Roland R-05 Field Recorder / 80:8 Gear Review

Video is becoming a bigger and bigger part of 80:8 and I recently realised that sound is in fact, 50% of the content in a video file – but one that is often overlooked – especially when one is more visually oriented, such as photographers and budding videographers. Like a portfolio of images, any video is rated by it’s lowest common denominator – and that is sound in many cases. So, after recording a gig where the volume was so loud my onboard mic gave up and all I had left was a horribly clipped sound file that was kinda like a Phil Spector out-take crossed with a bit of Extreme Noise Terror, I decided enough was enough. On the advice of Ames I headed into Red Dog Music and got one of these. Red Dog were very helpful and answered all my dumb non-muso questions and I walked out feeling very excited. So here’s a short video review of the device together with one of the first recordings I’ve made with it. The music on the video is essentially Jason Kyrone noodling around in the 80:8 kitchen following by a bit of talking and er, me humming. I’ve not treated the sound file at all – it’s exactly as it came out of the recorder. I’ve just done a more challenging test featuring a very loud rock band at an outdoor festival, so will post that and it’s accompanying video soon.

So the verdict? Recommended for me at least. It’s very simple to use, it has no extraneous features that I’ll never use such as XLR inputs and ability to record multi-track – and the quality is head and shoulders above any on-camera or in-camera recordings I’ve heard. So I would say it’s great for a D-SLR movie maker and musicians who just want to capture HQ rehearsals or sessions with the minimum of fuss. If you want to connect dirty big mics, hook up to sound-desks and capture ambient sound simultaneously…Then look elsewhere. But for me it’s a great little product, with great quality and it’s going to be going with me everywhere.

Highly recommended. Oh, the video review is below!


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