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Jay Taylor

Portable recording device

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Guys can anybody give me recommendations or advise on buying a portable recording device? I'm talking mid range gear like zoom h4n, tascam dr1, Edirol R09HR, M Audio MicroTrack II I want something with decent builtin mics and it will be pretty much exlusively used for recording ambience and also some stereo recordings of close up random foley type sounds I am finding it very tough to decide which one :S I had my eye on zoom h4n but I am getting more and more confused the more I look at each product.

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I'm just getting into sound design and foley work so I will look into the edirol. Can anyone suggest any particular microphones for recording foley sound? I'm not even sure which type of microphones are best suited for this purpose.

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I have the Microtrack I, the only complaints that I would have, ironically, is that it's too small--I always feel like it hangs from my mics and phones.

Well, the other complaint that I have is that it has an internal lithium ion battery that has a 3 hour recording charge (longer if not recording) which is too short for good field recording sessions which can take all day. You can charge it up in an hour or less, but that only is useful if you're somewhere with access to a socket or a computer.

If you're field recording in the woods, you're out of luck in a few hours :(.

Get one that has replaceable batteries, so you can swap batteries out mid session.


The microtrak 2, I believe, takes Compactflahs type II, which is great--if you can fit 3 hours of 24bit/96khz recording, you're golden.

There is also the famous 1-bit recorder, but it's exceptionally expensive and you need other equipment and software to deal with 1-bit recordings.

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Quote:
Original post by nsmadsen
I have the Edirol and love it. The 1/8th inch line in jack can get loose (according to some of the reviews I've read) but I've never noticed a problem.

I've done quite a bit of foley with it and it always delivered.


Nice. Have you used the internal mics much?

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Just wanted to thank Jay Taylor for starting this post and all the replies. I was looking into this as well, but haven't had much time to do research, (Just got married and moved this past week)

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It seems the Zoom H4 adds a little beep noise when using the phantom power, from the little light that keeps blinking; it'd be wise to read some product reviews on it, they get a bit further on the subject.

The Zoom H2, on the other hand, seems to be better suited for hobby\student field recording, and it's high quality as at least Bobby Prince uses it :D

Check this article for more info on the differences between the two recorders.

EDIT: The only problem with these portable recorders is that they generally only have 3 input levels: low, mid and high. That limits your control on the recording.

If price is not a problem, then you could go for something a bit better:
Tascam HD-P2
You'll have to excuse me, but that HD-P2 looks so hot.

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Hi Jay,

I have the Olympus and it's nice. I would suggest getting an external mic though. From what i've heard, unless you are recording a loud source, none of the inbuilt microphones are quite up to scratch, even with the sony PCM D50. I used to have a microtrack and was pleased with it except for the fact that you could not monitor what was coming in through the mics without recording, some people don't mind that but I find it annoying. The external mic that comes with it is surprisingly good though.

These sites have some good information:
http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/compare-portable-recorders.html
http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/audio/portable-recorder-comparison/


Chris

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See I was thinking about this, and if I was going to use external mics with it in future, say if i grabbed a shotgun mic, plugged that in, recorded some birds..I would really want to go for a recorder which has 48v phantom inputs right? Or else I might not be able to use the mic I want to without another preamp, does that sound right?

And in my price range I am only looking at the Zoom h4N and the Microtrack units..Between the 2, the zoom can be used on a mic stand and appears more sturdy.

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Actually scratch that, with the fact most shotgun mics have internal battery power, I think I will go for the LS-10. Only going for that rather than the Ediro R-09HR cause I can get it cheaper, other than that I would say they are neck in neck.

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