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Author Topic: Boss BR-80  (Read 8616 times)

VikingBlues

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Boss BR-80
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:53:04 AM »
Just some thoughts / samples on the BR-80 - may be of use to others. Size wise - around the footprint of a standard guitar pedal and around 1/4" thick - very portable. I thought sound samples would be better than me just voicing my opinions.

This machine has exceeded my expectations, though my main enjoyment so far from it has been from the e-Band mode, which is not what I bought it for. I'd got it as an alternative to recording on the PC.. Great boost to creativity and encourages new types of playing - certainly the last couple of samples are way off my usual.

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ESSENCE OT THE BR-80
It's an 8 track recorder : 64 virtual tracks (8 x 8) / dedicated stereo rhythm track / can record up to 2 tracks at a time
It is also a "Live" Field recorder - on board stereo condenser microphones
It also has an E-Band function with similar functions to the Boss JS-8 - includes backing tracks / phrase trainer. You can import your own / 3rd party backing tracks.
COSM-based guitar, bass and vocal effects. Can use as multi-fx pedal. Onboard tuner

Can also run the BR-80 as a recording interface with a computer via the USB socket. The unit comes bundled with Cakewalk SONAR X1 LE software. I have not tried this feature. I've just plugged it in to the computer through the usual USB interface.

Uses SD/SDHC memory cards. Stores recordings / presets / backing tracks. As with all machines using memory cards there may be "issues" with certain types / makes.
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MULTI-TRACK RECORDING
https://www.box.com/s/u5cqlcga3pj7xm8je80o  : B Blues BR80Test PRS BR80 DI
BT from a guitar lessons set - supposed to be a sort of BB Kingish sort of thing. The PRS SE was used. Direct recording of guitar straight into the BR-80 - all fx / amp sims etc are the BR-80s own.
https://www.box.com/s/vg329dbz08ncgg68g4ok - B Blues Test Hag Vibro Mic
Hagstrom through the VibroChamp and microphone recorded into the BR80 with no use of its fx and sims. Same routine as the "B Blues BR80Test PRS BR80 DI" track otherwise.
https://www.box.com/s/c7ubcyaswdpbdorqhc8u - Tangled Up_AcousticBR80
In the interests of novelty ..... I went all acoustic, using only the inbuilt microphones on the Boss BR-80. First the rhythm, then the bass (using Boss built in guitar to Bass converter fx), then lead. All done on the Tanglewood TW45NSB. I've hardly recorded the Tanglewood, though I've had it for a few years now. Out of practice playing it.
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I got seriously distracted by the E-Band section of the machine and TBH haven't really been back to explore the multi-tracker more. Any sounds obtained in the E-Band mode are also available in multi-track mode. Tracks that come with the machine you get a recommended guitar preset comes up with it when selected (though it usually needs less overdrive and a tad of compresssion to suit my taste). The Boss Backing Tracks are short loops so usually only consist in essence of a couple of chords - but a lot of them seem well chosen and quite a lot can be done with that simple base. In E-Band mode you can record what you play and what the backing track is playing - but the guitar is central in the reulting mix and you can't change the balance afterwards. You could export a backing track into the multi-tracker and then record your part in there with the options of pan and balance and post recording tweaks.

E-BAND RECORDING
https://www.box.com/s/tdb194xryd71rsjib1ww - A Kind of Minor Workout
PRS SE with all fx etc from the Boss BR80 - bit of EQ adjustment in the DAW. The DAW was really only used to convert wav to mp3. A David Wallimann GuitarPlayback.com backing track imported into the BR-80 E-Band listing.
https://www.box.com/s/7j2pujcxzr8kvx67937j - Out Damn Virus Blues in A
Trying to rail and shake my fist at the virus I was suffering with - on the Strat. Backing track in "12 Bar Blues in A" by David Wallimann from the GuitarPlayback.com site.
https://www.box.com/s/x2gduj61k2knk66jes24 - BR80 EBand Pink Echo Rock Test
Despite the factory backings being repeated loops of only 10-15 seconds they're very addictive and I find myself improving for 10 or 15 minutes at a time on just one backing loop. The E-Band is also taking me places I don't normally go and attempting styles I don't normally play. basically just A and D chords. I've used the PRS SE plugged straight into the BR-80 and the preset is eased back for less gain and has a bit of compression added.
https://www.box.com/s/0r4kxiz66hy3eefgtaj3 - Two Excerpts Angry Mind
In a particularly foul angry mood one night and with the e-band jam I turned to the metal section, hit record, gunned up the P90s on the PRS SE into spitting mode and went for it. My one attempt at this sort of style so far this year! This is just two excerpts from the extended jam. Note the guitar sound here is a preset that has had the overdrive level tweaked down! Not my genre - but was cathartic at the time.
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Navigating the menus etc is surprisingly easy. I had a Boss GT-8 for a while, and still have a Boss Rhythm machine and did not find them at all easy. I also failed miserably with being able to use a Tascam multi-tracker a few years back which didn't boost my hopes about getting good use from the BR-80.

Depth of editing the guitar presets is impressive too - and the editing does a good job:-
Compressor/Limiter - Sustain, Attack, Tone, Level.
Distortion - abot 25 types - Drive level, Tone, and 3 types of level.
Amps - Just under 40 guitar amp sims - and Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence, Mic Type, Mic Position, level and distance
Various parameters for EQ
Various Parameters for Noise Suppression
Modulation - Octave, Phaser, Flanger, Tremolo, Rotary, UniVibe, Pan, Chorus - with parameters for each (between 3 and 8 parameters)
Delay - Single or Pan - Time, Feedback and Cut levels.
Reverbs - Room, Hall or Plate - Time and Level parameters.

It is however still VERY tricky to get a sound that is near 100% convincing on susain and decay as the sound from a good amp / speaker.
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« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 02:12:54 AM by VikingBlues »

DetroitBlues

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Re: Boss BR-80
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 02:27:37 PM »
That's quite the demo... I'm still going through it...

reb

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Re: Boss BR-80
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 04:59:03 PM »
since i have limited internet data plan, VB, i sampled a couple. they sound clear, sharp and well played. thanks for the review!

zagatron1

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Re: Boss BR-80
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 06:46:12 PM »
since i have limited internet data plan, VB, i sampled a couple. they sound clear, sharp and well played. thanks for the review!

+1 on that! One of these days I'll have a balanced sound on my recordings.

Memory Lane Jr

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Re: Boss BR-80
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 01:39:53 AM »
Informative review, that is a great little device. 8)

johannes.maas

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Re: Boss BR-80
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2012, 02:42:24 PM »
Have a micro br (should be the same bc its also a br-80)
and use it mainly as a field recorder. Recording quality of the built in mics is great.
I use it to catch ideas when I am playing around with my western guitar