Affordable Field Recorders

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idontreallygiveashit
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Affordable Field Recorders

Post by idontreallygiveashit » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:06 pm

I'm tired of having "i wish i could sample that" moments, i'm looking for a portable field recorder to carry around and whip out for these occurrences. I can't use my phone as it is very old and the quality is rubbish.

However, i found that all the ones people were recommending on Gear Slutz and the like were expensive (by my standards) at an average of £400 - £500... well, my budget is around £100 (and that's still going to be a difficult decision). I'm not looking for the best quality possible and i dont mind spending time cleaning up the sounds if it means i'll save a few hundred quid - i know dictaphones go cheap but i'm unsure of the quality.

So, what are you using and what would you recommend?

Thanks all!

wub
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by wub » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:08 pm

Zoom H2 new is around £130 if you can push it, failing that the H1.

idontreallygiveashit
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by idontreallygiveashit » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:17 pm

Hmm... I might not get the H2 as £130 is sort of excessive for something i might not use a whole bunch, but i've just been looking up the H1 - it's going for around £60 and i could definitely do that - just had little look at youtube clips and reading reviews testing the sound, seem good for my needs.

Have you had experience with it?

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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by fragments » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:00 pm

Tascam DR series is more or less equivalent to the Zoom H series...I love my Tascam DR-07 I record vocals, ambiance and percussion with it ...I rarely have problems with unwanted noise and never have quality issues.
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by Turnipish_Thoughts » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:24 pm

I second the H1, I'm a skint student. It's cheap and good quality for the price.
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idontreallygiveashit
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by idontreallygiveashit » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:31 pm

^ Cool, i'll most likely get one of those.

Fragments - Can you comment on the DR-08 or DR-05? I found a used DR-08 online for quite a bit less than a H1... and the DR-05 is more in my price bracket than the 07. Is there really much of difference? My primary function is just to record and upload to PC.

EDIT: Bought the H1, can't wait for it to come, gonna record everything!

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TheWallOfSacrifice
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by TheWallOfSacrifice » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:00 pm

zoom h1 is good, 85 euro
the cheaper product are meant for recording lessons, conferences and stuff.. so avoid them :4:

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wormcode
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by wormcode » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:23 pm

They have a charm though, I still break out my old dictaphone cassette recorders once in a while even though I have pro ones. But yeah, unless you want some weird warbly effects it's not reliable.

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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by kaiori breathe » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:39 pm

Thread is relevant to my interests. Kinda tired of hunting for obscure samples like 'chunky raindrops on a metal sheet' online for hours on end. Field recording equipment would be handy.

mekha
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by mekha » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:48 pm

The h1 is an excellent field recording unit for the price!

But.. you might want to consider the H2n instead. The H1 captures waaaay too much "handling" noise to actually use it. (unless you use a tripod or something)

The H2N is a much better recorder.. if you are going to spend some money on one of these i highly suggest to go for the h2N (or the H2 insted)

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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by idontreallygiveashit » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:33 pm

I found a cheap arse chinese tripod, this was a budget buy :lol: I couldn't really justify spending £130 for something i'm only going to be having some fun with. When it arrives, i'll upload some samples and maybe others can do the same with their tools.

Plus i'm going to have a lot of fun with this and Hourglass (big up Tiger Widow!) regardless.

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Ongelegen
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by Ongelegen » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:46 pm

Yeah H1 is great for the price, but the build quality is shit imo. I agree with the handling noise too, you can get the accesory pack for the H1, which isn't very expensice. You'll get a tripod and a grip (plus a bunch of other stuff) which can be screwed on the back of the unit and reduces the handling noise significantly. However due to the shitty build quality and cheap plastic the thread for the tripod and grip of my H1 broke pretty fast. Be very carefull with it.

Also what most people do not take into cosideration when recording outside is wind protection. When taking it or any orher recorder/mic outside you MUST use protection or else your recording will come out messed up 90% of the time even by a slight breeze. Also don't use foam covers, shit is totally useless for outdoor use. Get something like a Rycote Mini Windjammer, which is made for a lot of recorders. Not not sure they have one for the H1, but definitely for H2 and 4. There is also the DIY path which I walked. You'll just need some foam and some synthetic fur. The difference between this and no protection is night and day. Mine looks like this. Very easy to make ;-)

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idontreallygiveashit
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by idontreallygiveashit » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:20 pm

The official Zoom H1 Accessory Pack contains a foam windscreen, does it not work very well? Did you put the fur onto that one?

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Ongelegen
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by Ongelegen » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:37 pm

Like I said, foam isn't meant to be used outdoors. It only works like an ok popfilter. No I didn't use that one, just some regular foam, the yellowish type which is used for upholstery stuff. I've made a tube out of it which has a tight fit around the mics and glued the top side so it's closed. Then I sew the fur around it and glued the small section at the opening so the foam is totally covered by the fur.

idontreallygiveashit
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by idontreallygiveashit » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:44 pm

Oh okay, i understand. I have a crafts shop near me that I can get all the stuff at, thanks for the tip! Do you know the thread size for the tripod, by any chance?

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Ongelegen
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by Ongelegen » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:56 pm

idontreallygiveashit wrote:Do you know the thread size for the tripod, by any chance?
No, the box/manual didn't mention the size either. But it's a bit smaller than the regular mic thread which is 3/8" so i'm guessing 1/4", not sure though.

EDIT:
The tripod screw thread is standard photographic thread, which is 1/4" Whitworth ISTR
found here (4th post down): http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=200953

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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by fragments » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:40 pm

@OP's question...might be relevant to someone else...I actually have no clue what the specific differences are, I'd imagine over all quality of recording and the options. As I've said, I've got the DR-07. I've found the best way to use it, is to set it somewhere stable to record to avoid handling noise. I've never needed a tripod or used the foam microphone cover it came with. I rarely have problems with wind/air/noise...I record fairly hot and record at a distance a foot or two depending on what I'm doing. I always do multiple takes and usually don't have to rerecord anything. I always make sure windows are closed, fans off etc. If I'm recording a quick vocal I can do it from my chair in the studio right next to my full size tower with giant fans and I don't get any noise. Really for how easy this thing is to use and the quality I get I don't use it enough. I got mine for under 100 USD and it's probably the best value I've gotten for a piece of hardware I've purchased (discounting the freebies I've acquired over the years).
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wormcode
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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by wormcode » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:18 pm

All the tripod mount screw holes are standard size and will fit a normal tripod, in a rare circumstance it might come with an adapter as an accessory to fit.
Use both the included foam shield as well as a faux fur one for extra protection. (don't waste money on those overpriced Redhead type ones, you can build one in 10 mins practically free.)

Excess wind can easily be EQ'd out, but obviously not if it's too much. The higher end models have hi cut and low cut filters, use the low cut for wind and the limiter if it's available on your model.

Other threads on this:
http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=245554
http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=245503
http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=240308
http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=171348
http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=92913

I roll with one of these gorillas with h4n usually. Standard tripod mount:

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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by FSTZ » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:28 pm

wub wrote:Zoom H2 new is around £130 if you can push it, failing that the H1.
Honestly.. the Zoom H2 is probably the smartest audio investment I've made in years.

it's inexpensive, it sounds great in every mode (4 channel surround, stereo front, rear, etc..)

I use the line in to record mixes, live shows, etc

I used it as a stereo condenser a couple weeks ago

I highly recommend it

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Re: Affordable Field Recorders

Post by samurai » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:00 pm

I planning on grabbing a tascam dr-05 when I get paid next week. been eying one up for a while.

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