Hank, I was actually turn



I was actually turned onto Zoom products by my Dad. He’s a guitarist, and a short while back, he bought their MRS1608 portable studio for recording his band. For the price (I think it was $650 or $700), I was honestly very impressed. I have a Yamaha portable studio that has a few more tracks, and the CD burner is external, unlike his which had one build in, and that sucker cost me over $2000, and it was used! I would recomend that if you have the money for Yamaha’s pro stuff that you get it, because the quality is literally studio quality. But his cheaper Zoom unit still has remarkable quality for the price, and I wouldn’t be ashamed to use it for what I do.

The really nice thing about using a multi-track recorder like either my Yamaha or my dad’s Zoom is that with several independant recording tracks, you actually record each microphone on it’s own track entirely. The really handy thing about that is that let’s say you get back to your editing suite, and you find out that half way through the service, the groom’s wireless mic starts popping. Instead of having to cut the levels across the entier audio recording, you simply reduce the levels in the groom mic track, and you don’t lose the rest of the audio that was recorded. It’s like recording live and getting a second chance at it. That saved me more than once.

When I go into an event with a digital recorder, I tend to bring every cable I could possibly need and then some. My inputs are all XLR, so I have XLR patch cables, 1/4" to XLR cables, male to male XLR’s, female to female XLR’s, and even a couple banana jack to XLR cables.

I also have what I call "the silver bullet", a 1/4" to XLR adapter that has a built-in balancer. They run about $25, but they’re well worth it for those times when I just don’t have enough XLR cables.

Of course, with any equipment, you do have to look out for quality. I’m a self-proclaimed Shure evangelist. If Shure makes a mic for it, I’ll reccomend that you buy that mic. But as much as I love Shure, their "value mics" are pretty crappy, and I tend to avoid them. The same goes for companies like Zoom and Yamaha. Their pro line stuff is great, but they also make plain old cheap crap too. I think most companies are like this though. Just avoid the bottom of the line models, and they’ll do ya fine.

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