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Advice on MP3 Recorders

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by hzemel, May 15, 2010.

  1. hzemel

    hzemel New Member

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    I'm afraid that I am equipment challenged. :? I just joined and am hoping to record and upload some pieces to the audition room. Can anyone recommend a good quality but affordable MP3 recorder that is not too expensive? I saw an Olympus listed for $150 (U.S. Dollars) at Radio Shack. I might get this, but I am wondering if there are any less expensive MP3 recorders available that would do the job. I'm really excited about having joined the society as this is such a good opportunity to share my music with others as well as enjoy the work of other members.

    Helene
     
  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I could recommend the Zoom H4, the new model, the Zoom H4 n is really improved. It has two built in mics, which can change their position now, whereas the mics of the old model were fixed. I have the old model, but I use it mainly for my school for recordings outside. At home I record with a good sound card, so I haven´t the transfer process between the Zoom and the computer. The Zoom H4 has also two inputs for external mikes, what is a great advantage compared with the Edirol, which has no possibility for external mics as a far as I remember. There are many members here which use an Edirol (like our site-admininstrators f.ex.) or a Zoom H4. In every case one of these advices would be a good and adequate option to make recordings for this site.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    The Edirol has mic input also. Though my old R-1 has only one, I presume for a stereo mic.
     
  4. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    I hate to discover that now there is a new model better than the one I bought. :evil:

    btw... Zoom H2 records in surround mode (with 4 mics), while Zoom H4 can record up to 4 tracks (which is useful for those who have only two hands and want to play a four hand piece).
     
  5. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    If your music is bound for internet, or ipod use only, any of the aforementioned mp3 recorders will do. Go to a music store and test each one before you commit to buying as each unit has its quirks. If you want high fidelity sound, then record as wave files, not mp3; you can always compress your files to mp3 later. If your intentions are for archiving, CDs, professional submission, or have the capability to improve your sound with better external mics in the future, then I recommend the M-Audio Microtrack II recorder. Built-in mics are OK for pocket portability, but you sacrifice sound quality as they're too boomy or too thin. The capability of the MicrotrackII is that it has full 48V phantom power allowing you to use any studio condenser mic ever made.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Helene, welcome to the forum :)
    I have Zoom H4 and I think with George that any handy recorder of the price range 150-400 will do, if you use it only for submissions to PS.
     
  7. hzemel

    hzemel New Member

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    Thanks for your advice. I will look into these suggestions. I took a quick look at the internet and see that the H2 is in my price range. I would like to spend under $200, but I still want a sound that will be true to my performance. I will, of course, do further research. We have a good music store here on Long Island that probably sells this equipment. Thanks for the suggestion to check these devices out before ordering. Hopefully, I will be able to submit my first recordings within the next few weeks.
     
  8. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    hi, Helène!

    but be careful with Zoom H2. my piano teacher has one. though I never tried it to see how it really works, I wonder why it's much cheaper than H4. H2 has 4 mics while H4 has only 2. H4 mics are condensers (for piano, they are much better. for some other instruments, they won't do a great difference), so I guess H2 mics are not condensers. that would explain why it is double the number of mics and half of the price.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Coincidentally, my teacher has a H2 too, and I am not convinced I like the sound quality of it,
    as can be heard here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFHkG7cdasw
     
  10. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    hm...
    but YouTube ruins the sound! hehe

    my H4 has 3 levels of sensitivity for the mics... I set to medium. the low level of sensitivity is much worse. and the high level... it should be put miles away from the piano. hehe
    I don't know if H2 has these levels... just to compare the sound.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not so. There are plenty recordings that sound absolutely decent - if probably not as good as the original.
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    felipesarro wrote:
    Concerning this we are sitting in the same boat, fellow. The new model has many improvements (f.ex. it can be used with a 32 GB SD-card, the built in mikes can be used simultanously with the two external mic-entries and much more).


    I think, I personally wouldn´t recommend the H2, it´s cheaper and of a less quality than the H4.
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    Oh, yes, sorry, I forgot this. But I remember know, when I made reflections to decide between Zoom H4 and the Edirol I choosed the Zoom H4 also, because the Edirol only could be used with a stereo mike, which is a disadvantage compared with two separate external condenser microphones, which can be placed also in AB-position and other constellations. And I think a stereo microphone never can reach the quality of two Neumann KM 184 or other microphones of a higher level. That´s why I decided for the Zoom H4 personally.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    88man wrote:
    I second that at hundred percent. I also record in CD-quality with 44100 Khz or studio standard of 96000 Khz later I compress the file to mp3 for this site.

    I think, it´s good to have the option for two external condenser microphones for the future, just for the case you come on the taste...
    So I would buy a device, which has two inputs for external microphones. That´s only my personal advice, of course.
     
  15. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    sure.
    I said that because once David told he faces a lot of problems when submitting videos to YouTube. he was concerning about the sound quality. I myself face lots of synchronization problems. YT does what it wants with our videos. :?
     
  16. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    felipesarro wrote:
    From my experience the sound-quality is extremely reduced compared with the original on YouTube, indeed! That´s a point, which bothers me, I have to admit. I personally don´t have problems with synchronisation.
     
  17. hzemel

    hzemel New Member

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    Thanks for all of your input. I read a lot of very good testimonials on the internet regarding the Zoom H2, but best to check it out in person at the music store. I think that one of the reasons that it is cheaper than the H4 from what I read is that it has plastic casing. The testimonials also claimed that it is very easy to use which is also an important consideration for me in addition to good sound quality.
     
  18. hzemel

    hzemel New Member

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    My new Zoom H2 arrived today from Amazon.com. Sooner than I thought with the free shipping option. I'll start fooling with it soon and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the input.
     
  19. Mikhail Kaykov

    Mikhail Kaykov New Member

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    I still use a Sony Minidisc recording, which records uncompressed PCM files 44.1 Khz. Work great.
    -Mikhail Kaykov
     
  20. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have had the opportunity to test the new Zoom H4n today. I just made a recording for fun and for to test the little built-in microphones. I think, the quality is really not bad. The new Zoom H4n has a remote control (very practical to start and to stop the takes while sitting at the piano). I don´t want to publish this recording on the main-site, btw, because it´s not good enough for my taste (it´s played more or less at site and it´s a bit too slow). Some of the advantages of the new model are: you can put SD-cards up to 32 GB into it (I have only 8 GB), a new larger display, the mikes can be turned from 90 to 120 degree, the case is much more stabil than the old one, also the buttons and there is a stabil plastic case, where the device can be put in, there is a built in loudspeaker, so that you don´t need any more headphones (but the sound-quality is better with headphones, of course), the whole handling is less complicated and easier than with the old model.

    What do you think of the sound-quality of the new Zoom H4n?
     

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