Still some love for the old Boss BR1600


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I've just replaced my old twin sync'd Boss BR1600 recording rig with a Focusrite 18i20 / Reaper combination and I'd mothballed the Boss machines. On that old setup I'd gone to two midi sync'd Boss units a decade ago because one just didn't have enough inputs to track a full band with acoustic drums. I already had one and they were going quite cheap second hand at the time so it was a much cheaper option for me to get another 8 inputs than the replacing it with the computer / interface / DAW way. While they're only 44.1/16 bit, they've got all those good Roland COSM effects and amp sims built in so they were always useful in that respect. They worked fine for many years as long as you understood their limitations. They've also got midi in & out & sync and SPIDF stereo in & out - and so does the Focusrite 18i20. I though I couldn't use them with the Focusrite 18i20 because I generally use 44.1 / 24 bit on that and the Boss's are 16 bit. But I now find that SPIDF is always 24 bit (which I didn't know) and if the BR1600's are outputting SPIDF they pack the extra bits with zeros so there's no problem SPIDF connecting them to a Reaper session via the 18i20 SPIDF input into a 24 bit session. Despite this being my home studio in my house, I always want the ability to close mike a 5 piece drum kit and that takes me 8 mikes and uses up all the analog inputs on the Focusrite leaving none left for guide tracks or anything else. I was intending to get another 8 Octopre ADAT mike pres so I could record a band with a drum kit (and I'll probably still do that) but because the 18i20 can record 10 in if you use all 8 pres and SPIDF I can use one BR1600 SPIDF'd in (or both if I chain them together) and track up to 2 sim'd guitars digitally through those or have up to a 16 in 2 out digital sub mixer. So guide tracks are now no problem. I've given it a go with both BR1600's chained up to the 18i20 ) and it works fine as long as the last Boss unit in the chain is clocking the Focusrite. Leave the Focsurite on it's internal clock and the BR1600's glitch slightly but noticeably. I probably won't do it but it's nice to know if I wanted to I could. :rolleyes: So, still maybe some love left for these old units yet. :)

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Hi guys, after becoming bored with clicking a mouse i have started using my Boss BR1180CD, its an awesome machine but only has a 20GB hard drive and no output to computer. Apart from this its well up there with there newest multitrack. A few things i am stuck with is, i have a TC Helicon harmony-g-xt, a great bit of kit and i wondered if i turn the vocal effects off on the BR1180CD whether i can safely plug in the TC Helicon without damaging the BR1180CD. The reason i want to is not for voice correction as i will turn that part off as i can sing well, i want to plug it in and use it to save tracks as it only has 8 (plus stereo 9/10 for bouncing and mixing down, also has awesome 20 mastering effects), so if i used the TC Helicon i could save a track as it will harmonise with me on 1 track. Just not sure if its safe to plug in an external powered effects unit. Any input would be awesome. For a studio thats nearly 20 years old its fantastic, people sell them for up to £300 still which is close to Boss’s new model which apart from computer plug in that also becomes a DAW controller, its literally the same machine but smaller. Here is a video of it for those that are unfamiliar with it: Boss BR -1180 Promo (from 2002) - YouTube
Its also digital. Another thing can anyone think of a way of getting all the data files off it without having to use about 30 cdr’s lol? Is there and tricks all this time later. Thanks guys and i feel blessed to be on here ?


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Although today many are sceptical about portable studios, and more use professional programs. But to do this you need to spend a lot of money on software. And in a portable studio this problem is absent, Boss BR1600 is a great option for work.