I’m not all that up to date with the latest gizmos and gadgets. I’m not much of a tech guy. But, there is one fine appliance with which I am very familiar- The Boss BR1180 digital 8 track. And I’d like to tell you of my experiences with it.
It’s actually quite out of date now, and I know how most people like to have the most modern of tools, but there are some trusty old designs that even after much time has passed still do such a good job. Like that trusty old hammer, a little rusted yet firm; that good old saw, a little bent but still sharp; the Boss BR1180 still yields great results, and always will.
If you’re looking for a complete, finished, polished product then the Boss isn’t for you. Using mixing software on a computer is going to be much more appropriate. But if you want to make a punchy demo, that’s where old Bossy excels. It’s quick and easy to use, and has just enough effects to produce something close to what you’re looking for. I’ve actually never found a better vocal reverb than the Boss has, even after years of recording in professional studios. It’s just got the knack. And with this all-in-one magical box of charms you can bring to life vague ideas in your head.
It doesn’t take long to figure it all out. There are many different settings and effects, but just using the basics is simple. You can soon have a decent sounding recording knocked up in no time. And if you want to take it further, well, just keep fiddling. It’s got a selection of inputs, for: mic, guitar & midi. There’s plenty of knobs for levels, panning, etc. The screen is easy to navigate, once you have familiarised yourself. It has plenty of memory, so you can go back and edit songs at a later date. You have the ability to mix, bounce and master a song, after recording. It has a built in CDRW drive, so you can burn .wav or .mp3 files onto a disk immediately. And it’s sturdy too. I’ve carted mine around to endless locations; bumped it against all kind of bus doors, dropped it on pavements, down stairs; yet on and on the boss does go.
Sadly, I did eventually end up accidentally blowing up my Boss BR1180. I’d lost the plug adapter and just tried one at random, one that was obviously far too powerful, which brought about a quick bright flash, and a “Poof!” of sad blue smoke. This, along with the odd button falling off, seems to be the only drawback. But ultimately, because of this machine my life has been enriched tenfold.
They go for about £200 on ebay. The price hasn’t lowered in years, which I think goes to show how valued they are. It might even be going up, them becoming somewhat trendy. Along with it, all you’ll need is a pair of headphones, a microphone, a couple of leads, an electricity source, and your chosen instrument. Then you too can delve into the wondrous world of your mind’s creations, and boss it up…
Check out some of my Boss BR1180 creations HERE
And for a monthly newsletter subscribe to my mailing list HERE