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Old August 10th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #1
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need a small, wearable audio recorder

Hi there,

Would people mind advising re a good, small, wearable audio recorder, into which I can plug a lav mic (1/8" I think).
I shoot with a Sony EX-1, and have two wireless Sennheiser sets, but I've been asked to do a shoot that's going to require me to record more than two people... and I'm not able to take an audio person who can hold a boom for me.
I can get the Zoom H2Next... and I think this would work. But I'm wondering what people recommend. If I have to tuck the recorder into someone's back pocket, I'm hoping it can be small and quite tough.

I'll be having to sync up the audio I get from this recorder when I get into editing, and am hoping it'll sound like the audio I record with my Sennheiser units, that'll be attached to my Sony.
Thanks for any advice,
Malcolm
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Old August 10th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

I don't recommend this one:
Black Digital Voice Recorder | ICD-UX512BLK | Sony USA

It stops recording after an hour even when it's set not to. Also, there's no 48KHz to match up with video, just 44.1.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

It's a bit on the long side, but the Zoom H1 might suit your needs.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

I've used the Tascam DR-03 with fairly good results. Unfortunately, I believe it's discontinued so you might have trouble finding one.

I believe the Tascam PR-10 is very nearly the same machine, except for different internal mics (which you aren't going to use, anyway).

The last time I checked, SweetwaterMusic.com was selling them for $49.95 including free shipping (however, that sale may be over now). You can't go wrong for the price of a cheap meal. ;-)
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Old August 12th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

Thanks Les, Oren and Greg; I won't consider the Sony, I've looked at the Tascam and it seems like a good little recorder, but the one you refer to, Oren, is more along the lines of the one I was considering... the Zoom. The one they make now is the H2Next. It doesn't have the XLR inputs of its big brother (I think it's the H4 or something), but it's quite compact... small enough for me to tuck into someone's pocket (I'd have an external lapel mic attached). On other occasions, think I could use it to capture wild sound—Zoom claims that it has pretty good built-in mics.
Has anyone used the H2Next?
Thanks for weighing in on this...
Malcolm
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Old August 12th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Hamilton
If I have to tuck the recorder into someone's back pocket, I'm hoping it can be small ...
The H2n does have more capabilities than the Tascam PR-10, especially in terms of the internal mics. But given your proposed use in a back pocket, I'd still vote for the Tascam.

H2n is 4.33h x 2.5w x 1.26thick = 13.64 cu. inches, 3.84 ounces, $180 [corrected].

PR-10 is 4.75h x 1.45w x .59thick = 4.06 cu. inches, 2.72 ounces, $49 [corrected].

The PR-10 is less than half as thick as the H2n, and 40% narrower, and 30% lighter. Seems to me it would be much more comfortable stuffed in someone's pocket. At $49, it will pay for itself in just one job.

Then if you want to play "field recorder" you can still go out and buy the Zoom.

Last edited by Greg Miller; August 13th, 2012 at 06:02 AM.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #7
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

Although Greg transposed the prices (H2n being $180). I do agree that it's too bulky for a front or back pocket. iRiver IFP-795 units (now discontinued) were perfect for these types of situations. I still have one that gets regular use.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 06:10 AM   #8
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

Oren:

Thanks for catching my price transposition... I have now fixed it.

Yes, the iFP 7xx and 8xx series were great for their time... very concealable! I still have a few 795, 799, 895. But I don't use them any more.

IMHO there are a few advantages to the small Tascam line:

• Thinner and flatter than the iFP models, so they bulge less in a pocket.

• Recording level meter (which the iFP did not have), so you know you've got the gain set correctly.

• Ability to record WAV (the iFP did only mp3) and 48 kHz sample rate.

• Tascams use microSD card, iFP had only internal memory.

Given that the small Tascams are now selling for ~ $50, roughly half of the new price of the iFP line ten years ago, the Tascams are a real bargain!
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Old August 13th, 2012, 07:02 AM   #9
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

I have a number of iFP 890's...which I haven't used for a while. I've upgrade my computer and now use Win7. Can you still get the data out of them?
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Old August 13th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

Renton, I'm afraid I can't answer that. I'm primarily running XP here. I have one Vista machine but try to avoid using it at all costs; no Win7 machines.

If I find some extra time on my hands (yeah, right!) I could try one of my iFPs on the Vista machine, but don't expect that to happen any time soon.

Sorry I can't provide more help at the moment.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

Thanks for all the advice... I ended up getting a Tascam DR-08. Under a hundred bucks, and small.
Regards,
Malcolm
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Old August 14th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

I think you'll be happy with the DR-08 in this application. They were being closed out for about $69 when I bought mine. The very similar PR-10 is now selling for $49 (probably also a model closeout).

In a pinch the DR-08 internal mics will grab a run'n'gun interview (admittedly you'd prefer one single mono mic) or will capture some unplanned but interesting stereo (subway musician, whatever).

Please do check in with your evaluation after you've tried it.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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Re: need a small, wearable audio recorder

I picked up a DR-05 a couple of weeks ago with a mono lav. Good investment. It's already saved my butt on a couple of jobs. I wasn't a big proponent of the stand alone recorders but in certain situations they are a lifesaver.
Cost me about the cost of a dinner for me and my wife. She wanted the dinner. Oh well.
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