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Which portable field recorder (Zoom? Tascam? ...?)
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Which portable field recorder (Zoom? Tascam? ...?)

I want to capture some fresh samples myself, just for the exercise of it, everything from crickets to sizzling bacon to traffic noises to the subtleties of someone flicking their Bic as it scrapes the magnesium or the nuances of a match striking...

I'd like whatever was best a year or three ago... because I'm cheap and want used bargains.

Preferably it captures audio as .wav on an SD or class complaint USB connection. Easy on off...

Preferably one that can sync to video easily.

And one that has good built-in mics and the ability to plug in real/better mics.

2ch is fine. 4ch is cooler/extra.

The cheapest thing that does the job is probably fine. I don't want to over think it. It's a portable recorder, not a treastie on famine in the Congo. But I don't want throwaway garbage gear, either...

Speaking of - one with a shotgun-mic kind of thing for reaching out and recording wildlife, or spies, would be awesome too. I'd like that ability.

Your thoughts (about the field recorders)?

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

I use H4n for band recordings and "found sounds".

The mic is ok, not great. Maybe someone can advise how best to truly capture the essence of sizzling bacon with a field recording mic??
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

another vote for the H4N (pro). I'm using it with a Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun mic (and MZH 600 dead cat). it can record both the internal mics and the XLR one simultaneously.

Old 1 week ago
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
And one that has good built-in mics and the ability to plug in real/better mics . . .
I got the Zoom H6:

• Lotsa channels.
• Backlit color display.
• 6x2 USB audio interface.
• Buffered pre-record (i.e., for unexpected stuff like thunder).
• Uses standard 'AA' batteries.
• Over-modulation protection mode: Record simultaneously at two different levels (i.e., for loud stuff).
• Interchangeable mic-capsules (I got 'em all!).
• Accepts standard-sized SD cards.

I think I bought a refurbished model at some discount. I like it mainly for its interchangeable mic-capsules. The reach of the short-shotgun is pretty impressive (I could hear my neighbors' conversations across the street!). Syncing to video means SMPTE timecode in/out, and ups the price of recorders substantially. Much cheaper to use a clapstick or a digital iPhone slate and sync visually in your NLE. I also bought a Roland R-07 for uber-portability—they're half-off now at Sweetwater—only $99!

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
time_zone's Avatar

I have the Tascam DR100MK3 and love it:

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
I use a Zoom H1 - it sounds great, can slip in your pocket and it's cheap - don't see the need for anything bigger and more expensive unless you want to use it for other duties - ie plug in external mics etc. I use a standard mic windsock rather than the silly individual ones included.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Simonator's Avatar

All the above options look good.

I recommend you god for one that accepts interchangeable batteries of a common format. That means you can switch them if they run flat in the field, but also means that the device won't be bricked when the battery life expires (as happened with my first M-Audio one, with sealed internal battery).

Also make sure they have but almost all will. This increases the amount of external mics you can use.

For a low budget option, check out the Yamaha Pocketrak PR7. I have this and it's good. The only real drawback is a lack of XLR inputs, but it doesn't trouble me.

I use mine with binaural headphones. The quality of which gets a major boost from my
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
James Lehmann's Avatar

Originally Posted by lost_the_peace View Post
I use H4n...
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
I got the Zoom H6
I went down the middle with... Zoom H5.

Here we are in Borneo (Sarawak) recording the rainforest just with the internal mics.

I would say the H5 preamps are fine for casual capture with the internal mics, but are some way short of 'Sound Library' quality. What I mean by that is I found it not really worth using more expensive mics with the internal preamps.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

I have a Marantz PND561.

Pros: Pretty decent sound quality from the built-in microphones, which is reportedly better if using extrnal microphones. Phantom power support (for professional condensor microphones). Runs off of 4xAA batteries or external adapter. Records WAVs or MP3s, up to 24/96k for WAVs. Seems to be built like a tank. The one I got was a quite affordably priced B-stock unit.

Cons: Relatively large and heavy. Slightly clunky/dated interface (though it works fine and is perfectly usable). Seems slightly finicky about what SD cards it will work with. Battery life is unexceptional, and I understand rather poorer if phantom power is turned on.

On the whole, I'm quite satisfied with it. I do tend to use it more for recording band concerts, rehearsals, recitals, lectures, and the like rather than capturing samples.
Old 1 week ago
I use the F8 daily, as a mixer and to release my tracks. I only release multicam videos with no overdubs, so the timecode on that unit is essential for my work flow.
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