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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old March 21st, 2008, 06:13 PM   #1
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sound recording

I'm looking for a cost effective sound recorder for background audio of things like bird calls, waves on beaches etc. and can remember a number of years ago that the Sony Minidisc was a good option for recording background audio. Is there a solid state equivalent around today?

Andy Davies
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 02:34 AM   #2
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Hi Andy,

I'm also looking for a low cost sound recorder. I came across the website for the Wildlife Sound Recording Society a couple of days ago:

http://www.wildlife-sound.org/

The have a newcomers guide and recommend a few things. The one I'm looking at is the Sony MZ-RH1. It's a HiMD Minidisc system and retails for around 200.

Grant
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 03:16 PM   #3
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I have an Edirol R-09 solid state digital recorder. It isn't cheap at 300 here in the UK, but will record uncompressed wav files or compressed mpg files, each is date and time stamped, and can be copied directly to the computer. Its built-in microphones seems to do a good job, but you also have the option of attaching any other microphone via a 3.5 jack. It is easily pocketable, and very light weight.

I've had two mini-disc recorders - one was straightforward to use, the other is beyond me and I've never successfully recorded anything with it - it's just too complicated. But the recordings are always compressed.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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I have a Tascam Pocketstudio 5 that I use for things like this, but it is a discontinued product, and it is also overkill for just recording. Tascam now makes a smaller unit called the DR-1, which has built-in microphones as well as inputs for external mics. It records in both MP3 and WAV format to SD and SDHC cards.

The built-in mics could make this unit particularly convenient for certain uses like capturing background sounds, and recording to SD media means it would be completely silent.

http://www.tascam.com/products/dr-1.html
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #5
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If your camera has a half way decent mike, just do what I do, push the record button, give a brief description of your "sound bite", and roll off any length to suit. Capture it like you would video, and use a free program like Media Coder to strip the audio out of your the video file. Using a few minutes of video tape isn't a big deal. You can also use an external quality mic, if your camera has an external mic in. Sure beats carrying a bunch of extra audio recording gear around. That's what I have done in the past with the XL1, and now with the XL H1.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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I have plenty of clips like that - sometimes just pointing the camera at a pleasant scene for the duration.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 03:18 AM   #7
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The Sony MZ-RH1 has quieter preamps than practically any prosumer camera, so it's a better choice for ambient sound. If nothing else is available, than the camera's own sound system is the ticket.

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Old March 27th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #8
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Have you looked at the Samson H4 zoom
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