Roland R-05 Digital Audio Recorder Tutorial

I’ve recorded well over 3,500 of my own podcast episodes onto a Roland digital audio recorder. I have never had an issue with my audio levels and I’ve never lost any recordings due to crashed software.

This tutorial is designed to walk you through everything you need to know about the Roland R-05 Digital Audio Recorder. I walk you, step by step, through each button on the recorder and through each of the menu settings as I explain how I am able to use this recorder to get perfect audio levels 100% of the time.

Note: This tutorial now includes a bonus video tutorial that demonstrates six different options for doing interviews out in the field with the Roland recorder.

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  • Brent

    I love our Edirol as well. Every single of our podcasts have been recorded through it. Thanks for the great tutorial Cliff!

  • Brent, I would not want to podcast without the use of my Edirol. Glad you enjoy it as much! Thanks for the comment!

  • Cliff…just bought and listened through the content. It got me up to speed quickly and painlessly. It was exactly what I needed. Thanks!


  • Scott, that is awesome to hear! Many blessings to you in the new year! I know you’re going to love that Edirol!

  • Will this tutorial work as well for the Roland?

  • Yes Jared. They are almost identical recorders. The most important information in this tutorial will transfer perfectly to the Roland R-05 recorder. I have a lot of clients and podcasting A to Z students who have confirmed this to me over and over again.

  • Just bought the Edirol tutorial.  I have to confess that I was wondering what it could include that I could not get from the manual.  My apologies for doubting you, Cliff.  If anyone else is hesitating, this tutorial really WILL help you get better results with your Edirol – not just get there faster.  Thanks for the tutorial.

  • I used the Kodak Zi8 in that video. more info at

  • GSPN

    Thank you so much Debra! I am so thankful that it exceeded your expectations!

  • an20

    Cliff, I am contemplating a r05 for a xmas gift for a friend. he REALLY wanted the 09 but i have called all over the country and cant find one. now its between the 05 and 26 and i thought he said one of them was having issues or ?? of course roland was no help….and i cant ask my friend or he will know what im up to 🙂 can you help??!! please…whats the right choice here? he does podcasting as well as other recording. Angela

  • @an20 I’ve not heard of any issues with the Roland R-05, other than the fact that I would never use it to record directly into .mp3. It’s .mp3 encoder is not that great. But since I only suggest recording into .wav, it isn’t that big of a deal.

    Now I have no experience, at all, with the R-26, but I do know that it looks like an impressive recorder. Honestly, if it were for you, it would be easy for me to tell you what I like and then for you to make an educated decision based upon that.

    However, since this is intended as a gift, there is no way for me to know how important things like XLR/1/4″ combo jacks and recording from multiple sources at the same time is.

    Personally, I’d consider sneaking around by getting someone you know to quiz him about his preferences.

  • franceslarnold

    Hi Cliff,
    I am recommending this product to people in my business Mastermind group. Several people in the group host telesummits, and I’m trying to convince them to use better products for better sound. Is there a way to record these teleseminars, which are held via telephone, into the Edirol? Thanks.
    Frances Arnold

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  • MikeMurphy

    Since Skype is killing off 3rd party recording apps such as Pamela, I’d like to pick one of these up. Is anything else required other than the recorder itself to capture a podcast recording through Skype?

  • MikeMurphy Mike, I think other software solutions will be available.   To record Skype Calls into your Roland Recorder, you’d need a mixer with Aux Outputs to do a Mix Minus.  See this VERY OLD video I did YEARS AGO!!!! Link:

  • CrazyMike

    Cliff, I really found this video helpful. While I could have ultimately stumbled around the internet and learned some of this on my own, having it all in one place and being able to draw from your experience is certainly more than worth the cost of this video. 
    Although I plan to use my Roland recorder to record my podcast instead of through my computer, I have a new cast in mind where I would use the recorder in an offsite location. Other than setting the levels, are there any specific tweaks I could do when I use it in an environment where it’s just me and my buddies sitting around a table discussing something?

  • CrazyMike I’m thrilled that you found the information that I shared valuable to help you get the most out of your recorder. 
    When using only the onboard mics on the recorder to record you and your buddies, I recommend setting the audio levels, as you already suggested above, and also making sure that the place that you are recording actually has a very cool “ambient background sound.”
    For example, have the conversation in a coffee shop rather than a quiet private room.  The reason is that in a quite private room, your audio will have a lot of “echo” and you’ll sound like a bunch of people in a basement somewhere.  If you are out in a crowd, or at a coffee shop, then it paints a picture in the background and it makes your audience feel like they are right there with you.

  • dima92

    Cliff, thank you so much for your information. My question is: I have bought the  Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System with ME2 Lavalier Mic to record videos.  
    Can I also use these for podcasts and have decent audio quality OR do I need to get an additional microphone.

    And… if I decide not to record into my computer, would it be enough for me to buy the Roland device and some cable attachments OR do I need to also buy a mixer/synthesizer.  
    I’m trying to avoid spending a lot of money, because the Lavalier Mics were already so expensive. I currently bought the Yeti microphone by Blue to test it out. I am getting that humming noise that you spoke about. Hopefully I can avoid buying the mixer and either use my Sennheiser mics or something like the Yeti.

    Thank you so much for any help / advice. 

  • So how is the Roland r-05 different from something like the Olympus WS-823 ?  I see that the Olympus has 24bit vs 16bit in the Olympus.  What else?

  • craigbooker  Craig, it would take about 20 to 30 minutes to do a solid comparison between the two.  I’m sure that the Olympus would work well for most podcasting needs.  However, for just a little more money, you could have a Roland Recorder that has served thousands of my clients and students well over the past six years.

  • Cliff Ravenscraft That was my thought as well.  I am working with a client who is going to use it to record audio from small breakout session speakers.  The audio will be used later for podcasting and other audio resources.  I was trying to perform my due diligence to be certain.  Thank you for your response.

  • dima92  Dima, The best thing to do would be to hook the Sennheiser up and record something and see if you think it has decent audio quality.   It will almost defintely have exactly the same sound quality as what you are getting with your camera.

  • pmurphy1976

    What would be a good/best Digital Audio Recorder that is in the $100 range of price?

  • I don’t recommend any in that price range. However, at that range, they are all pretty much the same. The cheapest recorder that I’ve ever reviewed was the Tascam DR-97. Link to review: