4 Stars By Agathon on 2014-12-12
Very good recorder (thus far)
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS (which is about all I have at this time):
This unit seems generally well constructed with good features for the price (one 50 area) and records in several formats. This was important to me because, as a musician, I want that flexibility when making master copies of my ideas and (less often than I would like) completed work (I use the *wav setting on the latter and mp3 low quality for the former).
* Records to SD(HC) card or USB. The USB flash drive (not included), if inserted, takes precedence over the SD if both are present at the same time. (The unit comes with a SD card, but it is relatively small (1 GB). That is more than enough room for my purposes, but if you are recording church services, full concerts, etc., this card will fill fast, especially if recording in *wav format).
* I have written to SD and USB and both seem to work well.
* The machine connects to the PC via USB out, but this is for file transfer only. It will not record back to the computer as a storage device, nor is it advertised or intended for that. A computer is not necessary to use this (but managing files with the job wheel would be a real pain).
* The jog wheel is a (perhaps "the") weak link. It is finicky and tedious, but it controls a large number of functions (including the all important record level). If one needs a good solid thick knob somewhere, it's here. Instead, it is a rubber wheel that is almost flush with the unit's front face. This makes adjusting recording levels most awkward. The only real "knob" on the unit is the volume control for the headphone out (but this knob won't control the volume on the RCA outs).
* It has plenty of inputs (RCA and mic) on the rear AND front--a nice touch. A switch up front controls the two.
* The LCD display is color, small, and simple/intuitive. However, the dB readout bars "lag" a great deal.
* Variable gain switch (3 levels) is nice, but a variable gain knob would have been better. However, at this price, the switch is just fine.
* The recordings are excellent.
* The directions are poor indeed--what little there are. I learned how to use it by reading reviews and forum posts on the internet. The directions rank up there with some of the least comprehensive I have ever seen for a piece of recording equipment.
* The unit is sturdy, well packaged, and includes some (cheap but fully functional) RCA cords, a power cord, USB cord, and little stick on felt feet for those who want table top (as opposed to rack) positioning.
I will update after I use the unit more. So far, so good--4 stars. The flat, finicky jog wheel cost a star because of its central role in the functioning of the unit. However, once it is set, it does seem to record very well--no complaints there.
1 Stars By Bryon J. Noel on 2013-11-26
It works; when it's flaws don't get in the way!
The Gemini DRP-1 recorder has some major issues. It will record sound and it does a good job when the flaws don't get in the way. It's simple to use (when the flaws don't get in the way).
Here's the flaws found so far:
1) The recording level meter.
It doesn't always work. Sometimes no level is seen at all, but most of the time the level is about 1-2 seconds behind the sound being recorded. The recording meters range is about -20 to peak. So if the sound is currently quiet it's hard to know what the level is as it doesn't appear at all. The meter is so slow that you will never see quick peaks. These will distort but you may never see the level for it.
2) The Recording level adjustment.
The digital adjustment wheel adjusts the gain digitally. It really trims the gain off the analog signal. When used during a recording each "click" of the wheel is a very coarse adjustment (3-5 db). Adjusting the wheel produces a "pop" in the recording. Using it in a recording can be disastrous to the recording.
3) Undocumented "Features"
AGC (Automatic Gain Control).
My recorder currently has the Volume control set for AGC. However there is no AGC in any of the manuals I have found. There are no controls that I know of for enabling or disabling the AGC. It's like they didn't get this feature working good and simply left it hidden. Well it's on for my recorder and it causes the audio to sound very bad. It's like a very badly configured gate that turns the audio up when it detects sound and turns the level down when it gets quiet. Only it's cutting sound off that I want to keep in the final recording. It also introduces pops and other artifacts into the recording. We don't know how this "feature" was enabled and we don't know how to disable it.
Edit - I found a fix to this. A review of a different model of this recorder gave a method to turn off the AGC. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/review/R9JBN0MGB60V5/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R9JBN0MGB60V5
The recorder has a noise gate that defaults to "ON" each time the unit is turned on. To turn it off. Remove the SD Card, then press and hold the Record button.
4) The documentation is wrong about the companies website. And I cannot find any firmware updates on their sites.
I have a help request in. We will see if they will help me.
At this point I would not recommend this product.
It does work but it's flaws counter the simplicity of recording audio.
2 Stars By Mark King on 1969-12-31
MAYBE GOOD FOR SOMEONE, NOT ME
I wanted to love this thing. It may work for someone but it was not right for me.
I have three other USB stick recorders and was hoping this could be a studio player. We have a lot of USB sticks we use for music and we rotate them among all three players (Behringer and Tascam and Mac). The sticks work fine on our other players so we were anticipating they'd work on this one too.
Nope. Anytime we inserted a USB stick from any of our other players into this unit we got an error message.
Worse, there did not seem to be any way to format the stick using this recorder. If you get the error when you put the stick in you're hosed, you can't record. I tried erasing and reformatting the USB sticks using my Mac laptop. I tried Mac, I tried PC fat, none of them worked, every time I put a memory stick into the Gemini recorder I got the error message.
Our workflow depends on the USB stick packaging, I can't be alternating back and forth to SD card for some players and USB for others so this machine had to be returned. I'm going to step up to a more expensive Tascam model that we've had good luck with.
Thanks AlumiGogo for making the return easy. Good music and happy recording to all!
3 Stars By Steven Tory on 2016-04-18
May not be reliable
This unit has been flaky from the start. How hard should I press a button? Should I press it three times if it doesn't respond to one or two? Four?
But I can live with that. What I can't live with is the pulsing of the recorded sound that has cropped up after 5 months of use. The level jumps up and down at random intervals. This doesn't happen on the monitor output during recording, so I have no way of knowing when it is happening until I take the memory card to another playback device. This unit will be going back for warranty service, and if it can't be fixed, it will go into the dumpster.
Also, I noticed an apparent limiter function at about 80% of maximum during some early recordings. I'm hesitant to blame the DR-1 for this, since it might have been the source (cassette), but after the pulsing sound started, I'm inclined to doubt the quality of this unit. I will test for this when it is returned from service.
1 Stars By Tommie G. on 2015-10-15
Too many negatives to be useful.
The record level meter on this device does not work properly. When the input is silent, the meter is pegged at max. Tech support claims that this is normal behavior. The build quality is low, but commensurate with the price. Recording options are not saved during power down, so you have to adjust the recording mode and input gain every time you turn it off. It has no internal clock, so the time stamps on the recorded files are useless. It has stereo XLR out, but only mono XLR in. Returned.
4 Stars By R. READ on 2014-05-23
Great for the price with technical limits.
Same device as the discontinued "iKey-Audio RM3"
1. Make sure that you get the latest firmware by emailing Gemini support.
2. Make sure that Automatic gain Control is turned “OFF” It is on if your toggle wheel does not have a horizontal volume control response meter on the led screen. SOUND PUMPS IF IT IS ON!
3. Adjust your input pad to one of three levels, and then work with your volume toggle once you press record. B.T.W. just press record, don’t hold it down, just lightly press it for a second.
I have owned the "iKey-Audio RM3" and now the Gemini DRP-1 Digital Rack Mount Recorder.
Both have been very reliable and provide CD quality WAV file recording on up to a 32GB SDHC card.
Great for the price! No 5 stars because of only 1 LOW Z Microphone input. No overdubbing, and no 24bit 96khz.
ALL in ALL I Like it!
5 Stars By B A on 2016-09-27
Pleased with choice
Purchased to record Sunday sermons at church. Works great. Pleased with performance. I did a lot of research on the internet, including much comparison shopping on AlumiGogo. For the price, this one performs very well for us.
Important note: I thought I would need to return it as initially the controls (play, stop, record) did not appear to work. I pressed the controls numerous times but they either didn't work or were unpredictable. I called the company to solve the issue or to return the product. Easy fix: Turns out you tap the controls instead of pressing them. Now works perfect every time.
4 Stars By B Miller on 2016-01-19
Excellent audio quality. LCD display not up to par with the rest of the unit.
The audio quality of this recorder is excellent. There are, however, two flaws that prevent me from giving it 5 stars.
1) The record, play, pause buttons do not follow the industry standard implemented by most north american optical and cassette recorders. This has caused many botched recordings. It is used in conjunction with an optical recorder which only serves to highlight the differences.
2) The LCD display is very low resolution. I have good eyesight but I find it difficult to read the record format and resolution when scrolling through the list of available formats. This has also led to mixups, although less catastrophic than the record mode (item #1).
5 Stars By Rodney C. Manke on 2015-07-27
Once you get the touch this recorder is great! It will make perfect recordings of anything fed ...
The buttons are a little touché. You have to make sure you press them fast (like a computer mouse). Once you get the touch this recorder is great! It will make perfect recordings of anything fed to it with no effort. The side rack mounts come off and it can be installed with the rest of your audio gear.
4 Stars By Kenneth L. Bean on 2015-08-27
Recorder works terrific.
Works wonderful except the default setup records in wav format. It can record in Mp3 however, there isn't a way you can set
Mp3 as the default, and it is not user-friendly in changing it each time to Mp3. Outside of that, we are very pleased with it.