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Budget portable recorder for amp miking with SM57/e906 Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Budget solution for amp miking without a computer

Hi guys

I am looking for a solution for amp miking using my SM57/e906 that does not require a sound card/computer.
my budget is around $350, is there anything that will allow me to get decent results?
I could not find many reviews for this kind of use with the Zoom H4N or Tascam DR-40 which seems to be popular in the price range.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by MegaMan9; 6 days ago at 11:25 AM..
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaMan9 View Post
Hi guys

I am looking for a solution for amp miking using my SM57/e906 that does not require a sound card/computer.
my budget is around $350, is there anything that will allow me to get decent results?
I could not find many reviews for this kind of use with the Zoom H4N or Tascam DR-40 which seems to be popular in the price range.

Thanks in advance
Insterad of the little hand hled thingies, why not get a little hard disk recorder like the Tascam DP 8-track Digital Porta-studio
or better yet, this 24track recorder - Zoom R24
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

You may be able to find an old Fostex MR8 8 track digital recorder somewhere. The red machines require a memory card but the MR8 HD has a 40gig hard drive. They are easy to use and have mixdown capabilities. You can also import and export tracks to a pc and edit in software if needed. I do all my tracking on the HD and import to my laptop for mixing. Or the Zoom machines you can find that are the same thing in your price range may fit your needs.

Last edited by hook11; 6 days ago at 01:20 PM.. Reason: wanted to add on
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
You can find used Tascam DR 680 first generation recorders on ebay for under $250. I think there was a sale at B & H Photo on the second generation for $350 maybe at the end of last year.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Insterad of the little hand hled thingies, why not get a little hard disk recorder like the Tascam DP 8-track Digital Porta-studio
or better yet, this 24track recorder - Zoom R24
Thanks for the reply. Does the Tascam DP-8 has better preamps than the handheld devices?
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Quote:
Thanks for the reply. Does the Tascam DP-8 has better preamps than the handheld devices?
It probably does, because if you look at the size restrictions of the handhelds, they have to compromise on some parts i would think.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
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DirkP's Avatar
 

the preamps of the h6 are very good for the price, much better than on the older r-models. for about 300,- the h6 is fantastic.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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MarkF48's Avatar
Used........ Used Zoom R16 Multi-Track Recorder & Mixer, Computer ZR16

Can be battery powered and can be used as an interface to DAW software

SM58 into an R16....
YouTube
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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Basically I need 2 tracks tops...all these 16-24 channels devices seems like a huge overkill.

I don't mind spending more for better preamps, but it looks like that more expensive device usually means more features and channels by default
Old 5 days ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I use my Zoom H5 for this all the time, with a 906 too, and it’s exactly what you’re looking for. I actually now have mine hooked up to the output of a little Midas DM-12 mixer so that I never have to repatch whether I’m playing guitar/bass/synths, but I routinely use the preamps and have no complaints.

I get why people are recommending multitrackers, but there’s something about the simplicity of the Zoom that frees your brain. you just turn it on, hit record, and forget it’s there - makes you play differently.

Then, I use a much simpler audio editor called Fission that lets me quickly pull the best bits out, and put them in an idea scraps folder.

I use an Apollo/Pro Tools rig to actually produce, but for capturing moments of sheer inspiration that start songs, this system has been a life-changer.
Old 5 days ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Will going with standalone mic pre and a recorder give better results if I can stretch the budget?

This is going to be used for youtube mainly, so not sure if it's worth the extra cash


Quote:
Originally Posted by inasilentway View Post
I use my Zoom H5 for this all the time, with a 906 too, and it’s exactly what you’re looking for. I actually now have mine hooked up to the output of a little Midas DM-12 mixer so that I never have to repatch whether I’m playing guitar/bass/synths, but I routinely use the preamps and have no complaints.
Do you have some samples maybe?
Old 5 days ago
  #12
Gear Nut
Tascam DR-44 and your existing mic.
Old 4 days ago
  #13
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaMan9 View Post
Basically I need 2 tracks tops...all these 16-24 channels devices seems like a huge overkill.

I don't mind spending more for better preamps, but it looks like that more expensive device usually means more features and channels by default
If you want preamps that are even better than the ones on the H4 H5 or H6 from Zoom and you don't want to waste money on extra channels, you need to invest at least 500,- for a Zoom F4 or 700,- for the fantastic Sounddevices MixPre3.
Old 4 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
If you want preamps that are even better than the ones on the H4 H5 or H6 from Zoom and you don't want to waste money on extra channels, you need to invest at least 500,- for a Zoom F4 or 700,- for the fantastic Sounddevices MixPre3.
At this budget, wouldn't it be better to go with a separate mic pre with and a recorder? ~350 for pre and 200 for the recorder?

With the F4 and others I am spending most of the budget on fancy features I will never use
Old 4 days ago
  #15
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaMan9 View Post
At this budget, wouldn't it be better to go with a separate mic pre with and a recorder? ~350 for pre and 200 for the recorder?

With the F4 and others I am spending most of the budget on fancy features I will never use
I think the mic-pres on the last generation small Zooms are good enough for your intended use. The preamps are noisy IF(!!!) you want to do things like field recording (say birds singing far away) and you're using mics that need a lot of gain. They are at least as good as the mic-pres on budget interfaces and for dynamic mics they have a lot of gain. 2 outboard pre-amps would be too much.
But on the other hand you're right, you're paying for features you don't need.
But - from my perspective - there are so many additional use cases for the Zoom H4/5/6 recorders.
For instance if you want to make recordings of gigs you can record with one of the capsules of the recorder AND record the stereo out from the PA-mixer etc. IF you just use one of the mic-capsules and record a gig, you can tell the Zoom to make a second recording with less gain as a safety backup. You can use it as a 6-input audio interface etc.

Another option: If you own an iPad or an iPhone, you could just buy the camera connection kit and a small interface with two good mic-preamps. Works great!
Old 4 days ago
  #16
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MarkF48's Avatar
I've got one of the older version H4n's in which the preamps get a bit noisy at higher gains. Also have an SM57, a guitar, and an amp, so thought I'd try something quick. Not a good guitar player, but it may give an idea of what an H4n and SM57 can do.
- SM57 off axis about 4" from speaker grill of a Peavey tube amp. Guitar is an Epi Sheraton (think I used the bridge PU).
- Amp was at a decent listening level and did not have to push the gain up on the H4n much at all. Did not try to balance the volume between the clean and distorted clips. There is some background hum from the amp. Some reverb was on the amp.
- Imported the WAV file to Audacity and exported as mp3 file. No tweaking of the recording.

I think you'd be OK with an H4n without an added preamp if close micing an amp.

******** Edit.... Sent you a PM
Attached Files

H4n-sm57 samples.mp3 (808.6 KB, 74 views)


Last edited by MarkF48; 4 days ago at 01:38 PM..
Old 3 days ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 

The h6 sounds fantastic, and I understand the h5 is the same but with 2 less inputs. I use my h6 for a lot of things. And, it can be used as a 6 input interface for Mac and iOS (probably windows too, I just haven’t tried it).
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