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gig recorder for old guy

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by morebass!, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I need a simple-to-use, compact, recorder for getting good quality recordings of my band live. It would best if it could fit in my pocket or sit on a nearby surface. It also needs to be easy to operate and have a very easy to read display as my eyesight ain't what is used to be. I don't know much about all the formats and interfaces but there again, simple is best.

    There are a lot of these things out there and I really have no clue so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I have a Yamaha Pocketrak CX. I would be a little leary of just laying on a surface because of vibrations (might work fine; never tried it), but when I use it on a camera tripod it does a great job IMO, better than I anticipated when I bought it. Comes with Cubase software, pretty simple to make decent CD's of your live work.
    Fits in a shirt pocket just dandy too.
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I think the best bang for the buck is the Zoom H2 ... best money I've spent in a long time. Fits in a pocket, has a small stand for table top use, an adapter to fit into a mic clip to mount on a mic stand (use the rubber mic clips for isolation). Four mic capsules (L/R front/rear), any number of digital audio formats and resolutions (WAV and MP3), USB connection, and more. Can be used as a USB mic into a DAW if that's your thing.

    The only criterion on your list that it doesn't meet (or exceed) is the display ... it's pretty tiny. Once it's set up though, there's nothing to play with, and the button interface is simple and intuitive. And if it matters, I'm not an "old guy" at 55 ...
  4. rosanne


    Sep 30, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for posting this morebass! I'm looking for the same thing you are. If only they made something with simply an on/off switch......
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    the H2 has a crummy screen and a ton of features and choices that can be kind of a pain but from a quick start stand point, turn it on, push the red button twice and it's recording. Push the button again and it's stops and saves the file.

    The rest of it can be easily ignored.
  6. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    I've used a Zoom H2 to record band rehearsals for several years now. I can't speak for the other brands, but this unit is easy to use (I'm an old guy myself), inexpensive in comparison to the other brands, and records with a sound quality that is excellent for what it is. This model has also been on the market for a long time, which for me translates into it's very reliable and bug-free.
  7. fruit&herb man

    fruit&herb man

    Dec 15, 2006
    Just bought the Zoom h4n, to record my bands rehersals and shows. The h4n has four tracks so you can hook it up to the mixing board and get the ambience with the internal mics. It also got a bigger screen.
  8. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    So the H2 is pretty hard to read? That might kill if for me. Given a little time with a unit, I can figure things out. But if I can't see it... sheesh, I practically need reading glasses to read my settings on my preamp. Still interested in more input. It's been great so far.
  9. LawDaddy


    Oct 16, 2009
  10. Sizlack


    Aug 17, 2009
    Dallas, TX.
    I use a Boss Micro BR, while the display is nice and easy to read, the interface is kind of a pain in the butt. The built in mic kinda sucks as well, I use an external battery powered mic and tend to get pretty good audio from it. If I had it to do over again though I'd go with the one of the zooms.
  11. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Only speaking for myself, but, I'm old, wear glasses, and don't have any trouble using the screen on my H2. No, it's not a huge screen, but then again this thing fits into my pocket.
  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I agree ... hell, I have to put on my glasses to see the knob settings on my amps ... :rolleyes:
  13. edmidlifecrisis

    edmidlifecrisis Registered mediocre bass player

    I'm an old guy (with glasses) too and I have an Edirol R-09 which I use to record myself practicing and also for classes, instruction, live performances, etc. It's great and I think, easy to use. And very small. In the dark you could mistake it for a Norelco electric shaver...
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I bought a yamaha pocketrack 1 year ago for $300. They dropped the price to $150. I'm a little pissed about that, but I'm still absolutely certain I bought the right recorder for me. I don't need 10 different mic position options and 25 menus to sort through. This thing is unfathomably easy to use, has a built in speaker that sounds pretty decent if you put it against your ear (don't nead any kind of earphones to make sure I'm getting what I want), I plug it directly into my computer to recharge it, it can run on AA batteries if I want extra time, I literally don't even know I've got it in my pocket (I'm pretty sure it's the smallest of the mini recorders), and it take all of turning it on and pushing the play/record button 2X to get it to work. I cannot praise this thing enough, and with the new price I honestly believe it's the best deal out there. Oh yeah, the quality is fine for me, I hear all instruments clearly in a loud rehearsal. Has play speeds and a couple of other cool things on it too. I wrote a review on the american musical website but they seem to have nixed it when they dropped the price.

    I did lots and lots of research and this is where I landed. http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-YAM-POCKETRAK2G-LIST
  15. Edword

    Edword Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2005
  16. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    for best sounding results, but feature-packed + kind of difficult to use (for some)- zoom h4n is THE recorder.

    the easiest to use (as well as smallest) is the yamaha pocketrak 2g. i had one for a long time, if you click the link in my sig all of those were recorded on a yamaha 2g..
  17. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The H2 and H4n are great for the price. Although I find the H2 menus a little clumsy to navigate.

    A netbook or small notebook with a good interface can do a good job of recording, and the screen is easier to read. Take along a CD burner and copy rehearsals for band mates.

    If I had big money I might look at at an Alesis ProTrack plus with an iPod touch. Big easy to read screen. And the iPod is just a single tasker.

    There are so many choices, and all of them good.
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
  19. Edword

    Edword Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2005

    It's battery powered. They give you one with it, but I didn't trust that one and bought another.
  20. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I have a Zoom h4 I might sell you.

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