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-   -   Portable Digital Recorders (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54316)

donv 10-01-2009 06:20 PM

Portable Digital Recorders
 
Is anyone using one? Any opinions on which ones are good for recording praticing drums and rehearseals? I'd like to pick one up this weekend and keep it under $300 which I know is going to limit the choices. Thanks.

dairyairman 10-01-2009 07:19 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
i swear by my zoom h2 field recorder. it records directly to mp3 or hi-res wav formats, has built-in condensers and limiters, and looks like a usb hard drive to your computer. it has very decent built in microphones. i've recorded a ton of stuff with it. it's capacity is only limited by what size sd memory card you put in it.

a friend of mine has an edirol recorder that's similar to the zoom but has some nice features i wouldn't mind having in the zoom, like a built-in speaker and a wireless remote.

elpol 10-01-2009 07:31 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
+1 Dairyairman - I've got one of those H2's as well. Hard to beat for value imo. It's the most honest critic I own... ;-)

dairyairman 10-01-2009 08:33 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
indeed! my self opinion as a drummer got knocked down a few levels after i got mine. it's a heartless critic!

mikeg 10-01-2009 08:43 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I have a Tascam DR-07. It's small and light weight. The recordings using the built-in Mics are OK, but the recordings made using line inputs were GREAT. Very low noise. The DR-07 has a built-in limiter which is also very useful. It came with a 2Gb SD card, but that won't capture more than a couple of hours. I bought an 8Gb SD card for it and I haven't run out yet.

2bsticks 10-01-2009 08:43 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Zoom H2, Great little recorder. I saw one today I think on Amazon.com for $149.00

GRUNTERSDAD 10-01-2009 09:24 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I have the H4 Zoom and it will do more than I need it to do.

mrchattr 10-01-2009 09:29 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Zoom H2 is fantastic. I use mine regularly.

Pollyanna 10-01-2009 10:11 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I bought and H2 Zoom a few weeks ago and the record / enter button stopped working. Until then the recording quality was not bad for a small unit, similar to our keyboardist's iRiver.

I've just emailed the shop and see what can be done. I had great expectations because so many people have talked it up so it's disappointing.

dairyairman 10-01-2009 10:41 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
that certainly sounds like something that would be covered under warranty. mine is still going strong after a year and a half, and i use it all the time.

2bsticks 10-01-2009 10:45 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
My first one stopped reading the memory cards. I purchased it off eBay so I was nervous. The seller took it back and shipped me a new one.

GRUNTERSDAD 10-02-2009 12:12 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pollyanna (Post 618466)
I bought and H2 Zoom a few weeks ago and the record / enter button stopped working. Until then the recording quality was not bad for a small unit, similar to our keyboardist's iRiver.

I've just emailed the shop and see what can be done. I had great expectations because so many people have talked it up so it's disappointing.

I had a problem with my scroll wheel and they took it back, expedited the return since I had only had it for a while, and I had it back just over a week.

BigSteve 10-02-2009 12:21 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I've been using the Edirol R-09 for over two years now recording practices and live gigs, not one issue with the unit and very nice recording quality. There is a HD unit out now with even better quality.

lifetime 10-02-2009 02:42 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I use a Fostex MR-8D http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...ive?sku=240341

At first it was a pain in the neck to learn, but once you get the hang of it, you'll love it. And if you play guitar, you can plug a guitar into it and it has distortion effects.

I usually put one mike at the front of my bass drum head and the other one I put as far up over the drum-kit. Using the H2 probably is easier and if I played with other people, it would most likely be the way to go.

Deathmetalconga 10-02-2009 06:27 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I've used a Yamaha PockeTrak for more than a year. Built-in USB that charges it also, excellent mics, adjustable gain, incredibly compact, very simple and easy, 2 gigs of memory will last more than a day on high resolution recording. Also makes a good little mp3 player. Just turn it on and set it down and you get a good recording with no fussing. At least five PockeTracks could fit in a Zoom.

The tradeoff is that it only has one small 1/8 in mic input. But my thinking is that if you want an excellent recording, go to a studio. If you want a good recording of a gig or practice for later critiquing, you don't want to fuss with anything, you don't want to master a huge manual and you want something that fits in your shirt pocket, the PockeTrak can't be beat. It listed for $400 and I got it for $300 but that was when they first came out so you should get one for well under that now.

keep it simple 10-02-2009 11:37 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Like Polly, I too have doubts about the build quality of the Zoom. It feels cheap yet I've had no problems with my unit. Great recorder for the money.

Pollyanna 10-02-2009 12:06 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
What's your unit, KIS?

keep it simple 10-02-2009 12:56 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pollyanna (Post 618606)
What's your unit, KIS?

Just the standard H2.

Pollyanna 10-02-2009 01:34 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keep it simple (Post 618615)
Just the standard H2.

Duh! I misunderstood <|%O} Gotcha :) Yeah, the electronics impress me more than its build. I guess they wanted it to be light.

I've sent an email to the shop about my malfunctioning unit. Hopefully they'll be ok about replacing it.

Cuban 10-02-2009 01:49 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I've also been thinking about the Zoom H2.

Would anyone be able to post up links to either of these?

1) Audio of their kit recorded with the H2
2) Audio of a band rehearsal with the H2

I wanted to hear the clarity over the less expensive mini disc / walkman type recordings.

Thanks in advance.

TTNW 10-02-2009 02:28 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
You guys with your gadgets! I use this one and it packs up nicely in the pick up truck and with the extension cords and hand truck is portable and versatile.
http://www.philippejenney.com/Avr2.jpg

Just kidding. I have the H2 and it's great. I recommend it. It definitely shed light on some sloppy playing but it has helped me improve.

keep it simple 10-02-2009 02:59 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuban (Post 618619)
I've also been thinking about the Zoom H2.

Would anyone be able to post up links to either of these?

1) Audio of their kit recorded with the H2
2) Audio of a band rehearsal with the H2

I wanted to hear the clarity over the less expensive mini disc / walkman type recordings.

Thanks in advance.

Yeah, not great performances but I've got a vocalist audition in the "my playing" section right now, a brief clip of my kit in the garage in the "my gear" section and a 3 piece song writing snippet in a previous zoom H2 post. I don't know how to make the links to this thread but I'll go and try it now. Non of these are recording performances so there's no attempt to get the best recorded sound. They were never designed for anything other than personal reference.

Pollyanna 10-02-2009 03:02 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuban (Post 618619)
I've also been thinking about the Zoom H2.

Would anyone be able to post up links to either of these?

1) Audio of their kit recorded with the H2
2) Audio of a band rehearsal with the H2

Cuban, here's a warm up jam before practice last Thurday recorded with the H2 Zoom using the back speaker (120) setting. It stopped working a couple of hours later :(

http://www.sangrea.net/rijidij/mp3/b...ong24sep09.mp3

With a bit of post-prod EQ and volume normalising you end up with a clear record of what was played but not much more. To be fair, it can do better than this; I had the recording level was far too low (about 10dB) because I wasn't used to its levels.

keep it simple 10-02-2009 03:16 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuban (Post 618619)
I've also been thinking about the Zoom H2.

Would anyone be able to post up links to either of these?

1) Audio of their kit recorded with the H2
2) Audio of a band rehearsal with the H2

I wanted to hear the clarity over the less expensive mini disc / walkman type recordings.

Thanks in advance.

Ok, managed to do it the long way round.

1st one is vocalist audition in practice room (back of pub)
2nd one is backing track arranging, same practice room
3rd one is kit sound sample in dead room above garage

Cuban 10-02-2009 03:16 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pollyanna (Post 618632)
Cuban, here's a warm up jam before practice last Thurday recorded with the H2 Zoom using the back speaker (120) setting. It stopped working a couple of hours later :(

http://www.sangrea.net/rijidij/mp3/b...ong24sep09.mp3

With a bit of post-prod EQ and volume normalising you end up with a clear record of what was played but not much more. To be fair, it can do better than this; I had the recording level was far too low (about 10dB) because I wasn't used to its levels.

Thanks Pollyanna
That sounded very clear (and was also nice to listen to!)

Naturally there are not too many sound layers in that track, so do you, or does anyone else, have anything that is a bit 'busier' musically?

Also, does anyone have a sound file of their kit on it's own recorded on an H2?

Thanks again.

Cuban 10-02-2009 03:29 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keep it simple (Post 618638)
Ok, managed to do it the long way round.

1st one is vocalist audition in practice room (back of pub)
2nd one is backing track arranging, same practice room
3rd one is kit sound sample in dead room above garage

Hi KIS

Excellent, that was just what I wanted to hear.
Could you tell me did you do any work on the sound after recording?
Also, on the kit only sample, what was the position of the H2 in relation to your kit?
Height, distance away etc?

Great playing by the way!
Thanks again

Cuban 10-02-2009 03:31 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keep it simple (Post 618644)
Yes, look below. We must have posted within a few seconds of each other.

We just did it again! :0)

keep it simple 10-02-2009 03:39 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuban (Post 618643)
Hi KIS

Excellent, that was just what I wanted to hear.
Could you tell me did you do any work on the sound after recording?
Also, on the kit only sample, what was the position of the H2 in relation to your kit?
Height, distance away etc?

Great playing by the way!
Thanks again

Ha ha ha. Ok, no post recording adjustment whatsoever and no effort put into sound quality. Only a band rehearsal reference.

The kit on it's own was recorded with the H2 about 6ft in front of the kit, placed on a chair, so about 18" to 20" off the ground. The garage room is very dead so everything comes out a bit flat sounding. Again, no adjustment / EQ.

Hope this helps.

Cuban 10-02-2009 04:33 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keep it simple (Post 618647)
Ha ha ha. Ok, no post recording adjustment whatsoever and no effort put into sound quality. Only a band rehearsal reference.

The kit on it's own was recorded with the H2 about 6ft in front of the kit, placed on a chair, so about 18" to 20" off the ground. The garage room is very dead so everything comes out a bit flat sounding. Again, no adjustment / EQ.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the information and again for the samples, they really helped.
Hope I am not hijacking this thread, but it would be good to hear any others?

Pollyanna 10-02-2009 04:38 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Hey KIS, you found your Doberman :)

Here's a recording done with our keys player's iriver at a recent gig.

http://www.sangrea.net/rijidij/mp3/b...sep09sando.mp3

However, the instruments were mic'd and put through the PA. At band practice the iriver's recordings sound similar quality to the H2. So if the sound quality / room is good then I expect the H2 would also deliver a decent recording.

keep it simple 10-02-2009 04:46 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pollyanna (Post 618667)
Hey KIS, you found your Doberman :)

.

Woof Woof!----------------

Cuban 10-02-2009 04:54 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pollyanna (Post 618667)
Here's a recording done with our keys player's iriver at a recent gig.

http://www.sangrea.net/rijidij/mp3/b...sep09sando.mp3

However, the instruments were mic'd and put through the PA. At band practice the iriver's recordings sound similar quality to the H2. So if the sound quality / room is good then I expect the H2 would also deliver a decent recording.

Thanks, do you know the position of the iriver in relation to where in the room you were playing?

Pollyanna 10-02-2009 05:15 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuban (Post 618675)
Thanks, do you know the position of the iriver in relation to where in the room you were playing?

I didn't see, Cuban. I'll have to ask.

Down KIS! Easy boy! :) It makes for a good contrast of what the H2 can handle - you're belting the tripe out of the kit and I'm going tappidy-tap. When I recorded at the default setting of 100 and afterwards the tracks needed to be boosted 11dB before the peaks clipped I realised the H2 was purpose-built to handle loud playing.

donv 10-02-2009 07:55 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I'm not sure why this was moved? Especially to off topic. Oh well.

I appreciate all the ideas, suggestions and experiences everyone has shared. The h2 seems to be the most common, but also comes with the most potential problems. With a trip to guitar center tomorrow I check out what they have to offer and listen to what their salesperson suggests. One thing I have found from the googling I've done is some work in conjunction with an ipod for storage, and my mp3 player isn't an ipod. I'm not going to make a second purchase of an ipod just to get a recorder. Although those ipods do come in some nice colors for their price.Thanks to all again.

Pollyanna 10-03-2009 03:52 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Hi Cuban, I got the word from our keys player about the iriver gig recording I posted. It seems that the unit needed a bit of help to achieve that sound. This is his reply:
It was just about 4 metres back from the stage beside the mixing desk with 1 AKG vocal mike plugged into the line in (but it needs a small preamp to boost the signal). Remember to switch settings to line in and not the default voice in.

I tried to get it as close to centre as possible but it was closer to the keyboards and drums but still got a reasonable balance thru the PA.
The H2 recordings, on the other hand, were done without using external gear.

Donv, it might be a bit early to say if the H2 has more probs than others because it seems that most members have used them without bother. If as many people had a different recorder they may well be reporting just as many probs ...?

Cuban 10-03-2009 11:24 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
Thanks for that Pollyanna, very helpful.

Did anyone else have any recordings from the H2?

Abel 10-04-2009 10:03 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
My believe friend has a Zoom H4, its has great quality from what I've heard from it.

dairyairman 10-05-2009 11:27 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
this a zoom h2 recording from band practice of our song "carry me away", warts and everything!

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6959479

it's a little drum heavy because i keep the h2 next to me so i can reach it. and this is using the heavily muffled practice drum kit, so don't be too critical of the drum sound.

jwildman 10-06-2009 02:17 AM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I'm using a JVC Everio which really works for me. I think it is about $350 though.

Cuban 10-12-2009 05:45 PM

Re: Portable Digital Recorders
 
I am going to take the plunge and get the H2.

Can I ask which mic settings do you each record using?

Front 90
or
Rear 120
or
Full 360

Also, which format do you use?
24bit/96kHz linear PCM WAV files or do you just use 128kbps for MP3s or even perhaps something in-between?

Can anyone also tell me the recording times in these formats on a 1GB SD memory card?

Finally, is the advertised 4 hours of battery life accurate?

Thanks in advance.


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