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Field recording question: recording my band at gigs

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by cazclocker, May 8, 2017.


  1. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Anyone have any advice for me regarding picking a sound/video recorder for simple recording (i.e., not ambitiously complex) of my band during gigs? I'm looking at Zoom's audio/video recorders in THIS LINK, but I'm aware there are other choices.

    If it makes any difference, my girlfriend used my iPhone 7+ to record a few tunes, and they actually came out alright - but I had the recording quality set to the highest quality setting. I thought the sound was lacking, so I began looking at Zoom's stereo mics specifically made to work with the iPhone platform, the iQ6 and the iQ7. But then I thought maybe an audio/video recorder would yield better quality.

    The goal of any videos we take is fairly lowly - just to put up on YouTube and to watch for self-critique after gigs.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Badwater

    Badwater

    Jan 12, 2017
    One simple option is a cheap HD camcorder, some have stereo mics built in. Mount it on a tripod or lay it on a table and let it roll. You'll just need to tweak the audio so it's not clipping. If you can spend more, there are beginner mirrorless cameras with mic inputs so you can plug in a mic for better sound and audio control. Another option is the action cam like a GoPro, they have built in mics, and the older models without 4K video are pretty cheap.

    As for the Zoom that's a great choice for good quality audio. And if you can sync to your camera, that would be the way to go.
     
    cazclocker likes this.
  3. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Those zoom units work really well for what they are. Definitely better than your average straight off the board mix.
     
    cazclocker likes this.
  4. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    That's what I've heard. But the technology is over my head. I suppose I could just buy the cheapest option among Zoom's offerings and I'd be way ahead of what I'm doing now. I'd rather get steered toward one model or another, but I don't know if I'd understand the reasoning.
     
  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Here is a sight with comparisons of the zoom h series recorders

    Zoom Recorder Comparison | Which Zoom is best for you?

    My buddy has an h4 and i remeber it being really easy to use but I am pretty tech savy and have some recording experience. If you just want simplicity the h1 looks like the best option. Don't be scared of a device just cause you don't have experience with it Tons of people use em, why not you?
     
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  6. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Thank you so much, Reedt2000. That is super useful.
     
  7. The Zoom recorders are good and easy to use. The iPhone7 with a decent mic is even better, but not so easy to use (battery live!). For both: buy one of those magnetic joby gorilla pod stands!
    If you decide to use the iPhone, try MoviePro instead of the camera-app. It shows audio-levels and allows monitoring, the camera app doesn't, so it is hit and miss.

    I like the Zoom gear, but the mic with the best price/quality relation IMO is the Shure MV88. The best is the Lewitt DGT650, but not so easy to use and expensive.
     
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  8. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    DirkP, that's interesting that you mention the Shure MV88 mic - I just found it on Shure's website yesterday. I've never heard of the Lewitt DGT650, I'll have to look into it.
     
  9. I use a Zoom H4N -- very easy to use -- the built in mics work well -- plus the XLR inputs give you option of using your own mics. I've had mine for years and I an attest to their roadworthiness.

    If you use the built in X/Y mics get the stand adapter which screws to the bottom of the unit. This adapter enables you to place the recorder on any mic stand that has an SM58/57 style mic clip. The wired remote is also handy; altho if you set up external mics you can keep the recorder next to you.

    The H4N also lets you select & record "large" hi rez files at various rates: ie 44.1k/24 bit or you can set it to record at an MP3 rate. Files are easily to trasnfer to a computer via a USB cable or if you have an SD slot or SD to USB adapter...that works also. B&H has a new bare bones unit for $160.

    Zoom H4nSP 4-Channel Handy Recorder (2015) ZH4NSP B&H Photo
     
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  10. dlb1001

    dlb1001

    Jan 30, 2007
    Bought a Zoom H4n. Works decently enough but you need to sit down with it for awhile to figure out how to navigate the menus. Once it is setup, the recorder works well but as the poster said, some type of stand will help. I used a tripod as a mount.
     
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  11. TedH

    TedH

    Dec 6, 2014
    Westchester, NY
    I have the MV88 and it's cheap, good and easy to use. For video, I use an app that a TB'er recommended called MoviePro, which was $5-10. You can adjust the ISO and a variety of settings for the live take as well as edit that in a variety of computer based software. I EQ the files from the MV88 in GarageBand and don't have to worry about re-synching with the video. Very useful.
     
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  12. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    The mics built to plug right into your iPhone are well reviewed. The mic the weakest link of the phone, there are tons of recording apps out there that just work. The only caveat is that if Apple decides to change the connector in the next generation, you'd need an adapter.

    Bringing a phone plus a peripheral is much more convenient than a whole separate recorder, and you could just leave the mic in your gig bag.

    On the other hand, I bought a Zoom H6 and can use all kinds of microphones for it and do serious live multi-tracking. So it's a great, expandable platform.
     
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