Alrighty, then... I've had my PXR4 for over a month and had ample time to play with it. Not to say that I've figured everything out, but one month has given me enough time to understand the basics and become reasonably proficient at recording with it. So far I've been using the PXR4 to record new song ideas for Naughty Butterspoon
, but there are a few general "goofing around" tracks.
I believe this is the same device that Steve Vai used to record "Feathers"--I'm making no such promises about the quality of these recordings or my playing! (I think everything was done in one take--a true exercise in half-a$$ing!)
That said, here are a few demos:
This will likely become a Naughty Butterspoon song--lots of the PXR4's autowah on this track.
Another potential NBSP song--the "Metal" amp simulator may be just a bit over the top!
This one shows off the PXR4's acoustic simulator. I also did some track bouncing on this one to get 8 guitars in the mix.
Lots of general goofing around here, but gives a good idea of what the solo presets (delay and chorus/flange) sound like.
Here's a little more detailed review that I copied from the "Gear and Equipment" forum and have updated based on my recent experiences:
1) Sound quality is pretty good. Certainly not as good as my ol' J-Station, not quite as good as a POD, but seems slightly better than a V-Amp. There are lots of amp models/effects to choose from and lots of parameters to tweak. As with almost everything digital, the built-in presets are sub-standard, but with some modification the patches really come to life. Great cleans, great heavy/crunch tones--in-between tones are a little lacking. Acoustic simulator is decent. Clean tones are pretty sensitive--have to watch your levels to make sure you don't overdrive, or else everything turns to digital mush. Has built-in patches for bass, voice, keyboards--haven't had a chance to audition any of those yet. Sounds good through headphones but really sings when plugged into a stereo. Probably best to record through a stereo so you can get real feedback!
2) Recording features are pretty good as well. Lots of options available for overdubbing and bouncing tracks--you can squeeze far more than 4 tracks onto this with a little planning. Built-in rhythm section is great for spontaneous recording--probably not flexible enough for full-blown composition.
3) Ease of use is okay. Takes a while to get the hang of the order in which certain tasks must be performed (e.g., to record guitar you must arm the track, then assign FX to the track, then tweak the FX, then perform the recording). Once you get into the routine, then it's pretty smooth to operate. Most of the buttons have dual functions--at least everything is clearly labeled. The menu system, which is nested several levels deep, requires a lot of scrolling but at least it's logically laid out. Display has a lot going on, but isn't necessarily overwhelming.
4) Connectivity is great. The PXR4 records on Smartmedia cards--comes with a 32Mb card standard, which is roughly enough for (2) 3-4 minute songs with 4 tracks each. My PC doesn't read Smartmedia, but thankfully the PXR4 comes with a USB port. Plug it in, and it shows up as a removable disk. You can then see the MP2 files for each track, divided up into folders based on the song name. This is really nice... I can record until the PXR4 gets full, plug into the computer, drag the folders on to my hard drive, and keep on recording. If I want to go back and change any songs, all I need to do is drag the folders back to the PXR4.
5) Durability looks good. I mean, it's not as durable as a Morley wah, but it's been holding up pretty well. I've been taking mine to work and on weekend road trips--either throwing it into my backpack or a guitar case. It does come with a carrying case, which keeps it from getting too scratched up while in transit. Haven't tried running it off of batteries yet--I've been sticking with the tried & true AC adapter (which is included, by the way).
6) Net, this thing is awesome. Sure, there's a small tradeoff in sound quality and flexibility, but c'mon... look at the size of it!! To have this many amp models and FX, a drum machine, and a 4-track digital recorder in something that fits in a shirt pocket is nothing short of amazing.
Anyway, that's my review. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one of these up!