The BOSS BR-1600CD Multitrack Digital Recorder combines Boss' intuitive interface with 8 XLR inputs for recording 8 tracks simultaneously. Includes 16 individual track EQs and 8 dedicated compressors.
Part Numbers: BR-1600CD, BR1600CD
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Boss BR-1180, size: 5.6 MB
2002 Roland Boss BR 1180 Workstation Demo Video Part 1
User reviews and opinions
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Digital Recording Studio
Using the Rhythm Guide Feature
1. 2. Press the STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP EDIT button until its lit red. Press STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP ON/OFF until its lit solid redthe currently selected rhythm arrangement plays. Raise the STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP fader to set the desired listening volume. Press , , and/or to highlight ARRANGE and turn the TIME/VALUE dial to select an arrangement such as P5 ARG.ROCK5. Tap at least four times on the TAP button to set the desired tempo. Press STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP ON/OFF until it flashes red to signify Auto mode, and press EXIT/NO to return to the main display screen.
Its a Fact
The BOSS BR-1180CD/BR-1180 is a powerful, all-inone digital recording studio. It provides 10 playback trackswith a stereo mastering trackand 80 Virtual Tracks for recording. Key features include: Huge 20GB hard drive that provides a staggering 60 hours of uncompressed recording time Built-in CD-RW drive in BR-1180 (or optional user-installable upgrade for the BR-1180) provides internal audio CD burning, data backup, importing and exporting of.wav files and more 2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power, plus Hi-Z guitar input and line inputs Onboard COSM multi-effects processor plus reverb, delay, and Mastering Tool Kit effects Separate Rhythm Guide with many realistic drum sounds and a variety of patterns including rock, blues, country, jazz and more Easy and intuitive icon-based interface simplifies recording, bouncing and mixing
Using the GUITAR/BASS Input
1. 2. 3. 4. Press the REC MODE button so INPUT lights. Plug a guitar into the GUITAR/BASS input. Press the left INPUT SELECT button to turn on the GUITAR/BASS input. Adjust the left SENS knob until its red PEAK light flashes occasionally when the guitar is playing at its loudest level. Turn the INPUT LEVEL knob until the IN meter on the LCD screen displays a level between -12 and -4.
Loading and Playing a Demo Song
Use the following procedure to load and play back a demo song in the BR-1180CD: 1. Press UTILITY. Press CURSOR or until SONG is displayed. Press ENTER/YES. 2. Press or until SONG SELECT is displayed. Press ENTER/YES. 3. Press or to highlight Take a Ride, and press ENTER/YES to select it. 4. If Save Current? is displayed, press ENTER/YES to save the song thats currently loaded. 5. Press PLAY and bring up the AUDIO TRACK MIXER faders, the MASTER fader and the RHYTHM/LOOP faders to listen to the demo.
Inserting an Effect
For this example, well insert a COSM Guitar Amp processor on the guitar input. 1. If necessary, press the COSM EFFECTS button so it lights red. 2. Press the COSM EFFECTS button to display the effects patch list. 3. Select a guitar patchsuch as P29 Tube Stackwith the TIME/VALUE dial. 4. Play the guitar to hear the effect, or select another preset with the TIME/VALUE dial. 5. Press EXIT/NO to return to the main screen.
Creating a New Song
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Press UTILITY. Press or to display SONG, and press ENTER/YES. Press or to display SONG NEW, and press ENTER/YESData Type:" is displayed. Turn the TIME/VALUE dial to select LIN for the best recording quality. Press to highlight GO and press ENTER/YES. If "Save Current?" is displayed, press ENTER/YESthe BR-1180 creates a new song.
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Mastering with the MTK Effects
In the mastering process, youll use the onboard Mastering Tool Kit (MTK) Effects to help smooth out the mixs volume fluctuations and to balance its overall treble-bass characteristics. Well master the mix we previously recorded on Tracks 9/10. Note: During mastering, the BR-1180 records your mastered mix onto a special pair of Virtual Tracks belonging to Tracks 9/10these Virtual Tracks are your mastering tracks. 1. 2. Press the REC MODE button until the MASTERING indicator lights. Press the MASTERING TOOL KIT button to display the MTK selection screen. (If MTK OFF is displayed, press MASTERING TOOL KIT one more time.) Use the CURSOR buttons to highlight the MTK patch number, and turn the TIME/VALUE dial to select the desired MTK effect. Press EXIT/NO to return to the Mastering Tool Kit screen. Press PLAY and adjust the volume of the mix on Tracks 9/10 as desired. Press STOP and then press ZERO to return to the beginning of the song. Press REC and then press PLAY to begin recording. When you reach the end of the song, press STOP to finish mastering.
Recording Your Performance
Note: To play along with the Rhythm Guide, the ON/OFF AUTO button must be flashing red. To turn off the Rhythm Guide, press this button so its not lit. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Set your recording level and choose the desired effect, as described earlier. Press REC TRACK 1 so it lights red. Raise the first AUDIO TRACK MIXER fader and the MASTER fader to set your listening level. Press the REC button, followed by PLAYyou're now recording on Track 1. When youre finished recording, press STOP. Press the ZERO button to return to the start of the song, and press PLAY to listen to your recording. Adjust the fader in Step 3 if desired.
Adding Reverb to a Recording Track
1. 2. 3. 4. Press the REVERB button. Press or until " REVERB:SEND:TRACK 1" is displayed. Turn the TIME/VALUE dial to set the amount of reverb to be applied to Track 1. Press PLAY to listen to the recording on Track 1 with reverb. You can turn TIME/VALUE to adjust the reverb level as the song plays.
4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Note: To add chorus or delay to Track 1, press CHORUS/DELAY twice in Step 1 for chorus or once for delay, and then perform Steps 2-4.
Mixing Down Your Tracks
Before burning an audio CD, youll combineor bounceall of your recorded tracks, along with their respective mixer settings and effects, onto two tracks. This is called mixing down. Well use Tracks 9/10, the default mixdown destination tracks. 1. 2. Adjust all of your mixer settings, including level, panning, and effects, as desired. Press the REC MODE button until the BOUNCE indicator lightsthe REC TRACK 9/10 button blinks. Press the REC button and then PLAY to begin the mixdown. Press STOP at the end of the song. Bring Faders 1-8 all the way down. Press ZERO and then PLAY to listen to the mix youve recorded on Tracks 9/10.
Note: When mastering is complete, the BR-1180 automatically selects the mastering tracks for playback through Fader 9/10. The MTK effects processor is no longer neededyouve already recorded your MTK effects onto your mastering tracksso the BR-1180 turns it off for you. 9. Press ZERO to return to the top of the song, and press PLAY to hear your mastered tracks.
3. 4. 5. 6.
Input Select. To select a source input to record from press the corresponding input select button. It will light red.
GUITAR/BASS, MIC 2- Select this when recording sounds from an instrument connected to the GUITAR/BASS jack or a mic connected to the MIC 2 jack or XLR connector. You will not be able to select both MIC 2 and the GUITAR/BASS at the same time. MIC 1- Select this when connected to the MIC 1 jack or XLR connector. LINE- Select this when connected to the LINE IN connectors. SIMUL- By depressing both the GUITAR/BASS (MIC 2) and MIC 1 buttons simultaneously, you can record a signal from both mic inputs or from the GUITAR/BASS and the MIC 1 input at the same time. Each signal will be recorded to its own discreet track if 2 tracks are selected to record to. Also note that if an instrument and a mic are connected to both the GUITAR/BASS jack and MIC respectively, the GUITAR/BASS jack will take priority.
Output Connections. To monitor a signal or to send the signal to an external destination such as a cassette recorder, CD recorder or computer interface there are 3 different types of connections.
The PHONES output is a stereo output for headphones. The volume is controlled by the knob located next to the jack. The left and right LINE OUT RCA outputs can be used to send your main mix to analog inputs on powered monitor speakers or an amplifier. They could also be connected to inputs on other recording devices. Also, depending on the quality of the sound card on your computer , you can connect a stereo Y cable from the left and right LINE OUT to the 1/8 Line Input on your sound card to record into software. The DIGITAL OUT is a 2 channel SPDIF (Sony Phillips Digital Interface) Optical output. Through this connection can carry your main mix to Digital speakers, Stand alone CD burners that have SPDIF optical inputs and computer interfaces that have SPDIF optical.
Microphones. A microphone-or mic- is what your recorder uses to capture live sounds, turning them into electric signals that can then be converted into digital audio through the BR-1180s 24bit converters. There are basically two categories of transducer microphones. Dynamic mics and condenser mics. How a dynamic microphone works. A sound wave strikes a thin plastic membrane called a diaphragm causing it to vibrate. A small coil of wire attached to the back of the diaphragm called a voice coil subsequently vibrates along with it. The voice coil itself is surrounded by a magnetic field created by a small magnet in the microphone. As the voice coil moves through this magnetic field it creates an electrical signal that corresponds with sound that is being picked up by the microphone. Dynamic microphones can withstand extremely high sound levels and they do not require any external power to operate. They are generally very rugged and can serve multipurposes. Shure SM-57s are probably the most common instrument mics found in the mic cabinets of professional studios. Dynamic mics are most useful for close miking of instrument amplifiers and close miking of drums. How a condenser microphone works. Condenser mics are more sensitive and allow for a wider frequency response than dynamic mics. Theyre also usually more expensive and more delicate as well. You will want to use condensers for vocals and for most acoustic instruments. A condenser microphone works by utilizing an electrically charged diaphragm and a metal backplate placed closely together to form a capacitor. A capacitor, also called a condenser, has the ability to store an electrical charge. The sound waves strike the thin metal or metal coated plastic diaphragm , causing it to vibrate, thus creating corresponding variations in the spacing between the diaphragm and back plate. In turn this causes the stored electrical charge to change generating an electrical signal that corresponds with the incoming sound. Condenser mics require a phantom power supply or a battery to operate. The BR-1180 can supply phantom power through its XLR inputs to condenser mics. Generally it is ok to connect a dynamic mic to a phantom power supply if you find yourself in a situation that would require connecting a condenser mic to one of the BR-1180s inputs and a dynamic to the other. To turn on the phantom power supply use the following procedure: 1) Press UTILTY 2) CURSOR to System and Press ENTER. 3) CURSOR to Phantom then rotate the VALUE wheel to On. 4) Press EXIT 2 times.
Microphone Directionality. A mics directionality helps determine its usefulness in a specific recording environment. You can tell how a mic will hear by noting its pickup or polar pattern. There are three basic types of pattern. Omnidirectional An omnidirectional (or omni) microphone is sensitive to sound a full 360 degrees around the head of the mic, its capsule. Omnidirectional microphones are good for recording room sound. Unidirectional A Unidirectional microphone captures most of its signal from one direction, the front. The most common type of unidirectional microphone is called a cardioid, based on its heart-shaped pickup pattern. There can be variations in cardioid patterns. A hypercardioid pickup pattern will register sound from its front at greater distances but less from its sides. This provides a more narrow pattern than a cardioid A supercardioid mic registers sound at great distances from its front but is also sensitive from its back yet picks up almost nothing from its sides. These special types of cardioid mics can be useful for capturing sound without being close to its source. In general a unidirectional microphone is most often used for recording sounds that need to be isolated, such as vocals, guitar amps, woodwinds etc. It is the most commonly used mic in recording. Bi-directional A bidirectional microphone is equally sensitive to sound from both the back and front. This type of mic is often used for capturing the sound of two vocalists facing each other. And finally, a multidirectional microphone uses multiple diaphragms. This will allow you to switch to between different pickup patterns.
A Few things to consider when selecting the right mic for the right situation.
Use a microphone with a frequency response thats suited to the frequency response of the sound that you are recording. Place the microphone at various distances and positions until you find a spot that gives you the best tonal balance and desired amount of room acoustics. If you dont like what you hear, try another mic position, try another microphone, try isolating the mic further, or change the sound of the instrument itself. Replacing worn out strings will change the sound of a guitar. Replacing or retuning drum heads will change the sound of drums. Not every microphone is right for every situation. The more versatile your mic cabinet the more recording situations you will be prepared for. (Also consider what microphones your friends might have, to borrow.)
Great Sounds have come from experimentation and seemingly unconventional techniques. Here are just a few ideas for a good starting place.
Common Microphone Situations Individual Vocalist A good, clean vocal recording usually requires isolation from other instruments and the use of a unidirectional mic. Also remember that a condenser mic is going to be more sensitive than a dynamic mic and probably should be your first choice for recording vocals in most situations. Generally you will want to place the microphone somewhere between the mouth and nose of the vocalist. You will also may want to put a little bit of distance between the microphone and the vocalist. Approximately 8 inches. This will help reduce boominess that is created due to what is called the proximity effect. Use a Pop Filter to reduce the amount of pops created from harsh consonants such as p, b, d, and t. An extremely effective pop filter can be made by stretching nylon stocking over an embroidering hoop or even a coat hanger. Then place it a couple inches from the microphone between the vocalist and the mic. The consonant s can be desirable to help create clarity in a vocal line but it can be potentially harsh or piercing. The emphasis of s and sh sounds, called sibilance can be reduced by cutting the high EQ for the vocal channel around at 8kHz. The BR-1180 also has a de-esser as part of its vocal multi effects. Acoustic Guitar For acoustic guitar you will want to use one or even two unidirectional condenser microphones. If you are using only one mic, try placing it three to six inches from the front of the guitars sound hole. You could also place the mic 6 to 12 inches from the 12th fret of the fretboard. Use your ears as a guide. For 2 microphones, try placing one microphone at the 12th fret and another at the bridge or in front of the sound hole. Another option would be to stereo mic the guitar from about 3 to even 6 feet away to also capture your rooms natural reverb. And again, your ears will be the best judge as to how you want to capture the sound of the guitar. Note: When using microphones in close proximity to each other you may experience an undesirable effect known as phase cancellation. Phase cancellation occurs when two microphones inadvertently capture the same soundwave but with opposite sound pressures. As one mics soundwave gets stronger, the others gets weaker. If microphones are out of phase you may hear a swirling sound when you listen to them together. You may also notice a significant drop in volume. Two microphones that are 180 degrees outof-phase will cancel each other out completely.
Gain Structure. A signals level or volume or gain is controlled by knobs and faders at various stages in its path. It is a crucial part of the recording process to be aware how these are set as they will affect the quality of your recording. For starters we will discuss gain structure as it applies to INPUT MODE. The first stage of gain happens at the source. Thats the keyboards volume or the loudness of the vocalist etc. To get the best recording from a direct instrument you will generally want to have its volume turned up to maximum. Of course you may need to bring it down according to how hard the player hits the keys or strings or pads. Because in the end setting gains is going to be about give and take to get the best sound. When recording live sounds, the level is going to depend on the loudness of the instrument as well as the sensitivity, settings and placement of your microphone or microphones. When you press INPUT select for MIC 1, the SENS knob above that button becomes the next stage of gain control. Think of it as a faucet of sorts that as you slowly turn it clockwise you are allowing more signal to come in. Turn the SENS knob up as you are checking the source at its loudest until you get the PEAK LED to flash occasionally but not continuously. This will insure that you are getting the maximum amount of signal. The next stage of gain is determined by the INPUT LEVEL knob. As you bring this knob up you will be adjusting the amount of signal being sent to record. As you turn this knob up, watch the IN meter on your LCD screen. Ideally you will want the meter to bounce above -12db and below 0db. (DB or decibel is the standard reference measurement for volume, named after Alexander Graham Bell.) Youll notice that the L-LINE-R input does not have a SENS knob. Therefore the record level will be determined by the volume of the source and then the INPUT LEVEL knob. The TRACK FADER will determine what you are listening to but will not affect the record level.
Heres the catch !!!. If at any point along the signal path the signal is weak and you compensate by turning it up after that point, you risk introducing noise into the signal path. For example, if your microphone is not close enough to the source or is not sensitive enough to pickup what you are recording you may find yourself cranking the SENS knob to compensate. If you do, you might begin to hear a hiss. On the other side of things if you overdrive a signal at any point you will get distortion. Digital distortion is much different harmonic distortion. Harmonic distortion is the traditional type of distortion that is created when overdriving a guitar amp or a channel on an analog system. This can often be a desired effect. It may add warmth or color to a sound. Digital distortion is the type of distortion that can happen on any digital audio device, such as the BR-1180. It occurs when a signal goes above digital 0db on your meters or the signal overdrives the inputs themselves. It is a most undesired effect as it sounds like a static crackle or pop. So the bottom line is that volumes will need to be adjusted up or down at different places in the signal path depending on what is being recorded. Use your ears and the meters to get the best signal.
Punch in/Punch out. Not every performance is perfect all the way through every time. Fortunately you can replace a section of a track by punching in over a portion of a bad take and punching out before you would record over a section that you want to keep. On your BR-1180 there are three different methods for punching in and out. Manually 1) 2) 3) 4) Cue up your music to before your desired punch in point. Press Play Press REC at the punch in point Press REC to disengage record at the Punch out point.
With a foot pedal. To set up your BR-1180 for doing punch in and punch out using a foot pedal use the following procedure: 1) Press UTILITY 2) CURSOR to System 3) CURSOR to Foot Switch 4) Turn the TIME/VALUE wheel to select PUNCH I/O 5) Press EXIT 2 Times. With a momentary foot pedal such as a keyboard foot pedal or FS-5U plugged into the FOOT SW jack you will be able to enable and disable REC using the Pedal instead of pressing REC. Auto Punch Using Auto Punch you can preset your in and out points so that you can punch in and out without using a pedal or manually pressing REC. This is extremely useful if you are the engineer and the performer. 1) To set your IN point cue up the time that you want to punch in then press the IN button so that it lights 2) Next cue up your punch out point then press the OUT button so that it lights. 3) Press ON/OFF. 4) Cue up your music before the IN point. 5) Press REC. 6) Press PLAY The track that you are recording to will automatically engage when it reaches the IN point and then disengage when it reaches OUT. To clear out old IN and OUT times, press the IN and OUT buttons while holding down DELETE. The Light will go out.
Effects. There a basically two ways to apply an effect to a signal. You can insert an effect or you can create an effects loop. Insert effects. When you are inserting an effect you are placing the effect in the direct path of the signal. The entire signal goes into the effect and comes out effected. One example of an insert effect would be a guitar stomp box. A guitar is plugged directly into the pedal. The pedal processes the guitar sound then outputs the signal to a guitar amp or a mixer or a recorder. You can insert an effect using the BR-1180s internal effects processor by simply pressing the EFFECTS COSM button so that it is lit. By default, turning this on inserts an effect in the path of whatever INPUT is selected. 1) Press the MIC 1 INPUT SELECT button. Button. 2) Press EFFECT COSM so that it is lit. 3) Turn the TIME/VALUE wheel to select any of the BR-1180s internal vocal effects. 4) Talk or sing into your microphone. As a really drastic example try P16 D. Vader or P17 Alien Vox. To select where the effect is going to be inserted CURSOR down to INSERT on the EFFECTS menu then turn the TIME/VALUE wheel to dial. IN (Normal)- This will insert the effect and print (record the effect on the track with the original signal) IN (REC DRY)- You will hear the effect but not record it. TRACK 1.TRACK 9&10- This will insert the effect on the selected track. MASTER- This will insert the effect across the master bus.
What is Reverb? Natural reverberation occurs as sound bounces off of the surfaces of a room and gradually decays as it repeats. As there can be many surfaces in a room there are many of these reflections happening at the same time. The size of the room as well as the number and type of surfaces determine how a room sounds. A reverb effect essentially simulates the sound of a room. On the BR-1180 you can select the type of room (ROOM or HALL) and you can select the simulated distance of the source and the surfaces (REVERB TIME). The larger the number, the longer and denser the reflections become. EFFECT LEVEL controls the return or over all output of the effects processor. Applying reverb to a track can add ambience or a sense of space to a track. Reverb is very common recording tool. The difference between reverb and an echo or delay is that an echo or delay simply repeats the initial sound. Why shouldnt reverb be applied as an insert effect? Remember that when you are using a send and return or loop effect you are hearing a combination of the wet and dry signal. Therefore you are hearing the original sound and then the reflections. If a reverb or delay were to be inserted you would only hear the reflections and your music would most likely sound out of time. What is Doubling? A doubling effect is just that. It simulates doubling of a track by summing the original single with a very short delayed signal. It can be accessed and applied by pressing the CHORUS/DELAY button two times and turning the TIME/VALUE wheel clockwise to select DOUBLN. Chorus. Chorus is another commonly used effect. A very subtle pitch shifting is created by slowing and continuously changing a delay rate. That detuned signal is then combined with the original signal to create the chorus effect. This effect is often used to fatten a sound such as a guitar or bass. You almost never hear a fender Rhodes sound that is not being chorused.
Time Based versus Dynamic effects All of the above mentioned effects (reverb, delay, chorus) are said to be time based effects. These types of effects create a change of the signal over time. Dynamic Effects Dynamic effects are effects that manipulate volume in some way. Dynamic effects are typically insert effects. Some examples of dynamic effects are EQ (equalization), panning, compression and expansion (gating).
What is EQ? An EQ or equalizer can boost or cut the volume of a defined portion or portions of a sounds frequency spectrum. All sounds (with a few exceptions such as electronically generated sine waves) are made up of a fundamental tone and various weaker overtones. These tones and overtones (also referred to as harmonics) make up the color of a sound. A tone is created out of vibrations that disturb the air. We perceive these waves as sound. The faster the vibration, the higher the perceived pitch. In musical terms pitches are notes. For the purpose of equalization we work with tone in terms of the frequency (the speed of a sound waves vibration.) Frequency is measured in hertz. The second factor that we work with is volume or the size of those wave forms. Volume or gain is measured in decibels. By adjusting the gains up or down of frequencies within a sounds frequency spectrum we can reshape the color of a sound. The most common types of EQs are graphic and parametric EQs. A graphic EQ uses sliders (physical or virtual) to adjust the gains of individual fixed frequency bands. A frequency band includes the selected frequency and affects the frequencies above and below it. A typical graphic EQ can have anywhere from 5 to 31 bands. You might find these kinds of EQs on your home stereo or as the last device before the power amp in a studio or stage setup to EQ the overall sound of a room. A parametric EQ lets you select the frequency band to be manipulated and often it lets you select the width of the frequency band to be manipulated. The size of an adjustable bandwidth is referred to as its Q. Both graphic and parametric equalizers can also be classified as to how adjusting the gain of a frequency affects the frequencies above and below that frequency. An EQ that affects adjacent frequencies evenly in a gradated manner is said to be a peaking EQ. Its easy to picture if you visualize a hill or peak being created when a frequency is boosted or a valley as the frequency gain is decreased. A shelving EQ creates a shelf above a frequency or it can create a shelf below a selected frequency. For example if a high frequency is boosted there is a slope up to that frequency and all frequencies above are boosted evenly. The two band equalizers on the channels of the BR-1180 are of the shelving type. To boost or cut frequencies on a track in the BR-1180 use the following procedure: 1) Press the EQ button. 2) Press the REC TRACK button for the track that you want to EQ. 3) Use the TIME/VALUE wheel to turn that channels EQ to on. 4) CURSOR to the parameter that you want to adjust. LOW GAIN- cuts or boosts what is selected for LOW FREQ LOW FREQ-selects the frequency to be adjusted for the low EQ. HIGH GAIN- cuts or boosts what is selected for HIGH FREQ. HIGH FREQ- Selects the frequency to adjusted for the high EQ.
When and why should I use EQ? EQ can be used in different ways. To fix a problematic track or mix. Ideally, if you have great sounding instruments and the right microphones and techniques and the tracks are recorded well, then you will never have to fix the sound of a track. However if you need to, you can cut or boost frequencies to improve the sound quality of a track. To blend together two instruments that might be competing for the same sonic space in the frequency spectrum. If two instruments typically sound in the same range the sound may become muddy. To help clear up the sound its a common technique to decrease some of the shared frequencies of one of those tracks and maybe even boost those frequencies on the other instrument. For example a kick drum and a bass might be competing for frequencies in the low end. By thinning out one of those instruments and fattening the other you will be creating a space for both. For special effects. Using extreme EQ settings can drastically change the natural color of an instrument but it can make for interesting effects. Rolling off both the highs and lows of a vocal track will create a telephone quality sound.
Some basic ideas as to how certain frequencies affect certain instruments. Numbers are a good starting reference for adjusting EQ and there are many different opinions as to what numbers to start with. In the end you will need to use your ears to help you make the right adjustments for your situation. One way to get started is to start with an approximate frequency in the range that you think you are hearing and boost that frequency to extremes. Then slowly adjust that frequency up and down (sweep it) until it sounds like that frequency matches the colors that you are trying to affect. At that point slowly bring down the gain until you get the sound that you are going for. Here are some possible starting references: Vocals- 5 kHz is presence. 6 kHz and above is sibilance. 500 Hz to 1 kHz is nasal. For male vocals fullness is at 100 to 150 Hz. For female vocals fullness is at 200 to 250 Hz. Acoustic Guitar- Fullness at about 80 HZ, Presence at about 5 kHz, Pick noise above 10 kHz. Electric Guitar- Body at 100 to 300 Hz, presence at 2 to 3 kHz. Bass Guitar- Lots of bottom at 60 to 80 Hz, Fullness at 250 -260 Hz, Boxy or hollow at 300Hz, Finger noise at 700 to 800 Hz, Presence at 2 kHz. Drums- 60-80 Hz is the power heard in a kick drum, 100-125 Hz is overall fullness on a drum kit, sizzle and crispness of cymbals are at 10 kHz.
Panning Any CD is a two track recording. One track represents the left channel and the other track represents the right channel. For clarity, most music is mixed so that the listener gets different sonic images from the left and right sides. We refer to this effect as a stereo image. A stereo image is achieved through panning. Panning is a type of volume control. When you pan a channel to the left you are increasing the volume being sent to the left speaker while decreasing it in the right speaker and vice versa. If a channel is panned to the center, the signal is getting equal distribution to both speakers. A well mixed stereo recording will give the listener the perception that different sounds are coming from different spaces in the stereo field. Typically a lead vocal or featured instrument is panned center and other instruments fill in around it at various positions left and right. Its a very common mistake for someone that is new to recording to leave all tracks panned to the center
Compression. A musical performance that is extremely soft in some places and extremely loud in others can present problems for a recording engineer. While you are recording you want to make sure that you are able to record the softest parts at a good record level but when it gets loud the channel might peak. If you set the record levels to accommodate the loudest parts of the song then the soft sections are going to get lost in the mix. One solution to even out the signal would be to manually ride the levels up and down using knobs or faders. An easier and more consistent solution would be to insert a compressor in the signal path. The purpose of a compressor is to bring down the gain of a signal automatically if it passes over a defined volume threshold. This can be a useful tool for getting control of signals that have a wide dynamic range because it allows you run the overall signal hotter. The softer parts will become louder while the louder parts are being automatically brought down. The four main components of a compressor are its threshold, ratio, attack and release. Threshold- indicated in decibels, determines the point at which any signal going above this level will get compressed. Ratio- represents the input to output level of the compressor above the threshold. For example a compression ration of 4:1 indicates that an input level above the threshold that was 4 times higher than the level that is being output. Specifically if the signal goes 8db above the threshold it is reduced to only 2db above that threshold. Attack- This determines how fast the level will get reduced. Slowing the attack time makes for a gradual reduction. Release- determines the amount of time it takes for the compressor to stop affecting the signal after it drops back below the threshold.
There are two places that you will find compressors on the BR-1180. There is a compressor that is part of the effects chain for the vocal and guitar multi effects and there is also a multi band compressor as part of any of the mastering toolkits.
Track Editing. In the days of tape based recording, cutting a portion of a song meant physically cutting out a portion of tape with a razor blade and splicing the remaining ends back together with scotch tape. There was not any room for error. Track editing on digital recorders has become much easier and certainly less destructive. You can cut, copy, move and erase tracks in much the same way as you would edit paragraphs on a word processor. You define a track (or tracks) and region that you want to edit and then tell the recorder how you want to edit it. Because editing on a BR-1180 is non-destructive if you decide that you dont like the edit you can UNDO that edit. To access the track edit menus press UTILITY, CURSOR to TRACK and then press ENTER. To go to a specific type of edit use the CURSORS to highlight its menu then press ENTER. Here is a list of the types of edits that can be performed on the BR-1180. COPY- allows you to copy and paste a specified portion of a track or tracks. COPY+ INS- is the same as COPY but it will insert blank space to make room for the copies. MOVE- moves a specified portion of a track or tracks to a new location. MOVE+INS- the same as MOVE but inserts blank space at the destination location for the move. EXCHANGE- swaps the audio between two targeted tracks. INSERT- inserts blank space on a track by sliding over existing audio. NORMALIZE- takes the loudest portion of the selected audio and turns it up to 0.0db (or a user defined level). The volume of the rest of the selected audio will also increase in proportion to the loudest parts. CUT- deletes a selected portion of audio and also eliminates the space that would otherwise be the result of the cut. ERASE-deletes the audio but leaves a blank space where it had existed. The first page that comes up in any of the track edit menus is almost the same for all of them. It is on the first page that you establish which tracks are going to be affected by the edit. A pair of question marks on this page represents the original track and v-track (target) that you want to edit. For some edits there is a second pair of question marks. A second pair of question marks (to the right of the arrow) represents the destination for the track edit. In either pair the first number is the track number and the second is the v-track number. Use the CURSOR buttons and VALUE wheel to select a track to edit (source) and a destination. The source and destination can be the same if you want to COPY or MOVE a section of a track to another section of the same track. What if I want to edit more than one track at a time? You will notice that your choices for selecting tracks to edit are limited to a single track or an adjacent pair of tracks. However you can elect to perform more than one edit at a time. To select a second track to be edited CURSOR to the number to the left of TR and dial the 1: to 2. Then enter in a new set of track values. You could continue to set up to edit 80 different tracks simultaneously for this single edit.
The next step is to define the location in time for the edit to affect. CURSOR to LOC and press ENTER. Here is a break down for parameters you will see in LOC menus. By default, edit times are defined by measures and beats. If you want to set up your edit times using hours, minutes, seconds and frames, CURSOR to DISP then press ENTER. START- this is the starting measure or starting time for the edit. END- this is the ending measure or ending time for the edit. TO- this is the new location for the edited material when you are doing a track COPY or track MOVE. FROM- this is the location that you are copying or moving from. Usually you will be copying FROM the START. In that case START and FROM will be the same number. COPY X- this will be the number of times that you want the audio between the START and END points to copy.
TIP: The easiest way to enter values in for your edit times is to cue up each of the edit points in your song and press MARK. This will create a marker. Once you have created markers for all of your edit points you can CURSOR to any place that you need to enter a value and use the SEARCH left and right arrows to enter in that markers time. It will fill in the number for you. To select an entire track CURSOR to ALL and press ENTER. After you have all of your values entered CURSOR to GO then press ENTER to perform the edit. Always go back and listen to your edit. If you dont like what you hear press UNDO.
The BR-1180 Owners Manual has a step by step walk through for every track edit on pages 66-74.
Scenes. It is possible to store up to fifty SCENES on the BR-1180. A scene is basically a picture of your current settings. Scenes remember all of your fader positions as well as pan and EQ settings, effects send levels and insert effect parameters. You can call up a scene manually or have scenes change automatically while a song is playing. To enable the BR-1180 to include EQ and effects parameters go to UTILTY, CURSOR to SYSTEM and press ENTER. Next CURSOR down to INS. EFFECTS and turn it ON. Then CURSOR to TRACK EQ and turn it to ON. Levels, pan and effects sends are already enabled. To create a scene for manual recall, use the following procedure: 1) Make all of your channel settings. (level, EQ etc,) 2) Press UTILTY. 3) CURSOR to SCENE and press ENTER. 4) CURSOR to SAVE and press ENTER. If an * appears next to a SCENE number then there is already a scene stored there. You can overwrite it or you can use the VALUE wheel to select a new number. To recall a scene use the VALUE wheel to select a scene number then CURSOR to CALL and then press ENTER. TRACK LEVEL in this menu determines if you want volumes to be called up by SCENES or by FADERS. Automation. Auto Scene allows you to have scenes change while a song is playing back. For each place that you want a change to occur, make your settings then hold down STOP and press MARK. When you playback the song your scenes will change every time it passes one of those markers. To disable the Auto Scene function press UTILTY,CURSOR to SYSTEM then CURSOR down to AUTO SCENE and turn it to OFF.
Mixdown. Mixing down is a real time recording process in which you are combining all of your signals down to two tracks for burning a CD. Any audio CD is a two track recording. The mix down mode on the BR-1180 is the BOUNCE mode. Press the REC MODE button so that BOUNCE is lit. Then press the 9/10 REC TRACK button so that it is flashing. Once you press the REC button and then PLAY you will be rerecording all of your audible signals to tracks 9/10 in real time. That in itself is a very simple process however: since what you are creating is the mix for your CD there are several things that you are going to want to consider first. Panning- set pan positions so that different parts have there own space in the stereo field. EQ- Adjust each channels EQ as necessary. (see When and why should I use EQ?) Moderation is usually best. Set your effects and tweak them to taste. Its a very common mistake for someone that is new to mixing down to apply too much reverb. Again moderation is best. Listen to your tracks individually and all together. How you make choices concerning EQ, panning and effects may change as you listen in both situations. Make sure your overall mix is as loud as it can be without clipping. Set your master fader as well as the 9/10 fader in the center of the black hash marks and watch your master meters on the LCD screen. You will want your meters to peak consistently between 0db and -4db if you want your levels to compare to commercial recordings. If this is too loud for your monitor speakers then turn the speakers down. Be careful with low instruments such as basses, synthesizers and drums. A bottom heavy mix will distort your home stereo system before you reach a level where there is any clarity in the middle and upper ranges. Lower frequencies require more energy. So make sure its not just the lows that are pushing your levels. Use EQ to cut frequencies around 60 to 80Hz if necessary. A mix that lacks bottom end is also not a good thing. Balance is key. Mix using near field studio monitors and not in headphones. Mixing in headphones only can be really deceiving in terms of how you perceive bass frequencies. Use as many speaker references as available to you. Burn mixes to play in your car and home stereo and boom boxes. Take notice as to what works and what does not. You want to strive for consistency. If you are using Roland DS-90A, DS-50A or DS-30A speakers then you can use the COSM speaker modeling to have those speakers emulate other speakers. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Press EFFECTS COSM CURSOR to USE SP and press ENTER. CURSOR to EDIT and Press ENTER. CURSOR to SP. M and press ENTER Use the VALUE wheel to select which DS-speakers that you are using MODEL will determine which type of speaker will be output.
Mastering. Once you have created the perfect mix its easy to assume that the only step left to is to burn your mix to CD. With the BR-1180 you certainly can take your mix down tracks straight to CD but if you really want to refine that two track mix so that is sounds as loud or dynamic as a song on the radio or a commercial CD the you will want to master your song. The process of mastering involves playing your two track mix down tracks through a series of dynamic effects that might include compression, EQ, bass cut, enhancers, expansion and/or a limiter and rerecording their output to a new pair of tracks. To set up your two track mix so that you can master it: 1) Press the MASTERING button in REC MODE select. You should see SOURCE V-TRACK: this is the v-track # on 9/10 that you actually did your mix down bounce to. DESTINATION V-TRACK: this is where you are going to record your master tracks. 2) Select your SOURCE and DESTINATION tracks by using the CURSOR buttons and VALUE wheel. 3) CURSOR to MTK and turn the VALUE wheel to select ON. Turning MTK to the ON position inserts a Mastering Tool Kit on your mix down tracks. A Mastering Tool Kit is a preset effects patch that consists of essential mastering tools such as compression, EQ etc. There are 19 different Preset patches. Each one is customized for a specific musical style or type of mastering. Try selecting different presets to find the one that is most appropriate for your song. To select a Mastering Tool Kit: 1) Press MASTERING TOOL KIT. 2) Use the VALUE wheel to select a Preset patch. 3) Press PLAY to hear how it is going to affect your song If you like the results that you hear, then REW back to the beginning of the song. Make sure that the MASTER fader as well as the 9/10 faders are within the black hash marks. The press REC and PLAY to begin recording from your SOURCE tracks to the DESTINATION tracks. Adjust the Fader on 9/10 if necessary so the master meter is registering as close to 0db as possible without going over.
If you really want to tweak the mastering tools to suit your music CURSOR to EDIT then press ENTER. If you CURSOR to any of the effects in the MTK EDIT CHAIN you can press edit to access parameters for that effect. EQ-The EQ in the Mastering tool kit is a 4 band EQ with adjustable Qs as well as adjustable type (shelving or peaking) for the lows and highs. BASS CUT FILTER- deletes unwanted low frequencies that might other wise muddy the mix. ENHANCER- enhances the presence of the sound by adding a phase-shifted signal to the original signal. An enhancer can help bring life to a dullsounding mix. EXPANDER- An expander is a gate that turns down the level below the specified threshold. This is useful for keeping down the noise floor. The expander here is three bands. One for highs, mids and lows. COMPRESSOR-This is a three band compressor. see Compression from the previous discussion on dynamic effects. LIMITER- This is placed at the end of the effects chain for the mastering tool kit to help limit any overall excessive levels. A limiter is a compressor that uses a very high ratio. The ratio for the limiter here is a fixed ratio. You will want your threshold to be set very high as to only affect the very loudest signals without squashing your sound.
If you are putting together an entire CD there are also a few other factors to consider during the mastering process. The main thing to consider is consistency. You will want the levels and overall sound of your songs to make musical sense as they go from one to another. And you certainly never want to force a listener to constantly turn up and down the levels on their stereo to listen all of the way through your CD. As with your mix down, test your CD on different systems and take notice as to what works and what doesnt. With trial and error and time spent listening closely to your own as well as your favorite commercial CDs the process will become easier.
How do I burn a CD? Once you have mixed down your tracks or mixed and mastered your tracks there are two different methods that you can use to burn an audio CD of your music. Track at Once is for writing one song at a time onto a CD. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Place a blank CD-R in the disk drive. Press AUDIO CD WRITE/PLAY CURSOR to CD WRITE and then Press ENTER. CURSOR to TRACK and then Press ENTER. For SOURCE TRACK use the VALUE wheel to select the tracks (9/10) and the V-track number that you want to put on the CD.
Remember that your initial mix down went to 9/10-1. If you also mastered your song make sure that you are selecting the same tracks here as you did for DESTINATION when you mastered. 6) CURSOR to GO then press ENTER. 7) Set your WRITE SPEED to 8X. 8) Press Enter two times If you get a message that reads DATA TOO SHORT you have not selected tracks that you have recorded to. After the track is written to CD you will be prompted to finalize your CD. A finalized CD will play in a commercial CD player however; it is closed so that you can no longer add additional tracks to it. If you want to put additional tracks to a track at once CD then select NO after it writes to CD for every song that you write until you get to the final song. When you select YES after the finale song it will then finalize the CD. Disk at once allows you to preassemble all of the mixed down tracks from all of your songs for the CD. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) Press AUDIO CD WRITE/PLAY then press ENTER. CURSOR to DISK and then press ENTER. Highlight INSERT then press ENTER. Use the VALUE wheel to select track NO 1 for your CD. CURSOR to the right and then use the VALUE wheel to select your tracks. CURSOR down to INSERT and press ENTER to go to Track NO 2. Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 until you have selected all of the tracks that you want for your CD. 8) CURSOR to GO and then press ENTER three times. Disk at Once automatically finalizes the CD at the end of the burn.
The Rhythm Arranger With most of us not having access to a live drummer whenever we want to write a song, the STEREO RHYTHM/LOOP on the BR-1180 is very useful tool. You can create arrangements from preset drum patterns or from patterns that you create from scratch or from imported midi files. You can also import patterns from audio wave files or from audio tracks. The arranger exists on is own stereo tracks controlled by FADER 11 without using up audio tracks. To activate and access the rhythm guide press the ON/OFF AUTO button so that it is flashing then press the EDIT button. This is the RHYTHM ARRANGE main page. BPM- Represents beats per minute. This is the tempo of your song. LEVEL RHY LOOP- Because the arranger can incorporate patterns that use the internal drum sounds and also have a separate track for wave files (loops) the numbers here represent the volumes for each. ARRANGE- This is where you select an arrangement. There are 50 Preset arrangements, 50 User arrangements that you create and 50 Song arrangements that are also user created. The difference between User and Song is that arrangements stored in the User bank can be called up in any song. Arrangements stored in the Song bank can only be called up in the song that they were created. That means the each song could have up to 50 different arrangements! DRUMKIT- This is where you can select one of the nine internal drum kits for your arrangement. PTN- Access this to create patterns from scratch. COPY- allows you to copy arrangements from one location to another location. DEL- To delete user or song arrangements. WRITE- Any time that you want to save an arrangement you will need to write it into a user or song bank. Otherwise your work will be lost. TMAP-It is possible to have different tempos throughout an arrangement. No.1 MEAS 1 is your starting tempo. This is also where you can setup meter changes. EDIT- where the arrangements are created.
If the selected number of files sizes exceeds the capacity of one disk then you will be prompted to insert additional blank disks. In addition to being able to back up songs you can elect to backup the entire hard drive or just User banks from effects and rhythm guide. See the owners manual for specifics.
To recover song data from a CD: 1) 2) 3) 4) Press DATA/SAVE LOAD. CURSOR to RECOVER and then press ENTER. CURSOR to SONG and then press ENTER. CURSOR to each song that you want to recover back onto the hard drive and press ENTER. 5) CURSOR to GO then press ENTER. 3-Formatting a Drive. When a drive has been freshly initialized, a hard disk recorder writes each files data as a single chunk in one area of the drive. As the drive gets used the areas of free space for writing new data become smaller and smaller and are scattered all over the drive. A drive in this condition is considered to be fragmented. As the drive becomes more and more fragmented it becomes difficult to access data and can ultimately lead to errors. Typical symptoms of a severely fragmented drive include sluggish transport controls, Drive Busy messages and eventually the inability to read and write data to the hard drive or to CD. To prevent fragmentation backup your songs and initialize your hard drive every couple of months or so depending on how much recording that you do. Once the drive has been initialized recover your songs back onto the hard drive To Initialize (format) the BR-1180s hard drive: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) Press UTILITY. CURSOR to HDD. Press ENTER. CURSOR to HDD:INITIALIZE Press ENTER. CURSOR to GO Press ENTER two times.
Note: Initializing will erase the contents of you hard drive. Make sure that you are backed up before you begin this process.
Sharing Data with software programs. You may find occasion to take your tracks into a software system to manipulate. Or you may need to use tracks from someone that does software based recording. Suppose that you recorded some tracks on your BR-1180 but needed to have a musician lay down some tracks for you that lived in another city. If that person uses software to record music then you could mail to them a CD with wave file versions of your tracks. Wave files can be read by most audio software applications as well as many stand alone recorders. Once those tracks are loaded into software your musician can overdub their parts to your song. From there the new tracks can be saved as wave files and sent back to you to import back into your BR-1180. To Export tracks as wave files: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Load up the song that contains the tracks that you want to export. Place a blank CD into the CD drive. Press DATA SAVE/LOAD. CURSOR to WAVE MENU and then press ENTER. CURSOR to WAVE EXPORT and then press ENTER. Use the VALUE wheel to select WAV for the FORMAT TYPE. (AIF could also be used for MAC systems only) 7) CURSOR to TRACK and use the VALUE wheel to replace the ??? with the track number that you want to export. From this point it works like the TRACK edit menus. Changing the number to the left of TRACK will allow you to select more than one track to export. *.* will select all of the tracks. 8) CURSOR to LOC and then press ENTER. 9) Define your START and END points or highlight ALL and press ENTER. 10) CURSOR to GO and then press ENTER. To import WAV or AIFF files into a BR-1180 song: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Load up the song that you want import tracks into. Place a CD containing WAV (or AIFF) files into the CD drive Press DATA SAVE/LOAD. CURSOR to WAVE MENU and then press ENTER. CURSOR to WAVE IMPORT and then press ENTER.
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