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Author Topic: Digital recorders?  (Read 8704 times)
Cliff
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« on: December 10, 2008, 08:07:32 pm »

Has anyone had any experience with portable digital recorders similar to:

http://www.amazon.com/Samson-Zoom-H4-Digital-recorder/dp/B001A5QHBU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1228939508&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2-Portable-Stereo-Recorder/dp/B000VBH2IG/ref=pd_cp_MI__map

http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1916

For recording flute like music?

A friend said that they record "amazingly" and I was wondering how they might work for an ocarina like instrument?


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Secretagentdan
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 08:10:33 pm »

I hear they are pretty awesome! My friend used to have an Adat which was excellent.


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Laurent
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 09:13:39 pm »

I have a zoom H2, and find it quite good. Good quality, very portable, works on batteries for a long time. Really cool for outdoor recordings also. It's downside is that it has bad record level control, meaning you only have three record levels, min, standard, high, but no fine control (even if they try to make you think they have fine control, it's just an after-sampling fine level, not a before-sampling one). I'll record something tomorrow with it, to let you hear. Now, my kids are sleeping :-)


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Cliff
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2008, 09:40:55 pm »

Laurent,

I'd love to hear a recording on your zoom H2.

Thanks  Smiley  Smiley

Cliff


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Laurent
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 10:33:10 pm »

I'd love to hear a recording on your zoom H2.

You'll hear soon, I'll do the group song with it. I hope to record it tomorrow (it's almost midnight here).


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Laurent
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2008, 06:53:44 pm »

Here are samples of my two main recorders. I own a Zoom H2, I already talked about it in this thread. It's a great recorder, even if it has some issues. I also have a Olympus WS321M, which is a pocket voice recorder, recording in WMA (sigh...). The main interest of it is that it never left my pocket, except to record something Smiley It's really simple to use, power on, push rec, play. But, there is no rec volume control at all (except a preset for dictation and one for conferences), it uses auto-rec-volume (meaning the volume goes down if you play louder). So it's really not meant to record music, but it's meant to take notes, and also musical notes. If I have a musical idea, I will get it out of my pocket, switch it and sing, hum or play something.

So, for the tests, I used both the zoom and the olympus in the forest today, during a walk with my family (you can hear the kids and wife speaking Wink ). I put both recorders on a wood thing, at the same place, and played something. You can compare the quality:

Notice how the sound of the H2 is warmer. Notice how the sound gets distorted on the olympus.

Hope this helps.


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ubizmo
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 07:08:35 pm »

Interesting.  Thanks for doing that comparison.  The distortion on the Olympus isn't too bad, considering it's meant for recording speech.  The Zoom is better, but also seems to pick up more ambient low-frequency noise.

I've tried using a voice recording program on my Blackberry, and the result was terrible.  I don't know how much of that was because I was in the car and hitting resonant frequencies, but I'm certain the Blackberry isn't really up to the job of recording music.

ubi


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Secretagentdan
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2008, 11:23:03 pm »

the voice recorder on my mp3 acutally works good. it's like a 70 dollar sony mp3 player! Dan


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hoodsmom
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2009, 06:16:25 pm »

I got the Zoom H2, which worked nicely as a recorder but at least on my Macs, was hopeless as a USB microphone.  It made crackles and pops only during recording of sound (not during recording of silence, so I wouldn't have been able to filter out the crackling with Audacity.  The crackling sounded almost like there's some sort of feedback during the recording).  I went through every troubleshooting step that tech support and I could think of (including a bunch that made no sense but I tried anyway), returned the unit for a replacement, but found that the replacement had the same issue.

I'm returning the replacement for a refund.  I didn't see any complaints like mine on Amazon and I'm wondering if I got units from a bad batch.  Now I have to decide whether to purchase a 3rd unit for use as a recorder only.  So...

--anyone with the Zoom H2 - how do you find it works as a USB mic? 
--my cheapie Labtec USB mic is "OK," but doesn't do a great job picking up all the nuances of what I'm playing.  Can anyone suggest an alternative other than the Zoom H2?


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ubizmo
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2009, 08:13:21 pm »

I've about given up trying to use USB input.  I can't get it to work, but the problem seems to be my computer, a Lenovo T60p ThinkPad.  No matter what I do, I get garbage for results.

Here's what you can do:  Turn on your Zoom H2, not connected to your computer.  Then use your cheapo mic to record directly into Audacity at the same time.  When finished recording, download the file from your H2 to your computer, and then import it into Audacity.  Trim off the junk and sync up the H2 track with the cheapo mic track that you recording straight into Audacity.  This is actually pretty easy to do, since you can zoom in Audacity and then visually line up the two tracks.  And you can test by playing back until they are exactly in sync.  Then just delete the cheapo mic track.

This is how I've been doing it lately, and it's not as tricky as it sounds.  In fact, I record the video at the same time using my Flip Mino, then I repeat the process in Windows Movie Maker: sync up the good quality Audacity track with the video and then mute the Flip Mino audio.

It would be a lot easier to record digitally via USB straight into the computer, but in my case, at least, it's just not happening.  I think there's a lot of difference among sound cards in how well they can do this kind of stuff.

Ubizmo


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Twist
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2009, 01:12:15 pm »

I just ordered the Zoom H4n I will let you know how well it works when it arrives.

Twist


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Twist
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Twist
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 05:24:26 pm »

I just got my H4n in the mail today. I will do some recording this weekend and see if I can post some audio for you. I don't know where i will post it but I'll figure something out.

It seems very well built and has lots of features, more to follow.

Twist


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Twist
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Foosnark
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 02:41:28 pm »

I have a Zoom H4 that I've used for recording ambient noise, and a few times for hand percussion and singers.  I've also used it as an effects unit for theremin and electric guitar (though it's more awkward for that purpose than your basic stomp box or software plugin).  I'm quite pleased with it.

I haven't used it with my new ocarina yet, but I expect good results when I do. Smiley


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