Friday, September 30, 2011

User Review of Technical Pro Urec5

My name is Shawn C and Im a front-of-house engineer as well as an active musician near Toronto, Canada.

I had a need to record live performances as well as rehearsals and was looking for a simple solution that I could mount in my road case and connect directly to my mixer. I happened across the Technical Pro Urec5  and it looked to do what I needed done.
To be quite honest, I was concerned about the fact that there wasnt any online user reviews or content about the Urec5 unit. And, the price made me second guess my interest in the product, too was this studio grade quality? Is it as good as $250 solution or even a $500 solution? After using it for a month or so I say to you, YES to all.  

Upon opening the package and setting it up I was surprised to find out that I had to use an SD card that was less than 4Gb in size. I picked up a 2Gb card at the local Staples wondering if I should pick up another.  THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE! You can record hours and hours of content on this thing with files automatically converted directly to MP3.  For editing, I drag them off the card and drop them directly onto a track in my audio workstation software (Cubase).  The quality is clean with little to no noise.  I get EXACTLY what the mixer is feeding it. 
So, wheres the catch? Wheres the its not as good as a costlier solution?
There is no catch. It is what it is.  And, considering no real mechanical parts are required with record-to-chip-memory technology, then one shouldnt expect a lot in terms of mass.
This is a simple device: record and playback.  There is no search or scrubber capability which means you have to move through a list of recordings one by one and play a song back from the beginning to find something in the middle. Is this a big problem? Not, really but, its inconvenient at times, especially during rehearsals where you want to listen back to a particular area of interest.  Too, you can plug a USB drive into the device, as well as the SD chip, and play music during set-breaks which is a big plus rather than having to hang your IPOD off your rig or consume two channels on your mixer for your IPOD.

Operationally, you set the Urec5 device to record mode; press the record arm button and then press the go button.  To play back you disarm it, set to play mode and press play.  The device has its own EQ and volume control so sending it back through your mixers TAPE IN saves you from having to consume mixer channels.

As far as construction goes, the container is adequate but Id be concerned about placing something heavy on top of it.  It works well in a rack situation which, reminds me: the rack ears are packaged separately inside of the Styrofoam supports  so LOCATE THESE FIRST BEFORE TOSSING OUT.  The front panel is solid and theres a substantial tactile presence to the buttons and knobs.  Theres no click, per se, when the SD card goes in it just gets to the point where it wont go any further so dont force it.

With respects to connectivity there are both RCA and ¼ unbalanced connections going in and out of the box.  I feed to the UREC from my TAPE OUT and return through the TAPE IN connections on the mixer.  Ive also sent a feed from the ¼ out (concurrently to the RCA outs, btw) to an M-Audio digital interface which worked well providing you didnt jiggle the cables which caused a bit of noise. 
Remember, too, that this device will probably be fed from a mixer with just enough output to power a set of headphones.  This will not be the same sound that people hear in the venue youre playing into.  The fact is your choice of PA drivers, speakers, subs and cabinets all affect the color and tonality of your end-sound So, what comes out of the mixer may lack a degree of personality that those other components provide.  Like I said, you get what ever your mixer gives. 
Yes, Id buy another. Yes, Id recommend this to a family member. And, Yes, Id buy from Only Factory Direct again.

permission to republish from Shawn C. for only


  1. Thanks for this... I'm doing an install in a church and was leery to use this unit because it's so inexpensive... seems like this will be perfect for the situation though!

  2. I've used one too, to convert old records and audiotapes to mp3. Home stereo, play the music, this saves it as mp3, then dump it to my PC to use free or cheap audio software to normalize, cut it into tracks, etc. I want another for my summer place but as of this writing (July 2012) it may be out of stock.