If you're looking for the latest, greatest way to record live audio with a pocket-size gadget, the recently-announced Roland R-05 may be just the thing. Due to be released in May with a retail price of $299, the R-05 delivers all the recording power of 2008's R-09HR at a more down to earth price.
The pocket recorder includes an integrated stereo condenser mic, external audio input (mini-jack), a swappable SD card memory slot, and Roland's own proprietary I.A.R.C. (Isolated Adaptive Recording Circuit) technology, used to optimize its onboard A/D converter.
Features such as WAV recording up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 recording aren't novel features on their own, but one of the R-05's unique tricks is that it has the capability to save audio in both formats simultaneously. The upside to this feature is that it lets musicians record their shows and rehearsals and instantly have access to both Web-friendly MP3s and CD-worthy WAV files, without all the trouble of transcoding files using software.
Other welcome features on the Roland R-05 include two seconds of prerecording buffer, built-in reverb and practice features (metronome, looped playback, and pitch-locked speed adjustment adjustment), and the capability to automatically detect silences between songs and split them accordingly. If you prefer to split and edit your recordings manually, the R-05 will let you do that too, directly on the device.
It looks pretty sweet, but only time will tell if the R-05 will make me want to retire my trusty Zoom H4n.