What is a good digital recorder for song ideas? ...something with good sound quality

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Dr. Tweedbucket, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    All my casstte recorders are dead and those cheap voice recorders are useless.

    I noticed a number of hand held music recorders from $99 to $500.

    Any users or recommendations?
     
  2. 6789

    6789 Member

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    For songwriting I use an Olympus WS-321M

    http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1309

    It's digital, stereo, has a built-in USB plug and a built in speaker. sounds plenty good for recording guitar parts you want to remember. It's not good for recording a band at a show.

    The Zoom H2 records better quality but it doesn't have a built in speaker and the menu is cumbersome for playing back tracks from the recorder.

    The new Zoom H4n does have a built in speaker and is supposed to have improved what people didn't like about the H2 and H4.
     
  3. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    Thanks. That USB leads me to believe that you can plug it into the computer and upload MP3 clips to a host? I'll have to check out the specs.
     
  4. EataPeach

    EataPeach Member

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    I have been reading good things about this one too...
     
  5. 6789

    6789 Member

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    the olympus pulls apart to reveal a usb plug that connects to the computer. the Zoom H2 has a usb jack - you use a cable to connect it to the computer - and store the files on the computer for burning a CD of song ideas.

    I bought the olympus at a Target store. I like that it's small enough that I can carry it easily if I want to write lyrics while walking the dog. The playback speaker is important so i can play it back and hum another part.
     
  6. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Member

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    i'm interested in this topic too.... there seems to be a lot out there but i'd like to hear which ones are user-friendly w/ decent sound quality....
     
  7. TravisE

    TravisE Supporting Member

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    I use the same one. I love the built in USB. I can send song ideas to band-mates to get opinions on things that I'm working on.
     
  8. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    I found a great deal on an Olympus LS-10 awhile back...less than $300...and it's a great little recorder. Very easy to use, good sound. It will take up to a 16gb card which will easily record a couple of gigs at the highest quality setting.
     
  9. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I just recorded comparison clips.

    http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7377879&q=hi

    http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=7377875&q=hi

    The Olympus has a built in compression with auto volume record.

    The Zoom H2 only gives you 3, yes, THREE different level settings for recording with the internal mics. Lo, Medium, High.
    Don't be fooled my thinking you are adjusting the recording volume with the menu level adjustment controls. those controls adjust the level after the signal is already digital. This means if the signal is loud and clipping, even if you adjust your menu level control, the signal will be recorded at a lower level but it is still going to be clipped. It is like adjusting the volume of something that has already been recorded. A menu setting of 100 is supposed to be unity gain. leave it there and set your volume with the L/M/H switch. If you want more detail than you could ever hope for, go to www.taperssection.com Recording Gear section.

    When I strummed my guitar while making these clips, the H2 indicated that the levels were pegged at the medium setting. So I set it to Low. that way the signal did not clip but it was recorded at a lower level - Lower than I'd like it to be.

    The Zoom H4n appears to have an external level dial for actual setting of recording levels. The H4n looks like it will be good. but it's a lot bigger than something like the Olympus. it just depends on what the recordings are for.
     
  10. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    Wow, that's not bad! Thanks for the demo. I may go try the Olympus out if I can find one locally.
     
  11. rockstarzusa

    rockstarzusa Member

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    I heard some good reports of the zoom from some folks working in retail for what it's worth. The same folks who scoffed at Zoom a decade earlier.
     
  12. SideBMusic

    SideBMusic Supporting Member

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    I use something like this, carry it with me everywhere I go. Small and handy to use. However, since I bought mine many months ago, other devices have been released, especially by companies that make products for artists. They are a bit pricey; I only paid $99, I think.

    If you only want to capture ideas, then recorder like this is fine. If you want higher quality, obviously you'll need to check out the more expensive units.
     
  13. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    I use a Zoom H2 for lots of stuff. Never a problem with levels, it's not rocket science. On the rare occasions where I think something recorded a little too low, I simply use the built-in function to normalize the track ... it analyzes the track detecting the peaks, and then fits the track into the available bandwidth ... works great. I'd buy another H2 in a heartbeat if mine "went missing".
     
  14. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    Sony has a cool unit, it's a ICD UX70 and it records / plays back in MP3 format, plus it has a pitch control which could be HUGE if you record songs and want to learn them without screwing around retuning the guitar. I just wonder how good the sound quality compared to the Olympus? :confused: ( those are the two that I am looking at ).
     
  15. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    ok, never mind, I just bought an Olympus 321 .... it was $57 on ebay. :knitting .... I just need something to put music ideas on.

    I don't think that Sony had an internal mic, but I did like the MP3 recording format and the pitch control of the Sony. Hopefully I can convert the WMA file format of the Olympus to MP3 easily if I have to.

    Thanks for the demo and info!
     
  16. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I just got a Tascam DR-100. It even has 2 XLR inputs. I ran an AKG 414 close and one farther away and got a great tone.

    So far, its a winner!
     

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