Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Which Audio Recorder to Buy?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Which Audio Recorder to Buy?

    Hello everyone. I am looking for a recorder to record my playing, and was wondering if anyone would have some advice on which one I should choose? I am considering the Zoom H2 and the Belkin GoStudio. Thanks!

    http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2-Portab...4097669&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-GoStudi...4097305&sr=8-1

    #2
    Hi,

    When it comes to these portable digital recorders, it all depends on what you want to record with them, and how critical you are about the results. If you want to record organ music and want decent playback, I'm afraid you will be disappointed by both. The problem is the microphones. The $5 microphone capsules they stick in these units just are not capable of really good results. If you want to get good results with these units, you will need to use external mics and go thru a mixer.

    At the store where I work the Olympus LS-10 and the Edirol R-09HR are favourites. Even so, better mics. add up to better sound.

    One thing that is interesting though, these little recorders do a better job on small jazz groups than classical music. I wonder if classical music depends much more on the low level ambiance and extended frequency than other types of music to be successful.

    AV

    Comment


      #3
      The Zoom is one I've seen quite a few of amongst my musician friends, along with the Edirol. There's a good chance the Belkin is more of a consumer device given their market orientation, but I'd really have no way of substantiating that as I've never used or seen it.

      Good external mics and placement of them will be the single biggest thing which drives up the sound quality of any of these units, but you are looking at doubling your initial investment at the least to make that jump in a worthwhile manner.

      Comment


        #4
        If you can find a little Sony stereo ECM mic, you will get great results (experiment with where to place it though).

        Personally I recommend finding a used Sony MiniDisc recorder (they don't make them any more). But make sure you can obtain a bunch of blank minidiscs (ebay?) BEFORE you get the MiniDisc. The reason I recommend it is the built-in compressor is excellent so it makes great recordings. But there are many cheap digital recorders available now that are decent.

        I've used that mic/minidisc combo to record everything from loud loud bands live to quiet strings to owls in the distant forest. Depending on how computer savvy you are, you can make excellent-quality recordings on your computer with a good mic (like the one mentioned). But its really down to the mic. If you only have $100 to spend, I'd buy the mic and an old cassette recorder from the thrift store. Seriously. Many people will roll their eyes reading that; if that sounds dubious to you, then certainly the other postings here offer good advice.
        Buzz

        Hammond M-3
        Hammond M-111
        Hammond H-100
        Lowrey Jamboree (with Magic Genie!!!)
        Acetone Top-5
        Leslie 220 (two stacked modified Leslie 110's!)
        Wurlitzer 720 spinet electric piano
        Moog Prodigy
        and several beat-up and abused Korg Poly800's

        Comment


          #5
          I have heard reports from other organists who have been extremely pleased with the Zoom H2. You obviously cannot expect professional recording quality from either of these units, but if you are looking for an inexpensive recorder that is portable, lightweight, simple to use and provide a fairly good quality home recording, then I think your choice would be betweem the Zoom H2 and the Zoom H1. The H1 is a little smallter and lighter in weight, but being a newly released item, it may be more difficult to obtain right now. There seems to be a backlog of people who have been awaiting its release for several months since it was first announced. Also note that the Zoom H2 contains four microphones for a more widely dispersed pickup pattern.

          It appears that the Belkin unit requires connection to an Apple IPod, so you would be manipulating two devices--an additional inconvenience.
          Rick B.

          Allen R-311D
          Baldwin Cinema II (214DR)
          Gulbransen Pacemaker
          Yamaha Clavinova CVP-209
          Nord C2 w/ PK27 pedals and Behringer K3000FX amp

          Comment


            #6
            Johan,

            I think the H2 is absolutely amazing for the price!!

            Dave Simmonds, the Phoenix dealer for the SW US, uses and H2 for recording his Phoenix Organ demos.

            [link removed due to domain ownership change]

            If you have a full range speaker system on your computer, I don't think you will find anything lacking in these recordings.
            Last edited by myorgan; 12-28-2017, 12:42 PM. Reason: removed link
            2008: Phoenix III/44

            Comment


              #7
              The Zoom is used by a few fellow organ students to record lessons etc. Reasonable with the inbuild mics but some complain about the small display size. I use an old Tascam DA-P1 or Sony PCM-M1 with external mics when I record a performance. But it is more the mics that make the difference. The Tascam DR-100 might also be a good alternative.

              As far as I'm concerned, I would look at the following points:
              - are the internal mics good enough to record something and keep it? (so I can take it along with minimal accesories and use it)
              - can I easily use external mics with phantom power? (I can use external mics when needed)
              - how long can I record on a battery charge? (some concerts do take 4h continously or I want to be a whole day recording in the field (let's say 8h))
              - what's the maximum file size supported? (there is no use of putting in a 32GB memory card if you can only record 2GB files)

              An organ isn't the easiest instrument to record. You should add a sizable mic stand to your gear.

              Comment


                #8
                I have been pleased with recordings made with my Sony Minidisc and external microphones. But regarding some suitable (and available) recording device, don't overlook your laptop computer.

                John Reimer

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Johan64' View Post
                  Hello everyone. I am looking for a recorder to record my playing, and was wondering if anyone would have some advice on which one I should choose? I am considering the Zoom H2 and the Belkin GoStudio. Thanks!
                  Johan,

                  I wouldn't touch the Zoom if it rose up and bit me in the butt!!!!

                  So far, I have purchased 3 Zoom guitar pedals for my music class, and while they do well, they do not hold up over time. For example, any port you plug in repeatedly is not anchored to the case, but only by solder joints to the logic board. Consequently, if you happen to push a little hard--bye, bye!!!

                  Also, have you checked prices on www.bhphotovideo.com?
                  Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                  • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                  • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                  • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks, everyone! Do you know of a way to connect a microphone such as the Behringer C2 microphones Michael mentioned to a laptop? I have a 13" MacBook Pro, which doesn't have a microphone input, but could it go though USB or firewire? Thanks!

                    And Michael, do you think the Zoom would be a good unit if you don't plug anything into it? I know Philip the Organist has one, and he likes it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I suspect the 13" Macbook Pro will accept a mic input - if i remember correctly, the headphone out is also used as an audio line in, so that would be where it goes.
                      BUT
                      I think that particular mic NEEDS phantom power (+48V) which the laptop will not provide. So either you need a phantom power box in between them OR a mixer or preamp that can provide the phantom pwr to the mic. Going in through USB/Firewire generally makes things a bit more complicated.

                      There are quite a few similar mics (sony etc) which are self-powered (by batteries) and would (BETTER DOUBLE-CHECK WHAT I'M SAYING AS I DON'T OWN A MACBOOK) make it a simple mic-to-laptop connection.
                      Buzz

                      Hammond M-3
                      Hammond M-111
                      Hammond H-100
                      Lowrey Jamboree (with Magic Genie!!!)
                      Acetone Top-5
                      Leslie 220 (two stacked modified Leslie 110's!)
                      Wurlitzer 720 spinet electric piano
                      Moog Prodigy
                      and several beat-up and abused Korg Poly800's

                      Comment


                        #12
                        No-one seems to have mentioned the Boss range. I did a group review of audio recorders for Keyboard PLayer Magazine a while back, looking at several makes. There wasn't much in it as far as the audio quality was concerned and those that had internal stereo mikes or a supplied mini electret did very well on their own. I'll second the Sony ECM idea, I still have an ECM99 single point stereo mike from 1973 and it's in regular use!

                        Back to Boss, then. I use the BR600. It's a multitracker, 8 direct tracks and up to 64 virtual tracks. Nice size, with real knobs and sliders and a decent sized display. Very intuitive to use, though if offers a lot more under the skin so you will need that owners' book at times! It even has a simple rhythm box built in that can be recorded with your tracks or not. I use it merely as a timing aid, a souped up metronome if you like. If I'm recording an 'on location' track that needs to synch with something I'm producing on computer, I just set the tempo to match and away I go!

                        File transfer to PC is via USB and as the mult-track data is in Boss/Roland's format, there's a free bit of software that will convert it all to individual mono or stereo wav files, one for each track. You can also convert wavs back to Boss format and send them to the BR600.

                        Worth considering with the others.
                        It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

                        New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

                        Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
                        Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
                        Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Johan64' View Post
                          I have a 13" MacBook Pro, which doesn't have a microphone input, but could it go though USB or firewire? Thanks!
                          There was a device called a Griffin iMic USB that may still be manufactured for computers that didn't have an audio input on them. Why Apple insists on getting rid of that port is beyond me!

                          Otherwise, there are USB/comaptible mixers available. I'd do a search on the site I mentioned, and perhaps you can find something cheap.

                          The Behringer C2 microphones (about $55.00) are condenser microphones with 20Hz>20kHz in frequency response. However, they do require phantom power. I have a cheap (around $100) Behringer mixer that I use for the power. I believe it is a 1204 or something like that. I do wish it had XLR outputs as well as 1/4" though.
                          Originally posted by Johan64' View Post
                          And Michael, do you think the Zoom would be a good unit if you don't plug anything into it? I know Philip the Organist has one, and he likes it.
                          I know I sound negative toward Zoom's equipment, but I'm not. They really do make good equipment as far as the processors, and electronics. It's just the workmanship that I question. Perhaps if you don't plug anything into it (i.e. microphone or power adaptor--also not anchored) you should be OK.

                          Michael
                          Last edited by myorgan; 09-14-2010, 07:29 PM. Reason: Correct an omission.
                          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                          • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Johan64' View Post
                            Thanks, everyone! Do you know of a way to connect a microphone such as the Behringer C2 microphones Michael mentioned to a laptop? I have a 13" MacBook Pro, which doesn't have a microphone input, but could it go though USB or firewire? Thanks!

                            And Michael, do you think the Zoom would be a good unit if you don't plug anything into it? I know Philip the Organist has one, and he likes it.
                            Not sure if this is up to the level you are looking for (as I am pretty green to recording) but I seemed to get good results live recording just using a Blue Snowball USB mic with my Macbook and Audacity. The Blue Snowball has received very good reviews. I believe this is just mono but wondering if there is some way of using two for stereo recording? I can post a sample recording if anyone is interested and does not mind Rock & Roll!
                            3B
                            http://www.petty-larceny-band.com/



                            Yamaha DGX-300
                            1959 Hammond M3
                            1961 Hammond A101
                            VB3 with M Audio Axiom
                            1975 Leslie 130 upgraded with V21 top rotor, tube amp, wood lower rotor
                            1972 Leslie 825 upgraded with top rotor, etc.
                            2011 Neo Ventilator
                            Casio WK-7500
                            Yamaha P50m Module
                            Roland VR-09
                            Casio PX-5S

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You could do that but:
                              - you have to make sure the driver will support multiple instances.
                              - you will have to make sure the recording soft can record from several different sources
                              - as both mics have their own independent AD convertors this could give plops etc.

                              Those mics don't look veru ergonomic to me. How do you attach them to a stand?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X