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  #1  
Old 01-28-2009, 09:24 AM
roboboticus roboboticus is offline
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Default Simple recording device

Hi. I'm looking for a simple way to record jam sessions in my basement.

I don't need high quality sound, just good enough to review and pick out the good parts for songwriting. I'd be recording drums, guitar, and bass mostly, with the occasional vocals and keys mixed in. The music can get pretty loud too, which is a consideration.

In the past I've recorded on a portable MD player/recorder (Sony MZ-R70) through an electret condenser stereo microphone (Sony ECM-DS70P). Decent sound, but we often play longer than the 74 minutes that fit on one MD (it's an older MD player), and it sucks when a session gets cut off. Changing discs is the last thing I want to be thinking about when I'm getting in my creative zone.

A simple interface would be good. I'm tech savvy enough, but I need to focus on the music during sessions. Don't need (or want) effects, tuners, etc.

Ideal would be:
-A sturdy device that records digital audio and can transfer files to Mac
-Enough storage capacity to record 4+ hours of audio (in stereo)
-A built-in stereo mic would be nice, but I could make do with the Sony mic if need be.

I WISH there was some kind of remote footswitch that could start/stop recording and make track-breaks on the fly. By "track-breaks" I mean start recording a new file. It seems quite feasible given the level of technology we've reached, but I don't see anything out there. It would be musician's dream! Any product developers out there?

The options I'm considering at the moment are:
Tascam DR1
Zoom H2
Edirol R-09
a Hi-MD recorder
something from iRiver

The Tascam and Zoom are top of the list, though I hear the Zoom's not too sturdy. It looks like a Hi-MD recorder would be a bit pricier, and I don't see many that advertise the ability to transfer files to Mac through the USB cable.
Then there's iRiver. I hear some good things, and they look sexy as hell, but I'm having a hard time getting info on their different models, especially specs on recording quality and length.

Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:04 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

I've only heard rave reviews for the Zoom. You could get a small interface, al la Fast Track, and a couple of omni mics or a little stereo mic if you'd prefer, and go straight to the computer.
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2009, 09:20 PM
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2bsticks 2bsticks is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

I have the Zoom2 and it's great. I purchased an 8gig memory card for it so I have plenty of space to record. It connects very easy to a computer so you can copy your recordings to your PC for editing. It takes 2 AA batteries but it includes a power supply, head phones, a small tripod stand and an adapter that will allow you to hook on to a microphone stand. It also includes a cable so you can line out to a stereo system.

I guess I like it huh? Great quality for such a small device.
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Last edited by 2bsticks; 01-28-2009 at 09:21 PM. Reason: missed something
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2009, 09:31 PM
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Wavelength Wavelength is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

The Zoom H2 is great, but its most serious problem is that it can't handle very loud noise.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:21 PM
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hawk9290 hawk9290 is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

Go with a Zoom H2. We recorded a small gig on one and planned to use it only to listen for our own betterment...instead we made copies of it and gave it out to some long time listeners it was so clear.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:49 PM
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m1ck m1ck is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

I've been using an Olympus DS-40 for the exact purpose you describe, and it works surprisingly well.
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:06 PM
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diosdude diosdude is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

Well, if you're going to spend that much on a recorder, why not just get a computer interface and start recording directly onto your mac??? There's a slew of super affordable usb interfaces on the market now like the Lexicon alpha, M-audio fast track, Art USB phono-plus, Line 6 tone port ux2, Pre-sonus audio box, etc etc etc etc etc that turn your computer into a studio. most even come with cubase LE or garageband and you already have a mic so there would be nothing else required.
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:14 PM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

I have a H4 and it works well. Put it on a camera tripod and across the room and it works fine. It has room for 2 microphones on the bottom if you wish to record that way.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:48 PM
Numberonefan Numberonefan is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
The Zoom H2 is great, but its most serious problem is that it can't handle very loud noise.
How loud a source are you trying to record? It does well with anything below MY pain threshold. As long as you set the gain structure correct (this is key in any recording) you could put it up against your bass drum if you wanted.

But that’s not where this shines. It does a great job of picking up the “room”.

These other USB capture devices do a fine job at a reasonable cost for a few inputs but price one out the can handles 12 or 16 inputs?

The beauty of the H2 is you can have 1 source or 100 it does not care. However you will have to adjust your mic placement to optimize the field.

It’s an ideal device for it’s intended purpose… recording a band practice on the fly or a practice session on drums. It will not replace a studio! LOL

Go to the link in my sig. The first song is recorded with my H2 placed strategically between all the instruments. The bass guitar is distorted at the beginning but that’s not because of the unit but actually caused buy the mic placement choice I poorly made.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2009, 07:27 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

Quote:
Originally Posted by diosdude View Post
Well, if you're going to spend that much on a recorder, why not just get a computer interface and start recording directly onto your mac??? There's a slew of super affordable usb interfaces on the market now like the Lexicon alpha, M-audio fast track, Art USB phono-plus, Line 6 tone port ux2, Pre-sonus audio box, etc etc etc etc etc that turn your computer into a studio. most even come with cubase LE or garageband and you already have a mic so there would be nothing else required.
$130 for no learning curve and one-button operation.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2009, 08:37 PM
roboboticus roboboticus is offline
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Default Re: Simple recording device

Thanks for all the input guys. I actually ended up going with the Tascam DR-07 that just came out. Still waiting for it to arrive.
I didn't want to record directly to the Mac as things have a tendency to get knocked about down in the jam room :P

Thanks again!
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