Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
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Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio

BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio, Digital Multrack-studio from Boss in the BR series.

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All user reviews for the Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio

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Average Score:4.6( 4.6/5 based on 21 reviews )
 13 reviews62 %
 7 reviews33 %
 1 user review5 %
Value For Money : Excellent
MGR/P. Pearson10/02/2005

MGR/P. Pearson's review"Boss BR864"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
At 48, I've been playing guitar and writing songs for about 36 years "in the closet". Three years ago I decided to "come out". I hooked up with a couple local songwriters groups and have since "played out", joined ASCAP, and begun to build a catalog with the Library of Congress. I write "arty" singer/songwriter tunes and enjoy the same from other artist. Recording is my fondest pleasure. The BR-864 is the answer to my dreams. It's easy to use and my first CD was received favorably by the muscians I admire. Good job Boss/Roland!

I researched several units before deciding on the 864. It has everything I need to make good recordings. I bought it from Musicians Friend for $495.00. It's down to $395.00 now, but, that didn't cheapen our love affair.

Simplicity and potential. I could work with this unit for months to come and still not utilize the many capable variations. I had a problem achieving a desired function, early on. I called Boss. The tech worked very hard with me to remedy the problem. Yes, it was my fault! I've had no further problems since. I'm still amazed at the multitude of effects and options. I'm convinced that it's limitless. I sometimes get depressed when I think that someday, in the distant future, it may quit working and I'll have to seach for a new "mate".

The 864 only has one XLR mic input. I wish it had one more. I can work with it, but sometimes I'd like to have one more. Just never satisfied, are we?

The BR-864 is a pretty tough unit. Mine stays in the bedroom studio. I keep it on a piece of foam cut-out to protect it from vibrations and movement. I also keep it covered when not in use. It's my baby. I've had no problems with buttons, knobs, ins/outs, or flaky "guts", but then, she's pretty spoiled. Very user friendly.

When I feel the "mojo" and I know I'm going to record, for me, it's like going on a date. Not because the unit is intimidating, but, because I know I won't come out for hours, and when I do I'll have a warm glow about me. Weird, huh? This is a fine unit and capable of so much. I would recommend it to anyone.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Dean Brewis09/06/2004

MGR/Dean Brewis's review"Boss BR-864 Digital Studio"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
Having played in a band when I was younger and having now taken up the guitar instead of drums, I wanted a way of recording an entire song with myself producing every sound within the confines of my spare room. I looked at several alternatives and settled on the 864 - it was purchased from Sound Control in Bristol (England) and I paid £350 cash.

The sound quality is exceptional given that I used to record with a microphone - there are no longer dogs barking in the background and I don't annoy anyone else - I can record at ANY time and although I have not taken it out of the house since buying it, anyWHERE.
The range of effects if outstanding, particularly on the guitar and vocal side of things. The list of features is vast and providing you can be bothered to invest the countless hours to learn how to achieve the desired result (it will do just about everything you can conceive of) - then it is an excellent buy.

The first thing that annoys me is the construction. Yes it has to be lightweight, but I fear that I have to treat it with kidgloves as it does not seem to be very robust. It consequently lives in its box which I have simply modified with scissors to allow the lid the shut despite it being permanently connected to the relevant cables. I would personally have prefered to sacrifice some of the weight aspect for an aluminium case and paid more.
The second point is by far the most daunting aspect. Initially I was lead to believe that the 864 was simple to use in that it is like a conventional cassette recorder - well it has stop/start/record buttons like a normal recorder but there any similarity ends. It is horrifically complicated to operate beyond the basic recording functionality. Having had it for nearly 8 months I am still struggling to assimilate the basic ways of doing things. Although the manual is well written and has lots of diagrammatical help, there is something incredibly convoluted about the way the instructions are phrased - and I am a systems analyst, not some uninitiated numpty with no clue. In fact I would go as far as to say it is beyond the reach of many of its purchasers and despite what other reviewers may write, I suspect few wish to lose face by admitting we are in rocket science territory. A 200 page instruction manual should tell you something about the product before you even turn the device on and that is - there is a lot of stuff to learn.
The built-in drum sounds are extremely weak also and lack any real 'kick' - I prefer the more laborious route of connecting my Yamaha pads and laying the percussion side down manually.

As above, I find it lacking in the longevity department - a more durable case would inspire more confidence. That said, it is of a reasonable quality and the rear panel offers a great many connectivity options.

Too complicated - FAR too complicated.

Excellent audio quality.

Excellent range of features, provided you can be bothered to assimilate all the modes and buttons and flashing lights. Yes you can take it out of the box and record within 10 minutes, but do anything else and be prepared to let your instrument gather some dust whilst you go back to school.

The price is about right.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/dave beard06/09/2004

MGR/dave beard's review"Boss BR-864"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
I bought this unit on ebay for $385 U. S. and $15 shipping

This is the first recorder I have ever had. I was able to record and play back within a few hours using the COSM guitar effects and umlti channels. I connected to the game port of my Phillips CD player. It sounded great. I was able to use one of the 40 patches for mic so my voice didn't sound too bad. The guitar patches were very satisfactory. You can plug your guitar into your effects pad and then use the onboard effects as well. nice.

The manual was a little clunky. i had to read it several times and play with the machine before it started to make sense. It would be nice if the memory card were 512 instead of 128. for the money it's great.

good construction

I am more than satisfied with this unit. I am amazed at all the effects that are built in. the sound is very good on most patches.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/cpaauw02/28/2004

MGR/cpaauw's review"Boss BR-864"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
I bought the unit in Germany for 500 Euros, this included (a non original Boss power supply).

The portablility and the ease of use I like best, also the sound quality is very good. I take theunit everywhere I want and can even run it for a long time on batteries. Because of its portability and easy of use it promotes what it is all about ; your creativity making music.

The biggest shock is that you don't have software to convert the recordings on your PC, you have to convert your tracks on the unit itself to .wav or .aif format before you can export it to the PC. The conversion on the unit takes a lot off room on the Compact Memory card so the included 128 Compact Flash doesn't get you very far. It is super frustrating that after your recording you find out that you can't convert it because your Compact Flash card is full. It is strange because the BR-8 and the BR-532; which are older machines do have the software to convert on the PC. I contacted Roland; they have no plans providing the software.
The internal microfone is also noit very good; using a good external microfone ( I use a Shure SM58) works very well and is recommended.
Also; one can only plug one guitar in and one microphone; I would have liked extra inputs.

The Boss-Br864 feels pretty solid (better than the Fostex). The knobs and functionality are similar from the ofther (bigger) Boss multitrack recorders so when you upgrade the learning curve you have with this unit transfers easilly.

Overall; for guitarists / song writers like myself a recommendation; unit which you have years of recording learning and flexibility. The lack of software conversion is a big minus; recommend to get the 1 GB Compact Flash.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/The Amazing Jayseph12/15/2003

MGR/The Amazing Jayseph's review"Boss BR-864 8 Track Digital Recorder"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
My friend actually got this piece of equipment as a birthday present from his girlfriend. She paid something in the area of $800.

This is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment. It has a number of vocal and guitar effects, which is nice.

It was a little difficult to use at first. It seemed very complicated due to its many uses.

Very high quality.

I'd recommend this bad boy to any friend or peer. High quality, great versatility, all in all a great buy.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/William Welch12/06/2003

MGR/William Welch's review"Boss BR-864/ 8 Track Digital Studio"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
This unit came to my attention by my son and his claiming a Christams present. He needed a new recording outfit. This Boss Br-864 answers all of his questions about recording. My son knows his recording equipment. We look at this unit at Metro music in Dothan, Al. I was greatly impress by the size but don't let the size fool you. The cost was $594.95. in the store form the music shop where we shopped for 35 minutes.

The layout of all the controls and lights where very plain and simple to use. The back ground color is very good and ez to use. The recording of the 128MB is out of this world and the tracks where plenty to handled all our musicial needs. He is pleased so I am pleased. He like the on front display that shows up very well. I say, Great Job ! Boss.

We are not displeaed at all. Thanks away.

This unit is lay out prefect for anyone who needs the equipment and range for recording musicial materials. The size is the best I seen and to carry all these wonderful effects. I believe that quality is shown by its campact features and it is powerful 128MB media. It can speak for its self. The whole unit speaks for its self in the quality and construction. Boss means recording media.

Over all I can say it all Boss is the one. I can only speak for myself it is great. What a unit!!!!!!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/k-man12/04/2003

MGR/k-man's review"Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Multi-Track Recorder"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
I aquired this unit from e-bay for 370 dollars. I was surpised to see it listed as I was searching for a somewhat new digital recorder to work with on my new CD.

I like this particular unit because I use a lot of BOSS equipment and it is a brand I know I can trust, also the face of the unit is very easy to understand even for a novice recorder. Also the expense of a studio is very high, and for someone looking to record a lot of material at their home this is the perfect thing to buy.

There really is nothing about the unit that I don't like. For the price, it is really all you could ask for.


The unit is easy to understand, fairly simple to work, and has a great quality digital recording.

Anyone looking to work on a demo in the comfort of their own home should definitely think about purchasing this item.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/lalus11/27/2003

MGR/lalus's review"Boss BR-864"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
samash worl wide web

sound and price, The nice thing is that the menus and buttons are user friendly, EQ, PAN easy to figure out. Moving through the menus is a breeze. Clear and bright display. To many options to give it a 10.

Just a bit of info that is not that obvious from the BR-864 promo
material (inc. Roland website): the USB interface on the BR-864 does
not support Windows 98 and according to Roland Product Support, it is
unlikely that a driver will be developed for Windows 98. I suppose
that this shouldn't be a surprise since Windows 98 is getting a bit
long in the tooth but it's a shame for those who have it and don't
wish to upgrade.

In comparing this to the Boss BR-532, I would have to say that the patches have been VASTLY improved. Out of the box, the majority of the patches can be used without tweaking.


There is a lot of depth to the amount of tweaking that can be done. It is set up much like any of the other multi-effect units that are out there - the even added the ability to connect an EXPRESSION PEDAL. The expression pedal can do anything from adjusting the volume to acting as a wah pedal.


Editing patches is very easy and almost intuitive. There is a lot of depth in terms of what can be tweaked - moreso than in some of the multi-effect pedals than I have seen.



Since this is a recorder, it can work with virtually any type of music, although the patches are geared towards guitar/bass/vocal. There are no really lush keyboard amp sims or things of that nature, but with some creativity - you can create any effect that you like.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Pinky11/25/2003

MGR/Pinky's review"Boss BR864"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
I bought this recorder at guitar center for about $495.00 after doing a lot of research and checking out other units. the price was a big factor. I had already mastered the similar BOSS br532 wich has a very similar operationg system.

I used to sit and stare at my br532 begging ti to magically have more tracks. Looks like the good folks at Roland finally listened. They also threw in more effects, a more programable drum machine,the option for pedals and USB support all for pocketchange more than the br532. The sleeker silver chassis is nice, too. Ive heard some other bigger multrack owners diss the boss line of multitrackers. They can say all they want while they're crying to tech support and reading pages of manual im making demos that sound like they came outta LA.

Id have appreciated new drum kits insteada the nine from the br532. But with the magic of midi you can use the drum beats and such from the br864 and use the kits from your favotie drum machine, like my dr. groove these two units (dr. groove and br864 couple beautifully). I'd have also appreciated phantom power. As with my other boss products they're stingy with the little extras like the power supply. The included batteries almost add insult to injury.

While made of plastic this thing seems pretty tough. I like the way the faders move the lcd is very legible. Boss products, while usually made of plastic seem to stick around for a while.

First and formost, you MUST have a computer with a cd burner if you really want to get the full use of either the br532 or br864. That being said, Both units rock. For the money (under $500) I have a great 8 track fully digial recording studio. People always ask who did my demo's. It feels good to say I did them myself, thanks boss!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Bex11/25/2003

MGR/Bex's review"Boss BR-864"

Boss BR-864 8-Track Digital Studio
I was given this unit as a birthday gift. I believe it cost about $750 Canadian.

It is very easy to operate. The manual is clear and I had it up and running in no time. Being a person who avoids electronics at almost any cost, I was delighted by the ease of operation. Resulting sound is brilliant, especially the quality of the vocals!

It's a bit fiddly to transfer the tracks to PC to be burned, especially if you're not at home with your PC when you are recording. Anyone that is on the road a lot would probably want a unit with a built in CD player. The drum tracks are a bit weak sounding, and were tough for me to program at first.

The unit seems very durable. It is lightweight and compact, and all the pieces are solidly put together.

For this price range, I would strongly recommend the Boss BR-864.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com