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Portable Digital Records

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  • Calvin Powers
    Howdy all, Last week I dropped my Edirol R-09 onto the pavement one too many times and it s now busted. Very sad for me because it has been a fantastic
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 13, 2009
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      Howdy all,

      Last week I dropped my Edirol R-09 onto the pavement one too many times and
      it's now busted. Very sad for me because it has been a fantastic recorder.
      I've used it for 1-1 interviews, live music event recording, and as a master
      recording device by hooking the main out from my mixing board to its line
      in. So I have nothing but good things to say about it.

      But now that I am in the market for a new digital recorder, I figured I'd
      poll this group for your latest thoughts on portable digital recorders. I
      understand there's a follow on to the Edirol R-09 (R-09HR?). and I'm also
      considering the Samson Zoom H-4, primarily for its XLR input. I think it
      would be great to route my Heil PR-40 straight into it. So if anyone has
      experience (good or bad) using the XLR inputs to the Zoom, please share
      them.

      Any others I should be considering??

      Thanks,
      Calvin
      Taproot Music Feed
      www.taprootradio.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • joshuamcnichols
      I love my Zoom H4. The Pre-amps are terrible, so the levels are low, as I understand is typical with all flash recorders in this price range. I understand
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 13, 2009
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        I love my Zoom H4. The Pre-amps are terrible, so the levels are low, as I understand is typical with all flash recorders in this price range. I understand the new H4n has better pre-amps. As for the XLR jacks, they're great, at least if you use a condenser mic with its own battery (I had to reject a Shure SM58 cardoid mic because the levels were terrible - my Audio Technica shotgun mic does much better). After my H4 got old, it started emitting a faint and barely discernible pure tone - like a high C - that became noticeable whenever I had to crank the levels way up. Strangely, the noise went away, after persisting in first one and then the other XLR jack over about 6 months.

        In short, it's a cheap plastic thing, but it stands against its peers quite well, and the XLR jacks may even put it slightly above the competition. And despite the lukewarm review I just gave, I love it.

        > I'm also
        > considering the Samson Zoom H-4, primarily for its XLR input. I think it
        > would be great to route my Heil PR-40 straight into it. So if anyone has
        > experience (good or bad) using the XLR inputs to the Zoom, please share
        > them.
      • Erk Pod
        I love my Zoom H4 as well. I always use the XLR mics and now I use it as my primary recorder for studio based work as well. I have used it a lot under various
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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          I love my Zoom H4 as well. I always use the XLR mics and now I use it as my
          primary recorder for studio based work as well.

          I have used it a lot under various conditions and once you know how to drive
          the thing, it's pretty good. My only complaint is the centre button
          arrangement for the menu and other controls that isn't great for those of us
          who have un-elfish fingers!


          Erk, Sydney (Australia)

          Host of the Erk Pod, Erk FM, Echo Romeo Kilo & Erk's Blast From The Past

          Producer of Judy's Blast FM.

          Find all 5 podcasts on Channel Erk. There is a podcast for everyone!

          http://www.channelerk.com
          erkpod@...

          Skype: erkpod
          Twitter: @erkpod (personal)
          Twitter: @channelerk (podcast updates)

          A member of the Association of Music Podcasting (AMP)
          http://musicpodcasting.org


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Data Scavenger
          I like my Zoom H4 well enough. :) I have to confirm what others have said about the levels, though. You can either have the recording be kind of quiet or
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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            I like my Zoom H4 well enough. :) I have to confirm what others have
            said about the levels, though. You can either have the recording be
            kind of quiet or (by using high gain) pick up everything in the room.
            Even when you use high gain, though, its still a little more quiet
            than you'd expect.

            That said, I own an H2, and H4, and I've gone through a few SanDisk
            MP3 players with recording and a few Olympus voice dictation devices
            and even a pair of USB headsets. I find myself using the H4 the most
            often. I like the H2 a lot for impromptu stuff and portability.
            However, my best sound comes from the H4, 2 mics, 2 table stands, two
            cables, and two AA batteries.

            Of course, I record at SCA events... So I'm effectively conducting
            interviews at camping events. :)

            My second biggest complaint about the H4 is that the interface is
            non-intuitive. It took me a while to puzzle out, but it does have its
            own sense of logic. Once you've figured it out, you'll be able to
            find and do what you need.

            I hope that helped!
          • Rich
            On Tue, 2009-07-14 at 21:32 -0400, Data Scavenger wrote: If the background noise in the room is X dB quieter than what you re recording (you re voice for
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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              On Tue, 2009-07-14 at 21:32 -0400, Data Scavenger wrote:

              If the background noise in the room is X dB quieter than what you're
              recording (you're voice for example) it doesn't matter how much gain you
              use (without distorting), that difference will remain the same. In fact
              you're better off recording with more gain because then you're farther
              away from the noise floor of the device, itself.

              That's just good gain-staging.

              Rich...


              > I like my Zoom H4 well enough. :) I have to confirm what others have
              > said about the levels, though. You can either have the recording be
              > kind of quiet or (by using high gain) pick up everything in the room.
              > Even when you use high gain, though, its still a little more quiet
              > than you'd expect.
            • Stephen Eley
              ... Agreed -- but with a stronger warning that you d better make sure you re not clipping. (I have an hour-long file I made with my iRiver and a Giant Squid
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:43 PM, Rich<wielgosz@...> wrote:
                >
                >  If the background noise in the room is X dB quieter than what you're
                > recording (you're voice for example) it doesn't matter how much gain you
                > use (without distorting), that difference will remain the same.  In fact
                > you're better off recording with more gain because then you're farther
                > away from the noise floor of the device, itself.

                Agreed -- but with a stronger warning that you'd better make sure
                you're not clipping. (I have an hour-long file I made with my iRiver
                and a Giant Squid mic near the front of a Daikaiju concert. The
                iRiver was set at the recording levels I used for interviews earlier
                that day. *Occasionally* the nails-on-chalkboard distortion subsides
                enough that you can catch a couple notes of music. But mostly it's
                just torture.)

                Between the high and low extremes, though, environment and mic
                technique matters a whole lot more for live recording than the exact
                recording level. As long as there's always sufficient difference
                between signal and noise, you can fix most things in software.



                --
                Have Fun,
                Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                http://www.escapepod.org
              • Stephen Eley
                On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM, ... I respectfully disagree that the H4 does poorly with Shure dynamics. I ve had good luck using mine with my Shure SM57, so
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                  On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:22 AM,
                  joshuamcnichols<joshuamcnichols@...> wrote:
                  > I love my Zoom H4.  The Pre-amps are terrible, so the levels are low, as I understand is typical with all flash recorders in this price range.  I understand the new H4n has better pre-amps.  As for the XLR jacks, they're great, at least if you use a condenser mic with its own battery (I had to reject a Shure SM58 cardoid mic because the levels were terrible - my Audio Technica shotgun mic does much better).

                  I respectfully disagree that the H4 does poorly with Shure dynamics.
                  I've had good luck using mine with my Shure SM57, so long as the gain
                  is set to medium or high.

                  The most exotic thing I ever did with my H4's XLR jacks was an outdoor
                  group recording from my hot tub for my girlfriend's podcast. I had my
                  AKG condenser mic set up on a boom stand a few feet away to capture
                  the whole group and ambient sound, and then we passed around the SM57.
                  (On the principle that if we dropped the dynamic mic in the water,
                  nobody got fried.) >8->

                  End result:
                  http://polyweekly.com/archives/25
                  http://media.libsyn.com/media/polyweekly/PWBonus_HotTubCast.mp3

                  It took a little finessing to balance the levels from both channels,
                  but I think the final product came out sounding pretty good. (From a
                  technical perspective at least. I will confess that the content
                  itself is pretty cheesy; but so what? Cunning Minx. Naked. I regret
                  nothing.) >8->


                  --
                  Have Fun,
                  Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                  ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                  http://www.escapepod.org
                • Paul Puri
                  ... Stephen naked!?!? MY EYES!!!!!! -- Paul Puri The most interesting person you will never meet! Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri Buy stuff from
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                    On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:

                    > I will confess that the content
                    > itself is pretty cheesy; but so what? Cunning Minx. Naked. I regret
                    > nothing.) >8->
                    >
                    >
                    >

                    Stephen naked!?!?


                    MY EYES!!!!!!


                    --
                    Paul Puri

                    The most interesting person you will never meet!

                    Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri

                    Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com

                    Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri

                    Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Martin McKeay
                    What s your problem, Paul? You ve seen it all before, some of us even have the pictures to prove it. Safely stored on a lead covered USB stick for everyone s
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                      What's your problem, Paul?

                      You've seen it all before, some of us even have the pictures to prove it.
                      Safely stored on a lead covered USB stick for everyone's safety.

                      Martin

                      Martin McKeay
                      CISSP, GSNA, QSA
                      Network Security Blog and Podcast
                      http://www.mckeay.net
                      http://netsecpodcast.com
                      Twitter: @McKeay
                      Cell: 707-495-7926


                      On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:31 PM, Paul Puri <paulpuri@...> wrote:

                      > On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > I will confess that the content
                      > > itself is pretty cheesy; but so what? Cunning Minx. Naked. I regret
                      > > nothing.) >8->
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > Stephen naked!?!?
                      >
                      >
                      > MY EYES!!!!!!
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > Paul Puri
                      >
                      > The most interesting person you will never meet!
                      >
                      > Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri
                      >
                      > Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com
                      >
                      > Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri
                      >
                      > Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
                      > YahooGroups Podcasters Links
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Paul Puri
                      ... The owner of this email account cannot respond. He/she is at the moment, under a desk in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably, due to the mental
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                        On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:04 PM, Martin McKeay <Martin@...> wrote:

                        > What's your problem, Paul?
                        >
                        > You've seen it all before, some of us even have the pictures to prove it.
                        > Safely stored on a lead covered USB stick for everyone's safety.
                        >
                        > Martin
                        >
                        >

                        ----- BEGIN AUTO RESPONSE ----
                        The owner of this email account
                        cannot respond. He/she is at the moment,
                        under a desk in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably,
                        due to the mental images pictured after a previous post.

                        We apologize for this, and are sure he/she will return
                        after some deep psychological therapy.
                        ----- END AUTO RESPONSE ----

                        --
                        Paul Puri

                        The most interesting person you will never meet!

                        Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri

                        Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com

                        Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri

                        Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Stephen Eley
                        ... I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to aesthetic
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                          On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Paul Puri<paulpuri@...> wrote:
                          > The owner of this email account
                          > cannot respond. He/she is at the moment,
                          > under a desk in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably,
                          > due to the mental images pictured after a previous post.

                          I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open
                          enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to
                          aesthetic perfection. Particularly in another man.

                          (Me, I was thinking about *Minx* naked. But maybe I'm just weird that
                          way. Far be it for me to object if that's not as interesting to you.)


                          --
                          Have Fun,
                          Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                          ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                          http://www.escapepod.org
                        • Matthew Wayne Selznick
                          ... Agreed! I ve only recently begun playing with the H4, but I recorded an entire audio book for a client using my trusty SM58 through the H4 and it worked
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                            On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Stephen Eley<SFEley@...> wrote:
                            > I respectfully disagree that the H4 does poorly with Shure dynamics.
                            > I've had good luck using mine with my Shure SM57, so long as the gain
                            > is set to medium or high.

                            Agreed! I've only recently begun playing with the H4, but I recorded
                            an entire audio book for a client using my trusty SM58 through the H4
                            and it worked great. Ya gotta have that gain up, as Steve says.


                            --
                            Matthew Wayne Selznick
                            Author and DIY New Media Creator
                            ****************************************
                            "Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights"
                            An Ongoing Serial Fiction Webzine
                            http://www.hazydaysandcloudynights.com

                            "Brave Men Run -- A Novel of the Sovereign Era,"
                            plus commentary, short stories, music and more:
                            http://www.mattselznick.com
                          • Paul Puri
                            ... You got me there Stephen. I m a closet Eley-sexual. Alas, there is no fruit more sweet than the forbidden. ; ) -- Paul Puri The most interesting person you
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jul 14, 2009
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                              On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:

                              > I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open
                              > enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to
                              > aesthetic perfection. Particularly in another man.
                              >
                              > (Me, I was thinking about *Minx* naked. But maybe I'm just weird that
                              > way. Far be it for me to object if that's not as interesting to you.)
                              >
                              >
                              >

                              You got me there Stephen.

                              I'm a closet Eley-sexual. Alas, there is no fruit more sweet than the
                              forbidden.

                              ;>)
                              --
                              Paul Puri

                              The most interesting person you will never meet!

                              Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri

                              Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com

                              Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri

                              Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Calvin Powers
                              Thanks all for the thoughts on the H4. I ordered and H4n and am eagerly waiting on its arrival. The discussion about gain and haivng suficient difference
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jul 15, 2009
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                                Thanks all for the thoughts on the H4. I ordered and H4n and am eagerly
                                waiting on its arrival. The discussion about gain and haivng suficient
                                difference between sound level and ambient room sound was very informative.
                                I have had similar problems with my Heil PR-40 going into my Alesys mixing
                                board. The levels are generaly too low and I either have to speak louder
                                than is comfrtable into the microphone or turn the gains up so high on the
                                mixer that there's bad ambient room noise. (The room is a huge "bonus room"
                                in my house with high ceilings and lots of flat echoy walls. ) Usually if I
                                fiddle with the gains I can get it just about where I want it and then do a
                                bit of compression and amplification in software. The problem is that in the
                                long run, I'd like to be able to do a more or less "live to tape" podcast.
                                So I still have lots of learning to do. Which brings me to my next
                                question.....

                                I have been watching all my local community college course catalogs for a
                                sound engineering course that I could take but have not seen any. Is anyone
                                aware of any online training for sound engineers? And failing that, gasp, I
                                might even be willing to read a book on the subject if anyone could
                                recommend a good one.

                                Thanks,
                                Calvin Powers

                                On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 1:02 AM, Paul Puri <paulpuri@...> wrote:

                                > On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Stephen Eley <SFEley@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > I have a great deal of respect for this, Paul. Not many men are open
                                > > enough to have (or admit) such a strong and sensitive reaction to
                                > > aesthetic perfection. Particularly in another man.
                                > >
                                > > (Me, I was thinking about *Minx* naked. But maybe I'm just weird that
                                > > way. Far be it for me to object if that's not as interesting to you.)
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                                > You got me there Stephen.
                                >
                                > I'm a closet Eley-sexual. Alas, there is no fruit more sweet than the
                                > forbidden.
                                >
                                > ;>)
                                > --
                                > Paul Puri
                                >
                                > The most interesting person you will never meet!
                                >
                                > Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/paul.puri
                                >
                                > Buy stuff from me - http://podsafegear.com
                                >
                                > Twitter - http://twitter.com/paulpuri
                                >
                                > Friendfeed - http://friendfeed.com/paulpuri
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > YahooGroups Podcasters Links
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >


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