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Tech: What's the best recorder?

Suegorgeous 03 Feb 08 - 08:47 PM
EBarnacle 03 Feb 08 - 09:47 PM
Midchuck 03 Feb 08 - 10:52 PM
Jim Carroll 04 Feb 08 - 03:21 AM
mattkeen 04 Feb 08 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 04 Feb 08 - 05:23 AM
nickp 04 Feb 08 - 05:37 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Feb 08 - 06:37 AM
mattkeen 04 Feb 08 - 07:00 AM
Snuffy 04 Feb 08 - 09:10 AM
RTim 04 Feb 08 - 09:25 AM
Grab 04 Feb 08 - 11:40 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 04 Feb 08 - 12:17 PM
treewind 04 Feb 08 - 01:26 PM
Suegorgeous 04 Feb 08 - 02:07 PM
Lowden Jameswright 04 Feb 08 - 02:57 PM
Suegorgeous 04 Feb 08 - 06:22 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Feb 08 - 07:59 PM
M.Ted 04 Feb 08 - 09:07 PM
Nick E 04 Feb 08 - 09:44 PM
reggie miles 05 Feb 08 - 03:02 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Feb 08 - 04:32 AM
GLoux 05 Feb 08 - 02:52 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Feb 08 - 04:35 PM
oggie 05 Feb 08 - 05:20 PM
Alan Day 05 Feb 08 - 05:34 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Feb 08 - 06:47 PM
Snuffy 05 Feb 08 - 07:16 PM
M.Ted 05 Feb 08 - 07:51 PM
Anglo 05 Feb 08 - 08:59 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 05 Feb 08 - 09:30 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 08 - 08:36 AM
mattkeen 06 Feb 08 - 08:47 AM
Folkiedave 06 Feb 08 - 09:21 AM
Bonzo3legs 06 Feb 08 - 02:27 PM
treewind 06 Feb 08 - 02:47 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 08 - 07:23 PM
mattkeen 08 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM
Suegorgeous 24 Feb 08 - 09:06 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Feb 08 - 11:44 PM
Anglo 25 Feb 08 - 02:49 AM
Saro 25 Feb 08 - 04:45 AM
gnomad 25 Feb 08 - 07:06 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Feb 08 - 07:58 AM
rabbitlegs 25 Feb 08 - 08:16 AM
Suegorgeous 25 Feb 08 - 11:31 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Feb 08 - 06:03 PM
nickp 26 Feb 08 - 05:56 AM
Tootler 26 Feb 08 - 06:52 PM
Lowden Jameswright 27 Feb 08 - 09:50 AM
Maryrrf 27 Feb 08 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 28 Feb 08 - 03:51 AM
Nick 28 Feb 08 - 08:52 PM
Suegorgeous 29 Feb 08 - 08:50 AM
Maryrrf 29 Feb 08 - 09:05 AM
Nick 29 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM
Lowden Jameswright 29 Feb 08 - 03:42 PM
Don Firth 29 Feb 08 - 03:48 PM
Lowden Jameswright 29 Feb 08 - 04:04 PM
Lowden Jameswright 29 Feb 08 - 04:30 PM
Lowden Jameswright 29 Feb 08 - 04:35 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Mar 08 - 03:13 AM
Lowden Jameswright 01 Mar 08 - 03:55 AM
Nick 03 Mar 08 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,Mark 04 Mar 08 - 09:22 AM
Lowden Jameswright 04 Mar 08 - 10:55 AM
Desert Dancer 04 Mar 08 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,RTeresa 19 Mar 08 - 01:49 PM
Lowden Jameswright 19 Mar 08 - 02:09 PM
Nick 19 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM
Suegorgeous 19 Mar 08 - 09:20 PM
Lowden Jameswright 20 Mar 08 - 03:19 PM
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Lowden Jameswright 21 Mar 08 - 11:42 AM
Nick 21 Mar 08 - 12:09 PM
Suegorgeous 21 Mar 08 - 01:12 PM
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Subject: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 08:47 PM

I want to buy one of those recording machines that you can transfer recordings from direct to the computer. Some names I've heard are Edirol, Zoom.......can anyone recommend a model for simplicity, ease of use and quality?

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 09:47 PM

I've always been a fan of the Sony Walkman Pro series.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Midchuck
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 10:52 PM

I've had very good results with the Edirol R-09.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 03:21 AM

Edirol is good - I believe Nagra is up with the champions, but so are the prices.
Best to decide on one based on your requirements and wallet and go with that; like number 9 buses, there'll always be a better one coming along in a minute.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:39 AM

Stereo recording - Edirol are good but the Zoom gets widely used by PA people etc recording pro gigs straight from the desk and has reasonable built in mics - both Zoom H2 and H4 are cheaper than the Edirol.


Multi tracking - lots of choice Zoom again, Tascam, Boss or Korg


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 05:23 AM

I use the Edirol RO9 and the results are always excellent.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: nickp
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 05:37 AM

I have the R-09 and it's very good. I'd recommend spashing out a little extra to get the leather case for it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 06:37 AM

I got a Zoom H4 for Christmas and I'm staggered by the improvement in sound quality over my Hi-MD recorder for recording our pub sessions. Could be just the mic quality I suppose, but even my £90 Sony stereo mic plugged into my MD can't come near. The Zoom seems to pick out each instrument much more clearly instead of leaving them all in a big muddy mix.   The twin mics are pretty directional, so if I point the thing at a singer on the other side of the table I hardly pick up my harmonica at all! There's mucho trial and error to go. It's a 4-track recorder too but I've yet to play with that feature. The only caveat is the ridiculously-tiny display, though it isn't the major disadvantage that some reviewers would have you think. Also, in recording mode it has a rather menacing glowing red light thsat is somewhat reminiscent of Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey." Try to get a deal that includes a free SD card. And a 16MB one is useless! Mine cost £199 with a free 512MB card. At 44.1kHz setting ("CD quality") you can record for over three hours with a 2GB card. You can get much more than that if you downgrade to an mP3 setting. I found a 2GB card for £7.99 in Morrisons the other day, so there really is little need to compromise on recording quality these days. A friend of mine has the Edirol and he loves it and it's a bit smaller, but it is more expensive. The Zoom H2 is even cheaper but I know nowt about that that one!


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 07:00 AM

If you want something a bit posher I know of a couple of ex Nagra users who now use Fostex either the Fostex LR2 or FR2 LE


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:10 AM

You will need a set of headphones for the Zoom H4 if you want to listen immediately to what you've recorded, as it has no inbuilt speaker. Or you can just hope you've set your recording levels correctly, and find out when you get home if it's OK or not!

I don't know if the H2 or the Edirol have playback.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: RTim
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:25 AM

The Zoom H2 has play-back via Earphones and is very good - thus far!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Grab
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:40 AM

Depending on the quality you're looking for, consider checking out the recording options for MP3 players. If you're recording straight from a PA desk, a £50 MP3 player with line-in will do the job damn near as well as a £500 Edirol. With the fancier specialist recorders, you're paying for the quality of mics.

And are you dead set on a hand-held pocket-sized recorder? If you're primarily going to be recording people on stage, you can get an MP3 player with line-in, dual mic preamp (maybe with Firewire) and two fairly nice mics for the same price, which has the added advantage that you've then got home-studio-grade recording kit. Getting similar quality mics to what the recorders use will knock a couple hundred quid off the total.

In other words... cheap, portable, high-quality: pick any two. ;-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 12:17 PM

One thing, Sue, is the Zoom doesn't offer ToD stamp on the recording unless it's been upgraded. My Edirol R-09 gave me that from the start and it can be pretty important. I am using 2G memory cards for either my Zoom or Edirol and the Time of Day Stamp gives me important information on when/why it was recorded without the need to listen to the recording. It's a bit more expensive. Check Zoom to see if they've made any updates. Should do that myself! 8-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: treewind
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 01:26 PM

"Zoom doesn't offer ToD stamp on the recording"

Hmm.. it's little details like that (which I take for granted) that make me appreciate my Edirol R09.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 02:07 PM

Thanks for everything so far, much to think about, and a great help.

What I primarily want it for at the moment is:
1. to record my or our band's practice sessions (or bits thereof) for our own learning purposes or to help new band members
2. to record myself for myspace purposes and possibly later for demos (but I might use a studio for that)
3. to collect new songs from other singers on the spot when and where I find them.

So I guess not really for recording on stage at all, or unlikely.

A small query - how does a ToD stamp record why something was recorded, doesn't it just give a date?

Sue


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 02:57 PM

Interesting thread - I'm looking at buying either a Zoom H4 versus Edirol R09 and note that the price of the Edirol has dropped to around £250 inc one or two freebies. The Zoom may have uni-directional mikes whereas the Edirol has omni which may be better for session recordings; pity you don't have a switch option to have best of both worlds.

Anyone had experience of both units? - the Zoom sounds attractive for features and price but the point about small display may put me off.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 06:22 PM

So what's the difference between an H2 and an H4?


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 07:59 PM

I have a permanent cable attached to the back of my kitchen hi-fi for connecting my MD recorder and it works just as well for playback from the Zoom H4. I just have to hit the AUX button on the stereo. The cable has a mini-jack on the H4 end, connected to the line-out, and phono on the hi-fi end. I play back my recordings when I get home from the pub. I am in the kitchen having a cup of tea and a digestive or six and cleaning my harmonicas, which I then leave to air-dry out of their boxes overnight.   At that time my wife is in bed so all the swearing on the recording, of which there is much, can be heard with impunity. One can always edit it out on the computer in the(late) morning. I'm not usually in a fit state to judge the recording quality at that juncture, but at least it's damn sight better than listening to the shipping forecast or Late Night Lisa on Classic FM. God, who picks that stuff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: M.Ted
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:07 PM

Just to point out--the Nagras are much larger than the Zoom and the Edirol--not pocket recorders at all. I keep my Edirol in my messenger bag, and it has made it possible to get a lot of stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise had--OK, maybe too much stuff. And I can never throw anything away. But it is easy to burn to CD--


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick E
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:44 PM

According to a recent thread, anything that is not a Penny Whistle


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: reggie miles
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 03:02 AM

The H2 has several mic settings that allow you to use the available onboard mics in one of several different configurations. I assume the H4 might offer some similar feature as well but I can't be certain. Do check out their features online before you purchase as there are many as well as user feedback reviews about them.

I'm wondering if anyone has ventured into the higher price end of things. The Korg MR-1 at $600-$700 and MR-1000 at $1200 record at previously unheard of saturation levels. They claim the idea of this level of recording makes their recorders future proof, as they put it. I guess, with the bar being raised to that level, the next generation of recorders are already here and available, if you have the coin. The only question seems to be, is it practical for the guy who wants to put together a home recording studio.

Does anyone have any experience with these models?


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:32 AM

I use an H4 for all manner of stuff, but if there's anything like a breath of wind the wee 'black nose' is next to useless; I stuff the entire thing inside the black foam pop-shield off my Behringer B1 which gives perfect results every time.

Once you've invested in something you're stuck with it, pretty much. There are aspects of the Zoom H4 I hate - like the cradle with the Velcro straps & the crappy plastic outer shell & the little bag... One expects more for ones money somehow, especially from the Zoom design team, whose pedals I use without reservation (the green Zoom A2.1u is just the thing for Jew's Harps & pocket trumpet!). Otherwise, I love the H4 - records like a dream; I even used it to record my track for the Woven Wheat Whispers 'All Saints Arise' compilation (an unaccompanied rendering of Child#32 - King Henry with untreated Jew's Harp interludes ; hear it on my Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/sedayne ).


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: GLoux
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:52 PM

The current issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine (March 2008) has an a review of the Zoom H2 and it's posted on their website. From the article, they say the H2 has fewer features than the H4, so it is less expensive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:35 PM

That's right. Basically you're paying the extra ton for the 4-track facility; I wish I'd gone for the H2 which looks a nicer piece of kit altogether. Less is so very often more!


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: oggie
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 05:20 PM

I use the H2 and have been recording my bandoneon on it. No problems and very acceptable results. The stereo separation is very good. The only problem is the size of the screen, I just have to remeber to wear my glasses :)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Alan Day
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 05:34 PM

I have a Zoom H4 .My first problem was that it was incompatible with my computer,but once that problem was solved I find the sound reproduction is unbelievable.I recorded as my first try out the general noise about the house .My Grandchildren were running around,people talking etc.When I played it back I thought the children were playing the same game,I took my headphones off to check which sound was the correct one.
I have not mastered the multi track options,or in fact many of the options, but it reproduced the music session perfectly.H2 would appear to be cheaper and easier for just normal recording.
Al


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 06:47 PM

That is very interesting, Alan. I too have had trouble getting files from the H4 saved into the computer program I use (Audio Cleaning Lab). I found that I have to leave the recorder connected to the PC all the time whilst I'm editing and burning to CD, and the latter procedure is very awkward and takes an age (slower than real time on occasion!) I thought the unit was faulty to start with. Even now I feel I've worked around the problem rather than solved it properly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Snuffy
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 07:16 PM

I plug the H4 in through the USB cable and the PC thinks it's another removeable disk. Then I just drag the tracks I want from the H4 to a folder on the hard disk, and work on the copy, leaving the original on the SD card.

I believe if you have a card reader, you can just take the SD card out of the H4 and put it in the reader (like a photo set).


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 07:51 PM

I always use a card reader--it makes things much simpler.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Anglo
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:59 PM

The main reason I bought the Edirol R-09 rather than the somewhat cheaper Zoom H2 is that the Edirol has buttons on the box for record level control, and my understanding is that on the Zoom this is a software control. If I'm recording something I want to be able to look at the levels and adjust them with a dedicated button. I don't do a great deal of recording, but I'm very happy with the Edirol. Maybe you Zoom users can tell me how you adjust record level on the H2.

Transfer to computer is slow - I only have USB 1 - I guess I should follow M.Ted's advice and get a card reader.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:30 PM

I have both. Anglo's right the Record Level Control is VERY handy and is hard to access on the H4. Display on either is fairly small. The H4 will reduce the display's light intensity by quite a bit.
 
Sue, the ToD tells me what it is and why I recorded it because knowing the date and the time tells me what it is.
 
I have always taken the SD card out since my laptop has a card reader built-in. Very handy!
 
The fancy stuff I haven't gotten around to using either.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 08:36 AM

For use with the built-in mics the H4 has three gain settings, L-M-H. I just set mine to M for the pub session and forget it. On my HiMD recorder I was forever fiddling around with the manual rec level and never seemed to get it any better than the default. You just need to avoid digital clipping at very loud bits, that's all. If you were using a slightly low level you can fix this with your editing program. It isn't something to get too stressed about. But you can fiddle with it manually if you really want to! None of these gizmos have manual settings that are easy to get right when you're on the fly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: mattkeen
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 08:47 AM

Sedayne

Interesting tracks on your myspace page - thanks


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 09:21 AM

I have a radio show and the station has Edirol RO-9's for reporters etc.

I haven't recorded music only speech so far - but it is great and naturally the sound at best setting is remarkable.

Not my own money so I haven't tried the alternatives but the Edirol is great.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 02:27 PM

Remember that the quality of the music on modern digital recorders is little better than that on the best audio cassette recorders, such as Sony Pro Walkman. The big improvement of course is lack of hiss on the recording, unless the record level is set too low. I have done headphone tests on this and I was quite surprised. The other big improvement is much longer record times and the ability to upload to a PC, convert to FLAC and then upload to Dime for others to hear.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: treewind
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 02:47 PM

Well... yes, but most people haven't heard a *really* good cassette recorder. And the difference in background hiss is a big difference. There is also less distortion, no wow/flutter and better frequency response, flatter and going further at both ends of the spectrum.

I think your point is better made by saying that the quality of recording on the digital recorders is wasted using the internal mics - plug a pair of Schoeps MK41's in though a good preamp and you would have as good as any other stereo recording - and with good monitoring I think you'd hear it was better than even a Walkman Pro.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 07:23 PM

I can honestly say that I never heard music on cassette reproduced without flutter on any equipment I've ever heard it played on, and that includes some very high quality gear. Cassette players were the iPods of their day. Music for the couldn't-care-less-about-sound-quality masses.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: mattkeen
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM

The big difference with digital recordings now as far as I am converned is the amount of dynamic range a 24 bit system is capable of. You can really go from very quiet to very loud without background noise. Loads of head room.


Doesn't matter if you heavish band bound for radio as it will be compressed to death at the mastering stage anyway.

But if you have first hand experience of a pair of Schoeps, Gefells etc oing through really good pre amps into a quality 24 bit recorder you will hear a HUGE diffrence over a cassette even the ridiculously expensive Revox one I had in the 80's


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 09:06 PM

Marvellous! thanks all. Think I'm heading for an Edirol.....now, next question....any suggestions for which sites/shops to try for the best deal?

Sue


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 11:44 PM

Does anybody have any experience with SONY's entry in the field?


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Anglo
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 02:49 AM

Well, Anahata has the right idea (hah!) inviting us to use Schoeps MK41s, but a pair of these will cost around $2000. Not in my range I'm afraid, for what I use the machine for.

I'm afraid I'll continue to use the built-in mics on my R-09. If I want something a bit better I still have my stereo Audio-Technica AT825 from the days of my DAT portable (long dead).


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Saro
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 04:45 AM

I got my Edirol from a company called Thomann, who I'm told do a pretty competitive price. You can find them via Google, and their delivery was very fast.
Saro


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: gnomad
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 07:06 AM

Thomann


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 07:58 AM

Dolmetsch? (gets coat)


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: rabbitlegs
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 08:16 AM

Anybody know much about the Boss Micro BR?


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 11:31 AM

Richard

Good god, are they still going? had them at school! (one or two, ahem, years ago)


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 06:03 PM

Still making some excellent top end recorders, and if you google Dr Brian Blood you will find some very learned discourses


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: nickp
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 05:56 AM

The latest (free download) for the Edirol r-09 is version 1.30 and I applied it over the weekend - it enables the 8 Gig SDHC cards, so thats' about 13 hours 44100hz 16 bit WAV and about 60 hours of mp3...

I think it still breaks the file at 2gig but it should be seamless and just means a smidgeon of editing later - or another new feature is to force the file break by pressing the repeat a-b button while recording.

I've sent for my 8gig card having got a decent price through Amazon (UK).

Still stunned by how good that little recorder is.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Tootler
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 06:52 PM

Dolmetsch? (gets coat)

Still making some excellent top end recorders,


Their plastic ones are pretty good these days, especially the Tenor and Bass


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 09:50 AM

Is an Edirol R09 really worth double the price of a Zoom H2? The H2 seems to tick most boxes compared to the Edirol and takes up less space in you pocket..

If someone can still make a strong case for the Edirol though...........


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 12:23 PM

I've just gotten the Zoom H4 and am starting to play with it. Will let you know how things go but so far it looks like it does a lot! I've gotten as far as recording a song in stereo, importing it into Audacity, and editing it a bit and it wasn't difficult to do.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 28 Feb 08 - 03:51 AM

Dolmetsch are still doing pretty well, although there are some very good cheap plastic ones available for schools. They come in an ivory coloured plastic so are quite distinguishable.

I learned on a Dolmetsch descant, it still has the dip in the fipple gouged by my front tooth, which, until I bust it in a cycling accident, stuck out considerably more than it does now. After I broke the tooth, the fipple wouldn't sit properly so I bought myself an Aulos - these were considered the recorders that 'rich kids' used at my school... they were twice the price.

I was once privileged to have a play on a rosewood sopranino that had been hand turned by Herr Dolmetsch himself. It cost £400 then.... nearly 30 years ago!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick
Date: 28 Feb 08 - 08:52 PM

Prompted by this thread I went out and got a Zoom H2 and after half an evening of getting acquainted I'm going to have a whale of a time with it. Very very easy to use. I sat and recorded half a dozen songs and tunes with it on the coffee table and it sounds much better than I thought it would. Very compact so I'll probably end up carrying it with me pretty much everwhere and easy enough to sit in a quiet corner at work and have a practice at lunchtime.

On Saturday I have a practice with bass, cuple of guitars and a fiddle in the afternoon which I'm going to try it out to see how it goes and a session in the pub in the evening where we'll see how it gets on.

So far I'm dead impressed with it.

Thanks for the thread.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 08:50 AM

Nick - my pleasure (for starting it anyway!). :)

Except it now seems to be well divided between Edirol and Zoom, and I can't make a decision!! :(


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 09:05 AM

Haven't tried the Edirol, but the Zoom H4 is cheaper and has more features and gets good ratings.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM

Cost was a factor given what I wanted to use it for and the Edirol was just that much more. Including a UK power supply the Zoom cost £138 and that was really as much as I wanted to spend.

If you are interested Sue I'd happily send you an example of what the Zoom I have produces. I can put an example or two somewhere on the web at various qualities and types.

I recorded a couple of things last night to try it which was just bashing it onto the coffee table setting it on Medium pointing the back of it towards my wife and the front towards me. She sang I played guitar and there is the TV on in the background!! Hi fi stuff eh? Also tried it with me playing acoustic and my son jamming away on an electric.

Tomorrow I will record a practice with fiddle, guitar, mandolin and electric bass with the intention being to plonk it in the middle of us 4 and see what happens.

In the evening some friends and I are meeting up to play in a local pub - probably couple of guitars, couple of fiddles, bodhran and assorted voices - and again I'm just going to pop it down and see what happens.

Pm me if it would be any help
Nick

Out of interest do people tend to record to WAV exclusively? I was tempted to use mp3 at 320 for most things as it is mostly for use as a practice and learning aid to carry new tunes and songs from the band around for me to learn and as a little thig to record ideas for tunes and songs and things that might otherwise get lost or forgotten. The fact that it is small and very light means I will probably carry it with me at most times.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 03:42 PM

Good review of H2 here

http://rontech.blogspot.com/2007/07/first-real-zoom-h2-review-on-internet.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 03:48 PM

I broke the budget and bought a whole mess of recording equipment a few weeks back, but so far I haven't been able to set it up properly—still need to get a couple of mic stands, plus setting up my office as a studio.

But since I was blowing the budget anyway (can't do that again for awhile!), I got a Zoom H2 to pack around and do some "pre-recording;" practice and such. I'm still trying to absorb the manual, but I've used it a couple of times for just "quick-and-dirty" recordings, downloaded it onto my computer, and it sounds great. And this was on the lowest WAV setting, 16 bit, 44.1 sample rate. I didn't think I sounded that great (that's a whole different matter; and I was just trying the Zoom out), but I thought the Zoom performed beautifully.

One thing about the Zoom H2 that I found annoying was the screen light. It only stays on for 15 seconds, undoubtedly to save the batteries, and about the time I figured out what I wanted to do, the bloody light went out! But in perusing the manual, on page 82, it explains how to extend the time to 30 seconds, or set it so the light just stays on.

Handy to know.

I don't know if it would be up to "studio quality." The inbuilt mics or 1/8" mic input might be the weakest link there. Search as I might, I haven't been able to find any specs on the inbuilt mics anywhere. But the other specs look very good.

Sure beats the sauce out of the old Panasonic portable cassette recorder I used to pack around!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 04:04 PM

Warnings about the H4 here:

http://www.sonicstudios.com/zoomh4rv.htm

I'm off shopping tomorrow and unless someone here persuades me otherwise, it's gonna be an H2 - the H4 preceeded the H2 and is now heavily discounted; maybe that tells it's own story.....


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 04:30 PM

Brilliant detailed review of H2 here, together with sample sound files:

http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2007/09/13/review-zoom-h2-surround-recorder.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 04:35 PM

...and just listened to the H2 sound file of acoustic guitar; that does it for me, over and out.. 139 quid - a snip


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 03:13 AM

Always get the best you can afford - don't be tempted to skimp because it sure as hell won't pay in the long term.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 03:55 AM

I can afford the Edirol R09 but it's too big for me to cart around; I want something I can take out of my pocket at short notice and set up quickly, to capture songs on the fly. For studio quality recordings I already have the kit I need at home. I was going to buy the more expensive H4, but it looks as though the H2 is a better buy anyhow. I realized long ago that price doesn't always mean better quality when I went to buy a Martin guitar and chose a superior guitar at half the price.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 09:30 PM

I've started a new thread specifically on my first experiences and impressions of the Zoom H2 with a bunch of audio examples - on this thread


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 09:22 AM

I think the Edirol R09 is superb - and a much livelier sound than the H2. Just my personal taste but I think it's worth the extra money.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 10:55 AM

I'm sure you're right Mark; Horses for Courses - I was looking for something small and light that I could easily take anywhere with me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 12:42 PM

Lowden Jameswright's Feb 28, 4:30 pm post has an H2 review from a folkie; here's that same reviewer's earlier take on the Edirol R-09: click.


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Subject: Need recording advice
From: GUEST,RTeresa
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 01:49 PM

I'm looking to record my singing for placement on myspace
and I'm also seeking to record my band's live performances.
I've heard that the Zoom H4, Tascam DR1, Edirol R09, and Roland were good. I've done some research but I'm still unsure as to which would be the best for me. Again, I just want to be able to take a live recording of me or my band or just an acapella recording of myself and place it on the net. Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 02:09 PM

I bought a Zoom H2 on March 1st and have recorded in local folk clubs and at home. It is excellent, and very easy to use. The quality of sound is amazing, and it's a genuine go anywhere recorder. The Zoom H4 is so called because it is a 4 track recorder, but it preceeded the H2 and from reviews it would appear the H2 is a much better buy, and benefits from later technology. The H2 has 4 mics; two front and two rear, and can record 360 deg which is ideal for recording a band.

Read the reviews in the links in previous posts. The Edirol R09 is obviously another very good quality product. Although you can't expect the same quality you might get from a 8 or 16 track home recording studio (although for convenience and quick takes I use my H2 rather than my Roland digital 8 track) you'll be very impressed with the sound quality.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM

I'd echo what Lowden says. There is still a thread here which has a load of sound examples from various different places which might help give you an idea of what things might sound like.

I use mine A LOT. In the last 24 hours I have used it to practice new songs sitting in the car at work at lunchtime. I went to a concert last night and sat it on the floor and recorded what was on (I know it was terrible of me but it was wonderful fiddle playing) and the quality is very reasonable. And I'm listening to my lunchtime practicing as I type this and thinking perhaps I should'nt sing these particular songs this week :)!! Tonight I will probably take it with me to our weekly singaround and experiment more.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 09:20 PM

This thread was very useful to me, and after some further thought, I'm going out to buy the H2 this week, then try it out at the folk weekend I'm going to.

Thanks all!


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 03:19 PM

I spent some time editing H2 tracks in Soundforge, and dropped them onto a CD which is simply a compilation of songs and tunes from a couple of folk clubs - the result is a very acceptable mix which serves as a nice sample of the world of folk we like to inhabit. Can't wait for the festivals.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 11:24 AM

Good luck with the H2 Sue - it comes with a 512mb card but you'll need extra memory for recording lengthy sessions; don't buy from high street stores or Argos/John Lewis etc - you'll get ripped off. For a 2Gig SD High Speed 80x card you'll pay £14.50 from MemoryBits as against £35 from Argos - it works straight out of the "box" and needs no formatting. The H2 will even take an 8Gig card.


http://www.memorybits.co.uk/index.php?cPath=756&sort=2a&page=2&s=dd6a4d3ae48887bf4d465fa8f6b1b8a9


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 11:42 AM

Now having just slated Argos for the price of their SD cards, I have to recommend them for a suitable case for the H2 - a brilliant purchase at around £3.50 is the "strand" digital camera case; it's a perfect fit to take the H2, ear-buds, SD card(s), table stand and a couple of spare AA batteries.

You can of course go for a designer brand of case, like a Sony for instance, at around a rip-off thirty quid, but folk enthusiasts are much too discerning for that surely!


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 12:09 PM

I bought a 4gb memory card from this ebay shop for £9.99 + £1.95 delivery and it came within two days. I'm not sure where you are likely to buy from but this guy was fine and I had no problems and arrived in two days - Zoom H2 - in case it's useful.

Lowden thanks for the tip on the case I could do with one

Here's a little six minute demo of extracts of 15 songs and tunes I've put together that was recorded on the Zoom H2 for our band as we needed to get something to someone for a potential gig at some speed! Not unhappy with the result. Put together using my other favourite program - Reaper

Six Minute Demo of Eric Pope and The Cardinals


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 01:12 PM

Thanks Lowden, I do usually shop around rather than buy high-street, but good to know. What did you pay for your H2, and where did you buy it? The case info is great too.

Does Reaper do the same job as Audacity?

Sue


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Nick
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 01:24 PM

Reaper is a much more specialised piece of software (with a correspondingly higher learning curve but excellent manual) for recording on a PC. Audacity I find really useful for a lot of straightforward tasks. More like Cubase or similar products and you could get very good results with it. Audacity I have never really used for multi-tracked tunes or for recording guitar or vocals.


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Subject: RE: Tech: What's the best recorder?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:04 PM

Bought my H2 from Sound Control - £149; I know I could have got it cheaper on the net but those guys at Sound Control look after me and don't treat me like some half-wit non-tech (though they may have a chuckle after I've left the store).

Thanks for the tip-off for SD cards Nick - I thought I'd done well at the price!

John Lewis do a nice case at £9.99 that takes the H2 in it's "strand" case + all the other tranklements so you can use it as a travel case, then take out the smaller case for the evening out. I guess I'm just a case freak (or maybe a freak case).

Happy recording guys!!


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Subject: Zoom Handy H1 - coming 30 July 2010
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 08:23 PM

I see that Zoom has a Handy H1 Recorder coming out July 30, 2010. It's supposed to be less expensive than the H2 and H4, both of which are excellent. I wonder how good the H1 will be.

-Joe-


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