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New Portable Digital Recorders


cnegrad

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Greetings,

 

Does anyone have any experience with any of the new portable digital recorders such as the

 

Edirol R-09 ($399): http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R09/

 

or the Zoom H4 ($299): http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/H4/

 

Of course there's also the Sony PCM-D1, but at $999, that's more than I need.

 

The purpose of this unit would be to record live rehearsals and jam sessions wherever they may occur. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I'd be interested in knowing this too. I had an Edirol R-1, and it distorted regularly during band rehearsals, and by rock band standards, we're relatively quiet. The R-1 distorted even when I had the meter peaking at only 1/3 to 1/2, trying to be conservative in case it wasn't reacting to transient peaks.

 

To be fair, other people have not reported their R-1s distorting, so perhaps I had a defective one. Nevertheless, I sold it.

 

I'd love to have something else like it that sounds decent. There's another one, a 1-bit Korg thingy, that I saw at AES that should be shipping in a few months that looks promising. It's gonna street for about $7-800.

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I'm interested in the Zoom H4 but it sounds like there are some bugs that need to be resolved from what I've read on a Zoom forum.

 

By the way, where is the Sony PCM-D1 sold for $999 ? My google search shows it sold everywhere for $1850.

 

David

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Dave,

 

I missed a digit. The ad that I saw read $1999. Thanks for the clarification. Someone I met recently is raving about the new Edirol model, but I hoped to get some more in depth reports before my purchase.

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I thought this looked useful for recording gigs:

 

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b339/Manhunter_1964/microbr.jpg

 

It's very small and uses standard batteries.

 

I've been using an Iriver mp3 player and this is very useful but doesn't record without a preamp - I'm using my Sony Professional walkman as the preamp. If the Micorbr had been out when I purchased the Iriver I would have bought that instead - looks ideal for descrete recording at live gigs.

 

Dave

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Coincidentally I got a call from my sister yesterday. Her office had a big SKB rack with a Yamaha mixer and a dual cassette player to RECORD their meetings. Whoever had set up their system was gone and they needed someone to sort it out. Long story short I told'em they needed to snag one of these digital recorders. Dude in charge thought I was talking about one of those little digital dictaphones.
chip
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In the Feb 2006 issue of Sound On Sound (a British magazine), an editor suggested two models for a reader who asked can you recommend a digital multitracker for less than £ 300?

 

He suggested the Fostex VF80EX and the Tascam DP01FX - both have eight tracks.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Originally posted by cnegrad:

Anyone using the Zoom H4 yet? I'm hearing great things.

http://media.zzounds.com/media/fit,325by400/brand,zzounds/H4_slant-0d7e9ab6879c24ed55cba05ba8f8a461.jpg

 

cnegrad,

 

This looks interesting.

 

In my experience there are a couple of things to look for -

 

- Microphone placement is critical. If you can mount a stereo mic or two mics on a stand, and find the best position based on a balanced sound, that's key. I believe this unit can be mounted to a stand. If you can get it out of your hands to reduce handling noise, that would be helpful.

 

- Because this unit uses solid-state memory instead of Minidiscs or cassettes, you'll have no motor noise. That's a great benefit. I've had Minidisc recordings skip when the band volume (particularly bass) was too loud.

 

- Be sure to get a large memory card. 2 gig cards are cheap. I'd probably get a 4 gig card. Prices are falling.

 

- A built-in limiter is crucial. As you know, with digital recording, you want to always keep the levels below 0 VU. Analog recording is different. I can record on my Sony portable Minidisc machine and the limiter will keep the audio levels in check. Although this is detrimental to the sound, it's better than digital distortion. However, I have a Sony component Minidisc deck. It doesn't have a built-in limiter. I really have to watch the levels when recording with it because if I go over 0 VU, it gets nasty.

 

- If you record with the gain too low it's OK since there is no tape hiss. You lose a bit of dynamic range, but recording low is much-preferred to recording with the gain too high and getting digital distortion or hitting the limiter.

 

If you end up purchasing this, be sure to let us know what you think of it.

 

Thanks - Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Hi,

 

Just curious why you didn't include the M-Audio Micro Track in your decision. I bought one of these when they first came out and have been very happy with it. Im not thrilled by the non-replaceable by the end-user rechargeable batteries, but other than that is it very nice. Something I really like is the fact that M-Audio does a great job of updating their drivers and supplying firmware updates to add new features and correct software errors.

 

Dave

Wm. David McMahan

I Play, Therefore I Am

 

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Dave,

 

I hadn't considered it for a simple reason; I was completely unaware of it. On the other hand, both the Zoom and Edirol units have had considerable press in recent months. Ignoring their existance was not possible for anyone that receives regular trade publications and catalogs.

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