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digital audio recorders

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:27 am
by Marc_M
My old tape audio recorder just died - I need to buy a new digital audio recorder to capture my instructors when they recap the rhythms at the end of a lesson/workshop. That means I may be recording anywhere from six feet away to the edge to my seat at the edge of the instruction circle - say fifteen/twenty feet.

I checked out this website

http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/audio/p ... omparison/

and the best bang for the money seems to be Tascam GT-R1. I don't need the time stretching feature as I can use Cubase VST to speed up/ slow down the audio tracks. I've heard good things about Edirol R-09, but its a little out of my price range. EDIT - actually, I just looked them up and they are nearly the same price in Canada.

I would like to find something for under US$180 and that is a music recording quality as opposed to voice recording quality.

Any personal insights or info on websites would be appreciated. :wink:

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:10 pm
by bubudi
for that price i would go a second hand minidisc recorder. realistically i don't think $100 will get you a digital recorder of any decent quality. depends on your ears though - rachel was saying that for her, a voice recorder did the trick for classes. that very much depends on the class format and how much you need to jog your memory. the voice recorder doesn't record all the parts with enough clarity, so to record the whole rhythm you would pretty much need to know what you were listening for, however, if your class format allows you to recording each dunun/djembe part separately then you should be good to go with a voice recorder.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:50 pm
by Marc_M
Hey Bubudi -

Interesting suggestion going with the minidisc player - any product suggestions?

Interesting anecdote - a few years back a famous instructor came to town from New York to give a workshop. I had one of those 4-track Fostex four track tape recorders in my djembe bag and left it to record from my djembe bag instead of next to my chair like others because I didn't want people asking for copies or making a big fuss over it. Another participant saw the Fostex and told the instuctor what I was using. The instructor concluded that I couldn't use the recorder because it was too high quality. The experience left a bad feeling with me, the instructor and the particpant (who now gives classes). Upshot - I don't want anything that will attract attention. Are minidisc players much larger or more intimidating looking than a portable audio players?

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:23 am
by e2c
A Zoom H2 would probably suit your purposes very well. I know a number of musicians who use them to record their own gigs - they feel that the sound quality is quite good. (am planning on getting one myself.)

There are some older threads on this topic, I think...

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:07 am
by bubudi
no, that would be way above his price range. if you can afford that sort of money, go for the olympus ls-10.

as for minidisc recorders, they are pretty small. the best model is the sony mzr50. the mzr37 and the sharp 831 are also good models if you can't find the mzr50.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:08 am
by Marc_M
I checked out everyone's suggestions last night and I am tending to go with the Tascam DR-1 since it seems to do everything I need and interfaces well with my laptop and studio gear. It costs about C$300.

Thanks everyone.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:21 pm
by bubudi
it's no contest to me

tascam dr-1
size: 70 x 27 x 135mm
weight: 208g incl batteries
capacity: 1GB SD card (upgradable to 4GB)
format/resolution: 48khz 16bit wav / 320kbps mp3
battery time: 6hrs rec wav, non-standard li-ion.
internal speaker: no
price: $300 (usd)

olympus ls-10
size: 48 x 22 x 131mm
weight: 165g incl batteries
capacity: 2GB built in mem + SD / SDHC (up to 16GB)
format/resulution: 48khz 24bit wav / 320kbps mp3
battery time: 12hrs rec wav, 2 x AA (li, ni-mh or alk)
internal speaker: yes, stereo
price: $340 (usd)

verdict: for practically the same price, the olympus ls-10 is smaller, lighter, much better inbuilt mics, battery time and storage capacity. it lacks the 1/4" mic input that the tascam unit has, but there is no advantage to this since the tascam does not support phantom power. the 1/8" jack on the ls-10 is sturdy and will take your 1/4" mic lead with a small, cheap adapter. ls-10 plugs well into a laptop or desktop, pc or mac.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:45 pm
by e2c
bubudi wrote:no, that would be way above his price range. if you can afford that sort of money, go for the olympus ls-10.

as for minidisc recorders, they are pretty small. the best model is the sony mzr50. the mzr37 and the sharp 831 are also good models if you can't find the mzr50.
I think maybe you're confusing the Zoom H2 with the Zoom H4. I was talking about the H2.

Sample prices for the H2, via Google: http://www.google.com/products?rlz=1C1G ... 1&ct=title

Sample prices for the H4: http://www.google.com/products?q=zoom+h ... ts&show=dd

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:36 pm
by bubudi
wow, they've really gone down in price, no doubt due to far superior products being released after it like the ls10, dr1, r9 rerelease, pcm-d50, etc. :wink: i just used that same search function on the ls10 - lowest price is $276. the dr1 starts at $203

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:15 pm
by e2c
I think they might also have gone up in quality as well, judging from what I've heard from a number of musicians who use them regularly to record gigs, practice sessions and more. (Like I've been saying here for some time... ;))

(Fwiw, there's been a good deal of buzz about the H2 on Djembe-L, but I've heard about it mainly from professional jazz musicians who are very particular about sound quality. Some of them used to use MD recorders, but dropped those in favor of the H2.)

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:31 pm
by bubudi
you might like a daihatsu charade, until you drive a toyota camry or chevrolet, or whatever you guys like to drive over there :) the h2 hasn't improved much (it was re-released about 18 months ago). i think the djembe-l folks opted for the most budget option. the h2 is good for that, but you can spend another $100 and get something much better.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:33 pm
by e2c
bubudi, I'm sorry, but this has gotten a little silly. I was simply trying to convey some info., that's all. (And I have no reason to distrust the people who've recommended the H2 to me personally...)

Everyone has their own preferences in these things; what suits you might not suit me. And I think that the reasons for choosing X over Y vary from person to person, according to what kind of recording they're doing, how much they can afford to spend, etc. I'm definitely at the "low budget" end of the electronic gear spectrum. (Now, when I'm buying drums, it's a different story!)

OK? :)

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:29 am
by bubudi
i agree, different products for different needs/budgets. you get what you pay for, tho. peace.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:32 am
by Marc_M
Bubudi - that was a very eloquent summary of the two products. It's made me rethink slightly.

Truth be told, I probably don't need the extra fidelity, memory, and internal speakers of the ls-10. The 1/4" jacks on the dr-1 while handy, I can live with the 1/8" stereo jacks on the ls-10 (I also play keys and guitar as well as there are powered mics I can use for the dr-1)

The tradeoff I am having diffuculty with is the following: I am probably paying $100 more than I can really afford for the the dr-1 (C$300). In Canada, the ls-10 costs C$400. I have to decide if it is worth it to me to pay the hundred dollar premium for the freedom to use ordinary rechargeable batteries and longer battery life for the ls-10.

So, my two hundred dollar investment looks like it may cost four hundred dollars. Still, it will really be worth it to record some of these amazing opportunities with the djembefolas.

Maybe when I have both recorders in my hands I will know which to buy.

Thanks e2c and Bubudi again for you thoughts.

Cheers.

Re: digital audio recorders

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:57 am
by e2c
I hear you - when I do go to buy a decent recorder, I'll probably be having my own 2nd (and 3d!) thoughts about what I really want. My guess is that I'll end up springing for more than I'd initially planned. ;)