Portable Recording for the Music Educator

Roland CD-2e and CD-2i and the Edirol R-09HR and Roland R-05

By Shane Cadman

Is Recording Part Of Your Toolbox?


The Roland R-05 WAVE/MP3 Recorder.

One of the best tools you can have as a music educator is the ability to record a lesson, rehearsal, or performance and then be able to share that recording with your students. While verbal feedback from a music teacher is important, allowing a student to hear his or her own performance can often get the point across more effectively, and in a shorter amount of time.
Not too long ago, if you wanted a quality recording, and possibly even a CD of that recording, you had to make a serious investment in time and money. Fortunately, those days are gone. In fact, depending on your situation, needs and goals, there are options from Roland that are available, affordable, and easy to use: the Roland CD-2e and CD-2i SD/CD Recorders, and the Edirol R-09HR and Roland R-05 WAVE/MP3 Recorders.

Edirol R-09HR And Roland R-05 WAVE/MP3 Recorders

The Edirol R-09HR and Roland R-05 WAVE/MP3 recorders are professional recorders that are powerful and portable. They support up to 24-bit/96 kHz recording—which is over twice the digital audio resolution of a standard audio CD—and they’re small enough to fit into a shirt pocket. They both contain an integrated stereo condenser mic that captures sound naturally and accurately, an external audio input (mini-jack), an SD card memory slot, and built-in reverb, and they can run off either batteries or an AC adapter. On top of all of that, they’re easy to operate, either from their user-friendly graphic displays or from a computer to which they’re connected via USB. For educators and musicians, they’re great practice partners; since they’re able to change playback speed without changing the pitch, challenging parts can be practiced at a slower speed and then worked up to the desired tempo.

Which WAVE/MP3 Recorder Is Right For You?


The R-09 High-Resolution WAVE/MP3 Recorder.

When it comes to choosing between the two recorders, there are a few differences worth mentioning.

While the Edirol R-09HR is a bit higher-priced, it comes with a built-in preview speaker so you can listen back to your recording without headphones. It also comes with a wireless remote, an AC adaptor, and audio-editing software. The latest firmware update comes with a number of upgrades, including a metronome and tuner.

While the Roland R-05 comes in at a lower price—mostly due to the exclusion of a few items such as an external speaker, metronome, tuner, and bundled audio software—it has a few tricks up its sleeve that nonetheless make it a worthy option. To start off with, it has a longer recording and playback time. It also has a built-in tripod mount for easy setup atop a standard camera tripod. While these are nice changes, the major differences are in the actual recording and editing features. This model comes with “Rehearsal mode” in which it can automatically set the optimum recording level for you. It can also automatically separate individual songs for you when it detects silences, or you can use the onboard editing tools for trimming, dividing, and combining your recordings. Last, but by no means least, it can record in WAV and MP3 format at the same time, a very powerful and useful feature that means the days of having to transcode from one format to the other are over. In one shot, you have a CD-quality WAV file, as well as an MP3 to post online, send out via e-mail, or play on an personal music player.

Here is a quick overview of the differences between the two recorders:

Edirol R-09HR v2

Roland R-05





Remote control



AC adapter






Built-in tripod mount

NO—on case


Battery life

Rec: 4.5 hrs
Play: 5.5 hrs

Rec: 16 hrs,
Play: 30 hrs

Bundled software

Cakewalk Pyro




Two Types





File Editing



Auto Rec Level Adjustment

AGC (Automatic Gain Control) only

AGC and Rehearsal Mode

Auto Trigger Recording



Auto Divide



Pre Record



Simul WAV+ MP3 Rec



CD-2e And CD-2i SD/CD Recorders


The Roland CD-2i SD/CD Recorder.

The CD-2e and the newly announced CD-2i are professional, portable audio recorders and CD burners, with everything needed to record, edit and burn—microphone, stereo speakers, and CD drive—in a single unit. While a little bigger and heavier than the WAVE/MP3 recorders mentioned above, they’re still smaller and lighter than a laptop computer, and can run off of batteries or the supplied AC adapter. They record to an SD memory card prior to burning to CD, which means you can easily transfer your recordings to your computer before or after burning them to CD straight from the unit. “Easy” is an important feature when it comes to these recorders. In the not-too-distant past, recording high-quality audio and then burning it to CD was an involved, and sometimes expensive, process. However, the CD-2e and CD2-i are so friendly to use, even first-timers will be up and running right away. The dedicated EASY GUIDE button takes you through each operation, with instructions available in six languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.

The CD-2e and CD-2i are great tools for music educators and music students. Lessons and performances can be recorded and played back through the recorder or with a CD burned from the unit. In addition, there are several playback modes available, including ones in which you can change the pitch, key and tempo of playback, which are powerful tools for music students. Extra features are built in to make the CD-2e and CD-2i even more valuable to musicians, including a metronome, an instrument tuner that works with the built-in stereo mic, and a wireless remote controller for off-unit control of playback and recording.

A few upgrades have been made from the CD-2e to the CD-2i, including the addition of a mono XLR-type microphone input jack with phantom power, as well as an increased maximum size for SD memory (up to 16 GB).

So Now That You’re An Expert . . .

…which recorder should you get? They’re all very easy to use, so you can cross that concern off the list. They’re also portable and can run on either batteries or an AC adapter. Price may be an issue, but seeing as there is only a few hundred dollars difference between them, it shouldn’t be a major factor. While they are all powerful recorders, the main question to ask is: How important is it to be able to burn CDs quickly and easily? If your teaching situation would benefit from being able to give CDs to your students right away, such as in a private lessons, or if you don’t want to deal with editing the audio on your computer—or learning how to edit audio and burn CDs on your computer for that matter—then the CD-2e or CD-2i is definitely the one for you. Also, if you are a band or choir director, you may want to (or may already) have a student in charge of recording and distributing CDs of rehearsals and performances. This would be another potential case for selecting the CD-2e or CD-2i.


The Roland CD-2e SD/CD Recorder.

If you are comfortable with editing audio and burning CDs on your computer, or even prefer to work this way, either the R-09HR or R-05 is a perfect choice. Also, due to their construction, smaller size and lack of moving parts, these recorders are great choices when portability is a major factor, and when you plan to be recording outdoors.

As you can see, these are all powerful pieces of recording equipment that can be used in a variety of situations. Once again, define your needs and goals and be ready to take your teaching up to the next level. And don't forget to contact Roland with any additional questions you may have regarding these products. You can reach us by phone at 323-890-3700 or by email at rolandmusiced@rolandus.com.

For more information on the Roland CD-2e and CD-2i, or the Edirol R-09HR and the Roland R-05, go to: http://www.rolandus.com/products/productlist.php?ParentId=109

To see demonstration videos for these products, as well as many others, go to:

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