Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
andydes
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Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by andydes » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:05 pm

Hi guys,

I’m thinking about asking santa for a budget field recorder. Haven’t really had any experience before in this, er, field (sorry).

I’m looking mainly for sound design in techno and similar electronic music. So more likely to be street scenes, industrial sounds, hitting random objects with sticks, pub brawls, animal attacks, etc. rather than trying to capture instrument performances.

It’s hard to say how I’ll be using these sounds at the moment, but I assume they’ll be mangled heavily with effects, slicing, etc.

Considering the Alesis Palmtrack, Tascam DR-08 and Yamaha C24 or any other budget models people might like to suggest.

So do people find the quality of the built in mics and pres in this price range good enough for this kind of thing, or should I be looking external mics or higher quality units?

Anything else I should consider? I see the Yamaha has an omni directional mic for instance, but can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing or even how much it really matters for what I want to do.

Do people even still use these things, or is there an iphone app for that too?

Cheers,

Des

MPGK
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by MPGK » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:15 pm

Hi dude,
I can recommend The H2 by Zoom. It has a cheap plastic look and feel, but actually sounds great for ambience recordings as well as live recording with its built in 4 mics. I use it a lot, and so do a few other musicians I know.

33tetragammon
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by 33tetragammon » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:25 pm

check out the Edirol R09-HR.i have it,very happy with it and good sound quality,nice and detailed,plus it's pretty stealthy small,not as big as,say,a Tascam DR-100.
if you want to use external XLR mics this is a no-go however.

Leon Tricker
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by Leon Tricker » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:26 pm

I currently have the Zoom H1, which is one of the cheaper models - but you need to budget for the additional, optional, accessory kit in my view. The kit gives you a windshield and carry case (needed coz the H1 is made of plastic) among other things.

A bit of self promotion - this track of mine has some recordings made at a pantomime on the H1:

http://gliiitches.bandcamp.com/track/revulay

I use the H1 for the sort of thing you're talking about. I find the quality of recordings fine. I used to have the Zoom H2 and the H1 is equally good in terms of sound quality in my view. That said, I generally process stuff quite heavily with effects etc. so the source quality isn't always critical.

What I didn't like about the H2 was the shape - I found it difficult to 'hide' when trying to record something secretly :wink: The H2 also needs two AA batteries; the H1 needs one AA.

I'm sure audiophiles will point out that more expensive recorders are better, and I wouldn't disagree. But for me the H1 does a good job.

Blue make a microphone attachment for iPods / iPhones but I've seen mixed reviews. I'd go for a stand alone recorder.

102455
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by 102455 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:53 pm

Hehe - looks like every reply will recommend a different product!

At the end of it you'll be no better off than you were to start with. :D

My suggestion would be the Olympus LS11.

I have the previous LS10 model.

jkung
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by jkung » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:37 pm

?1 for the Olympus. I also own a LS-10 and love it. Really simple menu system. Fast. And the no 1 thing i love about it- the battery life. We are talking weeks not days. My friend has a Zoom and it is DIESEL but he is constantly complaining about battery life. It is an extremely underrated feature when choosing a field recorder. my 2 cents.

revA
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by revA » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:13 pm

hey there

got myself a tascam dr07 and i am very happy with it. the mics sound quite good for the price, with very quiet sounds you hear some noise. with an additional dead cat windscreen outdoor recording is no problem. you can check out some fieldrecordings i made with the tascam here:
http://www.mediafire.com/?okdgjz1zjzo

greetz
revA
Acer TM 7720G/Live8/EMU 1616m/Maschine/LD2/Launchpad and then some
http://soundcloud.com/revA
http://www.archive.org/details/tea.age.studios
http://www.mediafire.com/reva

Tarekith
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:28 pm

Another vote for the Edirol R09-HR

Hidden Driveways
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by Hidden Driveways » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:27 pm

I own the Edirol R-09HR, the Zoom H4n, and the Zoom Q3. Of those I like the Edirol R-09HR the best.

If I were to buy a new portable digital recorder today, I'd get a Sony PCM-M10. It sounds good, has a good layout, and the battery life is the best in the industry:

http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable- ... -life.html

http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable- ... ml#samples

analogcabin
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by analogcabin » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:41 pm

I've owned quite a few of these devices and honestly, the Zoom H2 is a great unit.

andydes
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by andydes » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:38 pm

Thanks for the replies, I'll investigate all these and try not to push the price up too much (as I usually do).

I suspect that for what I'm looking for, pretty much any of them will be fine though. I expect there'll be some heavy processing going on once the sounds get into Live anyway.

Battery life is a good point too.

oblique strategies
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by oblique strategies » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:48 pm

The Zoom H2 has 4 mics & can record in surround. Very nice!

Info from Zoom:
"Why four mics are better than two.

The H2 is the only portable recorder with 4 mic capsules on-board for 360° recording. With 4 mic capsules in a W-X/Y configuration, the audio is decoded instantly, bringing these four signals together for unparalleled stereo imaging.

But the H2 doesn't stop there. For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front of the H2 in a 90° pickup pattern or the rear of the H2 in a 120° pickup pattern at up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution as a WAV file, or as an MP3 file at bitrates up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record in a 360° pickup pattern at up to 48kHz/24-bit resolution which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround."

ShelLuser
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by ShelLuser » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:50 pm

I have the Yamaha C24 for some time now and quite frankly I love it..

Even used it to play with recording environment sounds in a train and while sitting in the back seat of a car; brilliant.. With the car session I can even hear the driver saying something to the person sitting on the front passenger seat even though we were on the highway (so lots of environment noise (motor, wind, etc)). The critter even picked up the clicking sound of the "direction indicator" (?) quite clearly.

And all of that stuff were pretty soft noises, and I wasn't using anything out of the ordinary (hpf filters or such). Merely using it with auto level recording...

IMO the C24 is like Live; a bit of everything.. Not only can it record (using high or low specs; (16/24 bit, from 44.1 to 96kHzm or to mp3 format) you also have handy tools like a metronome or a tuner.. usable filters for recording (hpf), equalizers for playing, auto start (on incoming sound) or do it yourself, etc, etc.

I even used it with an external microphone this week (small 3.5" jack) and no problems what so ever. One aaa ("small penlight") sized battery which lifespan kinda surprised me too to be honest..

If its a "one size fits all" kind of thing you're after I can wholeheartedly recommend this one, easy to take with you, doesn't get in your way and still a very good quality sound despite its small size (then again, size doesn't mean everything ;-)).

Even though I added a 4Gb micro sd as extra I haven't even used this as of yet (I normally record using 16 bit 44 kHz).

Best take I made with this critter so far; sounds of a few fountains. You really get the best out of the stereo mics that way IMO.
With kind regards,

Peter

Using the Big Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Komplete 12.
Blog: SynthFan

tigali
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by tigali » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:25 pm

We use the Tascam DR07, Zoom H4 and Marantz PMD661 at the radio station I work at.

Tascam is the cheapest and, for the money, the best.
Marantz is definitely the best overall but it's expensive.
Zoom does a great job and I wouldn't have a bad word said against it, however, the Tascam is cheaper and it's built in mics are a little warmer (if that makes any difference to you).

Best of luck with the decision process. :lol:

Rabalder
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Re: Any suggestions for Field Recorders?

Post by Rabalder » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:11 am

jkung wrote:?1 for the Olympus. I also own a LS-10 and love it. Really simple menu system. Fast. And the no 1 thing i love about it- the battery life. We are talking weeks not days. My friend has a Zoom and it is DIESEL but he is constantly complaining about battery life. It is an extremely underrated feature when choosing a field recorder. my 2 cents.
+1

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