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Old November 29th, 2011, 03:39 AM   #1
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stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

i need a spare audio recorder to bring with me on location, (something that save my pay and my working day in case my recorder fails), and for general use where i may need a stereo portable recorder.

is anyone of you using tascam dr 100 or fostex fr 2 le? what are your opinion? about preamp and batteries?
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Old November 29th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

I don't have any experience with the two you mentioned, but as far as I've experienced, the Zoom H4n ($300) certainly seems to be the standard field recorder in that price range. I mostly come from the DSLR circles, so I don't know if there's other popular recorders among other circles...
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Old November 30th, 2011, 05:27 AM   #3
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

Another good unit is the new Zoom H2N and I think it may be less expensive than the H4. I have had experience with the H2 & it is excellent.

RonC.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #4
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

H4n is worth the extra money. I've used both. Only quirk I have with the h4n is the battery life. There is a stamina mode but you lose a couple of features. Doesn't seem to affect recording quality.
The Tascam stuff looks good too. They are generally good quality.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 12:58 AM   #5
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Cooper View Post
Another good unit is the new Zoom H2N and I think it may be less expensive than the H4. I have had experience with the H2 & it is excellent.

RonC.
Does the H2n have XLR ins? OP didn't mention, but that may or may not be a deal breaker.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 03:16 AM   #6
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

Ben, the H2 & (N) does not have XLR but I would think that the whole purpose of these devices is good quality with simplicity as the built in mics are surprisingly good for most purposes and there is no fiddling with cables or connectors. I have only used the front mics and have never used the surround feature.

However, I have only used the H2 and assume that the H2N is as good or better and for a surprisingly small amount of money considering what you get in the package.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

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Originally Posted by Ron Cooper View Post
Ben, the H2 & (N) does not have XLR but I would think that the whole purpose of these devices is good quality with simplicity as the built in mics are surprisingly good for most purposes and there is no fiddling with cables or connectors. I have only used the front mics and have never used the surround feature.

RonC.
They definitely can work for that. I guess it somewhat depends on what you're trying to record. For ambient stuff, they work great as is. But for recording for second sound when filming or just need much more control of what you pick up, you can get really great results from just running an XLR shotgun into the H4n. But I've also gotten pretty darn good results from running a RODE Video Mic into the 1/8" mini plug, which I'm pretty sure you could also do on the H2(n).
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

In the market place I work the H4n has become the (default) recorder for DSLR work. Clients expect a H4n to be used... a colleague of mine has a Sound Devices 788 and did his first DSLR shoot recently and was asked why he wasn't using a H4n because that was in the spec sheet for the production, despite the 788 being WAY superior.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #9
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

anyone know which is the least expensive portable digital recorder with 4 XLR inputs?

or does the Tascam DR-40 allow the recording of all the inputs - XLR and 1/4" - at the same time?

(edit)

I just looked at the owners manual for the Tascam DR-40 - http://tascam.com/content/downloads/...r-40_om_va.pdf -

and the 1/4" inputs are actually in the center of the XLR inputs - so you can only use two at a time... :(

(Edit)

I just remembered that I have an old analogue Tascam mixer that I couldn't sell. I can run my 4 microphones into that, and then the output into the 2 channel Tascam DR-40. Yeah for me.

(edit)

My Tascam mixer doesn't have phantom power for the mics... too bad for me...

Last edited by Robert Bobson; December 5th, 2011 at 07:25 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

anyone know which is the least expensive portable digital recorder with 4 XLR inputs?"
>> Off-hand I would say the Roland R-44. However, in that price range, the 8-track Tascam DR-680 is another option, w/(6) mic pres , (4) XLR/1/4" (combo) mic/line inputs and (2) TRS 1/4" mic/line inputs The 4-track SD 744 only has two XLRs, if that's of interest.

does the Tascam DR-40 allow the recording of all the inputs - XLR and 1/4" - at the same time?"
>> No, The DR-40 uses XLR/1/4" compo jacks so it would be physically imposable. (AFAIK, you can't split the L/R inputs either, for instance Left=mic; Right=Line either... and there's no separate L/R record level offset. (which may be added later in a firmware update) The alternate 2-tracks are for the internal mics or reduced level safety tracks. (-12dB )
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Old December 11th, 2011, 05:13 AM   #11
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

im between Dr 40 and H4N
gotta decide this urgently
main purpose is using with 7D and Epic-M for non prof. works
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Old December 13th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: stereo recorder for around 400 $ as spare audio recorder on location

Tascam just released the DR-100MKii for $329 which looks like it might be a good one. 2 XLR inputs and supposedly they finally allow line level inputs.
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