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Field Recording Equipment

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Sleepy Rosie 11 Feb 09 - 12:56 PM
Big Mick 11 Feb 09 - 01:00 PM
treewind 11 Feb 09 - 01:04 PM
treewind 11 Feb 09 - 01:05 PM
Big Mick 11 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 01:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 01:28 PM
wysiwyg 11 Feb 09 - 01:55 PM
Will Fly 11 Feb 09 - 02:09 PM
Folkiedave 11 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM
Nick 11 Feb 09 - 02:48 PM
Don Firth 11 Feb 09 - 03:17 PM
Sleepy Rosie 11 Feb 09 - 03:19 PM
Bonzo3legs 11 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM
Zen 11 Feb 09 - 04:24 PM
Dave Roberts 11 Feb 09 - 04:54 PM
Tim Leaning 11 Feb 09 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 12 Feb 09 - 03:27 AM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Feb 09 - 03:28 AM
Will Fly 12 Feb 09 - 03:31 AM
Tim Leaning 12 Feb 09 - 04:17 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 Feb 09 - 04:49 AM
EBarnacle 12 Feb 09 - 09:07 AM
Tootler 12 Feb 09 - 09:22 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 Feb 09 - 09:35 AM
Folkiedave 12 Feb 09 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 12 Feb 09 - 10:32 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Feb 09 - 02:22 PM
Lowden Jameswright 12 Feb 09 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 12 Feb 09 - 03:25 PM
Tootler 12 Feb 09 - 03:30 PM
Don Firth 12 Feb 09 - 03:46 PM
Goose Gander 12 Feb 09 - 04:00 PM
treewind 12 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 Feb 09 - 06:27 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 12 Feb 09 - 07:29 PM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM
EBarnacle 12 Feb 09 - 07:47 PM
EBarnacle 12 Feb 09 - 07:48 PM
Declan 12 Feb 09 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 13 Feb 09 - 01:44 AM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Feb 09 - 03:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM
Will Fly 13 Feb 09 - 04:44 AM
The Borchester Echo 13 Feb 09 - 05:13 AM
Tim Leaning 13 Feb 09 - 05:20 AM
The Borchester Echo 13 Feb 09 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Cliff 13 Feb 09 - 05:47 AM
bankley 13 Feb 09 - 05:48 AM
treewind 13 Feb 09 - 07:13 AM
Nick 13 Feb 09 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 13 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 13 Feb 09 - 02:54 PM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 09 - 03:20 PM
Don Firth 13 Feb 09 - 03:25 PM
Will Fly 13 Feb 09 - 03:53 PM
Nick 13 Feb 09 - 07:47 PM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 09 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 13 Feb 09 - 09:31 PM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 09 - 09:35 PM
Will Fly 14 Feb 09 - 04:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 Feb 09 - 04:32 AM
treewind 14 Feb 09 - 06:39 AM
Nick 14 Feb 09 - 06:49 AM
Nick 14 Feb 09 - 07:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM
Sleepy Rosie 14 Feb 09 - 09:40 AM
Dave Roberts 14 Feb 09 - 10:30 AM
Nick 14 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 09 - 04:45 PM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Feb 09 - 06:04 AM
Les in Chorlton 15 Feb 09 - 06:13 AM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Feb 09 - 01:41 PM
Will Fly 17 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM
Will Fly 17 Feb 09 - 02:22 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Feb 09 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Feb 09 - 12:24 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 18 Feb 09 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,Mr Tomorrowsworld 18 Feb 09 - 01:05 AM
VirginiaTam 18 Feb 09 - 02:58 AM
Nick 18 Feb 09 - 04:19 AM
Nick 18 Feb 09 - 05:19 AM
VirginiaTam 18 Feb 09 - 08:33 AM
Will Fly 18 Feb 09 - 09:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 09 - 11:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 18 Feb 09 - 11:54 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Feb 09 - 12:27 PM
Nick 18 Feb 09 - 12:30 PM
Les in Chorlton 18 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM
Tim Leaning 18 Feb 09 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Mar 09 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Mar 09 - 10:11 PM
glueman 28 Apr 09 - 04:21 PM
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Subject: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:56 PM

I'm tempted to dabble in doing a little field recording of natural soundscapes and the like, to play about with and mix with vocals (akin to an extent to examples I've seen posted here, which have caught my interest.)

I've also got access to a variety of music production software (Reason, Sound Forge, Cake Walk etc.), which as yet I know as much about as something I know absolutely nothing about - but I'd like to explore for the various creative potentials in working with otherwise unaccompanied song. Though most specifically with field recordings.

So that's the theoretical context.

What kind of equipment should I invest in for making the required field recordings, that is a) easy peasy to use, b) cheap as chips, c) will be suitable for doing what I want to do (as described above), and c) not total shit?

Oh, and then once you've given me your educated and informed opinion, can you like, just come over to my house and do all the complicated techy stuff for me... Because that'd be really great.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:00 PM

Even though they are getting a little hard to find, I still love the Sony Minidisc recorder for this best of all.   The sound quality is simply superb. The disc's are a bit expensive, but well worth the money.

It is a bit of a hike to Merry Olde for me from Michigan, but one day.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: treewind
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:04 PM

Edirol R-09 or Zoom H2

The Zoom is cheaper and comes with some neat carry bags and accessories for mounting it on stands etc.

Cheaper than that is dictating machine territory, poor sound quality.
More expensive than that is easy to do but probably unnecessary.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: treewind
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:05 PM

"Sony Minidisc"

And a microphone...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM

Oddly enough, responding to this caused me to do a quick search for Minidisks and found them at $1.69 US (1.18 GBP) fairly easily.

And treewind is right on. Get a good mic.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:26 PM

Minidisks are shite; too much compression for a start. The H2 /H4 is about standard - recording as uncompressed WAVs onto cards with no moving parts, so easy to drag & drop files onto the computer etc. Beautiful sound too.

Software - for linear editing there's all sorts; I use Sound Forge but it doesn't come cheap - Cubasis VST does come cheap, basically a lite version of Cubase it features multitrack, sequencing & editing software & a plethora of plug-ins (including a singing monk the last time I looked - VST 4 - which is a riot). And do check out Ableton Live - you can get Lite & Demo versions which will beguile you from the outset. I do a lot of my Ha-Ha & Sundog stuff in real time by inputting field-recordings & loops into Ableton. It's so good that if I was a health professional, I would offer it to my patients in lieu of prayer.

Also check the magazines - Computer Music / Future Music which come with all sorts of software & sample disks. Not sure if CM still do the free virtual studio each month but it's a great place to start & used to feature the Ohmygod Filter which is still a key piece of software on my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, which on other days is my Word Processor!).

Everyone you ask will tell you something different!

Happy wandering.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:28 PM

PS - H2 / H4 have integral condenser microphones of the highest spec, so no bother there!


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:55 PM

Samsung YP-T8's for me. I have a dozen that no longer have good EAR jacks to PLAY MP3s but they will record hours of easily-transferred MP3. I left one running that had been recording me, Dick, and Susan singing, while we stepped out for supper. It picked up passing cars in the alley. :~) Internal mic....

PM if you want to buy one off me. They're piling up!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:09 PM

Many of my studio-engineering friends use minidisc and say that they're fine. I use one myself - with a fairly expensive stereo Sony mic - and it's great. I've recorded my guitar with it and it stands up to close listening. The Zoom is also excellent and has less clutter.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:12 PM

I record for broadcasting - mainly interviews but occasionally music.

One artist in an acoustically good venue was wondering what he sounded like without the mike so I recorded him and played it back. He was astonished with the quality.

So for me there is there is Edirol R-O9 and there is everything else. About £240.00 from a store named after an South American river.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:48 PM

For my budget the Zoom H2 has been great. I use Reaper (which is uncrippled shareware but I paid the £25 for it)


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:17 PM

I have a Zoom H2 and I love it! Four internal mics that can be used in various combinations, and on the menu, you can select a variety of recording qualities, from a couple of resolutions of mp3 up to WAV files with high sampling rates (higher than CD quality). Amazon has them for about $160.00.

It comes with some neat accessories. Records on solid-state SD cards (get a bigger card than it comes with--8 GB for about $13.00). You can download what you record to your computer through a USB cord, and you can also use it as a USB interface and record directly to your computer if you wish. Comes with AC adapter, and you can get about four hours' recording time with two AA batteries.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:19 PM

Cheers for suggestions thus far. I've got quite a lot of 'getting my head around techy stuff' to do now.

Followed IB's Ha-Ha link above. What a fantastic word. Like a green mezzanine equivalent to that thorny liminal space which psychic transgressors known as 'hedgeriders' - in certain Shamanic parlance - use as access routes via which to cross over into Otherwhere. And it also sounds like Da Da..


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM

Sony RH1 HiMD is superb, upload to your PC and save to wav.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Zen
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:24 PM

I use a Zoom H2 as well and am very pleased with it.

Zen


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:54 PM

I use an Edirol R-09 with an external stereo mic (Audio Technica ATR25)which gives superb results, even in bog standard 'MP3' quality. The SD card just slips into a card reader connected to my pc.
Occasionally, just for old times sake, I record with a Marantz CP430 cassette machine using the same microphone, but then there's the hassle of dubbing the recordings onto a pc for editing.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:22 PM

I was recorded with the gadgett Nick uses and it sounds pretty good I reckon.
I used to record bird song by hanging a mic out of me bedroom wondow and hitting record on an old reel to reel thingy.
Sunday morning dawn chorus and church bells in the distance.
Thats a good memory of Grimsby
A rare thing nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:27 AM

Well I've got the Zoom H4...Jolly nice (and came with Cubase lite software too. Free gratis and for nothing!).
Mind you, if it's birdsong you're after, and you have a DAB radio. there is a 24 hour channel dedicated to such atmospheric sounds!
(Not sure how copyright works in respect to Robins Sparrows and Tits though. Maybe a bag of bird seed would do!)


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:28 AM

Thanks for such a lovely sound 'image' Tim Leaning. I too get Sunday Church bells, though they are pretty much inaudable through winters double glazing...

Think I'm going to have a lot of fun.

I can certainly see me getting into recording noises when I go camping (no, not human mating habits... badgers and fox calls, owls and such.)

PS Mods, I just realised that I probably should've put a 'Tech' prefix on this thread - though I think it's pretty self evident from the title.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:31 AM

I can certainly see me getting into recording noises when I go camping (no, not human mating habits... badgers and fox calls, owls and such.)

Hmm... so you say...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:17 AM

Well Mr Fly as long as you arent weaaring the same outfit while camping that you say you may for U Tube Vids.......


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:49 AM

One thing about the H4 (and H2 presumably) is that the little black-nose wind-screen is next to useless for outdoor recording. However, the device is small enough to fit within the windscreen of a large diaphragm condenser microphone which does the job beautifully.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:07 AM

Consider the Tascam units. They have just come out with a new model for $200 American.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:22 AM

For editing, don't forget Audacity. Totally free to download.

I have an Edirol R09, brilliant. I have seen someone using one with a case with a tripod attachment, but I do not know where you can get one or how much they are. The case had cutouts for access to the controls.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:35 AM

Further H4 cons - fiddly card access & badly designed tripod attachment (a rather naff cradle with velcro straps!). Also, the phantom facility isn't too reliable either - first time I tried it, it crashed the device entirely! Too many bells & whistles / less is more - I certainly wouldn't recommend it or buy another one.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:50 AM

Audacity is usually enough for me.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 10:32 AM

Yes Mr Beard...Re the H4.Couldn't agree more. The horrible plastic thingy went straight into the skip!
Not really bothered with the phantom side of things, as I nearly exclusively use it fed from a mixing desk. And the display is pants!!
So I just set it going and do the editing on the pooter later.
But, the quality is excellent.
And for the price. It's brill!


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM

Feb Sound on Sound magazine [UK] is reviewing the Yamaha 2G & CX Pocketrak recorders.

here's the first part of the review online

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb09/articles/yamahapocketrack.htm


but you'll need to sneak a crafty read in your nearest WH smiths
if you want to read the full review


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM

But, the quality is excellent.
And for the price. It's brill!


This is of course true.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:22 PM

Told my Dad not to worry about getting me an Xmas pressy this year, 'cos I couldn't think of anything I particularly wanted.

Saw him today and mentioned what I want to do with the natural recordings, and he's getting me the Zoom H2 as a belated Xmas pressy!
How good's that? Topper!

Does anyone recommend purchasing electrickery gadgets from US, as I've seen it sold there for less than it costs in the UK. Not sure what the shipping is likely to come to though. Thoughts??


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:24 PM

You will just love the Zoom H2 - it's brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:25 PM

Well I bought my Zoom H2 last August in West Virginia - the plug that comes with it is a 2 pin USA plag that doesn't fit in our sockets. That's the only disadvantage I can see. I never use the plug anyway, as it takes AA batteries.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:30 PM

You'll also get caught for customs duty and our kind PO will charge you £8 for the privilege of getting it through customs. You get no choice over this handling charge (except for sending the item back) and it is likely to be a significant proportion of the customs duty.

Add to that, the dollar exchange rate is not particularly favorable at the moment - to put it mildly.

From one who has had experience of this.

No. I would say buy in the UK on the whole. When you add up shipping customs and PO handling charges and take into account the poor dollar exchange rate, you are likely to end up not saving very much at all, if anything.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 03:46 PM

Good goin', Rosie!

I was seriously considering getting the H4, mainly because of the professional XLR mic inputs, but I read a bunch of reviews that didn't sound all that great, so I decided to go a whole different route. I got a couple of professional studio mics and an analog-to-digital interface for my computer. Then, after what I spent on that, I decided that the Zoom H2 would be a neat little addition for general goofin' around and for recording song sessions and such. But it's turned out to be quite a neat little working tool. Among other things, I use it as a sort of "sketch pad" for CDs I might want to do, and to record practice session and play them back. The sound quality is surprisingly good.

I wish I could find some specifications on the in-built mics. Whenever I google about them, all I turn up is stuff on the versatility of the various pattern settings you can set up. What I want is specifications:    frequency response, that sort of thing. The mics seem to be pretty good, but I would like to see the numbers.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Goose Gander
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:00 PM

A friend of mine uses the Zoom H2, she has no complaints. I'm thinking of picking one up (when I'm slightly less broke).


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: treewind
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM

The mics on the Edirol R-09 have been confirmed by some pro audio people (with good ears used to expensive studio mics) as being pretty good for what they are, and I've also read that Edirol put quite a lot of engineering effort into their design. I believe a similar effort was made for the Zoom H2 and H4. Frequency response figures don't tell you much - the mics are a good as you'll get given the constraints of being built in to the recorder. Very few mic manufacturers give you useful or truthful specs anyway - maybe Neumann and Schoeps... If you want better you need to spend at least the price of the recorder again and then your pocket gadget becomes a suitcase full of mics, cables and possibly a preamplifier and it's all not as portable as it was.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:27 PM

mainly because of the professional XLR mic inputs

Me too, but when I finally got round to using them the phantom crashed the unit. Out of warranty too! Chiz. H2 is a better bet. Wish I'd gone that route myself. Still - we live & learn!

Have fun, Rosie - which I'm sure you will. Looking forward to hearing the results.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:29 PM

Anyone remember the Sony professional walkman cassette? I'm still using mine, and it's still stunning. A Sony engineer told me never to get rid of it...only problem is, you look like a dinosaur.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM

I just got a Zoom Handy 2 yesterday. I was very impressed with the quality of the two recordings I made today (and my singing sounded pretty good, too).
It appears, as Ralphie says, that the Handy 4 comes with Cubase Lite OEM software. Is there a way to get Cubase Lite with the Handy 2?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:47 PM

My walkman pro is sitting next to me as I speak. It crashed immediately after the Portland Chantey fest and I wish it hadn't. The drive system makes unfortunate noises. It was my third one. The first two got lifted at festivals. I happen to agree with the Boatman--Totally flexible and great quality.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:48 PM

PS, I'm still learning to use the Tascam DR1


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Declan
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:57 PM

Lots of good advice about external mics, and you'll definitely need one if you go down the minidisc route.   Minidisc is great but some will tell you ite obsolete technology. I can't see Sony investing any more money in it. The good news fronm this is that some Minidisc recorders are available at much lower prices than they were a few years ago, and for sound quality it is excellent, especially with a good external Mic.

On the other hand I've has an Edirol R09 for a few years now. The built in mics on these are really quite good. No doubt even better quality can be had from using a good external mic, but it depends how high quality you need the recording to be, I'd recommend doing some recording with the built in mics and then deciding whether the additional expense of an external mic is jusitified.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 01:44 AM

Well done SR for your Dads offer of an H2.
What a nice man!.
Next time you see him can you ask for a Very large MAC, a digidesign A/D interface (preferably with flying faders) A full version of ProTools.......erm......I'll get back to you about the mics, probably Schoeps, half a dozen should do the trick!!!
Nice bloke, your Dad. Have always thought so!
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:43 AM

Sorry Ralphie, my Da is usually poor as a church mouse. Bloody artisans!*

Anyway you can be assured that he'll have borrowed it to play with himself, and got mud or baked bean juice in it, before the packings even off...


* That's code for 'awld hippy' by the way ;-)


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM

Anyone remember the Sony professional walkman cassette?

They were, in truth, the bollocks. Mine died the death long ago but the archive survives. A beautiful machine, and just as handy as the H4.

And what about DAT? Never actually owned one, but I've used one from time to time with impressive results.

*

Back to the H4 / H2 - on a practical note, I've taken to using high capacity rechargeable batteries which last a good deal longer than Duracells. When are they going to do a wind-up one I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 04:44 AM

Ah - the Sony Walkman recorder - that was truly a superb machine! I had one for years. One day, the dual speed mechanism went haywire and I sent it off to Sony for repair. Lost in the post. It was an excellent field recorder, together with the Sony stereo mic (which I still have).


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 05:13 AM

The minidisc was a really silly idea. I have two dead Sony MD recorders which, in common with Applemac studio displays, are programmed to expire approximately three days after going out of warranty. I had to get a MD player off Freecycle to be able to replay a stack of recorded MDs as I still can't work out how to get them into iTunes. For recording, the Zoom is a vast improvement, the only drawback being the lack of a meter to show how much power is left.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 05:20 AM

Just record the mini disc into your software.
Downside is most of them you need to do in real time.
But as you took the trouble to record stuff just look at it as a pleasure to listen as you do it?


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 05:28 AM


Just record the mini disc into your software


Sure, but that would involve parting with vast quantities of dosh at Maplins to get the right sort of connectors, after which the setting aside of several weeks to potwatch.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Cliff
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 05:47 AM

Nmini-jack to mini-jack lead £1.98.
@ £4 for a higher quality gold plated one.
Both from Maplins.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: bankley
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 05:48 AM

still have a working Sony Walkman Pro (cassette) and a mini-disc... which rarely get used...
but they're there in a case just in case..
been using a Korg PXR4 digital since 2001 for a really portable mobile..... I've done things on it that have been broadcasted, pressed, and circulated all over... which makes big studio owners nervous.... which is funny... cuz it all has it's place

but when you're doing field recording, watch out for low flying tractors...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: treewind
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 07:13 AM

My Sony MZ-R30 is still going. I used it for the first time in years a couple of weeks ago, when someone had music on minidisc to play for a show. The battery was dead (you expect that if you leave a Li-ion battery uncharged for months) but it was fine on external batts or power unit. I've read about somebody who knew a Sony engineer that claimed the MZ-R30 was one the best engineered MD units they ever made. It's more bulky than the newer, cheaper MDs, same size as the old tape Walkman.

You can't beat the convenience of internal mics and rapid file transfer to computer, but the MD recorder isn't going in the bin yet.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:12 AM

>>Back to the H4 / H2 - on a practical note, I've taken to using high capacity rechargeable batteries which last a good deal longer than Duracells. When are they going to do a wind-up one I wonder?

I reckon a small wind turbine might work but while it might be OK for Field Recording it's not too practical for indoor gigs.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:56 AM

I concur with what other posters say about the SONY Mini- Disc recorders, excellent reproduction but would advise, always use mains power source when recording indoor events. My experience of chargeable batteries of various makes leaves me un-impressed and Sony do advise the same in their user manuals.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 02:54 PM

Sony Minidisc players- can't live with them, can't live without them, at least not if you have a huge archive of live recordings made in LP mode......

Like Diane, my previous two MD recorders died a death just out of the guarantee period (as did a Sony CD/ radio player) which is enough to make me avoid all Sony products for ever more.

Still, having got a huge pile of recordings to transfer (in real-time- yawn!) before editing, burning to CD etc, I bit the bullet and got an MZ-B10, which has the advantage over all the other portable recording devices I've ever owned of having a built-in mic and speakers. Pretty rough quality, but convenient for recording and listening back to rehearsals, workshops etc (nothing to plug in, just hit the big red button). I've got good results using a line out from the desk at gigs, but it's a pain if you want to do anything with the recordings after that.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:20 PM

Nick, if I set the H2 for rechargeable batteries, will the plug-in adapter function as a charger?

You H2 owners, did you get a CD with sound editing software in the package? Some sources say Cubase Lite comes with the H2, but I didn't get it with mine. I paid $162 for mine at Amazon in the U.S., by the way.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:25 PM

Nope. I didn't get it with mine.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:53 PM

I bought the original Sony Mini Discman recorder when it first came out many years ago. It's still going strong today. It was much larger and solider than today's models - built like a brick. I also have the original discs that I first bought to use with it - and they're still playing as well as they did then. So - not all bad news...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 07:47 PM

>>Nick, if I set the H2 for rechargeable batteries, will the plug-in adapter function as a charger?

Don't think so unless things are different in the States. The plug in adapter is just to run it off mains isn't it? I use rechargeables but just charge them in the normal way.

I bought my H2 in the UK and it came with no software. As I think I've said a number of times I use Reaper for most of my audio things. Though more to learn than Audacity it's worth it - have a go. I recorded my son practicing with a friend. Pasted the mp3 into Reaper and edited and normalised it and it took no time at all (result here).

Hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 08:57 PM

Well, it seems strange that there's a setting for battery type - one for alkaline batteries, and one for rechargeable ones. Seems to me the only reason for that would be to enable charging within the device.
I like to think I'm a reasonably good singer, but I'm finding it difficult to sing and record a song all the way through without any mistakes....
Since I'm snowed in and can't go to song circle, I guess I'll play with my recorder and master it.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:31 PM

I've still got a Grundig TK6 reel to reel which I used for recording steam trains in the mid 60's (was using a Philips which was really crap before that)! Very good quality recordings but, oh boy, was it heavy, probably why I'm suffering with back problems now! Then a Sony cassette in early 70's, next a Marantz cassette in 90's, not bothered since.

Seems like another planet compared with what's around now.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:35 PM

Yeah, Jim, I have a rock-solid, heavy Rheem Califone reel-to-reel "portable" 30-inch cube that I'm still reluctant to give up. This Zoom Handy H2 is the first recorder I've had that might tempt me to get rid of that sturdy old Rheem Califone.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 04:10 AM

Does anyone remember the Uher portable tape recorder? Swiss-made, I believe and high quality kit. Used a lot be BBC outside broadcast and news radio reporters.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 04:32 AM

How does the Olympus WS110cpmpare with H2?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: treewind
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 06:39 AM

"it seems strange that there's a setting for battery type - one for alkaline batteries, and one for rechargeable ones"

It's for adjusting the voltage sensing range of the battery state meter. Rechargeables have a lower cell voltage, so when fully recharged would look like a half-dead alkaline. (1.6V vs. 1.2V)

It would be nice if they could recharge the battery. The Edirol doesn't either. The Sony MD with Li-ion battery did have a built in charging circuit, but that's necessary for Lithium-ion because the batteries are dangerous if not handled by an intelligent charger that's calibrated for the exact battery type.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 06:49 AM

Anahata - when I was at Kirkby Fleetham I had my Zoom with me as I was testing it in various environments. I was clearing it out the other day and came across some of you and Mary playing - are you interested in a copy before I do my housekeeping?


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 07:09 AM

One thing, Joe, which I'm sure you'll have sussed already is to not allow the Zoom to record at too high a level - it really sounds GRIM. I recorded a gig we played at and set it on too high a setting and it sounds awful. Coveresely if you record too low and normalise it afterwards you do introduce an awful lot of background noise which can become very intrusive and spoil it. It's worth spending a little time getting the right level with a combination of the L-M-H setting and use of the level control to get the right balance.

I use it at home to practice with guitar(s) and voice(s) and use the M setting for that and it's about right for a quiet home environment.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM

How does the Olympus WS110cpmpare with H2?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 09:40 AM

Err, would I need to invest in a separate mic for vocals?

I'm assuming not at the moment, if this gizmo H2 will do the job OK. Then presumably I can use it both for field recorded natural sounds, and indoor recorded vocals. The most I'll need any of this stuff for, is knocking up YouTubes for my own fun.

I know I ask the dumbest sounding questions sometimes, but all this nu-fangled technology is new to me.

I still don't know how to use the recordable DVD... :-/


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 10:30 AM

I note that the talk on this thread has turned to minidisc recorders. I used these for a while and still have a couple of serviceable ones somewhere. By far the best was a Sharp (can't tell you the model no, without searching for the thing) which had a mechanism very similar to a video recorder - i.e. you just 'posted' the disc into a slot on the side and you were away; far more practical than the other rather rickety mechanisms around at the time.
Having said that, the Sharp machine had to go away to a special 'MD service centre' a couple of times when it just plain refused to recognise any discs put into it. So reliability was a bit of a problem.
I'd say minidiscs are a sort of halfway house between cassettes and today's DS card recorders - in fact I believe they were intended to replace cassettes on the UK domestic market, but never really 'caught on'.
I had good results with them (apart from the compression problems someone mentioned earlier) and I have scores of MDs languishing in a cardboard box, to add to the hundreds of cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes which I will sort out sometime before I die.
Incidentally, it's interesting to note that 'reel-to-reel' tapes weren't called that until cassettes were invented. They were just called 'tapes'.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 04:22 PM

Rosie

Depends what quality you are after but the internal mics are fine for what I use it for. There are some examples here of 5 different things I've used it for to give an idea.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 04:45 PM

Rosie, the microphones are what sold me on the Zoom H2 - the quality of the four microphone capsules is excellent. I like the setup very well - there's a 90o array in the front that's great for solo recording (where I'm most likely to want the controls on the same side as the microphone). The rear microphones cover 120o, which is about right for recording our choir (with the controls conveniently on the side opposite from the microphone). Whoever designed this, did some really good thinking.
Now, if you want surround sound, put the H2 on a camera tripod next to your bird bath, turn on all 4 microphones in the "surround" setting, and you can be surrounded by nature.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 06:04 AM

Cheers peeps, that's answered my question. Thanks for the examples Nick. Sounds perfectly good enough to cover all my needs.

Itching for it to arrive now...
Decided against ordering from US, what a pain in the bum it'd be if a button stopped working and I had to send it back!


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 06:13 AM

erm ...............

How does the Olympus WS110 compare with H2?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 01:41 PM

Wayhay, t'is uber good.

Now how do I record really brilliant stuff, like snow falling, or comets whizzing past, or leaves unfurling or something...

Willing on the next rainstorm now... So I can lurk in the shed like some 'suspicious looking character' that the local neighbourhood watch might deem worthy of a mention of in our monthly crime-empty newsletter.

Rather curious to know what interesting things other people have done field recordings of, or what they would if they actually wanted to?
So basically that'll be, err, me looking to generally 'steal' other peoples ideas then...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM

When my son was younger (much younger) he and a friend took great delight in recording the lavatory flushing!

I've used my Sony Discman to record early morning birdsong as a background atmospheric for some experimental multitracked music I was composing at the time.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM

My boyfriend was messing around, and well, you know what overgrown boys do... Mostly the same stuff that little boys do. So he did one of those smelly things and of course thought it most amusing for us both. Especially as he thought it'd make great material to record for a conceptual sound collage.

I told him that next time, I'd record it and put it up on Mudcat, so everyone could appreciate his brilliance...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 02:22 PM

Ah yes... the fartophone... very original, I must say. I look forward to the link on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 04:57 PM

I've got loads of ideas, I just want other ones! Stuff I'd never automatically think of...

Oh hell, my ears are going to be on superduper alert everywhere I go from now on..


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:24 AM

An interesting experiment is Binaural recording.
It was experimented with in the 70's but didn't really catch on.
What you do is mimic the human head with 2 mics where your ears would be (Following?!)
There was a German "Head" you could buy (Kuntskopf sp?) that actually had high quality mics implanted into a fake skull. (Yes you would look pretty stupid walking around with it!)
It only worked if replayed through headphones though. Somewhere I have a demo record done by Sennheiser I think. Will try and find it.
I did do a demo in London on a night shift once, and the results were pretty amazing.
You could probably get the same effect by taping a couple of electret mics to the arms of a pair of glasses!!
It really is rather weird. It's all today with the phase differences between the two mics, and the fact that there is a dense object between them! (No offence intended!!)


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:26 AM

Scratch "today" in the last sentence.....substitute "to do!"


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,Mr Tomorrowsworld
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 01:05 AM

hmmm.. I remember those Binaural test recordings
Back then everyone had really long greasy hair.
Now so many musicians shave their heads completely.
Wonder how much difference that would make to sound qualities of the recordings.
Actually, I seriously think its worth considering
what the end result would sound like
if the 2 mics
were attached to either side
of a life size moulded plastic arse ???

no.. seriously..


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:58 AM

Soon there will be lambs and their dams in the pastures. Lovely to record the dialogue between the wee ones and their mothers.

I love the sound of the wind in the trees at Highlands House. Not in the gardens but in the fields. It is an amazing sound that comes from a distance as you walk toward them from the car park.

I have a ring neck dove cooing here in the mornings.

There is a cuckoo in the summer time near Ulting Church that you can hear from Papermill Lock.

Oohhh - locks!   Lots of good recording around locks as boats pass through.

If you can get to Fingering Hoe Wick, I always here a curlew there.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:19 AM

>>Soon there will be lambs and their dams in the pastures. Lovely to record the dialogue between the wee ones and their mothers.

And a bit later you can record the interesting sound after they are castrated... Or make a sound documentary - "Lovely lambs - destination hotpot"

I have a family of swifts who come and nest in the eaves every year. I was recording some guitar playing a year ago with the window open and you can hear the swifts about every 10 seconds as they fly round the house singing their heads off


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 05:19 AM

Or how about a "Symphony for Mobile Phones" - very John Cage? You could record mobile phones and then mix them together afterwards...


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 08:33 AM

I always HEAR a curlew. Gawd!

Nick... thank you for that. Why I don't eat lamb. Too cute. Like eating kittens. Which reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on my daughters uni roomates microwave. "Ask me about microwaving cats for fun and profit!" Shudder.

My mobile plays Odetta's Waterboy or me singing Motherless Child. My partner's phone plays Cocteau Twins, Pearly Dewdrops Drops or Lorelei or a vintage phone ring, depending on who the call is coming from.
So no interest there. One might record me swearing under my breath at the constant ringing of desk and mobile phones in next office. Are Arts people deaf or just not bothered?


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:41 AM

Which reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on my daughters uni roomates microwave. "Ask me about microwaving cats for fun and profit!"

My Korean-born dentist has a spoof sticker on his car window:

"A dog is not for life - it's for Christmas."


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM

We saw our first lambs of 2009 on Saturday, somewhere along the A6... might get back there this weekend to record them.

Just found this today, one of the first field recordings made with my Zoom H4 at the Durham Miners' Gala in June 2007 - an unedited palimpsest of jubilant humanity, brass bands & warbler sellers!

Download MP3 via YouSentIt:

Durham Miners' Gala 2007


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 11:16 AM

Rosie,
Just a word of warning. If you're going to use your recorder for natural soundscapes you may find the levels are quite low on playback on the H2. Don't be tempted to use the 'normalizer' in the machine it takes far too long. Download your recordings into your PC in something like Cool Edit (or whatever) or Audacity, reduce the peaks and then normalize, it will take a much shorter time.
bugJ


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 11:54 AM

Sean,

erm ...............

How does the Olympus WS110 compare with H2?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:27 PM

In short, Les, you pretty much get what you pay for. The H2 is pretty much standard (the reason why the H4 costs more is that it features a host of pointless extras, but we'll pass on that). Never used the Olympus WS110, but they're a digital dictaphone basically; good for note-taking, but your not going to get anything like the quality of recording you get off the Zooms. Download my Durham Gala recording above (features a spirited take on Geordie Had the Bairn) and see what I mean.

Hope to see you on the first Wednesday sing in March - if so, I'll fetch along the H4 and record as much as I can.

Sean


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Nick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:30 PM

Agree totally with Guest. If you do record quiet noises though make sure you set your machine to the H setting and you get the volume level right.

Too high a level and it clips and sitorts and sounds awful but if you record at too low a level you can normalise the volume in Audacity or other package but you will also bring up all the background noise and can it sound equally grim.

It's worth doing a little test and checking that the levels are reasonable before you do a 'proper' recording


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM

Thanks Sean,

look forward to seeing you both in March, recording would be fun - Lawyers and record labels might need to be present I guess?

Les


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 12:45 PM

"Sure, but that would involve parting with vast quantities of dosh at Maplins to get the right sort of connectors,"

most of them you can use a 2.5 to 2.5 stereo cable plugged into the headphone socket of the line out they are pennies.
But hey leave your stuff on the mini disk and use the same cable to play it back thru yer stereo.


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:11 PM

just noticed these new gear announcements..
might be interesting....


Zoom H4N
http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=11312


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:11 PM

Alesis Pro Track [Handheld Stereo Recorder for iPod]
http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=11226


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Subject: RE: Field Recording Equipment
From: glueman
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 04:21 PM

Been playing with my new H2 and I'm impressed. The 90 page booklet was a bit daunting for a technophobe but my 11 year old has the chip all kids are implanted with at the maternity ward nowadays and was shuffling through menus in minutes.

Looking forward to some software twiddling. I'm thinking of sound sync to super 8. Has anyone experience of digitising film and syncing audio?


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