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Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 8:33 am
by KevinS
Does anyone have any experience with small digital recorders? Are they worth the price? That is, do they give a good sound?

I dream, sometimes, of recording where I want to, and not being tied to my desk. I don't think I want a laptop, but I do have an older Kindle from which I could read texts.

Are there other solutions? I've tried a tin can on a string but I don't think I have the force of voice any longer to connect with my boyhood friends.

Oh, I tried recording with my phone once or twice but that was before I was using Audacity to edit. I wonder if that would work,

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 9:04 am
by tovarisch
Thinking of recording in my car when on a break at work, I decided to spring for a used Zoom H5. It has a decent set of built-in mics, and you can also plug in any external mic into its XLR ports (it has two of those). The amps are reasonably quiet and it even supplies phantom power. It's one of those portable recorders professional narrators recommend for recording "on the road".

I have tested it on a couple small sections with reasonable outcome. Since then (a couple years now) it's been sitting on my shelf.

I discovered that for my mode of recording, with even a couple mistakes throughout a section, such thing is a problem: if I have to re-record even a sentence, a phrase, or just a word, it's going to sound a bit different simply because it's impossible to reproduce the exact conditions of recording "on the go"! :( So, I abandoned that idea for now. I'll use the recorder for something else, maybe. Or not; in which case it's going to keep sitting on the shelf, or maybe I'll sell it... :?

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 9:13 am
by KevinS
Thank you. A bit pricey, isn't it? Still... It makes a body wonder.


(Impermissible off-hand comment: Does it also work as a stun gun?)

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 9:17 am
by philchenevert
The Zoom is a good recorder. The downside is to edit as Tovarisch mentioned. I did use it several times, downloading the file to my PC and editing it there in Audacity. Being lazy however, I just found it much easier to read the text on my monitor while recording into Audacity and that is what I do now. And of course any correc tions would be made with my microphone instead of the Zoom so there is that potential problem, not that it would bother me too much to have a phrase sound a bit different. Listeners are very forgiving.

So the Zoom did give me good quality recordings, a car is a good recording environment while sitting in a quiet garage and it in my experience it would work. Just a bit to fiddly for me. Oh, and the screen on the Zoom is just TOO small for my old eyes!. ha.

EDIT : it does not work as a st un guy ... i've tried.

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 9:22 am
by KevinS
I collect stamps. (I know.) And have an excellent Sherlock Holmes approved magnifying glass. Still... all of it does sound fiddly.

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 11:37 am
by TriciaG
Either phone or digital recorder, you'll still need to edit the file. You could try first using your phone, then bringing the audio over to Audacity.

I think one of the challenges to using a small recorder like this is mic placement. I don't recall what you're using now, but I think it's probably stationary, and you sit in a similar position relative to it each time. Whereas, with a handheld device, you'd need to... well, hold it. And hold it in a similar position the whole time you're recording.

Once in a while I take my mic down to the basement or up to the bedroom to record. (It usually lives on a mic stand, as it's a handheld-shaped mic. But when I go up or down stairs, I don't bring the stand with me.) I kinda prop my arm a certain way and hold the mic there while recording, which can get tiring.

So anyway, I'd say experiment first with what you have. If you get good sound and can get the right tech settings using your phone, then heck, use your phone!

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 11:47 am
by KevinS
I've actually thought about rigging something up that might hang from the ceiling, but I don't like ladders. (My original thought was to hang a mic over one of the beds, but I have decided that was ... creepy.)

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 11:49 am
by TriciaG
:shock: Yeah, way too creepy!

Re: Small digital recorders

Posted: July 21st, 2019, 1:03 pm
by mightyfelix
KevinS wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 11:47 am
I've actually thought about rigging something up that might hang from the ceiling, but I don't like ladders. (My original thought was to hang a mic over one of the beds, but I have decided that was ... creepy.)
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll: