I have downloaded the user manual for Edirol-R1 and have not found any hint that the recording level will be automatically adjusted. The only thing is, one can activate a limiter additional to the manual adjustment so that high signal peaks will be automatically reduced, so that no digital clipping occurs. That is another thing, and maybe useful too, but has nothing to do with the dynamic compression question we discuss.
That means, no hint that the Edirol indeed raises low level of input signal also in manual recording level mode. If they do here something, it must be written somewhere. Chris, Robert, did you found a hint in the user manual or during operation on the recorder? So is there a dynamic compression or not in this mystery Edirol?
If there is no hint, one could try it out. Feeding the Edirol with a test signal created by CoolEdit and burnt on cd e.g. and check the recording (wavfile) for signs of dynamic compression. The testsignal could be a simple sinus signal with steps of -10 dB all 10 seconds or so, so that with 10 steps we are at -100dB and then back to 0dB. If the recorded signal starts to get amplified the lower the signal gets, there is a compression. Otherwise not, and the Edirol itself does not do something from the software side. Next thing would be to check the internal mics, not easy, one needs to compare with external mics.
I could create and upload a testsignal wavfile, so if anyone who has an Edirol, could burn the testsignal on cd and record. Interests in that?