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Portable recording device suggestions?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Steve Clark, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I rehearse with different projects, some times I make charts for myself, sometimes I rely on my memory and ears.

    I don't like to get stuck behind charts but once I start its hard to break away from them.

    I'm thinking that a small portable MP3 recorder of some sort would let me get a rough recording of any new tunes I happen to be working on with a group.

    What suggestions do you have for a portable, walkman/ipod like device for recording 4-5 tunes in reasonable quality? I have an iRiver H10 which can record. I should try that first but am open to suggestions.
  2. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    Check out the M-Audio Micro Track! It records both .wav and mp3, has phantom power for condenser mic's and records to Flash cards. And it's no bigger than a deck of playing cards:

    The Micro Track
  3. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
  4. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    We use a Hi-MD unit with stereo mics for this sort of thing. The Hi-MD units can upload to WAV format via USB; there are numerous utilities that can convert from there to MP3, or burn to Audio CD.
  5. dhodgeh


    Jul 15, 2004
    Check out a Zoom PS-04.

    Under $200, 4 track digital recorder with effects, seperate drum and bass tracks.

    The only real downer is that it uses Smartmedia
  6. Yup, the M-Audio MicroTrack is an excellent choice!

    Or if you already own an iPod, I heard there's some hacks you can do to be able to record onto it.

    The iRiver is pretty decent. I never liked the interface, though, but that's just personal preference.
  7. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I use an old Creative Nomad Jukebox 3. Records to WAV (up to 16 bit/48k) or several levels of mp3 and has USB and firewire. It's got stereo analog in and can do optical digital in, which is very handy if your group has a digital mixer or you want to do a high quality field recording. They're pretty tough and you can get them for peanuts on ebay.
  8. For the MicroTrack, how does it sound when recording a live rock recording. I've been looking into buying one, but I'm not really sure how it will sound. I am basically looking to start recording band rehearsals and live shows. The rehearsals are usually in recording spaces/"small boxes full of reverberation". Does anyone have any experience using the microtrack in similar places?
  9. I've got one and have used it successfully to record our band practices. The sound is actually pretty good with the included T-mike if you strategically place it in the room. Put it in the middle of everyone on the floor on top of a soft material. If you can, bring a vocal monitor close to it and the vocals will sound "up front". It's nice in that I've got 37 hours of recording time on the 2GB card I bought (mp3 mode 128kbits stereo). I used to use the Zoom PS-04 for this purpose (it's built-in mic is pretty good too) but the Microtrack gives clearer recordings. If you're pretty far away from the band, you can't help but get "reverberating" recordings. In a small room, it's quite nice.

    Couple of annoyances:
    1) the input levels are pretty high-gain even with the level switch set to "low". If your band practices loud, you'll clip the meters with the T-mic. If you use external mics, you can insert an attenuation pad to fix this.

    2) the "NAV" switch (the push-in push-up push-down switch) is pretty squirrely...I don't think the software guys at M-audio know how to de-bounce switches well.

    3) It started out pretty "buggy", so you NEED to upgrade to the latest firmware. Most issues have been fixed there.

    4) I actually found a "bug" for them...on playback in MP3 128kbits stereo, the audio quits after about 14 minutes or so. The recording, however is just fine; if you download it to the computer, you can hear the whole thing.

    All of the above "bugs" are known to the M-audio guys; they're supposedly working on fixes in the next firmware upgrade.

    Hope this helps....

    BTW, battery life is about 2-4 hours recording.
  10. Yea that helps a lot. I actually have the Zoom PS-04, but I haven't been messing with it much since I was too lazy to spend the 5 min. to figure out how to upload songs to the computer. Maybe I'll do that first and see how it works and if I need more than what the Zoom provides.
  11. It's pretty easy to upload the Zoom. Get a card reader for your computer that handles Smartmedia. Then get the software from the Zoom web site called "Cardmanager"(free!). You can copy the card contents to a directory and then audition the file or convert it to a WAV file. There's tons of WAV to MP3 encoders out there, so I won't go into that. Nice thing about the Microtrack is that it's already MP3, so you don't end up burning so much disk space, although you could delete the WAV file after you convert it to MP3 (Zoom).
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I use a Mini Disc rcorder for this - had the same one for 5/6 years and with a decent mic it works very well! :)