Today I found and picked up a used Boss Micro BR portable music recorder here in Japan. It’s incredibly small and very light weight. I currently don’t have any recording devices other than samplers, loopers, or the computer. I thought about getting a larger recording device, but I always felt that the computer was probably the best choice for me so I tend to use that when I need to record.
There were several factors that prompted me to buy the Boss Micro BR. Originally I was considering the Korg Sound on Sound Portable Multitrack recorder which I still like, however I can only find it new and I’m not ready to pay full price for one yet. I basically bought the Boss Micro BR (unit only) for $50. The 128mb demo SD card was found inside but that was it. At home here I already have an extra AC Adapter plus a 2GB sandisk memory card that worked great although I’ve heard the Boss Micro-br only works up to 1GB. That’s fine for now though. I also had plenty of cables and the manuals are all available online which I prefer. Being in Japan, most manuals are in Japanese anyway so I obviously migrate to the internet to get the necessary literature.
Although I play the keyboard most of the time nowadays, I grew up playing and still play the electric guitar. I find that the Boss Micro-br is FANTASTIC for sitting anywhere in the studio, house, or even outside for playing. The Boss Micro BR runs on batteries and I can just sit anywhere and jam on the guitar to either the built-in drum machine or to backing tracks that I record. I even think it’s possible to create your own drum patterns using a Drum Pattern Arranger which is available via shareware. I can also use the available conversion software and either import or export WAVs and/or MP3s which is nice.
Basically though, the Boss Micro BR is a fun little unit. I grew up in the 80′s and the only thing close to this that I once had was the Tom Scholz Rockman which had that “Boston” Rock sound I recall. I never really used it much because I remember it being quite one dimensional with the “Boston” sound and there were other little quirks too like no drum machine and you couldn’t record on it. It was great at the time because I could jam on my guitar while walking around the house. It was certainly a novelty at best. With the Boss Micro BR I can get a very good amp simulator, great quality sound, and loads of effects. Plus I get a dedicated drum machine and 4 tracks to record ideas and/or back tracks. Through headphones the Boss Micro BR really sounds fantastic. Some people are critical of the distortion, but again coming from the old classic Rockman of the 80′s I find the distortion to be better than anything I’ve ever heard unless of course you are a big Boston fanatic…laugh.
I also will likely use the Boss Micro BR as a voice recorder and MP3 player. I tried both and it performs very well with these two functions. I also own another Voice-Trek recorder which I use quite a bit. Being in Japan, I often send MP3 voice messages to family and friends, so it’s nice to have a backup with the Boss Micro BR. I’m also constantly listening to music and knowing I have something I can use as a backup MP3 player is great. I’ll probably throw all kinds of music and podcasts on this. Plus you can use the Boss Micro BR as a means to slow down music for learning songs, chords and riffs for either the guitar or the keyboard. This works very well also. It will also be great to throw the Boss Micro BR into my Roland SH-01 GAIA case and have something to record or jam with on the go.
I bought the Boss Micro BR over competing brands simply because it had a rock bottom “used” price and it had some pretty good functions to start my recording with. Whether I move on to something else or not will likely happen if I encounter some major problems or find a used Korg SoS recorder for a good price. There may be something else out there as well and if anyone can recommend a good portable music recorder alternative, please leave a comment. I’d sure appreciate it.
Although Music recorders have been around for a few years now, it’s still a slight volatile market with updates happening every year or less it seems. I think the Boss Micro BR was released in 2006 if correct. All in all though it’s a fun little device and can be used and enjoyed in many different ways. Support from Boss seems to be good and so far I haven’t had any issues with learning how to operate the device. Some say it’s overly complicated, but as a synth player, computer programmer, and overall sound nut, I find it’s not that hard really. Like everything else, it just requires a bit of work to learn initially and then you’re off and running. Again, my expectations are low and requirements are simple, so perhaps that’s why it’s been a good match so far.
Should be fun doing some keyboard jams with it too!! Enjoy!