Looking for a voice recording device
Thread poster: zabrowa
zabrowa
Local time: 10:47
Dec 23, 2007

Hello, I'm about to go to South America to do some fieldwork with some indigenous languages and I'm torn between two recorders on the market: the Edirol R-09 (which seems the standard) and the Samson Zoom H2 (which is not only cheaper, but seems to make a clear, crisp sound). I wonder if any of you guys have experience with either of these devices and have a recommendations one way or the other. I sure would appreciate it! Thanks a lot

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-12-23 17:38]


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Quest4  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:47
English to Danish
Edirol R09 Dec 23, 2007

I have an Edirol R09 - and can definitely recommend it. It sure records a quality sound - even with the internal stereo microfones (don't need external in many cases) - only sensitive thing is the batteri/memory card cover - which could seem a little bit vulnerable if not handled in the correct way. I don't know the Samson - however when I bought the R09 one and a half years ago - the Microtrack was the competitor.

Niels Quist


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 12:47
English to Arabic
+ ...
Views Dec 24, 2007

Hi Matt,

Please have a look here:

http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2-Handy-Track-Recorder/dp/B000VBH2IG/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1198473061&sr=8-1

Kind regards

Ahmad Wadan

Financial & IT Translator


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
This site compares a half-dozen handhelds Dec 24, 2007

http://www.transom.org/tools/recording_interviewing/200703_recorder_reviews/

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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:47
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
I am extremely happy with Zoom H2 Dec 24, 2007

I use it for music recording with internal microphones, and it is really good.

The only thing to be careful about is to get used to adjusting the settings.

Once you are familiar with them, you can get great hi-fi results with a device slightly larger than a cellphone.

[Edited at 2007-12-24 14:36]


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Trágora Traducciones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
EDIROL Dec 26, 2007

Hi everyone. We have been working with EDIROL UA-25 and are pleased with the results. Good quality of sound and lasting materials. Sorry, I haven't worked with the other trademark so I cannot help anymore.

Regards,

Andrea Cruz.


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:47
English to Swedish
+ ...
My favourite subject! Jan 2, 2008

Matt Coler wrote:

Hello, I'm about to go to South America to do some fieldwork with some indigenous languages and I'm torn between two recorders on the market: the Edirol R-09 (which seems the standard) and the Samson Zoom H2 (which is not only cheaper, but seems to make a clear, crisp sound).


Hey Matt and all,

This is my favourite subject!

First of all, let's conclude that there is not "one best recorder". It's all depending on your user pattern and needs.

You should set up a priority list. Which one of these factors are most important to you?!

Size/build (do you have a maximum weight limit? Do you prefer rugged metal or lightweight plastic?)
Media/storage (do you need to dump the recordings to a computer while in the field, do you mind lugging spare MDs or memory cards etc. Does it have to endure extreme heat/moisture/shaking?)
Power (do you intend to charge by AC, car charger, or rely on batteries only? How many hours recording do you reckon you'll do without opportunity to recharge?)
External components vs all-in-one (some recorders perform best with external microphone, preamp, A/D converter. Or are you dead set on an all-in-one unit with built-in mics?)
Quality (like you mention above. Would you benefit from recording in 24/96 (or even 1-bit DSF), or is 16/44 enough?)
Cost (what is your total budget, taking media and power into consideration?)

Regarding the other comments made here:
R-09 is recognized by many users to have superior sound to Zoom H2. Just to set the record straight.
UA-25 is not a recording device of it's own, merely an external sound card. You need a separate bit bucket to actually record anything, which makes it unsuitable for this usage.
Jims URL gives a decent overview, but it's outdated already. It doesn't list new devices like Sony PCM-D50 ($500), Fostex FR-2LE ($475 on eBay), Sony MZ-M200 (aka RH1) ($400), Korg MR-1 ($700), redesigned MicroTrack II ($400).

Here's another URL to accompany the first one. Not complete either though:
http://www.minidisco.com/site/PortableChart-MDO-4.htm

And here's my post from the last time we discussed the topic (slightly outdated):
http://www.proz.com/post/591432#591432

Matt, once you've looked through the list above, post your preferences here and I'll come up with my recommendations!

/Jan

[Edited at 2008-01-02 12:03]


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zabrowa
Local time: 10:47
TOPIC STARTER
Requirements Jan 8, 2008

Jan, Sorry we didn't speak previously! Thanks for taking such an interest in this topic and for your detailed response. I definately look forward to seeing your thoughts.

So, to answer your questions:

Size/build (do you have a maximum weight limit? Do you prefer rugged metal or lightweight plastic?)
* I will be in some rough environments, high altitutdes, rainy/wet so I prefer something sturdy and heavy to light and flimsy.

Media/storage (do you need to dump the recordings to a computer while in the field, do you mind lugging spare MDs or memory cards etc. Does it have to endure extreme heat/moisture/shaking?)
* I will not be bringing a laptop to the field, so some MDs/memory cards are necessary. The storage device must not be sensitive to altitutde, water, moisture, shaking.

Power (do you intend to charge by AC, car charger, or rely on batteries only? How many hours recording do you reckon you'll do without opportunity to recharge?)
* I have a solar charger, but plan to rely on rechargable batteries for the most part. I will bring as many as possible.

External components vs all-in-one (some recorders perform best with external microphone, preamp, A/D converter. Or are you dead set on an all-in-one unit with built-in mics?)
* All-in-one ideal, but willing to sacrifice convenience for quality here - though not to much. A singular unit permits greater ease, freedom of use, and simplicity so I prefer it generally. Microphones, I fear, make consultants uncomfortable.


Quality (like you mention above. Would you benefit from recording in 24/96 (or even 1-bit DSF), or is 16/44 enough?)
* Not sure on this one - the phonetics of this language are well-documented, I'm interested mainly in vowel deletion patterns and long consonant clusters. I need a sensitive device whose output may be fed into a speech-analysis program like Praat. I am flexible here though.

Cost (what is your total budget, taking media and power into consideration?)
* Flexible. I'd like to keep it under $400, at least until I get the hang on fieldwork and then maybe upgrade.

THANKS!!!


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:47
English to Swedish
+ ...
Options Jan 9, 2008

Matt Coler wrote:

Jan, Sorry we didn't speak previously! Thanks for taking such an interest in this topic and for your detailed response. I definately look forward to seeing your thoughts.

So, to answer your questions:

Size/build (do you have a maximum weight limit? Do you prefer rugged metal or lightweight plastic?)
* I will be in some rough environments, high altitutdes, rainy/wet so I prefer something sturdy and heavy to light and flimsy.

Media/storage (do you need to dump the recordings to a computer while in the field, do you mind lugging spare MDs or memory cards etc. Does it have to endure extreme heat/moisture/shaking?)
* I will not be bringing a laptop to the field, so some MDs/memory cards are necessary. The storage device must not be sensitive to altitutde, water, moisture, shaking.

Power (do you intend to charge by AC, car charger, or rely on batteries only? How many hours recording do you reckon you'll do without opportunity to recharge?)
* I have a solar charger, but plan to rely on rechargable batteries for the most part. I will bring as many as possible.

External components vs all-in-one (some recorders perform best with external microphone, preamp, A/D converter. Or are you dead set on an all-in-one unit with built-in mics?)
* All-in-one ideal, but willing to sacrifice convenience for quality here - though not to much. A singular unit permits greater ease, freedom of use, and simplicity so I prefer it generally. Microphones, I fear, make consultants uncomfortable.

Quality (like you mention above. Would you benefit from recording in 24/96 (or even 1-bit DSF), or is 16/44 enough?)
* Not sure on this one - the phonetics of this language are well-documented, I'm interested mainly in vowel deletion patterns and long consonant clusters. I need a sensitive device whose output may be fed into a speech-analysis program like Praat. I am flexible here though.

Cost (what is your total budget, taking media and power into consideration?)
* Flexible. I'd like to keep it under $400, at least until I get the hang on fieldwork and then maybe upgrade.

THANKS!!!


Hi Matt,

I've shortlisted the ones that fit your requirements, more or less...

Plasticky:
Zoom H2 $200
Zoom H4 $240 on eBay
Edirol R-09, $340 on eBay and BPM Music

Rugged:
Marantz PMD620, $400
Olympus LS-10 $399 (but not out yet)
Sony D50 $450-500

Out of these, only the bottom three can be recommended for rugged use. The Sony has gotten very good reviews for being well built and solid.
The Zooms and R-09 are unfortunately plasticky and lightweight.

If you still opt for a fragile device, and want to protect it, this could be useful:
http://pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=i1010
You don't necessary have to have the casing when recording, but it can be good protection during storage... If you do keep the case on while recording, you could opt for an external microphone and lead it through.

Another issue is archiving the data, as your flash memory card gets full. I don't know how many hours you intend to record, but for the price of a few 16GB cards, you can get this:
http://www.nextodi.com/en/product/
http://www.hypershop.com/shop/information.php?info_id=11

Maybe a worthwhile investment, if you can top your budget?!
The Hyperdrive can be powered on AA easily, which might be an advantage to you. But the Nexto has better specs and can still be recharged by car charger or AA-to-USB-adapter.


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:47
English to Swedish
+ ...
Go for Marantz PMD620 Jan 10, 2008

I've been asking around, and other tapers keep recommending the PMD620. For $400, you won't get anything more rugged than this.
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=96738.0

As an emergency backup, I strongly suggest that you get a cheap second hand recorder, in case your main device fails. Grab a Hi-MD or MD recorder, or a Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 if you can afford another $100:
http://search-completed.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&catref=C6&guest=1&fcid=146&gbr=1&saaff=afdefault&sacur=0&sorefinesearch=1&fcl=3&frpp=200&from=R10&saslop=1&saobfmts=exsif&fss=0&_trksid=m37&satitle="jukebox%203"%20-(zen,%20muvo,%20nx,%20xtra,%20fisher,%20batt*%2C+truck%2C+arcade%2C+pezzi%2Cdock%2Cpop%29&sacat=-1%26catref%3DC6&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&sadis=200&fpos=&sabfmts=1&fis=2&sabdlo=&sabdhi=&saprclo=&saprchi=&salic=-15&fhlc=1&fsop=34%26fsoo%3D1

These are built like a tank, but the downside is that the batteries are non-standard, and you'll need external mics. If you want something inconspicuous, get a small "T-shape" plug-in mic, it's less intimidating than a big handheld mic. The line-in-level is also quite low, so ensure that the mic is powered by a battery too.

Good luck,

/Jan


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