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 Post subject: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:15 am 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 8:48 am
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Location: New York
I'm afraid that I am equipment challenged. :? I just joined and am hoping to record and upload some pieces to the audition room. Can anyone recommend a good quality but affordable MP3 recorder that is not too expensive? I saw an Olympus listed for $150 (U.S. Dollars) at Radio Shack. I might get this, but I am wondering if there are any less expensive MP3 recorders available that would do the job. I'm really excited about having joined the society as this is such a good opportunity to share my music with others as well as enjoy the work of other members.

Helene

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 9:55 am 
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I could recommend the Zoom H4, the new model, the Zoom H4 n is really improved. It has two built in mics, which can change their position now, whereas the mics of the old model were fixed. I have the old model, but I use it mainly for my school for recordings outside. At home I record with a good sound card, so I haven´t the transfer process between the Zoom and the computer. The Zoom H4 has also two inputs for external mikes, what is a great advantage compared with the Edirol, which has no possibility for external mics as a far as I remember. There are many members here which use an Edirol (like our site-admininstrators f.ex.) or a Zoom H4. In every case one of these advices would be a good and adequate option to make recordings for this site.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:40 am 
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musicusblau wrote:
The Zoom H4 has also two inputs for external mikes, what is a great advantage compared with the Edirol, which has no possibility for external mics as a far as I remember.

The Edirol has mic input also. Though my old R-1 has only one, I presume for a stereo mic.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 2:03 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
the new model, the Zoom H4 n is really improved.

I hate to discover that now there is a new model better than the one I bought. :evil:

btw... Zoom H2 records in surround mode (with 4 mics), while Zoom H4 can record up to 4 tracks (which is useful for those who have only two hands and want to play a four hand piece).

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Location: Boston
If your music is bound for internet, or ipod use only, any of the aforementioned mp3 recorders will do. Go to a music store and test each one before you commit to buying as each unit has its quirks. If you want high fidelity sound, then record as wave files, not mp3; you can always compress your files to mp3 later. If your intentions are for archiving, CDs, professional submission, or have the capability to improve your sound with better external mics in the future, then I recommend the M-Audio Microtrack II recorder. Built-in mics are OK for pocket portability, but you sacrifice sound quality as they're too boomy or too thin. The capability of the MicrotrackII is that it has full 48V phantom power allowing you to use any studio condenser mic ever made.

Good Luck!

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Last edited by 88man on Sat May 15, 2010 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 10:13 pm 
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Hi Helene, welcome to the forum :)
I have Zoom H4 and I think with George that any handy recorder of the price range 150-400 will do, if you use it only for submissions to PS.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 5:56 am 
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Location: New York
Thanks for your advice. I will look into these suggestions. I took a quick look at the internet and see that the H2 is in my price range. I would like to spend under $200, but I still want a sound that will be true to my performance. I will, of course, do further research. We have a good music store here on Long Island that probably sells this equipment. Thanks for the suggestion to check these devices out before ordering. Hopefully, I will be able to submit my first recordings within the next few weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:35 pm 
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hi, Helène!

but be careful with Zoom H2. my piano teacher has one. though I never tried it to see how it really works, I wonder why it's much cheaper than H4. H2 has 4 mics while H4 has only 2. H4 mics are condensers (for piano, they are much better. for some other instruments, they won't do a great difference), so I guess H2 mics are not condensers. that would explain why it is double the number of mics and half of the price.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:21 pm 
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felipesarro wrote:
but be careful with Zoom H2. my piano teacher has one.

Coincidentally, my teacher has a H2 too, and I am not convinced I like the sound quality of it,
as can be heard here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFHkG7cdasw

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:25 pm 
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hm...
but YouTube ruins the sound! hehe

my H4 has 3 levels of sensitivity for the mics... I set to medium. the low level of sensitivity is much worse. and the high level... it should be put miles away from the piano. hehe
I don't know if H2 has these levels... just to compare the sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:39 pm 
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felipesarro wrote:
hm...
but YouTube ruins the sound! hehe

Not so. There are plenty recordings that sound absolutely decent - if probably not as good as the original.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 7:56 pm 
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felipesarro wrote:
Quote:
I hate to discover that now there is a new model better than the one I bought. :evil:


Concerning this we are sitting in the same boat, fellow. The new model has many improvements (f.ex. it can be used with a 32 GB SD-card, the built in mikes can be used simultanously with the two external mic-entries and much more).


Quote:
Zoom H2 records in surround mode (with 4 mics), while Zoom H4 can record up to 4 tracks (which is useful for those who have only two hands and want to play a four hand piece).


I think, I personally wouldn´t recommend the H2, it´s cheaper and of a less quality than the H4.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
The Edirol has mic input also. Though my old R-1 has only one, I presume for a stereo mic.


Oh, yes, sorry, I forgot this. But I remember know, when I made reflections to decide between Zoom H4 and the Edirol I choosed the Zoom H4 also, because the Edirol only could be used with a stereo mike, which is a disadvantage compared with two separate external condenser microphones, which can be placed also in AB-position and other constellations. And I think a stereo microphone never can reach the quality of two Neumann KM 184 or other microphones of a higher level. That´s why I decided for the Zoom H4 personally.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:11 pm 
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88man wrote:
Quote:
If your music is bound for internet, or ipod use only, any of the aforementioned mp3 recorders will do. Go to a music store and test each one before you commit to buying as each unit has its quirks. If you want high fidelity sound, then record as wave files, not mp3; you can always compress your files to mp3 later.


I second that at hundred percent. I also record in CD-quality with 44100 Khz or studio standard of 96000 Khz later I compress the file to mp3 for this site.

I think, it´s good to have the option for two external condenser microphones for the future, just for the case you come on the taste...
So I would buy a device, which has two inputs for external microphones. That´s only my personal advice, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:24 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Not so. There are plenty recordings that sound absolutely decent - if probably not as good as the original.

sure.
I said that because once David told he faces a lot of problems when submitting videos to YouTube. he was concerning about the sound quality. I myself face lots of synchronization problems. YT does what it wants with our videos. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:29 pm 
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felipesarro wrote:
Quote:
he was concerning about the sound quality. I myself face lots of synchronization problems. YT does what it wants with our videos. :?


From my experience the sound-quality is extremely reduced compared with the original on YouTube, indeed! That´s a point, which bothers me, I have to admit. I personally don´t have problems with synchronisation.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 6:01 am 
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Thanks for all of your input. I read a lot of very good testimonials on the internet regarding the Zoom H2, but best to check it out in person at the music store. I think that one of the reasons that it is cheaper than the H4 from what I read is that it has plastic casing. The testimonials also claimed that it is very easy to use which is also an important consideration for me in addition to good sound quality.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:55 am 
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My new Zoom H2 arrived today from Amazon.com. Sooner than I thought with the free shipping option. I'll start fooling with it soon and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the input.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:17 pm 
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I still use a Sony Minidisc recording, which records uncompressed PCM files 44.1 Khz. Work great.
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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:57 pm 
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I have had the opportunity to test the new Zoom H4n today. I just made a recording for fun and for to test the little built-in microphones. I think, the quality is really not bad. The new Zoom H4n has a remote control (very practical to start and to stop the takes while sitting at the piano). I don´t want to publish this recording on the main-site, btw, because it´s not good enough for my taste (it´s played more or less at site and it´s a bit too slow). Some of the advantages of the new model are: you can put SD-cards up to 32 GB into it (I have only 8 GB), a new larger display, the mikes can be turned from 90 to 120 degree, the case is much more stabil than the old one, also the buttons and there is a stabil plastic case, where the device can be put in, there is a built in loudspeaker, so that you don´t need any more headphones (but the sound-quality is better with headphones, of course), the whole handling is less complicated and easier than with the old model.

What do you think of the sound-quality of the new Zoom H4n?

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:50 pm 
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Sounds good.
Although to be sure one would have to compare it, same recording with a different device.
This H4N has a lot of nice features, like the remote control, speaker, large capacity, that my puny Edirol R-1 lacks.
And doesn't it also have 4-track recording, for recording 4-hands with yourself ? It's a butt-ugly thing, but I think I want one...

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Sounds good.
Although to be sure one would have to compare it, same recording with a different device.


Yeah, but you could listen to our four hands recordings for example. They are made with the Zoom H4 old model as you know. Of course, it´s not the same piece to compare, but I don´t know, if I will find the time at this moment to make another recording of the same piece with the old model. I think, the microphones of the new model are not audibly better than of the old model, it´s more the many new features, which make this new model an advantage to have.

Quote:
And doesn't it also have 4-track recording, for recording 4-hands with yourself ?


Yes, it has, but the old model has it, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:43 am 
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I was thinking about making an own thread with this test of the new Zoom H4n. What do you think? But I don´t know exactly, in which forum I should post this thread, may be in the Piano Forum or Technique Forum or General Forum? We don´t have a special forum for recording technique, isn´t it?
(Could be, btw, that I will sell my used old model (which is in perfect state) for an adequate price to a fellow, who is interested, and I will put the rest of the money up and buy the new model.)

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:59 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
I was thinking about making an own thread with this test of the new Zoom H4n. What do you think? But I don´t know exactly, in which forum I should post this thread, may be in the Piano Forum or Technique Forum or General Forum? We don´t have a special forum for recording technique, isn´t it?

No we don't, and there is a lot of discussion about it recently. But I am too lazy to create a new forum, and we don't want too many anyway. Post it in Technique, and I will change the description of that forum accordingly.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:36 pm 
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Actually most of the previous discussions on recording gear/technique seem to be in 'Useful resources' so maybe you should post it in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on MP3 Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:13 pm 
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O.k., Chris, I will post it in "Useful Resources". Thank you!

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