Hand-Held Recorders

by | Mar 12, 2008 | Equipment

‘Seems like just about every equipment manufacturer is coming out with similar versions of some sort of professional hand-held recorder.

This is an ad I got from BSW today, and hilites a unit I hadn’t seen before, although Olympus holds the corner on the market of low-priced hand-held consumer-level digital recorders..

I’ve blogged before about the unit I purchased last year, the Zoom H4.  Now, there’s a Zoom H2 as well. See HERE for more information in a previous blog.

In addition, Sony, Edirol, Marantz, M-Audio, Tascam, Denon, and even BSW (which has it’s own offering in this now-crowded field) all are marketing units with similar features, and competitive pricing.

All have their commendable features, but if I may, a suggestion or two about what the Voice-Actor really needs from a recorder like this:

1)  An easy-to-read digital display
2)  SD and/or SDHC-card compatible (up to 4 Gigs if possible)
3)  rechargeable battery
3)  capability of recording in .wav, .mp3, and .wma as a minimum
4)  capability of recording at two or more sampling frequencies (44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz preferable)
5)  easy linking, uploading/downloading to computer via USB
6)  built-in compression, limiting, and/or mic emulation software (if you want)
7)  a dedicated “pause” button
8)  input and output level and gain controls
9)  capable of recording directly to your computer as a USB audio interface

There’s more of course, and most of these units are feature-rich, but make sure you read the fine print to get the gizmo that’s right for you.

I did a lot of looking into this, and bought the Zoom H4 for a portable studio set-up.  It works great, but I must admit it’s actually more than I need, as it is probably more appropriate for someone hoping to record garage-band stuff.  It has 4-track mixing capability, and accepts XLR plugs from mics and guitars.




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