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what to look for in portable audio recorders


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:27 AM

I'm looking to purchase a portable audio recorder to capture sound for my films.

But unfortunantly, i have no clue where to start.

I'm pretty sure i don't want a digital recorder, and am looking for a casette recorder for no other reason than to save some money.

What features should i look for? Is a multi track recorder necessary?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Nicholas
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:27 PM

I'm looking to purchase a portable audio recorder to capture sound for my films.
..........I'm pretty sure i don't want a digital recorder, and am looking for a casette recorder for no other reason than to save some money.

I would argue against a cassette recorder. The very best of them don't perform anywhere near as well as a good reel-to-reel and there's no good way to do sync recording of any sort with them. Nagra reel-to-reels are getting pretty cheap and there are sync options available for them. So I'd recommend a Nagra - it's what the people with all the money in the world to spend used back in the day.
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#3 Christopher Kennedy Alpiar

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:10 AM

I'm looking to purchase a portable audio recorder to capture sound for my films.

But unfortunantly, i have no clue where to start.

I'm pretty sure i don't want a digital recorder, and am looking for a casette recorder for no other reason than to save some money.

What features should i look for? Is a multi track recorder necessary?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Nicholas

Cassette is out!! Dont do it man you will regret the money you waste on a cassette recorder. Its like doing your shoot on VHS, laughable...
Most folks are going digital these days because it is easy to sync to picture in a non linear editor. New technology allows prices to stay low. for 300 bucks you can get a really nice portable audio recorder. Check out some of these:

http://www.sweetwate...ayers_Recorders

Multi track is not necessary for recording unless you want to record in surround (5.1 or whatever setup you are working with). For the most part a decent stereo (2 track) recorder is just fine.

If you have a decent laptop, you can also consider a much better solution then *any* tape/digital recorder: getting a USB2 or Firewire audio interface for your laptop. Some of those are REALLY cheap, 100 bucks even in some cases. Of course you get what you pay for and every 100 bucks more you are getting added value for the most part. M-Audio makes really decent pro-sumer level audio interfaces.

http://www.sweetwate...dio_interfaces/

I am definately an audio guy and I bet you guys know a LOT more about cameras and stuff then me, but if I was going for a decent complete setup for getting off the ground, I would do something like this:

>DV/miniDV Camera with firewire, if you have money something like JVC DV-500-ENG2 or a Canon XL H1, if you are looking for something cheaper yet still pro I recommend a Canon GL1 still a bad-ass camera and you can get on ebay for under 1k
>assortment of lenses/filters
>multi purpose lighting kits like Lowel LC-98 Rifa,
>2 sennheiser K6 bases with 2 lavalier capsules and 2 ME66 capsules, boom poles and stands etc
>a 2 channel mic preamp with as much goodies as I could afford, including A/D converter if possible
>a 2 channel audio interface (firewire or USB2 as mentioned above)
>a laptop (OSX or XP, whichever floats your noodle)
>Final Cut Pro or Avid

=>> if going Avid I would try hard to have enough money to get a digidesign firewire interface for the audio (like Digi002 or an M-Box) since avid is now owned by digidesign there are many perks to keeping hardware/software in the same house

With that package you have every thing you possibly need to do great single camera shoots and get great audio, and enough mic power to make GOOD quality 2 actor interview scenarios, which has a lot of meat and potatos jobs to be had around. When people you do that kind of shoot see and hear what you have going on, you will be hi on the callback list :)
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#4 Armando Castro

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:18 AM

Check this out....Edirol Multitrack Recorder


http://www.edirol.co...m...&Itemid=385
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#5 Christopher Kennedy Alpiar

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:47 PM

AES/EBU i/o is GREAT! That looks like a winner from Edirol. Ahhh Armand you are from Miami, I grew up there. I miss the live bands they used to have on calle ocho, but i hear that is mostly gone now
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#6 Armando Castro

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:21 PM

There's a lot of action still going on. The indie music scene is starting to take off. Many of my friends are weekend musicians, so I've got plenty of options when it comes to live bands. So do you miss Miami??
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#7 Christopher Kennedy Alpiar

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 06:45 PM

Yes I miss it, mostly the amazing beach at cape florida, the party atmosphere on south beach, the great cuban culture spread all over, the many other latin and carribean cultures. The HEAT i can do without tho! (unless your talking basketball and then i LOVE going to heat games!!). Things like how coconut grove USED to be with all the hippies and artists I miss but that is gone forever and replaced with trendy boutiques :P Overall tho I do miss it, maybe when I can afford a second house I will get a place down there ;)
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