|BOSS’s BR-1600CD 16-track recorder, the most popular and full-featured portable 16-track on the market, expands with a Version 2 upgrade. Already powerful with its eight XLR inputs for simultaneous recording, pro-grade effects, and backing tracks, the BR-1600CD with Version 2 upgrade (free for all previous BR-1600 units) improves and adds to the existing effects, including COSM® bass amp models from the GT-6B, enhanced vocal tools, MIDI sync capability, and more.|
|MPN||BOSBR1600C, BOSBR1600C CX201 BR1600CD, BR1600CD, CX201|
|Recording Media||DVD+RW, Hard Drive (HD)|
|Number of Recording Tracks||16|
|Number of Virtual Tracks||256|
|Hard Drive Size||40 GB|
|Studio Equipment Type||Recorders and Duplicators|
Average review score based on 20 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I like the unit overall. with few things changed it could be total love. I have to compare this unit to my favorite stand alone recorder. That being it's baby brother the Boss BR-8. First dislike is, Boss did not include a "Tracking Sheet"! This is a major tool in any studio and so inexpensive to include a simple copy to reprint.
Having been a former Tascam / Teac etc. in days of tape and trying to transfer mentally to the digital age, found that they could not compete with Boss. I own the BR-8 (on my 3rd one now) have the BR-1200CD and went to the BR1600CD simply for the 8 simultaneous tracks.
As I get deeper into the confusing manual, I am finding more to like about it. but the other side being, the manual leaves a lot to be desired in simplicity. I would rewrite the quick start manual and throw in a 15 minute dvd showing the very basic way for a beginner to record their first song in a few basic steps. I would come down to the beginner level, not try to bring the inexperienced up to the experienced level, as Boss reps presently do!
How to plug in a guitar, (or other instrument) show a very basic short version of how to use the drums and bass tracks to make a simple demo for the songwriter who knows nothing about mixing, producing, recording equipment, bouncing, adding effects etc., etc..
I feel that there are so many of these used units for sale simply because the manuals and instructions are written by experienced writers and tech heads. It leaves the want to be (the majority of the music business market) confused and it seems too complicated so they "give up", rather than "trade up". Customers lost!
On this line, the BR-8 is so much simpler, you don't have to get into a week of reading a big thick manual before you can cut a simple song. If the first few steps get's you to cutting a song, then it's exciting enough to want to dive deeper into all the effects and polish later.
The majority of the people who want to buy these great units have no intention of becoming a superstar, so drop the superstar promotions and come down to the beginner level of explaining things and this unit will sell ten times as quick and make customers want to upgrade and stay with your systems.
I speak from experience as a guitar instructor who makes my instructions interesting because I have them actually playing in one to three days (not confused with all the technical jargon) and then add to it and they stick with it.
The biggest mistake anyone selling a product to do with music is, they preach it to be SIMPLE, yet hire a legendary experienced producer or artist to explain it in terms and methods no beginner can understand.
If you love reading for a week before you actually get to use it, you will love it.
Overall, the unit is great with minor drawbacks and if someone else comes up with an equal quality unit with a simpler start up manual, I'll change brands, but really, this is a great unit. if you don't mind going to collage for a week with the manual, you will love it.
I had a friend suggest that I get one of these 4 or 5 years ago, but for budget reasons kept putting it off. Then, about a year ago, I joined a band that the lead guitarist had one. He was using it to record ENTIRE SHOWS on one "song"! Then he would take the 4 hour show and break it down using external devices into individual songs. He ended up buying two more over the next several months and loaned me one of them to play with. I fell in love with it immediately!
I've seen the reviews that say this recorder is great but a little complicated, and I have to agree that there are some functions that are difficult to master. However, after working with other recorders and understanding the underlying workings of recording I feel that Boss has made these functions as easy as they're ever going to get.
I have now purchased one and am enjoying every time I hook it up to record/mix/whatever... I can record something as simple as a rough cut of a song I'm writing or a cover that I want the band to learn, burn it to CD, distribute it to the band and have them start working on their parts. Or, I can get really technical and make all kinds of adjustments and add so many effects to different tracks to create an awesome recording. Then take that recording, bounce it down to virtual tracks, master it, and burn it to CD for distribution.
This unit has so many features it would be impossible to name them all from memory. I can backup recordings and restore them at will, add a variety of effects to tracks, burn single song CD's, complete albums to CD, or continuous song CD's (where there's no gap between tracks).
Let me stop raving and simply say: This is the best recorder I've ever worked with (granted I've never recorded in a studio)!
This unit is very powerful. It has plenty of storage, is intuitive and simple to use for basic functions, and it looks like it's capable of doing some pretty cool things if you care to study it for a while. All the multitrack recording stuff is obvious and very easy to use.
These days I just play guitar, bass and program drums for a hobby (I used to play live gigs but no time anymore). When I first got the BR I was dissapointed because it seemed very complicated to setup a nice drum track. The manual wasn't really helping me either. I investigated a lot of ways to easily program drums that allowed a lot of variations / fills to be added easily. The best I could find were a few of the drum pattern building sequencers that could hook up with MIDI, but I don't want to get into that yet. After that frustration, I just played with the BR for a short while and began figuring it out. It really is pretty easy to program drums, so I don't need to buy other stuff for that!
The guitar effects (GT6) are really nice sounding (not quite the GT10, though). You can emulate speakers cabs and all kinds of things I don't really care about, I just want to record my ideas and have some fun making good sounding recordings! One great thing is that it's really easy to add the built in effects when tracking or mixdown / mastering, and these things make a HUGE difference in sound quality. It seems like most of the effects are setup already, so you just use the defaults.
All the sliders, knobs and buttons are easy to grab and feel good quality, not the best, but plenty good for me. Sound quality is excellent. (I had a BR600 before this and thought it had OK sound. It seemed like the dynamics were squashed a little.)
I just ordered a pair of KRK monitors that it sit beside this thing and I'm set for awhile. Now I just need to learn to play...
I bought this recorder because I now have a second home in the east. I have a Br-1600CD at my home in the west. I really like it or I wouldn't have bought another one. Initally, the only downside was minimal editing features. However, with the USB port I can download tracks to my computer recording software and do the fine detail editing there. I do have a much faster computer now as compared to when I bought the first unit. I would recommend this unit for doing demo work that you might want to be better quality with more instruments. The sound quality is excellent! And the built in drum and bass are very good.
The Boss BR-1600 has some fantastic capabilities; although can be unnecessarily complicated to use if you don't spend the bookwork and studying time to learn it. It is self-contained and great as a portable recorder. However (there is always a "however"), it can be touchy and fickle. You must remember to back up your recordings regularly (even when in the midst of recording ideas) unless you don't mind losing them and starting from scratch (as some people may not if they are just putting down ideas that they will remember). The BR-1600 has an occasional habit of having some sort of momentary spiritual crisis, or what I like to call a "HAL-2000" moment (think "2001- A Space Odyssey"), where it will freeze up and you will have to turn it off, wait briefly, then turn it on again to find you lost what you didn't save. This has not been often, in my experience. However, it is random and can turn a good day bad. In my experience it seems to be triggered by change in weather conditions (humidity? who knows?) even though it has always been used indoors only, doing something it didn't like or trying to back out of something you didn't want to do, or if it sits too long being turned on, but inactive. If Roland can make the unit less complicated to use and as reliable as a Tascam unit, this would be fantastic. As things are, it is a very capable unit, but you just have to be mindful of certain things.