REVIEW: Edirol E-09 24-bit WAVE/MP3 Recorder

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Date: Wednesday, February 7th, 2007, 10:09
Category: Accessory
edirol-e-09-1.jpg

The Roland Edirol R-09 is one of the best audio recorders out there. Podcasters and musicians can look no further and stop and take a look at the Roland Edirol R-09 (MSRP US$400, specifications).
The Edirol R-09 has a lot of similarities with the M-Audio MicroTrack (MSRP US$500). Two things that make R-09 different is that it runs on two AA batteries and it has an automatic turn off setting, which can be programmed if you forget to shut it off saving you battery time.
Also a new firmware update released on 17 November 2006 allows the E-09 to support SD cards up to 4GB in capacity. The bottom line is the sound quality. The E-09 can record both in WAV and MP3 files and features seven MP3 variable speeds depending on your desires.
The Edirol R-09 also has a digital input (which can be used with a mixing board), a headphone jack and a USB jack. It comes with a 64MB SD card. For review purposes I used a 2GB SD card which provided me with ample room to record whatever I needed. I tested the E-09 at a party as well as at seminars and just jamming with a couple of guys. In each situation it performed pretty well.
I wanted to see how it would work with a Mac. One thing you must do is take some time to read the manual. Opening the battery to access the USB port can be difficult. I had no problem because I read about the problem that some had with the bottom in the forums. But the R-09 has many settings before you even start.
For audio aficionados it can be tough to decide which setting to use for certain situations. The E-09 has a built-in reverb setting with different settings – but not as many at the R-1.
Read more after the jump…

edirol-e-09-1.jpg

The Roland Edirol R-09 is one of the best audio recorders out there. Podcasters and musicians can look no further and stop and take a look at the Roland Edirol R-09 (MSRP US$400, specifications).
The Edirol R-09 has a lot of similarities with the M-Audio MicroTrack (MSRP US$500). Two things that make R-09 different is that it runs on two AA batteries and it has an automatic turn off setting, which can be programmed if you forget to shut it off saving you battery time.
Also a new firmware update released on 17 November 2006 allows the E-09 to support SD cards up to 4GB in capacity. The bottom line is the sound quality. The E-09 can record both in WAV and MP3 files and features seven MP3 variable speeds depending on your desires.
The Edirol R-09 also has a digital input (which can be used with a mixing board), a headphone jack and a USB jack. It comes with a 64MB SD card. For review purposes I used a 2GB SD card which provided me with ample room to record whatever I needed. I tested the E-09 at a party as well as at seminars and just jamming with a couple of guys. In each situation it performed pretty well.
I wanted to see how it would work with a Mac. One thing you must do is take some time to read the manual. Opening the battery to access the USB port can be difficult. I had no problem because I read about the problem that some had with the bottom in the forums. But the R-09 has many settings before you even start.
For audio aficionados it can be tough to decide which setting to use for certain situations. The E-09 has a built-in reverb setting with different settings – but not as many at the R-1.

edirol-e-09-2.jpg

After installing the SD card and the battery you are ready to go. The R-09 comes with a USB cable (not a given in today’s world). It works like any other USB mass-storage device where you connect it then download the captured audio files to your hard drive. From there you can import the files directly into GarageBand or your preferred audio tool. It’s that easy on a Mac.
The tech support was great when it came to the firmware update. They knew exactly about the Mac OS operating system and how the R-09 worked on it so it was painless. The batteries hardly ran out on me during my testing. The battery indicator will warn you when the battery is going to die but you don’t get much time until it shuts down. I recommend keeping some extra AA batteries on hand for longer recording sessions.
Pros:
– Sound quality – MP3 and WAV 44/48 in 16 and 24-bit
– Compact that it can fit in your pocket
– Built-in stereo condenser microphone
– Runs on AA Batteries with AC adapter
– Included 64MB SD card
– Included mini USB cable
– Easy access side controls
– Firmware update now accommodates up to 4GB SD cards
Cons:
– No external speakers
– Doesn’t have the ability to record in other audio CODECs such as “Lossless” or AIFF files. This would be such an added bonus to have for musicians
– Battery indicator needs to warn user sooner before battery runs out
– Bottom access door to SD card and battery sometimes difficult to open.
The bottom line is that the Roland Edirol R-09 is one of the best devices for musicians on the road needing something to capture ideas and sessions or even to get samples. It’s easy to use with your Mac and will work great for Podcasters who like to do interviews. At US$400 the Edirol R-09 isn’t cheap but it’s one of the best audio capture devices available.

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