The Official BOSS BR-800 Thread

TBOF

New member
Okay, so I recently bought a Boss BR-800 Digital Recorder and started producing my music with it. I decided to create this thread for those of you who are interested in this cool little recorder, to let you know what you can and cannot do with it. The main purpose of this thread is to share songs that are entirely recorded, mixed and mastered using the BR-800 only and without any use of a DAW. With every song I post, I'll try to give as much technical details as possible.

Anyone working exclusively with a BR-800 is more than welcome to post their songs in this thread as well.

Technical notes:

I usually record a guitar riff / rhythm guitars or bass first over a looping drum pattern. The drum arrangement with the fills and all is usually done later on the BR-800 (yes, it has a built in rhythm arranger). The BR-800 has a lot of insert, loop and master effects. I try to use as many as possible. I also use a Vox Tonelab LE multi-effects processor for guitar effects. The bass is usually plugged right into the BR-800's front guitar/bass input and I use internal bass effects. I sometimes will use a Tech 21 VT Bass pedal straight to the front (bypassing all effects) or an Ampeg Portaflex head (XLR -> XLR) when I want a little more caracter in tone. I also run a Korg Karma workstation into inputs 1-2 of the BR-800 for keyboards and synth sounds. The main guitars I use are a Les Paul Custom, a Fender AM Stratocaster (SSS), a homemade Strat with a single (hot) humbucker, a Telecaster (SS) and a Danelectro 59-DC reissue. The single coil guitars and (Jazz) bass are usually ran through a Electro-Harmonix Humbugger before going into the BR-800.

Making music with the BR-800 only is a real challenge and it can sometimes be really tempting to go to a DAW, but with all the virtual tracks available (64) on the BR-800, there are a lot of possibilities. The BR-800 is really easy to use.

I hope you enjoy this thread.

NOTE: None of these songs are for sale and I am in no way endorsed by ROLAND/BOSS for promoting this product. This thread is intended for amateur music producers and lovers - just like me !! ;)
 

TBOF

New member
Here's a first song to start this thread:

Blue Eyed Girl by The Best of Fools

Technical notes:

Track 1 : Bass - Fender jazz bass --> BR-800 G/B input (P68 Punk patch)
Track 2 : Lead guitar - Fender SSS Strat --> Vox Tonelab LE (custom patch) --> BR-800 input 1/2 (Mono)
Track 3/4 : Right guitar - Fender SSS Strat --> Vox Tonelab LE (custom patch) --> BR-800 input 1/2 (Stereo)
Track 5/6 : Right guitar - Fender SSS Strat --> Vox Tonelab LE (custom patch) --> BR-800 input 1/2 (Stereo)
Track 7/8 : Synth - Korg Karma --> BR-800 input 1/2 (Stereo)
Drums : BR-800 - Custom arrangement (P2 / STD 2 kit)
BR-800 EQ on tracks 1-6
 

TBOF

New member
My latest song made with the BR-800. A tribute to one of my all time favorite and greatest bands, the Rolling Stones (early 70's era). Only thing missing... Jagger's voice !

Rollin' With Suzy by The Best Of Fools



Technical notes:

Track 1 : Bass - Yamaha BB1024x --> Tech21 VT Bass pedal (SVT setting) --> BR-800 G/B input (no fx)
Track 2 : Left rhythm guitar - Homemade Telecaster --> BR-800 G/B input (Patch P43 DrvnTwin)
Track 3 : Right rhythm guitar - Homemade Telecaster --> BR-800 G/B input (Patch P02 70HrdRck)
Track 5/6 : Brass section - Korg Karma --> BR-800 input 1/2 (Stereo)
Track 7/8 : Brass section - Korg Karma --> BR-800 input 1/2 (Stereo)
Drums : BR-800 - Custom arrangement (P2 / STD 2 kit)
BR-800 EQ on tracks 1-6
Master FX : P03 Live Mix (Mix Down)
 
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mjbphotos

What?!?
Listening to Rollin' right now.
Suggestions: EQ the drums to take a little of the high end out, seems to 'ring' a little (snare and cymbals). Instead of hard-panning the guitars , try panning at various 'widths', hard pan on 2 different guitars is hard on the ears and makes them sound like they are recorded in two different places, instead of 'band like'. If you have any reverb on the tracks, its only noticeable on the synths - bumping it up a little on all the instruments can make them sound like a band playing in a room, rather than recording direct to a box.
I can hear familiar Boss rhythm fills (got 'em on my old songs, too!)
Boss sure makes learning home recording fun!
 

TBOF

New member
Thanks for the advice, Mike. Unfortunately, the BR-800 doesn't give you the option to EQ the drums (only add reverb and chorus/delay). I could record them in a stereo track then EQ it but I have no more available tracks to do so. I'll repan de rhythm guitars and add some reverb to the drums too, maybe it will help make the drums feel more part of the mix and improve the sounds.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
That's where bouncing down comes into play due to the limiting factor of how many tracks you can work with at a time. Bounce everything down to a single stereo track except the drums. (Balance everything, then turn the rhythm track sliders down)
Bounce the drums over to another stereo track, EQ it, and then mix the instrument stereo track and the drum stereo track down to your final mix stereo track! Remember not to "double reverb" any bounced tracks..
 

truform01

New member
hey, just a few querie before i make the leap into this machine. i can take a mp3/.wav file from a thumb drive/pc and load it into this yeh? iv been down the pc/daw route before and am thinkin a change, plus i lke the idea of a dedicated unit. only for home/mixtape stuff. the guy at the shop dosent seem to know to much. thanks
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
You can import WAV files, not sure about MP3. Not sure why you would want to go from PC recording to a stand-alone unless you needed the portability.
 

truform01

New member
well to be honest my computer crashed and i sold my old us-122. and im trying to cheap it up abit. like i said its strictyl home job recording iv a top line studio im doing my album in as we speak. i just wanna be able to put down ideas at home. and as i said occasional throw out track up on the n et etc. in terms of portable use i dont plan on it. is there much benefit to a multitrack? and for the uses above will it perform? appreciate the real talk.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Wanna buy a 4-year old Boss BR600 cheap? :rolleyes: The spin-select dial slips a little. I take PayPal! Rather then spend the money for a new stand-alone, you can get a computer that may not be great but will work better.
If all you want to do is lay down song idea at home get a simple Zoom H4N.
 

TBOF

New member
Hey, sorry it took so long. Been busy. To answer your question, yes you can import a WAV file to the BR-800 (as a song sketch - then transfer this to a track). The BR-800 also comes with a little software, the Wave Converter, so that you can converter the tracks on the BR-800 to WAV format to your computer.

Take care,
TBOF
 

TBOF

New member
Here's my latest composition made entirely with the BOSS BR-800 (except for the old tube organ which was recorded with a Korg Karma worstation). Thanks for listening.

Ridin' The Big Keef

Take care,
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
I'm noticing what seems like a little phase issue with the left and right-panned rhythm guitar tracks. Don't know if you can listen to the mix in mono on the BR800, but that's a good technique with a DAW to ensure there are no phase issues.
 

TBOF

New member
I'm noticing what seems like a little phase issue with the left and right-panned rhythm guitar tracks. Don't know if you can listen to the mix in mono on the BR800, but that's a good technique with a DAW to ensure there are no phase issues.


LOL !! That's due to my sloppy guitar playing. :D
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
LOL !! That's due to my sloppy guitar playing. :D

No, I don't think so, but if you played two identical guitar parts with same fx (most especially a time-based phasing fx like a flanger or phaser), then you could get a phase problem whether you panned them 10% left and right or not. I noticed that when I first tried recording with Line 6 Gearbox and Audacity. Because the FX is starting its cycle at different times on each take, they can conflict.
Take your guitar tracks on the song, mute the other tracks and pan both to the center (same as mono then) and listen, you will probably hear what I was hearing in your mix.

To prevent that these days, I never record the same exact guitar part for multiple guitar tracks. I'll switch how its played, change the effects and tone, play the same part up the neck, etc.
 

roundhead

New member
Here's my latest composition made entirely with the BOSS BR-800 (except for the old tube organ which was recorded with a Korg Karma worstation). Thanks for listening.

Hi, recently got myself the br-800.

Did you edit the drum track in the rhythm editor first?
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
With my BR600 I would just set a constant simple beat while tracking the intiial scratch track(s), then go back and edit in the changes. If I put in any tempo changes, I'd record a new scratch track and do it all again.
 

roundhead

New member
Just done my first mastered track, used a rhythm pattern and added bass, ac guitar and vocal tracks.

Sounds good but for vocals i used the external mics and every time i come in there is a hiss, a bit annoying!

Probablty something simple. Any ideas?
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Do you mean the INTERNAL mics? IF there is a 'hiss' before you start singing, it is probably compression happening. Turn off all the COSM fx (usually the reorder defaults to a fx-on setting when you switch to the mics).
 

Pashmee

New member
Custom Pattern Woes

I just bought a BR-800 and like it overall.

I am stumped by the fact that I can't use custom patterns, created with the included Rhythm Editor software, in recordings. Actually, I have been able to use a custom 6/8 pattern in ONE song, but the pattern will not play in any other songs and I can't even preview it. It's amazing. The pattern is there - I can switch between it and one other custom pattern as well as any preset pattern within one particular song, but any other existing or new songs will not accept it as a valid pattern. :confused:

Surely this is not a sign that custom patterns are somehow SONG SPECIFIC, and not usable in any other song,which would be ridiculous and useless. Anyone else having this trouble? Any way around it? If not, this is a deal killer and it'll go back to the store, I think. :mad:
 
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