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-   -   Time to buy a portable audio recorder (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/145619-time-buy-portable-audio-recorder.html)

Dean Sensui March 12th, 2009 02:01 AM

Dylan didn't mention what sort of film he's making.

If it's a Chinese Kung-Fu movie, lip sync doesn't matter. :-)

The Tascam P2 is outside the budget but I read nothing but good reviews. Only two channels. The Edirol R-44 has 4 channels and, from what I've read, good performance.

Also, for the length of takes in filmmaking, there shouldn't be significant or detrimental sync drift. Maybe on very long takes as you would find in a concert or live performance. But even then it might be workable.

John Willett March 12th, 2009 08:40 AM

My choice in this bracket (after I had rejected the rest for one reason or another) came down to a close-run thing between just three:- Edirol R-09HR, Olympus LS-10, Sony PCM D-50.

In the end I bought the Olympus - pocketability is perfect and build quality superb - and the batteries last ages (10 hours plus from a couple of AA).

Brian Standing March 12th, 2009 08:41 AM

Just a quick plug for the Zoom H2 (the H4's little -- and more talented -- brother).

They're insanely cheap -- about $160 street -- run forever on AA batteries, record 24-bit 96khz to SD media, are small enough to take with you anywhere, and have surprisingly good sound. Plus, the 4 installed microphones let you pick between a 90-and 120- degree pick-up pattern, or do 4-channel surround.

For the same price as some of the more "professional" units, you could buy two (or three!) of these little guys. I own two. I've been using them mounted on a couple of light stands to record live outdoor musical performances. I haven't had any problems with sync over the span of a 5-7 minute song. One of the performers in a local Klezmer band -- a classically trained clarinetist who's picky about sound -- commented that he was sorry the band had spent so much time and effort working in a studio, cause he thought the live audio I recorded of them playing on a bike path sounded so much better!

I've also had success dropping them in a subject's shirt pocket when my wireless mike died.

They may not work for every application -- they only have 1/8" mini jack input and output, and they won't stand up to much abuse. But if you operate on the theory that you get better sound with a cheap microphone closer to the subject than you get from an expensive microphone too far away, then you can see how planting one of these units close to the subject can be a pretty effective strategy. They kind of look like a large condenser microphone, so if they get in the shot for a musical performance, they look like they belong there.

Too cheap, too small and too versatile not to have in your camera kit.

John Willett March 12th, 2009 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Standing (Post 1026546)
Just a quick plug for the Zoom H2 (the H4's little -- and more talented -- brother).

But very plastic and two to three times larger than the Olympus LS-10. ;-)

Brian Standing March 12th, 2009 09:04 AM

The Olympus looks like a very solid, professional unit. It's also more than twice the price. I don't see how the H2 is twice the size of the LS-10. According to the specs on B&H, the H2 is shorter, a tad thicker and lighter than the LS-10. Mayber you're thinking of the H4 instead? The Olympus doesn't have the H2's 4-channel capacity [nor the built-in guitar tuner!;-)], but does have built-in speakers, which the H2 lacks.

You're right that the Zoom is a flimsy piece of plastic that needs to be treated with kid gloves. I wouldn't recommend it for heavy duty use. But it's remarkable for the price, and cheap enough that you can buy multiple units and deploy them in a way you couldn't (or wouldn't) with more expensive units. Think of it as a crash cam for audio.

Vasco Dones March 12th, 2009 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan (Post 1026354)
We have had good luck with the Edirol r-09 recorders, which have been superceded by an improved HR version lately for the same price ($399 list). Easy to operate, good quality recordings, even our reporters can operate them (oops, I never said that!) (...) /Battle Vaughan / miamiherald.com video team

Ohsoverytrue, Battle! And that's exactly why yours truly (a former reporter-producer turned Jack-of-all-trades) bought it and loves it! It's idiot-proof, and this is no small advantage when you're having your hands full & your mind running (?) at full speed to keep an eye (just one, literally) on all the possible screw-ups...
IMHO, the Edirol R-09 is slightly overpriced for what it delivers, but its ease of use makes it a winner - especially if you go for the upgraded version (R-09 HR).

Having said that, I'm waiting for more reviews on the new Zoom H4n (and for more $$$ in my wallet).

Best

Vasco

Jase Tanner March 12th, 2009 09:25 AM

Dylan

About a year ago I looked into buying a modified unit from the Oade Brothers. I would have, except at least at that time, they didn't ship to Canada. So I bought the Sony D50. It was a good choice. Very clean sound, very easy to work with. Only word of caution I would have is that I also bought the Sony XLR adapter made to be used with it. Not only is it overpriced (which of course I knew at the time - it was just easy to get it) but the mounting plate that comes with it for securing the 2 of them together is poorly designed.

Also the prices for the memory sticks vary wildly form store to store. One place will have a great deal on the 8 gig but really overcharge on the 16 gig. Another store will give a good deal on the 16 but gouge on the 8.

Seth Bloombaum March 12th, 2009 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Morgan (Post 1026388)
Wait!
Is everyone forgetting the other numerous posts about these recorders not being good for double system work?
They don't run at an exact enough speed. They won't stay in sync with the video!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nicole Hankerson (Post 1026390)
Are you referring to the Zoom recorder? If so yeah I heard there was timing issues with that recorder.

Nicole

That certainly proved true of the original Zoom H4 recorder. The H4n has only been shipping for a few days - we need some user reports on this issue! Zoom did think to do BWF-format time and marker stamping on the PCM files in the new version, I sure hope that means they also improved the clock.

Guy Cochran March 12th, 2009 10:12 AM

Dylan,

You're just about an hour away from our studio north of Seattle. If you'd like to come and visit, we have the Sony PCM-D50, LS-10 the Edirol R-09 and the R-44 as well as the Canon EOS-5D Mark II and a few other cool mics, shoe mounts and pre-amps that I can show you. Hear it for yourself! You'll get the DVinfo.net homie hook-up discount too :)

Chris Barcellos March 12th, 2009 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guy Cochran (Post 1026612)
Dylan,

You're just about an hour away from our studio north of Seattle. If you'd like to come and visit, we have the Sony PCM-D50, LS-10 the Edirol R-09 and the R-44 as well as the Canon EOS-5D Mark II and a few other cool mics, shoe mounts and pre-amps that I can show you. Hear it for yourself! You'll get the DVinfo.net homie hook-up discount too :)

Guy, what are you recommending for the Canon 5D2 soundwise ?

Battle Vaughan March 12th, 2009 01:13 PM

Actually, our reporters double-take frequently with the R09's and the Canon HV20's, and the synch is remarkably accurate, at least over 5 minutes or so, haven't seen any clips longer. Set everything to 48khz wave file, 16 bit, and --- at least our combo, don't know about others --- works fine. It is easy to match up the second audio track on the timeline if you have a little spike to match to --- an accidental cough, a handclap, however THAT might--accidentally--happen...../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team

Dylan Couper March 12th, 2009 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guy Cochran (Post 1026612)
Dylan,

You're just about an hour away from our studio north of Seattle. If you'd like to come and visit, we have the Sony PCM-D50, LS-10 the Edirol R-09 and the R-44 as well as the Canon EOS-5D Mark II and a few other cool mics, shoe mounts and pre-amps that I can show you. Hear it for yourself! You'll get the DVinfo.net homie hook-up discount too :)

I keep forgetting you aren't that far... I've been past you a couple times in the last 6 months, should have stopped in to say hello!

As Chris asks... what would you suggest for the 5D2?

Guy Cochran March 12th, 2009 05:30 PM

There's some options opening up later that we're exploring, in the meantime for productions right now, we're using the Edirol R-44 4-Channel Field Recorder.

Also, your might want to read this article Canon 5D Mark II at DVcreators.net

The audio you hear at the bottom of the article is simply a Sennheiser Evolution G2 wireless transmitter with Countryman E6i headset fed directly into the Edirol R-44.

Be warned if you get a chance to stop by our facility Dylan, you're probably going to want at least 4-5 other gizmos. It just happens :)

John Hartney March 13th, 2009 03:25 AM

Fostex fr2le does what you need very well.


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