Roland R-26/R26

The wait is over.

A new professional level digital recorder which promises to really shake up the market.

We have now had a chance to test out the new R-26, and the results are very positive and encouraging:

It's a black box with a large touch-screen - the body is 7" x 3" and 1.5" and so easy to carry in your hand, but not necessarily hold in your hand - not as hand-holdable as an H4n, but better than a PMD661. It has two large input level knobs, one for the left and one for the right channel, and they are very easy to use - turn it clockwise to increase the input level, very logical. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the input you are using (analog for an external mic) to ensure you get the optimum recorded level and it took a little experimentation to optimise for our BP4025 stereo mic, but once adjusted recording was superb with no discernible noise from the preamps and only a very little playback hiss, which is always tricky to isolate and may be a product of the playback circuit itself, rather than a part of the recording. So full marks so far for recording quality.

And the built-in mics are very good too; they don't sound quite as full as our BP4025, but there isn't as much difference as I'd expected (or hoped for, given that the BP4025 costs more than the whole R-26). So on first soundings you could use the built-in mics with confidence.

Good points:
huge touch screen
touch screen controls for all menu settings, and easy menu system
claimed 10 hour battery life for continuous recording
balanced XLRs with switchable phantom
can record 4- and 6-channel too
limiter on inputs
built-in mics well worth the space

Bad points:
nothing yet, but when/if they emerge they'll be added here.

So all-in-all a first rate recorder for your archival and broadcast projects: 8.4/10

It's definitely a new challenger for the Marantz PMD661 and Zoom H4n.


15.3.12 - there's a very good review in Audio Media; call or email for a copy.


£349 


rycotemwjr26



Reduce wind noise on your recordings with a Rycote Mini Windjammer for R26 just £33.




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Text below from Roland and others

The R-26 6-Channel Digital Field Audio Recorder from Roland provides a wealth of flexibility in a compact design, ideal for a variety of professional applications in music, filmmaking, journalism, and more. The R-26 can simultaneously capture up to 6 tracks of audio as 3 stereo pairs. The recorder offers 2 types of built-in stereo mics; one omnidirectional and one directional. There are also 2 XLR/TRS combo inputs with 48V phantom power for external mics, and a 3.5mm mic input for small stereo mics with plug-in power.

The built-in mics can be used in a variety of combinations alongside external mics for amazing recording versatility.The R-26 captures high-quality WAV/BWF files at rates up to 24-bit/96kHz. It can also capture MP3 files at rates up to 320kbps. Files are written to widely-available SD/SDHC flash memory cards for convenience and stability. A high-speed USB port allows you to transfer your recordings to a Mac or PC for convenient editing and sharing. SONAR LE software is included for manipulating your audio on a Windows PC.


The R-26 has a large touchscreen LCD display for quick and intuitive navigation of menus, customizing mic settings, editing waveforms, and more. There are also large input level control knobs for making fine adjustments. The recorder can operate on 4 standard AA batteries, or via the included AC adapter. An SD card, USB cable, and windscreen are also included so you can start using the recorder right out of the box.

Note! The included SONAR LE software is compatible with Windows computers only.

Compact Design

The compact design is ideal for a variety of professional applications in music, filmmaking, journalism, and more

6-Channel Recording

The integrated stereo mics and Roland's unique DSP engine allow simultaneous recording of up to 6 channels as 3 stereo pairs

2 Types of Built-in Mics

There is an omnidirectional stereo mic and a directional stereo mic. The mics can be combined in various ways to create a variety of patterns

External Mic Inputs

There are 2 XLR/TRS combo inputs with 48V phantom power for external mics, and a 3.5mm mic input for small stereo mics with plug-in power. You can use these inputs along with the integrated mics for many purposes, such as recording a stereo mix from a front-of-house mixer while simultaneously capturing ambient audience noise

Ultimate Flexibility

You can capture different signals simultaneously, or capture the same source with 3 different types of mics. This allows you to choose individual tracks or composite mixes later on to suit your needs

Multiple File Types

The R-26 captures high-quality WAV/BWF files at rates up to 24-bit/96kHz. It can also capture MP3 files at rates up to 320kbps

SD/SDHC Media

Files are written to widely-available SD/SDHC flash memory cards for convenience and stability

High-Speed USB

A high-speed USB port allows you to transfer your recordings to a Mac or PC for convenient editing and sharing. You can also use the recorder with your computer as a live audio interface or for external storage. SONAR LE software is included for manipulating your audio on a Windows PC

Loop-Back Function

When using the R-26 as an audio interface, you can enable the Loop-Back function with the built-in mics or external mics to create a live video streaming setup

Intuitive Interface

The R-26 has a large touchscreen LCD display for quick and intuitive navigation of menus, customizing mic settings, editing waveforms, and more. There are also large input level control knobs for making fine adjustments

Power Options

The recorder can operate on 4 standard AA batteries, or via the included AC adapter

Accessories

In addition to the SONAR LE software and the AC adapter, the R-26 also includes an SD card, USB cable, and windscreen so you can start using the recorder right out of the box.


Technical specifications      

          

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