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Old February 28th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
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Pocket field recorder for wired lavalier

I'm gearing up for a one man band documentary shoot. I'm shooting with DSLRs and am OK with using double system sound.

I'm looking for a quality audio setup to use for interviews. I basically want one good wired lav and the smallest field recorder possible to record it.

I've used the Zoom H4n, and although that may be the best option, I hate its poor battery life.

I was thinking the Countryman B6 would be good because of its small size. I won't know the people I'm interviewing very well so the lav will definitely be on the outside of their clothes (my limited sound experience comes from narrative shoots).

Is there anything I'm overlooking?
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Old February 28th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Miami, FL USA
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You might look at the Edirol R09 or it's successor, which iirc is called R09HD or something like that. Have used with great satisfaction with Audio-Technica wired mikes. One advantage to the Edirols is they use regular AA batteries, good battery life and aa's are available anywhere...the units with rechargable batteries are a hazard, when the battery poops out you're stuck until you can recharge it....the R09 also provides the iirc 3volt power required by such lavs as the Sennheisers....which you can turn off in the menu if you don't need it.../Battle Vaughan
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:34 AM   #3
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I've been using a MicroTrak II with my B6 - works fine as long as I remember to charge the battery beforehand!

I think Sony has a unit derived from the PCM D50 by removing the microphones - might be more bulky than some of the others and also has built in battery, but if the recording quality is as nice as the D-50 it might be worth looking at.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 01:19 AM   #4
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We used the Microtrack II for a short festival film, and it's noisy as heck! I would only recommend it with an outboard, active mixer. Our mic had somewhat low sensitivity, and the result was very hissy.

Always leave the gain of the Microtrack II at 50%. The gain is digital, not analog. Raise the gain, and you lose the least significant bits. Lower the gain, and you will still clip, but you will now clip below full scale.

With the gain at 50% and a hot enough signal coming in, the Microtrack II is passable. The H4n or juicedLink/5D2/MagicLantern cam setup are both cleaner at high gain than the MT2 at its absolute best.
Jon Fairhurst
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