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Old October 15th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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Pocket Recorder for Wired Lav

Can anybody recommend the best pocket recorder for a wired lav?

The Olympus LS-10 has been suggested already.

Any others?

I'm looking for something high quality, affordable, that will fit easily into a pocket.

Thank you,

Trey
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Old October 15th, 2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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I use Sony MZ-R37 minidisc recorders for the weddings I shoot. By no means are they the highest quality recorder (wish I could afford a Zoom H4 or three), but they record WAV at 92 or 96khz (can't remember) and with a decent lav mic I get great warm vocals. I just bought another one off ebay as a backup, they're like $20 a piece including shipping, and often include a couple discs.

Chris
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Old October 15th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #3
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Thank you

Hi, Chris.

I'm actually looking for something digital so as to save time during playback, capturing, etc..

Also, isn't the H4 just a tad big for a pocket?

Trey
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Old October 15th, 2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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Look at the MicroTrack II:
M-Audio | MicroTrack II - Professional 2-Channel | 9900-52278-00

Small. Takes pro or mini-plug mics. Phantom power. Mini-plug power. Limiter. Records in 24 bit wav plus other variations (mp3, 16 bit, etc.). Removable media that plugs directly into a card reader on a laptop. Switch to lock controls so won't be a problem jostling in a pocket. And more.

It's the width and thickness of a pack of cigarettes, and a bit taller. The dimensions given on the B&H site are for the box the recorder comes in, not the recorder itself.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #5
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I use a couple of Microtracks myself with wired lavs. Happy so far.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #6
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Need I say it?

...

IRIVERS!

ifp-890/895/899
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #7
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There is no 'best' pocket recorder....just what works best for you within your budget/size/needs. I have the iRivers, the H2, and I'm getting a LS-10. I feel that each of these have pro's and con's. I would never stick the H2 in a pocket...way to big. The iRivers are okay for pockets, but limited in recording quality. Hopefully, the LS-10 will be a bit of both.
Do you need built-in mics? then go with the Olympus. Do you value size over everything? Try to find an iRiver. Do you need XLR inputs or phantom power...then you're barking up a different tree. Pick a unit that has already been suggested, or take a chance on waiting for that 'best' pocket recorder (and let us know what you get).
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:51 AM   #8
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I use two MicroTracks (II) like the other guys. Never had a problem although sync will drift if you are rolling at 24P. If I were more serious about audio, I'd go with the Tascam P2-HD although this isn't a pocket recorder.

-C
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Drews View Post
I use two MicroTracks (II) like the other guys. Never had a problem although sync will drift if you are rolling at 24P. If I were more serious about audio, I'd go with the Tascam P2-HD although this isn't a pocket recorder.

-C
How bad is the drift?
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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #10
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Depends how long your clip is - the longer the take, the longer the drift.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #11
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If you have a "big" pocket... I'd suggest the Sony PCM-D50

The recordings with just the PCM-D50's on-board mics are incredible. Really clean, with low noise. The plug-in use of mics through the 1/8" miniplug adds a bit of a hiss due to the not-so great pre-amps. But it's still pretty good. You can hear what I mean...

Here is a sample with a Countryman B6 plugged directly into the PCM-D50. http://www.dvcreators.net/media/SONYPCMD50_MONO_B6.mov
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Old October 16th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #12
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I have the Sony and like it a lot, but, as you say, it really does need a BIG pocket and the weight is another issue.

I did a couple of side by side comparisons with the Sony and my Schoeps mics and the Sony did better than one might imagine - it's a real price performer and the mics are far better than one would expect at this price point.

By the way, I've been thinking of getting a Countryman, but got totally confused by all the cable and connector options. What would I have to specify to get one that would plug directly to the Sony or the MicroTracks?
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Old October 16th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #13
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The Countryman B6 with the Sennheiser Evolution connector is the one we carry. On the Sony PCM-D50, you'll need to turn plug-on power in the menu. If I remember correctly, its smart enough to ask you if you'd like to turn it on when it senses a mic has been plugged into the MIC port.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #14
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Pre Amps

I keep seeing comments about pre amps.

What specs determine whether or not a preamp is of high quality?

Trey
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Old October 16th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #15
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I'm not sure there's any particular spec that is definitive enough. And even the term "high quality" has to be understood in the context of how expensive the unit is. The more one spends, the "higher quality" one usually gets when buying from reputable makers. Sacrifices have to be made in the interests of cost and physical size - I wouldn't expect the same "quality" in the pre-amps of the Sony PCM-D50 as in one of the Sound Devices recorders for example.

On the other hand, a "lower quality" preamp in a recorder intended to record dialogue from a lav might be just as good for the task as a pricey preamp designed for classical music recording if the expensive recorder were used for recording dialogue with the same lav.

I'm also not sure makers really provide enough detail in the specs to make it an easy call.

So maybe the relevant "spec" is price.

In the end I think it all comes down to listening to the result and drawing your conclusions.

In the case of the Sony, for example, a lot of folks seem to think that the quality of the recording done with the onboard mics seems better than the quality of a recording from an external mic via the 1/8 " jack. Not clear if it's a case of quality of pre-amp as much as a case of how well the mics and pre-amps are matched

I'm sure one of the more technically astute forum members will be able to take issue with everything I said here, but I still think listening is the best way. If you can't hear a difference, then there probably isn't any difference - at least any difference that's relevant to what and how you're recording.
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