Boss BR-600 vs Zoom HD8CD/HD16CD

Discuss the Zoom HD and R series. Please don't "post and run". Participate in the discussion. Thanks.
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Boss BR-600 vs Zoom HD8CD/HD16CD

Post by esxmac » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:53 pm

I am looking for my first real recording unit (I have a MicroBR, but I want something more, especially more drum options). I am torn between these recorders (I would like a built in drum machine) and have several questions:
1. How do the drum sounds compare? Is one easier to program than the other? Do the Zooms have canned patterns for fills, intro, ending, etc. like the Boss? Do either or both sound better or equivalent to the Linux-based Hydrogen Drum Machine?
2. While ease of use is a consideration, sound quality is much more important to me--does either unit have better quality or are they equivalent?
3. How do the on-board effects compare, in particular, guitar/bass amp modeling and effects?
4. I know the Zooms can be used as a controller interface on PCs (Windows) Macs with Cubase LE, but can they be used on a Mac with Garageband (I don't have one yet, but am considering it) or in Linux with Rosegarden or Ardour?

Thanks in advance.
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Post by dgleason » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:25 am

Look through the posts here and you'll see most owners are quite pleased with the drums sounds, the effects and the overall sound quality. Have never heard of Hydrogen drum sounds. One of the strengths of all the zoom recorders have been the drum machines.

Using the pattern editors or pressure sensitive pads you can add your own fills. I'm not aware of a set of canned drum fills that come with the zoom. I'm also not sure if the pattern editors run on the mac. Need to check that or maybe Armin can answer that one. I run everything on a PC.

The hd8/16 emulates a mackie control. Most music software supports the mackie control. You'll have to check the package you are using to see what controllers it supports.

Good luck.
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Post by MaxFerry » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:46 pm

I can't address compatability with PCs/operating system/software. I think you might be able to get those answers directly from Zoom.

As to the drum sounds, I think the sounds of the 2 units in question are roughly equivalent...very usable in both cases, although the faster the riff, the less natural sounding it becomes...true of virtually all drum machines. The "canned fill" patterns are there, although a bit hard to find without auditioning ALL the drum sounds. These are designed to be used with the FAST editing feature, to create entire arrangements with verses. I haven't yet gotten deep enough into this to have actually created a percussion/song arrangement.

I also considered the BR-600, but for me, the deciding factor was having 80 GIG(!) of hard-drive storage, as opposed to being limited to SD cards (the BR600 is supplied with a 128meg card) ...and the fact that the HD8/16 has a CD burner on board. I'm also sold on the fantastic quality of the mastering algorithms, deep editing functions, lots of useful amp models (although to be honest, I use my POD for most of that stuff anyway), effects, sampler...jeez!

Another nice thing is that the HD units are well built...METAL housings, nice quality pots, meter bridge, etc. I think the difference in price between these recorders reflects the difference in features and build quality. Nothing really wrong with the just isn't the machine that the HD 8/16 is.
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Post by Henky » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:08 am

Here are some major differences:

- The BR-600 has no midi port, so no synchronising with other midi stuff or using of a midi keyboard for driving the drum sounds.
- The BR-600 has only programmable drums no bass.
- The BR-600 can not export User Drum patterns in any way, not as midi file but also not to an editor like Armin's pattern editor for editing on the PC.
- The BR-600 uses it's own recording/file format, for exporting as wav file you have to convert them first (the zoom stores tracks already in wav format).
- The BR-600 has no dedicated master track, for mastering you have to use track 7/8 on the Boss.
- The BR-600 uses flash cards up to 1 GB, the Zoom has a 80 GB harddisk.

And this is only the top of the iceberg, all in all, I think these machines could not be compared.
The Zoom is more like the higher price range of Boss products (HD8 > BR-900 / HD16 > BR-1600).
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Post by Armin » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:53 pm

The Editors are Windows tools - but you can run them with Parallels or Fusion on your MAC.

Btw. I use a Mac too.

The HD includes a lot of pattern - some are fills, beginnings, endings ...

With the full version of the PatternEditor can you import any Midi files you find in the www (fills,....)
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