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Best audio recorder for this budget?

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saleh alzughaibi
Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 3:50:42 am

I currently use zoom H4N. Doesn't have the greatest preamps. I use it with my Rode NTG3 shotgun microphone. Mainly to record dialog on a boom.

Looking to upgrade for something with better preamps/gain levels.

I was thinking of Zoom H5, H6, and Roland R-26. OR any other options I haven't listed/don't know of.

I don't know the best option so some help would be great!

Thanks!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 4:32:39 pm

It is not clear that ANY of those little plastic "shaver" recorders has any better mic preamp performance than what you are already using?

If I were shopping in that price range I would seriously consider the Zoom F4

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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saleh alzughaibi
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 6:21:49 pm

Thanks Richard!

If you were to compare the Zoom F4 and the Sound Devices MixPre-3

Which one would you go for and why?

Thank you again.


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Chris Wright
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 10:22:12 pm

SD better. although according to my sheet listed below here, you'd actually match up with a zoom f4 or Roland r-26. A Sound Devices MixPre-3 with a Rode NTG3 is a waste of money in terms of sound quality and noise floor unless you need the pro features.


to match mic quality with recorder noise floor:
1. Sound Devices/fostex fr2le + Sennheiser mkh 416/sanken CS3e
1. roland r-26/zoom f4 + sen 600/Rode NTG3
2. tascam dr-60d + ntg4+
3. h4n with senn ME-66/NTG2/Videomic Pro/Audio-Technica AT875R


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saleh alzughaibi
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 10:29:38 pm

Thanks for the input!

Im not sure how the NTG3 combined with SD MixPre3 is not the best quality.
Would you mind elaborating more on that?


Thanks again


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Chris Wright
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 6, 2017 at 2:17:20 am

noise floor is the ability to record nothing when no sound is being produced. the first to create noise is the 'loser'.

for example, using a $5 lapel mic from radio shack with a sound devices. the sound devices won't produce hardly any noise by itself but the $5 junk mic will create hiss. buying all that extra "headroom" for the noise floor is relative to the mic and recorder, whichever one hits the noise first. that's why I line up similar noise floors in my mic/recorder selection.

I'm not saying it wouldn't work. I'm just saying that your mic would create a bunch of noise waaaay before the recorder did. A good recorder isn't going to 'upgrade' your mic, just remove any limitations from the recording device and place it squarely on the mic.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 6, 2017 at 1:26:32 am

No question that the Sound Devices is essentially a sure bet for better performance.
But then the SD is also more expensive, so no surprise there.
(And even more expensive than price alone considering the input/track count as well. 3 vs. 4)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 6, 2017 at 6:21:30 am

It will all depend on your work flow.... There are a couple of things the the new series MixPre series don't have....

They don't have a 'dual card' record. On my shoots i will often hand over one card to the client and then keep the other for my backup OR one card recorded at 48/24 and the other in MP3 format for transcribing.

The MixPre 3/6 don't have balanced outs so feeding a 'pro' level is difficult. The latest MixPre 10 does have balanced outs.

The Zoom F4 doesn't have the above problems BUT it has a -10 output rather than a +4 (normal pro level)

I feel the Zoom F4 is better 'bang for your buck' so to speak


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Bruce Watson
Re: Best audio recorder for this budget?
on Oct 6, 2017 at 5:03:51 pm

[saleh alzughaibi] "I currently use zoom H4N. Doesn't have the greatest preamps."

[saleh alzughaibi] "Looking to upgrade for something with better preamps/gain levels."

If these are your primary concerns, the Zoom F4 does indeed look like the biggest bang for your buck. The mic preamps on the Zoom F4/F8 are said by some to be the equal of the entry level SD mic pres. Should give you what you are looking for.


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