.
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Offline BayTaynt3d

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2006, 05:32:28 PM »
I mostly use 3 and 4 as "supplements" when needed, but I tape a lot of small ensembles in not-so-crowded conditions a lot. I use a main stereo pair, then run split omnis on seperate stands sometimes. But many times, it's a main pair and one or two spot mics. I've run stereo pair plus one spot inside a piano many times. I got to know the stuff I was taping, and it was easy to spot when the piano (in a jazz mix usually) was going to be too quite (relegated to the back of the group sometimes). So, I run a pair plus one mic a fair amount (no fourth mic). Sometimes a pair, and then one omni back by the keys and bass and drumkit. That always seems to pick up a bunch of bass and warmth back there (on stage) that the main pair in front doesn't. Then, just mix in accordingly, and sometimes not at all (if it makes the mix worse).

Also, you can use EQ to "isolate" your intended target more if that helps your mix. Like in that last case, I might put that omni back there just for some bass. Then in post, I might rolloff a lot of the highs on that one mono channel before panning it and fading it in with the main pair until I get what I was looking for -- in that case maybe it was more sub-like lows. Many times I run with a main AUD back by the SBD (house snake if possible) and then go for split omnis stage lip in front to pick up the brass in a more rich way. In that case, in post I might roll off a bunch of bass on the omnis so they isolate the brass section a little more, then pan and mix in the omnis of the brass into the main AUD pair from back by the board. This way, I just use the omnis to sweeten the brass section up, and I'm relying on the main AUD pair to bring most of the bass (they pick up the whole room after all). Anyway, don't forget about the possibility of doing this -- EQ'ing each mic or pair independently. Because you can use it to your advantage sometimes (you can also use it to totally F it up real bad too, LOL). Another thing I do sometimes is to use a J-disc for one pair back farther and something else on for the other pair in closer to the sound source. One close and one far offers some nice possibilities in post. Use the close stereo pair as a base, then fade in the farther mics (that picked up more of the room) to add just the right amount of verb/wet into the mix.

I understand that many of those setups are not realistic depending on the venue, band, and your relationship with everyone. But in case you do get those opportunities I thought I would share some of my stories with the R4 on that front. So, that said, I haven't really run too many 4-channel recordings from a single stand. In those situations, I usually just go with a 2-channel setup like "normal" -- cuts down on the gear to haul around too. HOWEVER, if I were to try some form of it (4-channel on one stand), I'd try to push the second pair to the extremes I think. Like how about running something like Hypercard-ORTF plus XY for the middle channel. That might be interesting in post, you could spread the stereo imaging of the main XY pair just as much as you wanted to by mixing in the uber-wide Hyper-ORTF. Another extreme example might be j-disc omnis (that pick up the whole room) and then a much more focused tight second pair like XY-hypers at 60-70 degrees or something. Then mix the super-airy j-disc with the uber-tight XY-hypers@70 to see what kind of mixes produce different results. Start with the tighter XY pair and expand it with the j-disc pair, or vise-versa.

And of course, there's the OBVIOUS surround sound attempts. Not sure those are worth it considering some of the other things you could do can produce better options for a 2-channel stereo mixdown. But that said, in the right venue, in the right spot, with the right band, it might be pretty cool to point at least one hyper or card straight backward. In post just that one channel would give you enough to do mixdown to Dolby Digital 5.1 or something for kicks. I've never really done it (experimented a little), but I'd like to do it at least once -- super easy with a clamp to the stand too.

So, has anyone ever actually tried some of those single-stand 4-channel configs?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 05:46:59 PM by BayTaynt3d »
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Offline OFOTD

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2006, 06:01:04 PM »


I could not agree more with this statement. Mod or unmodded, 4 mics seems to sound much better than two.

The problem with that theory is that it really does depend on which four mics you are using.   I have found alot of tapes recently on etree, DaD and other sites where a taper is using four mics but the tapes sound like garbage when they shouldn't.  If you listen to some of the recent Panic tapes from a few folks who use 4 mics they sound incredible.  Great sound stage.  The fact that they are using compatible mics to me is the biggest difference.   If they threw up two random pairs of mics I am quite sure the difference is night and day.

On the flip side of that I know that alot of budgets do not allow two pairs of Neumann/AKG/DPA/Schoeps/etc.   But there has got to be some experimentation on compatible sounds mics.  Throwing up random pairs isn't the answer.

Speaking of these random mic 4 channel tapes have you noticed that on all of those torrents you almost always get a comment like "it's 4 mics so it must be the shit".   If we start conditioning people to like a tape due to its lineage instead of what it sounds like then i'll sell all my stuff and get some ratshack mics and a minidisc

With the rise in people owning R4's and 744's I am shocked that there is not more 4 channel discussion on mics combinations and configurations.   Maybe someone needs to start one?


Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2006, 06:15:51 PM »
With the rise in people owning R4's and 744's I am shocked that there is not more 4 channel discussion on mics combinations and configurations.   Maybe someone needs to start one?

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Offline ford prefect

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2006, 07:59:22 PM »
If anyone is curoius I've (partially) traced the front end of the R4.  As suspected, "line in" is just an attenuated version of mic-in, so everything goes through the same pres/opamps.

Hi Richard, when I run UA-5 > R4 I use digi in via s/pdif.  I think maybe you just mean line in vs. mic in through the XLR's goes through the same pre's, as I can't imagine the signal going D>A>D...  Just want to make sure I understand you correctly.

With the rise in people owning R4's and 744's I am shocked that there is not more 4 channel discussion on mics combinations and configurations.   Maybe someone needs to start one?

I've been reading the few posts I see here like Brian's with interest.  I've been wondering what I would get for a 2nd pair.   What kind of mic combo's would folks consider a good "match"?   :)  If money weren't an issue, I'd probably get a pair of 140's right now...
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 08:06:51 PM by ford prefect »

Offline BayTaynt3d

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Re: Honest Critiques of the Edirol R4
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2006, 08:53:25 PM »
With the rise in people owning R4's and 744's I am shocked that there is not more 4 channel discussion on mics combinations and configurations.   Maybe someone needs to start one?

Yes, please. 
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I just wrote a whole bunch about my experiences and thoughts about four posts up...
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