Best field recorder for me?

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    • #76876
      Avatarplnelson
      Participant

      I want to buy a field recorder.  This will mainly be used for documentary work so I don't need a ton of microsphones.   Two phantom-powered XLR mic inputs and appropriate connectors for wireless lav mic systems  (e.g., Senheiser G6 or similar) I think would sufficient.    I expect to be using this with Rode NTG1's and NTG2's, if that matters.

       

      It should be rugged, relatively small so I can travel light, battery-powered, good readable level displays, actual knobs (not touch screen) for level adjustment, record to standard media, eg, SDHC cards or similar, and low noise. (some of the Tascams seem to have hiss problems).

       

      I don't want to spend more than I have to but I don't want to get junk.   Suggestions?

       

      Thanks in advance.

       

       

       

    • #210407
      Avatarrs170a
      Participant

      It all depends on your budget as recorders can range anywhere from $200 to $3,000.

      Take a look at the Tascam DR-60D ($200) and then the Zaxcom Maxx ($3,000) and decide which one works best for your needs.

      http://www.trewaudio.com/store/Handheld-Recorders.html

      http://www.trewaudio.com/store/Recorders-mixers.html

       

      Mike

    • #210409
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi plnelson – the pro standard is the Sound Devices 702 2 track field recorder.  They're a little expensive new, but you get one used for $1699.

       

      If that's above your budget limit, you may want to consider a $599 Fostex FR-2 LE field recorder, a nice little mid-range unit with good performance.  You can get a used unit for even less.

       

      Below that you get into the Tascams and Samson Zoom recorders with their noisy preamps.

       

      Hope this is helpful!

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #210413
      Avatarplnelson
      Participant

      Both the Sound Devices and Fostex products you mention are really old technology  – they're both been on the market for 10 years.   They use old-style compact flash cards, Firewire or USB 2.0 interfaces to computers (the Sound Devices only lists Window 2000 and XP as supported OSes) and have surprisingly limited choices of audio codec's.  

       

      In those price ranges I would expect to get some more recent, advanced technology, and more than 2 channels.

       

      So all the <$400 recorders are noisy?

       

       

    • #210414
      Avatarplnelson
      Participant

      It all depends on your budget as recorders can range anywhere from $200 to $3,000.

      Take a look at the Tascam DR-60D ($200) and then the Zaxcom Maxx ($3,000) and decide which one works best for your needs.

       

      Decide how?   You can't just go by specs because you can't always trust the specs and they don't tell you anything about usability, reliability, etc. That's why I posted my question here so people could give me their real-world experiences.   Do you own either one of these products?    In terms of the rquirements I mentioned in my OP what's the least expensive product that would meet my requirements?   On paper there are lots of products in the $200-$400 price range that look like they'd do the trick but I have concerns about their s/n ratios and build-quality.

       

    • #210415
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi pl – I own Zoom H1 and Tascam DR-40 recorders and I won't buy any more of them.  You may find these recorder comparisons useful (please skip to the 6:52 mark in the first video to get to the test):

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Lack of self-generated preamp noise is the main reason Hollywood uses the Sound Devices 744T – even though it is "old" tech and records to CF cards πŸ™‚

       

      That said – between the two videos, the winner (other than the Sound Devices 702), seemed to be the $559 Marantz PMD661 Mk II.

       

      Personally, I'm saving up for a 702 – but if I had to, I would settle for the Marantz – or, if I really get tired of my Tascam hissing at me, the $489 Roland R-26.

       

      Again – hope that's helpful!

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

       

       

       

       

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