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Which Audio Recorder to Buy?

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    They come with their own mini tripod stand. It looks like you would have to rig some kind of an adaptor to connect it to a regular mic or boom stand as it accepts a threaded tube about 1" in diameter at the bottom. It is by no means intended for any type of professional recording but it is pretty good quality for amateur/home use and has 3 recordin settings. The same company does sell pro mics though.

    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


      Originally posted by BuzzAerodrome View Post
      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.
      I second the motion on the MiniDisc, with similar cautions: Not only are they hard to find (they are well loved and although under $400 new, I think the last used one I saw was closer to $900), but they are near if not actual CD quality recording. The problem is, apparently due to the risk of digital copyright infringement, they do not offer digital out, so you have to transfer the sound output via analog. Even so, with a good external mike they are pretty incredible machines. I believe there may be a newer model than the one I have which does allow some kind of digital out, but don't quote me on that. It's a typical Sony fumble (like Betamax, technically superior, but lost in marketing decisions).


        I loved my MiniDisc recorder when I was doing sound for a theater group some years ago--it made editing and moving tracks around so easy, even in the field, and the capability of labeling each track with a meaningful text string meant far fewer missed cues than with multiple cassettes or CDs (ugh!). Just to clarify--MiniDisc recorders are still in current production and the media are readily available too.

        Having said that, I must put in a plug for my favorite little digital recorder, the M-Audio Microtrack. I have used the original model since the month of its introduction five years ago, and it has held up well. Avid just introduced an updated model,
        that offers some improvements but carries forward the significant features. It has both stereo 1/8" and TRS mic inputs (the latter with phantom power), selectable format (wav or mpg3) and bit rate, a nice backlit display, and hours of recording on the built-in rechargeable battery and CF cards. And it also has a digital output for file transfer, although I just pop the cards into a PCMCIA adapter and drag-n-drop onto my laptop. After recording many live performances under some difficult conditions, I can say that noise performance and sound quality seem first-rate. To be honest, I have never used anything but the cheap little stereo mic that came with it, and would be interested to hear someone else's experiences with some good condenser mics. I thought the supplied mic worked very well in live venues where other limitations (most of the sound playing through a house PA system rather than live) overwhelmed the subtleties of microphone performance.



          The Microtrack looks very nice, but the CompactFlash/Microdrive-only additional media is a probable deal killer for me (Smart Media seems to be the standard these days and I hate having to stock multiple styles for each new electronic toy!) But I'll bet your recordings would double in fidelity using a good external mike! It would be even nicer if it took XLR mikes, but I know you can use an adapter.


            IIRC the M-Audio doesn't have inbuild mics.



              You just reminded me of an Audio device from M-Audio that I have at work and use with students. It is the M-Audio Fast Track. Nice little device.Of course, they don't support Phantom power, but are great little devices to get things into your computer.

              Thanks for the reminder, Don. I'll have to dig that out of the closet for the students to use again!

              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 & 6 Pianos


                Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate the recommendations. Would this: be compatible with my Macbook or iPod Touch? If so, would it be a good microphone? Or what one would you recommend? I don't want to spend over $150. And would recording with my macbook be a problem because of it's fan and HDD spinning? (And yes, Michael, the audio port is both in/out. Thanks for pointing that out.)



                  Actually, Dell, SmartMedia cards are no longer being manufactured, so I assume you mean SD/microSD (Secure Digital). The SD cards are what's used in most consumer digital cameras, although you can't beat CF for speed and capacity, which is why they're the standard in professional cameras.

                  A socket for a USB stick would be even better, but then they have to implement a USB host interface.

                  --- Tom
                  Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107


                    Originally posted by twnelson View Post
                    Actually, Dell, SmartMedia cards are no longer being manufactured, so I assume you mean SD/microSD (Secure Digital). The SD cards are what's used in most consumer digital cameras, although you can't beat CF for speed and capacity, which is why they're the standard in professional cameras.

                    A socket for a USB stick would be even better, but then they have to implement a USB host interface.

                    --- Tom
                    Ah yes, you are so right! I meant Secure Digital SD/microSD NOT SmartMedia (the latter was the first of the going extinct dinosaurs and I must have had it on my mind because I think my old Olympus camera used it). Those pesky microSD cards are almost too small though. It is mind boggling to think they can put more than 8BG on a little card smaller than my little finger nail and still read and write to it etc.
                    Last edited by DellAnderson; 09-16-2010, 09:31 PM.


                      How does this one look? http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphon...777858&sr=8-12 The reviews look pretty good, and it's $50.

                      Edit: This one is also $50, and also looks good. http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphon...4778114&sr=8-1

                      Edit 2: Here are some more: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphon...4779383&sr=8-1


                      Any suggestions? Thanks!
                      Last edited by Johan64'; 09-17-2010, 08:11 PM.


                        I went ahead an ordered the Blue Mikey microphone, since it will work with my iPod and has a range of 35Hz to 20kHz. I'll let you know what I think of it!


                          Johan, keep me posted on how the BM works...

                          I am going to stand up for my gear and say that the Zoom H2 is darned good. I have used it in concert situations to record an Allen ADC4300, a monster Moller in a 1,500 seat domed sanctuary, a Casparini replica in a very live space, and a Rodgers 850 in a very very bad space. It did all of them very well and captured the sound how it was. I boost the bass slightly and with good speakers it will reproduce the acoustic roll of a good 16' bass. I've had some niggly issues with memory cards and file transfers but other than that, no complaints. I also used it to record a solo piano CD-just stuck it into a hole in the piano frame and it didn't overdrive and got all the sparkle that I wanted....

                          To each his own.


                            Thanks Philip! I really liked the Zoom H2, but the Mikey is half the price and size. I'm hoping that it works as well; my I liked the idea of my buying a microphone vs. a whole other electronic gadget. Of course, if the Mikey doesn't work as expected, I'll probably buy a Zoom H2.


                              Let me know how you get on with this please, as I have a couple of students who have asked me. Alas, the frequency range is quite meaningless unless accompanied by information on how it responds at those frequencies. Something like 35-20KHz +/- 2dB, or better still a chart showing the frequency response. In the absence of this, an independent review on how it performs will be just the ticket.

                              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 instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
                              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.
                              Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1


                                Will do, Andy!