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Cheap Portable audio recorder

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Dallas852, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Dallas852


    May 5, 2009
    Looking for a cheap audio recorder that myself, and other members of my band can record ourselves on. I want something with a very simple interface, and when I say cheap, I'm talking as low as you can get with good quality. We're just starting up and have no budget for stuff like this but we've been wanting to be able to record at home practices to send to other members so they can hear progress, etc.

    Any ideas? I was going to look into a cheap Flip video camera, but if the sound isnt any good, then its not worth it.
  2. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    Regarding cheap video cameras: I have a Sanyo CG10, and the sound is ok, even at rehearsal levels.

    If you don't need video, you could get a Zoom H2 for about the same price.
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Zoom H2 or H4 for audio only. Great quality and reputation for recording loud band type situations.
  4. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I have an Olympus LS-10 that I'm quite happy with.
    The sound is good, comes with some very usefull accessories, great battery life, solid assortment of recording modes.
    Records to SD card or 2GB internal memory.
  5. Dallas852


    May 5, 2009
    That zoom H2 looks to have great reviews on amazon. If you have used it before, have you tried to record a band rehearsal? I'd want to be able to pick up bass, drums, and guitar/vox. Together and separately. I know i'm asking a lot, by it being cheap and not muddy, but as long as its clear I think it'll be great. Opinions?
  6. billy ayers

    billy ayers

    Feb 1, 2009
    zoom h2, hands down. $141 on B&H site. we record all our stuff, from solos to large-scale including industrial high-volume experiments, and it's all brilliantly rendered live recordings that are post and compilation-worthy. it has mono, stereo, and quad (2 front 2 back channel) recording capability. and, it weighs a breath and is the size of a pack o' Camel Filters.
  7. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    IMO the zoom H4N is worth the extra cash over the h2.

    only complaint about the h4n is that the mics are not protected. other than that, its capable of professional quality recordings, fairly easily.
  8. llatikcuf


    Aug 24, 2007
    Sitting in the mix well
    In addition the H2 has multiple gain settings and numerous compression settings and recording quality choices. With the right settings I can set my H2 in the middle of band rehearsal in a basement, about 3 ft. from the drums and it doesn't distort anything.
  9. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Some type of laptop with onboard microphone and Audacity.. or outboard microphone and audacity.

    Can be done with spare gear and free download stuff..
  10. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    +1. I record everything with mine and it always sounds great.
  11. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    Have you guys ever ordered from B&H?

    they seem kinda scammy
  12. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    I've ordered several items from B&H and never had an issue.
  13. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    thanks for the heads up optikhog
  14. Dallas852


    May 5, 2009
    If anyone has one for sale, let me know, i'll be looking around and posting on here as well. Thanks for the advice, I think this is what I want. Anyone have some recording done with this that I can listen to? Any that aren't mastered, and kinda just raw recordings?
  15. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    Here's a live recording from a show we did last year with the H2 just sitting on a table:
  16. johnnyz


    Oct 23, 2008
    New Haven, CT
    been buying from B&H for years both in person and online, have returned stuff, etc., never an issue.
  17. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
  18. willqx4


    Dec 4, 2009
    NW Arkansas
    Very nice sound, optikhog. I don't want to hijack this thread, but was curious what settings you would recommend for rehearsal recordings (I have the H2 coming and will use it this weekend).
  19. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    Yah, the biggest headache with that recording was that the sound guy wanted some BOOM in that bass sound. heh.

    As for settings, keep it simple. Use the 'LIMIT' setting to keep levels under control and *try* the AGC settings to see if any of them work for you - I've had mixed results with that parameter.

    I suggest you use 4-channel .MP3 format recording until you are able to get a grip on the 4-channel .WAV config with its multiple files - they can be mixed down but not always with the best results. YMMV on that.
  20. Dallas852


    May 5, 2009
    I'm glad you asked this because I think I'm going to pick one up tomorrow and will need the settings everyone suggests to try it out. When you try yours, can you post your settings on this thread so that I can try it out as well?

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