mobile recording on the cheap
- Hey folks,
I've recently found myself in the market for a little hand-held
digital recorder, mostly because my wife said that she'd like to
record the deep conversations we have in the car and said I could buy
The only problem is my budget is pretty minuscule. I don't have more
than 75 bucks to spend, and that prices me way the hell out of the
market for a used Zoom or M-Audio Microtrack or edirol or Marantz or
even a second-gen minidisc thingy. So, my choices seem to be a used
iRiver, one of a bazillion off-brand recording mp3 players, or a used
high-end digital dictation recorder thingy, specifically an Olympus
I've found thoroughly mixed reviews on the iRiver, and the consensus
so far seems to be that if i record with a $200 dollar microphone I
should be good to go. The entire world went "oooh, Olympus is courting
the podcast market" right before they released the DS-30, and then...
nothing. I can't find anyone who actually bought one of the damn
things. and I don't trust off-brand mp3 players, mostly because it's a
pain in the neck to find reliable specs.
Anybody have experience with this stuff? Am I missing a totally
obvious option? What would you do with your 75 smackers?
- In the course of writing a lot of pro audio product reviews over the
years, I have discovered that generally speaking, there's not always
a perfect linear correlation between price and performance. In other
words, if you shop a bit, you can get technology at a decent price
that performs really well. One notable exception to that rule of
thumb is in the domain of handheld recorders. After some
experimentation and test-driving (and chats with my audio journalism
brethren) I have reached the conclusion that in the domain of
handheld recorders, you very much get what you pay for. The super-
cheapie business-oriented units ($50-150 range,) while fine for
sketching out ideas while you drive cross-country, simply will not
delivery high-quality recordings, either due to the mic(s,) the
analog electronics, the converters, or some combination of all these
things. I would respectfully submit that in order to get good
recordings, you need to get at least into the $200-plus range if not
double that. Obviously if you buy a Sony PDM-D1, it's going to sound
really good, but they cost $1500.
Put more simply, there are some devices on which you can afford to
"cheap out" or at least be frugal. Handheld recorders, in my
experience, are not among these devices.
Happy Thursday everybody!
John F. McJunkin
Avalon Podcasting, LLC
480-219-8800 (in AZ)
On Jul 3, 2008, at 3:29 PM, Braindouche! wrote:
> Hey folks,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hmm... if that's the case, perhaps we need to rethink the requirements a
bit. Do you have a laptop? If so, could you perhaps buy an AC adapter, a
$75 pair of mikes, and record on the laptop? (With whoever's not driving
running the laptop, of course... not worth getting into an accident.)
John McJunkin wrote:
> In the course of writing a lot of pro audio product reviews over the
>> Hey folks,
----- Original Message -----
> I've recently found myself in the market for a little hand-held
> digital recorder, mostly because my wife said that she'd like to
> record the deep conversations we have in the car and said I could buy
> Anybody have experience with this stuff? Am I missing a totally
> obvious option? What would you do with your 75 smackers?
Before I bought my Edriol R-09 ... I had (have) two Olympus Digital Voice
Recorders. I liked the first one so much that I bought another one with
more memory (longer recording times).
For what you want it for .. I would go with one of those. My experience
with them is that if you want to record a business meeting, or a student
recording a lecture, or a discussion in a vehicle ... they are fine.
My Olympus is the VN-480PC but it is no longer available. The VN-4100PC is
.. Amazon has it for less than $50.00. NOTE: the "PC" part of the name is
important with these devices. That means they have a USB port to transfer
the audio files to a PC. Otherwise you have to import it, in real time, via
the computer mic jack.
Yes, a Zoom H-2 or better .. would work but cost a *lot* more.
Boston, MA, USA