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Author Topic: Digital recorder recommendations?  (Read 1366 times)

AdamJ

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Digital recorder recommendations?
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:34:12 PM »
Can anyone offer recommendations for a portable digital recorder in the sub-$200 range? My main uses would be for close-miked and/or voice over work and I'd like a low noise floor and a high quality, rich voice sound.

I'm aware of the Tascam DR07 MkII, Zoom H1/H2 and Sony ICD-SX712 - any thoughts from users of these would be welcome, plus pointers to any other devices I'm not aware of. I'm leaning towards the Sony for its small size and good price but I'm not sure how it compares with the others for sound quality.

Thanks.

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Digital recorder recommendations?
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:34:12 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Digital recorder recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 10:38:10 PM »
I just ordered a tascam dr-40 should be here next week $199 I'll let you know how it goes the reviews I have seen look good though
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skitron

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Re: Digital recorder recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 10:58:22 PM »
If you're going to use it with a 5D2 or 7D (with newest firmware), you can get excellent results using a good preamp into the camera's PCM recorder, provided you also use a decent microphone and placement.

The Juiced Link preamp clips I've listened to (that were using good microphones) sound virtually identical to one of my high end preamps with a good microphone when recording with a 5D2.

The Juiced Link is the most practical solution and into a 5D2 will have a much lower noise floor than any portable under $1500.

If you are wanting something not specifically for the camera, I'd buy an EMU 1616m and use it with a laptop. More bulk but it will be dead quiet and no distortion. The cheaper ($300-$500) portables won't sound too terrible until you A/B them with something good.

So it comes down to how picky you are about sound, how much you want to spend, how much gear you want to lug around... To put it into camera terms, I'd say the cheap portables are like a 18-55 kit lens, the Juiced Link like a 17-55, the 1616m like a 24-70 II. LOL, and yes there is audio stuff that is like a 200mm F2 L in both performance and cost. :-)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 11:16:11 PM by skitron »
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AdamJ

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Re: Digital recorder recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 02:17:47 AM »
If you're going to use it with a 5D2 or 7D (with newest firmware), you can get excellent results using a good preamp into the camera's PCM recorder, provided you also use a decent microphone and placement.

The Juiced Link preamp clips I've listened to (that were using good microphones) sound virtually identical to one of my high end preamps with a good microphone when recording with a 5D2.

The Juiced Link is the most practical solution and into a 5D2 will have a much lower noise floor than any portable under $1500.

If you are wanting something not specifically for the camera, I'd buy an EMU 1616m and use it with a laptop. More bulk but it will be dead quiet and no distortion. The cheaper ($300-$500) portables won't sound too terrible until you A/B them with something good.

So it comes down to how picky you are about sound, how much you want to spend, how much gear you want to lug around... To put it into camera terms, I'd say the cheap portables are like a 18-55 kit lens, the Juiced Link like a 17-55, the 1616m like a 24-70 II. LOL, and yes there is audio stuff that is like a 200mm F2 L in both performance and cost. :-)

That's very useful stuff, skitron - thanks. I've now taken some time to learn about the other options you mention and I can appreciate the quality gains possible from them. My circumstances are that I'm a very occasional, non-broadcast video user and I'm also not too worried about the extra workflow of syncing in post, so I'm happy to go with a solution that's independent of the camera, which of course has its own benefits. Having looked at the better quality solutions, I'm still happy to go with a digital recorder (the kit lens approach, to use your analogy), which I think will be 'good enough' for my modest needs. So, it's really just a case of establishing which option within that scope will suit me best.



AdamJ

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Re: Digital recorder recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 12:29:38 PM »
A belated update. I've had the Sony ICD-SX712 for three weeks now and I'm very impressed. I don't have the means to compare it with other similar recorders but 'uncompressed' mode (16 bit / 44 KHz - CD quality) sounds perfect to my ears, and it's small and light enough to be easily hotshoe-mounted.

External recorders are also great for using with a lapel (lavalier) microphone and I'm currently awaiting a Giant Squid Omni lav mic which has a very good reputation.

All in all, this seems to me to be a convenient and very high quality alternative to using the camera's audio hardware.

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Re: Digital recorder recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 12:29:38 PM »