FORUMS: list search recent posts

Suggest inexpensive MP3 recorder with aux. mic input?

COW Forums : Event Videographers

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Mark SuszkoSuggest inexpensive MP3 recorder with aux. mic input?
by on Feb 7, 2011 at 4:13:51 pm

What are you guys using that's able to take an external mic input thru a miniplug or xlr, and is under $100 US?

Return to posts index

Dave HaynieRe: Suggest inexpensive MP3 recorder with aux. mic input?
by on Feb 8, 2011 at 8:27:39 pm

In that price range, you're not getting XLRs. I use portable recorders for audio-for-video, a Tascam DR-1 and a Zoom H4n. Or a Tascam US-1800 on a PC if I need more mics at one time (recording bands, that kind of thing). The DR-1 takes the typical 3.5mm stereo jack for input, or a single 1/4". The Zoom takes one 3.5mm stereo jack and XLR or 1/4" (the combination Neutrik connectors).. and of course, it can do phantom power on the XLRs.

Each of these had a little brother in the $100 range that'll probably do the job. This is the Tascam DR-07 and the Zoom H1.. both have built-in mics as well. The H1 is very small, which can be an advantage to some, but also has them using micro-SD rather than full sized, which is kind of unfortunate. Both do uncompressed or MP3, 16/24-bit, 44.1kHz or 48kHz, and the Zoom does 96kHz as well. I have not used these myself, so do the research online.

As for the units I do have, the DR-1 is good, but the built-in preamps are a bit weak... I'm at the top of range, and a little noisy, on some dynamic mics, and forget most ribbon mics (obviously, you don't get condensers without phantom power, unless you have one of those cheaper ones that takes a battery, or use a Beachtek box to hook in some XLR condensers). The H4n is a bit better with dynamics, but since it also works directly with condensers, that's less of an issue. Both are fine with guitars directly plugged. The H4n can also do 4-tracks at once, and even has a mini-portastudio-style mode. But is about 3x your budget.

I was on the fence about Zoom. They're made my Samson, and I have a fair amount of Samson gear (one studio/PA amp, two mixers, a couple mics)... it's cheaper gear, but it tends to work as long as you know the limits... it's the cheap gear that also breaks, or just plain fails to match its spec sheet (I'm looking at you, Behringer). A friend of mine has one of the first Zoom units, and it had a few issues, but the more I read about the H4n, the better it sounded. And Tascam hasn't fixed their low preamp level issue in their new stuff... though not an issue on the PC recording interfaces. Different division, I guess.

As with most things, it pays to check it out in person, and of course, do your research.


Return to posts index

Brent DunnRe: Suggest inexpensive MP3 recorder with aux. mic input?
by on Feb 10, 2011 at 7:21:33 pm

Here you go. No XLR inputs at this price.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2016 All Rights Reserved