Boss BR-1600CD Digital Recording Studio
Boss BR-1600CD Digital Recording Studio

BR-1600CD Digital Recording Studio, Digital Multrack-studio from Boss in the BR series.

MGR/Kevin Alan Mattson 10/25/2005

Boss BR-1600CD Digital Recording Studio : MGR/Kevin Alan Mattson's user review

« Boss BR-1600 Digital Multitrack Recorder »

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I've spent 30 some years on the road in music and entertainment. Mainly an acoustic guitarist, and a 12-string specialist. Now in my old age (just turned 50) I still play regularly, but have settled down to running my project studio and publishing company.

I have a well equipped PC-based project studio, but wanted to do some live remote recording of local music groups. The BR-1600 seemed like the best bang for the buck. $1400 at

This highly portable box, about the size of a small briefcase, has robust features; way more than I can list here. Including:
8 XLR mic/line inputs, each with trim control.
8 tracks of simultaneous recording.
A large bank of vocal, guitar, bass, and other effects based on the same circuits as Boss's excellent stand-along products. E.g., the unit includes the Boss GT-6 guitar effects.
CD burner--you can actually record, mix and master a complete CD all inside the unit, complete with good FX.

My first project was a live recording of a youth music group at a big church. The BR-1600 worked perfectly recording 8 tracks. The backlit LCD display is a bit primitive, but adequate with good-enough VU indicators.

I moved all the tracks to my PC for editing in Sonar. The resulting project has won me raves among my musician friends here in Duluth.

The "plastic" feel of the box makes me wonder how will it will travel over time. I keep it in a foam padded suitcase, and a few bumps have done no harm so far.

The controls are fairly arcane. You really need time with the manual even to do the basic recording. I haven't attempted to do much with it's editing and mastering functions.

The LCD display is very primitive. And there's no option for an external display.

Slow response time for loading and saving projects.

Apart from it's over-all plasticness, it's seems to be made well. It's been reliable for me for almost a year.

One thing about Boss, they maintian a long product cycle. That is, their units change slowly and are supported for a long time. So once you have one, you won't feel it's obsolete over night.

Despite limitations, at the prosumer level the BR-1600 is the best bang for the buck in it's class.

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