I'm shooting out portable recorders today

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Sales Dude McBoob
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I'm shooting out portable recorders today

Post by Sales Dude McBoob » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:45 pm

If anyone has any specific questions about the:

Edirol R-09HR
Yamaha Pocketrak CX
Zoom H4
Zoom H2
Marantz PMD-660
Marantz PMD-620
Olympus LS-10
Sony PCM-D50
M-Audio Microtrack II

...then post your question here in the next two hours and I'll try to find out the answer.

palimpsest73
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Location: New York City

Re: I'm shooting out portable recorders today

Post by palimpsest73 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:24 am

I've heard the Zoom H2 preamps are kinda crap, but I'm currently shopping for a cheap and portable second recorder (I own a PCM-D50) for mp3 recording via external inputs.

Would you say the H2's preamps and A/D conversion are acceptable for 320 kbs mp3 recording from vinyl?

Sales Dude McBoob wrote:If anyone has any specific questions about the:

Edirol R-09HR
Yamaha Pocketrak CX
Zoom H4
Zoom H2
Marantz PMD-660
Marantz PMD-620
Olympus LS-10
Sony PCM-D50
M-Audio Microtrack II

...then post your question here in the next two hours and I'll try to find out the answer.
MBP C2D 2.26 GHz, OS 10.6.2, 4 GB, Live 8.1.1
MBP C2D 2.4 GHz, OS 10.5.5, 4 GB, Live 8.1.1

stonee
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Post by stonee » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:48 am

most of the people in my radio broadcasting class use the zoom h2 or h4. they seem pretty happy with it.

the school owns a couple merantz, and the m-audio's are popular too.
I'm not a fan of m audio personally.

I think your best bet is to shop by price and what features you want, because they all work pretty good.

Mesmer
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Re: I'm shooting out portable recorders today

Post by Mesmer » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:54 am

Sales Dude McBoob wrote:
...then post your question here in the next two hours and I'll try to find out the answer.
you go McBoob!
here's my question:
which of these are Firewire?
http://www.mesmero.net
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Hidden Driveways wrote:This doesn't answer your question at all, but I said it anyway simply for the joy of making a post.

dj superflat
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Post by dj superflat » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:09 pm

which has the best mics/pres? (wondering which is the best bet for, e.g., recording someone in a room playing guitar and singing and coming out of it with something truly useable.)

which is best for recording line out? (e.g., so that you can record loops out of a kaossilator or a machinedrum with good fidelity.)

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Re: I'm shooting out portable recorders today

Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:21 pm

Sales Dude McBoob wrote:...then post your question here in the next two hours and I'll try to find out the answer.
You allright, McBoob?

.m

thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:41 pm

Which field recorders software integrates best with a Mac?

Sales Dude McBoob
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Post by Sales Dude McBoob » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:34 pm

Lo-Fi Massahkah wrote:
Sales Dude McBoob wrote:...then post your question here in the next two hours and I'll try to find out the answer.
You allright, McBoob?

.m
I'm doing pretty welll, LoMass. Thanks for the reminder about the time limit!

My manager was writing an article about recorders and had requested the models he needed weeks ago. He had finished 98% of the article and forgotten about the request, and on Monday they suddenly arrived at his desk. He was busy and asked me if I'd go through them all to see if I could find one thing I liked about each one that is not listed in any existing specs or descriptions. So that was my assignment. I only had one afternoon to do it so I was forced to go through them rather quickly.

What follows is likely the worst audio shootout ever, since it didn't occur to me that I was compiling a shootout at the time. I didn't make sure levels were set a certain way, or that the sensitivity switches were set a certain way. This is the definition of unscientific research:

The Yamaha Pocketrak CX
An ambient recording of an interview in a busy restaurant in Manhattan:
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/po ... _A_003.WAV
I test out the included foam windscreen on the streets:
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/po ... _A_002.WAV
I turn it on, fiddle with it, and later have an impromptu interview with JP from the advertising dept:
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/po ... _A_001.WAV

The Olympus LS-10
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/zo ... 100002.WAV

The Zoom H2
I secretly recorded some co-workers in the next cube. The conversation about the TPS Report came up after I hit stop. I think this is a stereo, front mic recording:
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/zoomh2/STE-000.wav

The Marantz PMD-620
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/PMD-620/1002.MP3
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/PMD-620/1003.MP3

The venerable Sony PCM-D50
An ambient recording of my cubicle. I switch the mic sensitivity and wave it in the air and hear the draft of air overload the mics. Exciting stuff. This is by far the best built machine. For me personally, I'd rather have a smaller, less sexy recorder that I can just throw in my bag and not worry too much about:
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/D50/Z0000000.WAV

The Edirol R-09 HR
I liked this one the best. If it was smaller, namely the size of a jump-drive, I would buy one (if I had lots of cash and already had a new laptop, an RME MultiFace II, a Mac Pro, a larger monitor, anyhow... buying one of these is low on my list - but I still want one). I liked the user interface, I like the effects (simple to turn on and off), I liked the rubbery body (even though it seemed just as susceptible to damage if you dropped it as a plastic one, but you at least have a better grip on it):
http://www.hiddendriveways.net/audio/R- ... 9_0001.WAV

P.S. thelike = they all worked fine with my Mac.

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:00 pm

Generous research. Thanks.

.m

acroberts
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Post by acroberts » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:03 pm

Yeah, is the M-Audio MicroTrack II as shitty as the first one?

Random shutoffs, shit battery life, etc, etc?

Hidden Driveways
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Post by Hidden Driveways » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:19 pm

acroberts wrote:Yeah, is the M-Audio MicroTrack II as shitty as the first one?

Random shutoffs, shit battery life, etc, etc?
It doesn't come with a CompactFlash card so I couldn't test it. I played with it. The menus seemed pretty sensibly laid out. The lack of internal microphones is a big minus.

mikemc
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Post by mikemc » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:40 am

I realize I'm a bit late with teh question, but...

which one, in your opinion, is the best value?

Hidden Driveways
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Post by Hidden Driveways » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:03 am

mikemc wrote:I realize I'm a bit late with teh question, but...

which one, in your opinion, is the best value?
On paper - The H2. It feels a little flim-flam though. The membrane buttons are kinds of meh. But, you can't knock the ability to do surround recordings. Personally, I wouldn't use this feature that much.

In my hand - the Edirol R09HR or maybe the Marantz PMD-620. I liked the user interface on the Edirol the best. The interface on the 620 wasn't as good, but the sound was alive. Check out the links I posted.

[art]
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Post by [art] » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:25 am

i own the pmd 620. it's annoying to use. dont buy one.

Kodama
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Post by Kodama » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:27 am

I have the H4 & the mics are pretty nice, haven't tested the XLRs yet. Don't really care about the FX. The one thing I really DO care about, besides decent quality and price, is the interface.

The interface on the H4 sux bawls. It drains any creative idea before I get to it. I'm hoping for a nice iPod touch interface soon, so I can just hock the H4 and get that.

Right now, I just use it as a portable USB mic, which it's pretty at doing.

Has anyone tried one of those Alesis iPod (non-touch) recorder jobies?
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