Boss BR-800 Digital Recorder
Boss BR-800 Digital Recorder

BR-800 Digital Recorder, Digital Multrack-studio from Boss in the BR series.

ENG152 03/17/2014

Boss BR-800 Digital Recorder : ENG152's user review

« A beautiful misfires! »

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I purchased the BR-800 after selling my BOSS Micro BR, small Swiss knife guitarist who made me well but I found the service a bit limited with 4 tracks.

The BR 800 is in the form of a much larger portable studio, its vocation is to be taken throughout history to play the guitar and save his little model that goes well. Is it succeeds? Let's see it ...

1) Description and connectors:

Perceived quality is average gear is lightweight and does not seem solid. The finish is still good holding and plastics are not at all cheap ...

Right side: USB A socket, ON / OFF / USB switch, a jack for AC adapter (the machine can run on 6 LR6 batteries which is good) Note: USB power possible! We also find the cache to SD card that has a Phillips screw ... It accepts cards up to 32 GB

Rear: 4 Input Jack, 4 XLR inputs with phantom, Two RCA (left and right), a line in (small stereo jack), a footswitch input.

Front: A headphone jack (big jack Stereo), a guitar / bass jack (big jack Mono)

On the top two microphones for stereo surround taking, controls in the form of four sliders for 4 mono tracks, 2 sliders to 2 stereo tracks (5 6) and (7 +8), 1 slider for box integrated PACE and 1 for Master volume slider. There are more knobs for logging level 4 tracks and one for the general entry level. The LCD is confused, the other functions are activated by "sensitive" buttons that are vaguely reminiscent of the interface of a smartphone. I preferred real buttons that you can not blame them for any problems responsiveness. There is also a large knob that allows you to change settings displayed on the screen. A word about the "operating system" that BOSS wanted instinctive and readable. Overall it's ok but nothing more.

BR 800 should be considered as a notepad, especially not as a device for recording drinking model. Its ergonomics are so downright unacceptable and you lose a lot of time over the track editing via software. Note that many editing functions are not available in some or absent from the machine modes ... I think just to copy / paste a portion of a track ... Annoying!

The device has several modes including:

a) EZ-REC (easy rec): the simplified recording studio up selecting his style of music ("Rock" for example, but also "Metal", "Pop", "Ballad" I could go on ... ) and the gear selected the guitar sound that sounds "Rock" and the rhythm that corresponds (in this case ... well uh "Rock"). Here it is ... You I do not know but I saw it myself so it's smart!

;-) Hehe!

b) Sketch Song: Lets take a quick well done notepad in Wave history remember this killer riff. Then to go to pick up the machine, it is the cross banner ...

c) the normal mode (which has no name): this is one you will use if you want to try to record a demo ...


The manual (in French and delivered with the paper ... yes!) is very well done, I find it totally necessary because it is through him we learn that many of the things that were thought to do with the machine will be either very complicated or impossible. His reading was a revelation to me but a fucking cold shower ...

2) Limitations:

We can fix / sequencing paterns battery and there is a nightmare: it's downright painful. Importing Paterns USB is possible via the supplied software. It is ugly and complicated. The machine does not remember imported once off loops including with batteries ... all over again ...

You can not create rhythms without using a computer which is sad for a studio all in one!

Exporting songs and tracks is not really easy either: the other bundled software is a gas plant that works or not depending on his mood ... I said that I use a MAC ... if it is on PC it's great.

The use of BR as a surface control software with computer music is quite convincing: why not after all.

Concerning reproduction imported from outside (eg MP3 to play on) tracks, well ... BR 800 does not accept that the Wav, 16-bit 44.1 kHz AAC ... so , AC3 or MP3 sorry ... which is a shame becaufe my BR 800 did and it was convenient for work pieces.


3) Sound quality

The internal effects processor offers effects (bass / guitar / vocals) and modeled sounds "COSM".

Moving quickly on the classic effects such as reverb or chorus that deserves to exist and concentrate on modeling. Respect for the instrument is non-existent and use with external effects (eg a good old cry baby) produces comic results. Say that it can help. Now, who has ever heard a tube amp may have a nervous laugh listening to it ... The saturations are numerous, there are plenty of pedals that emulated my RAT dear ... There's also the Sreamer Ibanez Tube! and then MT2 "Metal Zone" ... just as pathetic. I said that does not know the famous GT10, head sounds BR-800 ... Anyway, my ears do not really like the sound that comes out of this beast there. Perhaps they should have just put one or two credible and basta sounds?? Simulation is low in practice revenge! Simulation of acoustic guitar is a gimmick.

Outside sounds recorded online are rough, it is not just the recording level but the Analog-Digital conversion ...
Outside sounds recorded by the two built-in mics are just okay.

the drum loops ranging from good to poor. Their sound quality is a notch below the Micro BR which is incomprehensible when we know that some are almost the same. I note the absence of ternary rhythm which is simply delusional.


Here it is: the BR-800 is not a pro tool, or even semi-pro: it is rather a big toy designed for the guy who thinks he will record his solo album ... I'm curious see how many models were actually recorded on this machine. That does not diminish the quality of the previous recording studios "all in one" BOSS.

This review will probably appear a bit hard. however, it is up to my disappointment. BOSS had the opportunity to Provide semi pros practical tool for:
1) produce models at lower cost
2) Play and record everywhere (bus tour / holidays)

In the end, with its ergonomics of another age and the loss of key functions of the micro BR we are left with a queen size unit not really transportable, deprived of many interesting functions (no MP3 payback (!) With speed change ), proper recording just quality, Analog / Digital conversion poor, lack of essential editing functions ... and especially the inability to move a computer that is a damn shame for such Product: A botched in order!

I've only used four months to get rid of, tired of his feeble ergonomics and limitations which had become unbearable for me ... I said that I spent a lot of time studying the manual and depths in the hope of finding the missing features ... who were not there. I do not regret it at all ...

I would advise a micro BR which is a lot more but only 4 tracks ... I do not know the BR-80 ...