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Field Recording Gear

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:48 am
by MKULTRA
Portable / Handheld Digital Recorders
I need recommendations.


edited to reflect the need for this thread.

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:50 am
by xdugef
ZOOM h4 is pretty good..

what are you parameters .. price range, inputs, phantom power, sample rate , tripod mount.. etc

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:54 am
by Al.Machine.O
check out the EDIROL ones. top quality and you can feed them with normal R6/AA batteries.

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:03 am
by Sleep Of Ages
Got the Zoom H2 and it´s pretty kickass. H2n have more functionality as I heard.

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:39 am
by MKULTRA
@xdugef, I'm open to all options right now. Top of the line on down. Bang for the buck is important but dependability is always a priority for me. I have no frame of reference other than chatter and hype.Field recording will be the primary use.

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:57 am
by crochambeau
Love my Zoom H4. Easily remedied battery corrosion can impair them, making the occasional very good deal crop up.

AA powered.
XLR pair with switchable phantom power.

They also don't like the commonly available larger SD cards (without firmware update the xdugef can give you first hand impression of) - so, when I fixed mine, I ran out and picked up a 16 GB card, only to discover it didn't work. 4GB maximum IIRC....

Meaning that there's also THAT potential pitfall that can drive down selling price with uninformed sellers.

Of course, in looking for "broken" stuff, sometimes you actually "succeed".

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:01 pm
by xdugef
I had the Edirol R1.. the build quality wasn't that great and they only had mini inputs. The built in Mic's weren't especially good either.

The Zoom's seem to be pretty decent all around between features , the quality of the mics and price.

I haven't used any of the Tascam units.

I like the Zoom's can take mini,1/4 and XLR's inputs. Although the H4's interface is a bit weird and took some getting used to.. some of the controls aren't as obvious as I would have liked. Also when I wanted to upgrade the bios you have to hold the buttons in a way the is next to impossible but I eventually was able to do it.

I probably won't buy a new recorder anytime soon but when I do I'll want to beable to record to 4 tracks at once so I can get a stereo mic mix and a line input. I also would like 192 Khz recording but it's not essential and a bit ridiculous and last time I checked there was nothing that was capable of that under like $5kor something.

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:47 pm
by NoizeHack
I mostly have experience using handheld recorders for recording sound for film, but in my experience the tascam ones are better than the zooms, but lots of people still use the zooms for some reason. tascams seem to have better build and less obnoxious menus. I used the dr40 on a 2 week documentary shoot and it worked really well, also the dr100 I've seen sound guys use and it seems to work well with a few more features, but the 40 is good if you don't need the extra options of the 100.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:01 am
by crochambeau
NoizeHack wrote:lots of people still use the zooms for some reason.
So long as I have my input set up, all I need to do with the Zoom is turn it on, arm record, hit record button again, third time to finish.

I'll still use it until something catastrophic happens.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:25 am
by MKULTRA
Is your affinity due to economy or solid performance?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:43 am
by MKULTRA
I suppose we may as well get microphones in the mix.

Shotgun, Parabolic......?


Think bird, nature sounds and recommend thusly.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:54 am
by xdugef
MKULTRA wrote: Think bird, nature sounds and recommend thusly.[/size]
I have a pretty decent sennheiser shotgun mic I used with the Zoom to record nature sounds. It's pretty cool to walk around with headphones on and point the mic around and hear things that you can't heard with your naked ear.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:04 am
by MKULTRA
xdugef wrote:It's pretty cool to walk around with headphones on and point the mic around and hear things that you can't heard with your naked ear.


Bingo.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:33 am
by MKULTRA
xdugef wrote:
I have a pretty decent sennheiser shotgun mic I used with the Zoom to record nature sounds.


Also, how is the phantom power?
Quiet pre-amp?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:03 am
by crochambeau
MKULTRA wrote:Is your affinity due to economy or solid performance?
Both, my H4 has been serving me well aside from the occasional bout of user error (yes, sometimes it IS hard to remember to hit the record button twice), for a shipped price of $45 and a couple hours time (remove, clean & replace spring loaded battery contact in both battery wells).

I've just used large diaphragm condensers with it, phantom power is either off, 24 or 48 volt. No complaints as to noise floor, but I'm not working for nature documentaries.

My parabolic microphone has unfortunate ducking circuitry that makes getting a well balanced recording difficult, and I haven't bothered trying to bypass it since there's no low end there. Fine for romping through the woods hunting bigfoot, but not archival by any stretch of the imagination.