Recording - May 2018 - 48

Roland

R-07

Cutting-edge stereo recording
in a package that goes anywhere
REVIEW BY MIKE METLAY

H

ow long has Roland been in the business of digital
recording? My first review for this magazine as Assistant
Editor was an in-depth look at the VS-880, a desktop
multitrack hard disk recorder that would change the world of
recording as we knew it. That was in our August 1996 issue.
Since then, Roland has stayed on the cutting edge of technology
and applied it in ways that benefit the recording musician, and
those advancements are reflected in the new R-07, a field
recorder that's as practical and powerful as it is stylish.
There's no doubt that the R-07 is meant to look good in your
hand, with a choice of black, white, or red finishes and a
sleek and sexy design. But once you get past that, you'll find
a modern and high-quality stereo recorder with lots of great
extras and serious sound quality at its core.

48

RECORDING May 2018

The R-07 shies away from the practice of having mic capsules
exposed on its top edge as on some other designs. The stereo
mic array is isolated behind a dual grille and recessed into the
body of the R-07 so it won't catch on clothing when you pocket
it. The mics are highly sensitive to handling noise, but there
are ways around that (see below). The stereo capsules appear
to be fairly wide cardioids, not quite omni-there's not a lot
of rejection at any angle, but there's also little or no off-axis
tonality shift. It's designed so you can set it up anywhere near
the action and capture audio cleanly and clearly.
Between the mics on the top edge are a TRS minijack for an
external input source, including stereo mics running on batteries or
Plug-In Power, and a compartment for a microSD or microSDHC
card. The left side of the case has a minijack for headphones or
connection to external speakers; the right side has a USB Micro-B
connector for computer file management and a sliding switch for
power on/off and to Hold (lock) the controls during recording.
The top panel has a large backlit LCD with status indicators,
timers, level meters, and the like; there's a Peak indicator, a Bluetooth status light, and one-touch buttons for specialized functions
you'll need during recording or playback. There are up/down
controls for input gain and output volume flanking an XY button
group for cursor movement and transport. The central button
acts as a Record button or an Enter button, and is ringed with
a halo LED that indicates record/standby/play/pause status.
Other handy features include a threaded tripod mount,
bright red LEDs on the front and back edges of the unit to clearly
indicate recording status (and overloads) for people recording themselves, a lanyard hook, a tiny internal speaker (pretty
much useful only to verify you've recorded something), and a
compartment for two AA batteries that give about 15 hours of
play or record time. The unit can also be powered via USB.
The R-07 has a variety of features built in to get you recording
in a jiffy. Two of them have dedicated buttons: Scene, which
preselects from a list of common settings for various recording
applications, and Rehearsal, which automates the
process of setting record levels.
When you bring up a Scene, you set the file
format (WAV or MP3), bit depth, sample rate
(up to 96 kHz), on/off status of the built-in
Limiter or Automatic Gain Control and the
Low Cut filter (and what the filter's corner
frequency is-100, 200, or 400 Hz), and
the input gain. With just a couple of clicks
you can be in the ballpark for getting the
best recording quality for your current
needs. Selections include Music Hi-Res,
Loud Live, Loud Practice, Field, Voice Memo,
Instrument, Vocal, and others; you can also
customize store your own settings for each
Scene and revert to factory settings if needed.
Recording modes include MP3 and 16
or 24 bit WAV. There are safety modes like
WAV+MP3 and 2xWAV (which records, in
parallel, a WAV file at your fixed input level
and another one 12 dB quieter as a safety
measure against sudden clipping).



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2018

Contents
Recording - May 2018 - Intro
Recording - May 2018 - Cover1
Recording - May 2018 - Cover2
Recording - May 2018 - 1
Recording - May 2018 - 2
Recording - May 2018 - 3
Recording - May 2018 - 4
Recording - May 2018 - 5
Recording - May 2018 - Contents
Recording - May 2018 - 7
Recording - May 2018 - 8
Recording - May 2018 - 9
Recording - May 2018 - 10
Recording - May 2018 - 11
Recording - May 2018 - 12
Recording - May 2018 - 13
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Recording - May 2018 - 15
Recording - May 2018 - 16
Recording - May 2018 - 17
Recording - May 2018 - 18
Recording - May 2018 - 19
Recording - May 2018 - 20
Recording - May 2018 - 21
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Recording - May 2018 - Cover3
Recording - May 2018 - Cover4
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