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Centrance MixerFace R4R Recorder/Interface


Weogo Reed:
Hi Folks,

    I've been using a Centrance MixerFace R4D Recorder for over a year and have some thoughts.
So far, live use has been limited to two-track show recordings, which it does very well, through the combo XLR/1/4"TRS balanced or 1/8"TRS stereo un-balanced inputs.
I've been looking for a chance to use it live with the factory X/Y mics as a two-channel mics/mixer/audio system with balanced outputs. 
The unit could add a couple mic inputs to a mixer with an open pair of line-level inputs.

)  The preamps are very quiet  -  with low-noise  mics you can get bird recordings with good S/N.
)  The headphone amp easily drives my old, 70 ohm, Sennheiser HD25-1s. 
)  The two 1/8" TRS balanced line outputs nicely drive Equator D5 monitor speakers.
)  The recorder and mics are sturdy but not sealed.  I used it in a light mist when recording the overflow at a dam with no issues.  One time I used the recorder under my coat in the rain, with dynamic mics with foam wind screens exposed.
)  There are two mic XLRs.  The rest of the connections are 1/8" TRS.  The TRS connectors appear to be very good quality and I've had no issues with them.
)  In the summer, it gets warm, but not hot.
)  There's no indication of recording time remaining so I got higher-capacity micro-SD cards and
fairly frequently dump files to a laptop or other device.  The card can be plugged into a phone to see the recorded files and their sizes.  Simple math gives the approximate remaining recording time.  (A 24 bit, 48KHz two-track recording uses a little over 1 gigabyte per hour.)
MultiTrack DAW from will also show file sizes, and can edit and re-name files on an IOS phone or tablet.  My Android tablet has a micro-SD slot so I can plug the card in directly.
)  On the R4D the USB-micro-B connector is data only, a second one is for power only.  I bought a USB splitter cable so I can do data and power from one USB connection.
)  Internal battery life is several hours.  I take a USB power supply for longer sessions.

)  The factory mics appear to have a low noise floor, sound quite good, and can be used with regular
XLR cables/stands/boom poles as miniature mics that barely show up on-camera.
)  The mic screens are more debris screens than windscreens  -  for windy areas
the optional muff is required.  When the mics are off the recorder, foam windscreens can be used for close-vocals or wind instruments.  WindTech makes foamies that fit well and are pretty effective.
)  Reversing the mics on the recorder, with the Left mic in the right XLR, and the
Right mic in the left XLR, makes for a simple, useful two-person interview setup. 

)  This winter the unit has seen most use as an interface to monitor speakers in my micro recording/editing setup.
)  With every design choice there are compromises.  I was looking for a recorder with these design parameters:   high quality audio, reliable/sturdy build, compact/light, low power draw, and a relatively simple, basic design with few failure points. 
With minimal controls, no touchscreen or screen at all, the R4D meets my needs very well.
)  As long as the recorder has the functionality needed, I would happily use it in any professional setting.

    Anybody else using one of these?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Tim McCulloch:
Hi Weogo-

The MixerFace and PortCaster came highly recommended to me by a friend in the location sound biz.  My friend thought of it as "getting closer to Sound Devices" in terms of preamp gain and noise than other brands, and he mentioned the robust headphone output as well.  A mutual friend then suggested the PortCaster to me when I mentioned that I wanted to replace the X32 Rack that was functioning as my computer audio interface for Zooms and webinars.  I'd already ordered a Flow 8 but wish I could have held on long enough to get the PortCaster.


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