Cheapest simple way to record a few tracks digitally WITHOUT a computer.
So I'm interested in doing some field recording type work and multi tracking in some odd locations. I am curious about portable and handheld recorders. Will they work on for doing some basic tracks and then importing them into a computer as sound files? Which do you reccomend? I've seen a few, tascam being a common one.
I've used a few different ZOOM field recorders from a few different generations. All of them are very effective, especially if you take the time to learn to use them. Obviously, there is only so much post processing you can do, but I 100% recommend them for live recording, personal reference, field recording, etc...
Check this one out:
The Zoom H4 has a great reputation.
Another vote for the Zoom H4 or H6.
We're getting very nice results for live recording with the H6 stereo mic set to capture the drum kit and the mid-field of the backline (amps and some vocal monitor), then running direct lines in to other tracks for vocals, kick drum, and a mic set to capture the backline amps better (bass and keyboard amps). The H6 has another line in, we may close-mic the guitar amp to get better level control on it. Of course all of the lines have plenty of bleed, but the different lines are giving us much more control over the final mix, and we're not noticing any phase issues, probably b/c the mics are all pretty close together on the tiny stages we play on.
For mix down we're dumping all the tracks into Audacity, which is free, and mixing from there. For simple mixing and minimal post-processing Audacity works fine. If we ever get a performance we really want to treat right we'll use a better DAW at that point.
those results were gotten with minimal effort on a zoom H4N
anything less is just not enough, anything more is more than the bare bones.
How many tracks is "a few?" Most handhelds will track 2. Some do 4. The Zoom H6 will handle six inputs from XLR or 1/4 inch jacks. It's very appropriate for tracking a whole band in a remote location or in studio. Here are several reviews, photos, videos, and recordings made with this device. I highly recommend it.
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