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Tyler H
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 Posted: July 28th, 2009 02:27 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Hey Folks
I'd like to keep this thread fairly simple.
Please just list your favorite/recommended audio recording equipment that you either use, or have read/heard great things about. Perhaps also list brief reasons why said equipment is getting your recommendation, and provide links to product reviews, or info, if possible. (ok... maybe that goes beyond simple...?)



thanks
Tyler Huggins
BFRO Investigator, Alberta
 
 
imonacan
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 Posted: December 26th, 2009 03:26 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Just a list of what I am using in the field, with some of the most noticeable pros and cons.

Samson Zoom H2 recorder:
With quite a few fellow researchers recommending this to me, I figured that I couldn't go too far wrong.... and I certainly didn't, and can recommend this little recorder with confidence.
Pros: very reasonable price ($150 - $180), excellent sound quality with the built in mics, and a 3 second pre record buffer setting. A great recorder to leave out for an overnight surveillance of an area, by adding an 8 or 16gb SD card and a couple AA lithium batteries.
Cons: none, other then the external mic preamp being a bit noisy, but not really an issue for use in this research, and have used it with my dish and binaural mics. Easily cleaned up most of the hiss, with a pass through my Bias Sound Soap software. As with any portable digital recorder, handling noise while recording with the built in mics, is an issue. Using the supplied handle or a small tripod will take care of any problems.
No need for further review, as Stan's review in this section covers everything well, and was a positive influence in my purchase of this recorder.

Fostex FR2 -LE: http://www.fostexinternational.com/...cts/fr2le.shtml
I use this for nature recording, and also as my tent recorder for audio setups in camp.
Pros: very good low noise results, for use with a pair of low self noise external mics, dual XLR mic inputs, wired remote. Can be used with a 7.2 V tamiya battery pack, but expect no more then 8 hrs standby,or 3-4 hours of recording time.... and less, in colder weather.
Cons: $600 street price which could be a bit overkill for folks that only wish to have a recorder for use in squatch research. It's a AA battery hog, but other options are available. Not really a recorder that can be considered truly portable, but can be carried on hikes without much trouble.

Mics used with above Fostex recorder are - Sony ECM-55b clip on lavaliere omnis: http://www.adorama.com/SOECM55B.html
Pros: very portable and easily clipped to a bungee cord , rope , camp chair, or to your person, low noise and very outdoor worthy, can be powered by AA battery or by phantom power of recorder.
Cons: more of a higher end sound, but can be easily corrected to personal taste, with a pass through a lower end EQ wave with editing software. A thinner and more fragile attached 9' cable.
Audio Technica AT-3032 omni condenser mics: http://recordinghacks.com/microphon...Technica/AT3032
Pros: a proven low noise , outdoor worthy mic with excellent pickup, that can compete with the sound quality of omni condenser mics costing many times more.
Cons: has been discontinued by AT, and replaced by the more expensive AT-4022, but can still be had on Ebay. Needs a mic stand or other homemade tripod setup in the field, and needs phantom power from the recorder.

On my wish list and probably my next recorder , as I can easily find good use for another portable - is the Sony PCM-M10 digital recorder: $299 street price
http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/sony-...m10-review.html
Pros: same pocket size as the Zoom H2, metal construction, nice layout of the controls and features, 5 second pre record buffer feature, can use up to 16gb micro SD card, giving a total of up to 20gb storage, an outstanding (almost unbelievable) battery life on 2 AAs...makes me wonder how long it would last in the field on energizer lithiums.
Cons: not quite as quiet of an external mic input preamp as my Sony Hi-HD minidisc recorder, but better then most all of the portables in it's size, and very acceptable to use with my dish and Sound Professional binaurals: http://www.soundprofessionals.com/c...d/item/SP-BMC-1 ..... which I can also recommend as a field worthy, high quality mic solution, that won't break the bank, and are made in the USA.

Hope this reply has been helpful to some folks.

Regards,

Bill R.







 
 
monongahela
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 Posted: March 1st, 2010 03:44 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Olympus WS-300 Digital Recorder - scored on Ebay last summer for $40. Records for 8 hours on single AAA with good results on the "high quality" setting. Onboard stereo mic's are inadequate for "field" recording so plan on adding a good quality external mic (always invest in good mic's). Also plugs in to computer via USB making audio file download very easy. Has a "hold" button that locks it into action, preventing an accidental recording stoppage if a button is hit.

Lapel clip-on style omnidirectional pod casting mic's from Giant Squid Audio Labs (http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.co...ast_stereo.html ). At $55 (sale price) they're the perfect complement to the Olympus digital recorder. Highly sensitive for their size and won't break the bank.

The Asus eee PC 1000 ha for downloading audio files from recorders in the field and doing preliminary playback (also good to download video files from my camcorder if necessary, http://www.amazon.com/10-Inch-Netbo...y/dp/B001GIPSAC )

The Hewlett Packard HP DV 2150us (my newest toy, http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/...WA779UA%2523ABA ) installed with Audacity 1.3.11 for for post processing audio files (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ ), and Sonic Visualiser for audio file analysis (http://www.sonicvisualiser.org/ ). The software's free, the laptop was $600 after all rebates.

Bose Around-Ear headphones (http://www.bose.com/controller?url=...hones/index.jsp ) for audio editing and analysis (soon to be replaced by a set of Sennheiser head phones).

Newest acquisition for the upcoming year:
Parabolic microphone ($80) from this guy on Ebay, http://myworld.ebay.com/sdill471/ . Includes his mono, powered microphone which I'll test for performance. But I plan to rebuild the parabolic into a stereo parabolic mic with these plans,http://www.wildlife-sound.org/equip...abol/index.html , and another set of stereo mics from Giant Squid Audio Labs.

A second Olympus Digital Recorder, this time the WS-500, with 2GB of storage, and probably the same high quality recording results I found in the WS-300. Snagged off Ebay for $50.
Monongahela | http://sasquatchbioacoustic.blogspot.com | Attended BFRO Tennessee 2010, Pennsylvania 2011, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012
 
 
toejam
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 Posted: March 1st, 2010 05:39 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

At the moment I have an H2 Zoom unit. My challenge is how to secure it when I'm doing my walk through the bush. It has front and back mics (2 for each). I'd appreciate if anyone had a good idea on how to secure it so my hands are free. I'm usually carrying binoculars, photo gear in a pack around my waist and a video camera hanging around my neck. All the gear is a bit of weight. I'm trying to figure a good way to secure the audio so I don't miss anymore calls. I've missed two good ones since I've started because the audio recorder was in my pocket. I figure I'd wait until I had something happen before I turn it on. By that time it's too late. Cheers
 
 
Tom Thomas
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 Posted: March 1st, 2010 06:27 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Monongahela: Will that omni directional mic plug into the Olympus WS-500 or do you have to modify them?
Trapper Tom

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TN-10 exp
TN-11 exp
 
 
monongahela
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 Posted: March 1st, 2010 09:53 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Sure, plugs in just fine. It has the 3 mm jack which just about every digital recorder comes equipped with these days. And it's a stereo omni mic so I can do cool things with stereo recordings.
Monongahela | http://sasquatchbioacoustic.blogspot.com | Attended BFRO Tennessee 2010, Pennsylvania 2011, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012
 
 
monongahela
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 Posted: March 1st, 2010 10:00 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

toejam,

Your experience is exactly why I start recording before I get out of my truck, and don't stop recording until I drive away. I've missed wood knocks as I stepped out of my vehicle because I didn't have the recorder going. And when you think about it, the capacity on these things is so generous there's normally no need to be conservative about leaving them turned on.

I would have the same issues if I tried to use the onboard mic's on my recorder. But because I use the external stereo mic's, I can clip them to the brim of my hat, away from my face, and drop the recorder in my pocket. That minimizes the sound of my movement which might pollute the recording.

The best thing to do is figure out a way to take the recorder with you, but carry it as far as possible from your body. Maybe attach it to the top of a hiking staff with velcro? Just be careful about banging your staff around too much.
Monongahela | http://sasquatchbioacoustic.blogspot.com | Attended BFRO Tennessee 2010, Pennsylvania 2011, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012
 
 
toejam
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 Posted: March 2nd, 2010 07:23 AM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Thanks monongahela. I know what you mean about turning it on before you exit your vehicle. I had a wood knock greeting (or so it seemed) last year as I got out of my vehicle and walked around to the other side. The external mic idea clipped to the brim of my hat sounds like a good idea. I just have to check the unit to make sure it's capable then find the proper mics. I've missed quite a bit of audio so far and I don't want to go through another year missing everything. Besides, I need some proof for my friends and family so they don't think I'm nuts
 
 
Tom Thomas
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 Posted: March 2nd, 2010 08:33 AM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Thanks Monongahela, now all I have to do is order the two items.
Trapper Tom

MO-09 exp
TN-10 exp
TN-11 exp
 
 
toejam
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 Posted: March 2nd, 2010 05:17 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Any input for a quality external mic would be appreciated. Something small that clips onto a hat or whatever. Cheers
 
 
monongahela
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 Posted: March 2nd, 2010 11:04 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

toejam, check out what I use:
http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.co...ast_stereo.html
Very sensitive, stereo, and nicely priced.
Monongahela | http://sasquatchbioacoustic.blogspot.com | Attended BFRO Tennessee 2010, Pennsylvania 2011, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012
 
 
toejam
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 Posted: March 3rd, 2010 07:18 AM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Great! Looks good. Thanks again monongahela.
 
 
imonacan
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 Posted: March 7th, 2010 11:12 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Quote:
toejam wrote:
At the moment I have an H2 Zoom unit. My challenge is how to secure it when I'm doing my walk through the bush. It has front and back mics (2 for each). I'd appreciate if anyone had a good idea on how to secure it so my hands are free. I'm usually carrying binoculars, photo gear in a pack around my waist and a video camera hanging around my neck. All the gear is a bit of weight. I'm trying to figure a good way to secure the audio so I don't miss anymore calls. I've missed two good ones since I've started because the audio recorder was in my pocket. I figure I'd wait until I had something happen before I turn it on. By that time it's too late. Cheers



One idea I saw and liked, was to wear a military or fisherman's vest with lots of loops, attachment points, and shallow pockets...that could be customized to suit your needs for carrying your audio. I carry my H2 recorder (set in the standby record mode) with the handle or tiny plastic tripod attached, so it can be easily grabbed out of pocket. The H2 has a setting with a several second pre record buffer, that can give you back the time it takes you to draw it out of your pocket , and start recording. If you decided to use a set of small clip on external mics (like the ones mononghela suggested) . they could be clipped to the shoulder loops of the vest, and your body and head would serve as a stereo barrier between the mics. The wiring could also be velcroed to the vest, so it didn't get tangled in your other equipment. Your hands would be free while walking (unless recording) , and as ready as possible, if something sounds off while hiking. I'm going to work on something simple like this (audio vest) , for myself.

 
 
ScottAlbaugh
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 Posted: April 4th, 2010 12:46 AM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Hello All,

I have the Samson Zoom H2 recorder as well as an Olympus WS-100 and a Olympus VN-3100. By far the H2 is now my main recorder. I use the two Olympus recorders as drop recorders to leave at unattended locations.
I have several types of external microphones that I use with the Olympus recorders due to the fact of poor on-board microphones.

Yea with all the gear we carry we need some kind of back pack system, kind of like what the Ghost Busters used. "Just don't cross the beams" LOL

Scott
"Fair but Unbalanced Bigfooter"
 
 




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