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Suggestion for flash recorder.
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jethompson77
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#1
12th December 2007
Old 12th December 2007
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Suggestion for flash recorder.

My brother in law wants to do an oral history project. His plan is to leave a recording device with his grandparents and have them record stories, etc. at their leisure. Does anyone have any suggestions for a flash recording device? The grandparents are fairy tech savvy for their age (they can check email, etc.), but I am worried about ease of use. We need them to be able to use the device and then email us the files in some format (wav, mp3) that we can then take into ProTools and organize, etc. I suggested sending them an old Marantz tape recorder, but there is some worry about getting the tapes and then having to digitize them.

Long time lurker, first time posting. Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions.
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12th December 2007
Old 12th December 2007
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I've been happy with the M-Audio Microtrack. They just came out with version two.

There's recording adapters you can get for iPods too, but never tried them.
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12th December 2007
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M-Audio MicroTrak 24/96 user here as well.

Mine has been very good to me so far, tho the headphone out is pooched ATM.

I'd suggest looking at the Zoom unit - it's considerably less coin, and also has some features that the MicroTrak doesn't.

Another one is the Edirol unit - again, I've not used it, but it also has features that are missing on the MicroTrak (mic's are recessed/positioned on the sides of the unit so can't be busted off/pulled out, and it takes AA's, so you can swap batteries in the field).

The best thing about the MicroTrak is if you use Pro Tools - direct import into sessions, tho I'm sure with the other units it can be done nearly as fast.

Hope this helps,
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12th December 2007
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Best bang for buck is Zoom H2, under $200. Just press record once to arm it and set level, then press record again. Good qualilty built-in mic, capability of omni or cardiod operation. Mounts on a mic stand with supplied adapter, or place on a table with small tripod mount included. I have used mine on a train with a bunch of fiddlers, and it worked great.
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#5
12th December 2007
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The only thing about a lot of these Flash recorders I don't like (including the Zoom H2, which I just got) is that there's no built-in speaker to listen to your recordings. The only way you can listen back to something is to dig out a tangled mess of ear-buds or plug it into a mixer/stereo. Yeah, the quality of a small, built-in speaker would be crap, but at least you could do reference listening without needing any accessories.

Pretty lame, IMO.
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12th December 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
The only thing about a lot of these Flash recorders I don't like (including the Zoom H2, which I just got) is that there's no built-in speaker to listen to your recordings. The only way you can listen back to something is to dig out a tangled mess of ear-buds or plug it into a mixer/stereo. Yeah, the quality of a small, built-in speaker would be crap, but at least you could do reference listening without needing any accessories.

Pretty lame, IMO.
This doesn't bother me with my Microtrack.

I'm really not sure what the advantage would be. The speakers would be too small to really know what you've got. It would be like one of those voice recorder things.

Anyway, like my MT though for what I use it for (occasional quick recordings/rehearsals/redundancy backup for main recording system).

-s
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12th December 2007
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I might get the boot for this one but have you considered minidisc? Really cheap on ebay...worth a shot
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13th December 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuminGingerSpice View Post
I might get the boot for this one but have you considered minidisc? Really cheap on ebay...worth a shot
IME,

There is NO comparison: compression artifacts abound with Minidisc - both of the MD units I own are gathering dust.

IMO, offloading digital files 'realtime' via MD is a step backwards once you use drag and drop functionality.

MD needs to die a quick and painful death - I thought it was already dead...

However, if cheap is the reason, maybe he should consider getting a hifi VCR, or better yet a DASH recorder - they also go cheap on eBay!

Just taking the piss - hope this helps,
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13th December 2007
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yeah..no doubt it doesnt sound as good..but you certainly don't have to shell out a lot of money these days for a working MD-recorder!
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13th December 2007
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Big MD problem

Sound quality aside, the deal breaker for MD is bumping the recorder while in record mode.

"oh crap you bumped the recorder, the file won't save, shiiiiiiiiiiiit"

A lot of my friends are using the Zoom that streets for $299. Real XLR inputs is a great feature. The last thing I want is to keep track of more custom adaptor cables.
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13th December 2007
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zoom h4 here. wanted the microtrack for digital ins, but ended up with this one.
so pros: all above and the fact that the h4 will do 4 track recording, cubase (se?) included with USB connectivity
cons: no digital in stuck with Zoom conversion

also got a hard disc camcorder....video and audio in a backpack, with room for a six pack! cha-hey bra!
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13th December 2007
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I have an Edirol R09, and have been really happy with it. Looked at a Microtrack, but the little detachable "T-Bar" microphone seemed like a breakage hazard to me. It was around $400.

If you are looking for something AWESOME, Sound Devices 702.
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13th December 2007
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Has anybody experiences the new Sony PCM-D50?
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13th December 2007
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I must also report nothing but great experiences with the Microtrack. I'm using it with a Lunatec V3 as mic pre and AD, and I've had great results. Only issue is that the input for the SPDIF isn't recessed, so cables with fatter plugs won't fit. It's not hard to work around--just use cables with skinny plugs--but it should be kept in mind.
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13th December 2007
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A Sound Devices 702 might be over-spec for your requirements but a good investment if you plan to do more audio work (e.g. use mine as a preamp then SPDIF into the desk as well as field recording); you would also need a reasonable mic to go with it.

The Sound Devices is not too difficult to operate but the initial learning curve is quite steep in terms of menus and technical knowledge of terms.

If it's a one-off why not record to cassette on the Marantz (which I guess is simple to operate) then use noise reduction plug-in for digitizing?

I'm involved in developing oral histories of my family and local culture...it's a valuable archaeology for the future. Good luck.
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20th January 2008
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i got a Mircortrack II, 1st one froze up after recording...... M-Audio said to exchange it, i did....... 2nd one....even worse, did not mount on desktop, always said battery was low (after charging for hours), and a host of other problems...... not operator error either.

sound quality was good, operating system was not..... not a reliable piece by my standards, very consumer..... and forget support, 2-3 days for a email response to say to return it..... you can't get a human on the phone.

Pay & Pray
#17
20th January 2008
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I've got a Zoom H4 and I love it. I find it ridiculously useful, and the quality is pretty good to boot. I use it with rechargable batteries, which typically don't have the same life span (per charge) as conventional batteries, and I still get good time out of it. The only negative side to it is the so-called "built-in effects", which isn't really a negative if you don't plan to use them, as they're pretty sub-par.
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6th February 2008
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what about the tascam HD-P2?

i been looking for something too -

ALL I NEED is 24/96 with digital in. Tascam is $1k, and it's plastic and made in China.

reports about microtrack vary so much about its quality. any suggestions?

i'm thinking of settling on my macbook for now, but sometimes those fans just kick in...
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6th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
The only thing about a lot of these Flash recorders I don't like (including the Zoom H2, which I just got) is that there's no built-in speaker to listen to your recordings. The only way you can listen back to something is to dig out a tangled mess of ear-buds or plug it into a mixer/stereo. Yeah, the quality of a small, built-in speaker would be crap, but at least you could do reference listening without needing any accessories.

Pretty lame, IMO.
The Marantz PMD620 has a speaker. Similar form factor to the H2, but priced more like an Edirol R-09.
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6th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzjoe View Post
Has anybody experiences the new Sony PCM-D50?
I have had experience with the PCM-D1, which is the big brother to the PCM-D50. The PCM-D1 is excellent, and the PCM-D50 reportedly has much of the same capability at a big reduction in price. Both are probably overkill for the OP, but for music, the PCM-D1 is surprisingly good for a small flash recorder, and if I were looking for something at a budget, I'd definitely consider the PCM-D50.
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6th February 2008
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I friend recorded us live with a Zoom H2. The result wasn't bad, and he said he got 24 hours recording out of Lithium batteries.

I wouldn't put out a CD with the result, but for Oral History/Podcasting it was plenty high quality.
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21st April 2008
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I'd like to do live recordings via mixer tape out using the Zoom H2's line input. Has anyone tried this? This looks like a fun unit & I'm leaning towards getting one. I have gotten pretty good results doing the same thing using my mini disc, but being stuck with loading into the computer in realtime has taken all the fun out of field recording with the mini disc.
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28th May 2008
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Firstly, the big downer is that this is not shipping and knowing Nagra, probably won't ship for a long time, but thought I would bring it up if someone has a use for this in the future....

Nagra VI

it has a built in mic, built in speaker to make quick checks... and has an ethernet port to mail files back to the mothership.
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28th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman714 View Post
I'd like to do live recordings via mixer tape out using the Zoom H2's line input. Has anyone tried this? This looks like a fun unit & I'm leaning towards getting one. I have gotten pretty good results doing the same thing using my mini disc, but being stuck with loading into the computer in realtime has taken all the fun out of field recording with the mini disc.
H4 has combined XLR/jack inputs - you can connect it to anything you want and it works perfect. You can probably also use H2 line input, but I would go with the H4.
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28th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
The only thing about a lot of these Flash recorders I don't like (including the Zoom H2, which I just got) is that there's no built-in speaker to listen to your recordings. The only way you can listen back to something is to dig out a tangled mess of ear-buds or plug it into a mixer/stereo. Yeah, the quality of a small, built-in speaker would be crap, but at least you could do reference listening without needing any accessories.

Pretty lame, IMO.
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29th May 2008
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It's an excellent recorder whose only flaw I can discern is that it doesn't record mp3. Otherwise, it's great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzjoe View Post
Has anybody experiences the new Sony PCM-D50?
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