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View Full Version : The Latest, "Best" Portable Digital Recorder for Ukulele?



Luke El U
05-14-2016, 05:27 PM
I bought a Tascam DR-1 portable digital recorder many years ago. Unfortunately, I dropped it on cement about 3 days after I bought it. Doh! It still worked well for several years. Last year, however, it began to give me problems, so I'm looking for a new device and wondering what you all think the latest, "best" recorder for ukulele (or any acoustic musical instrument) might be.

blue_knight_usa
05-14-2016, 05:40 PM
I bought a Tascam DR-1 portable digital recorder many years ago. Unfortunately, I dropped it on cement about 3 days after I bought it. Doh! It still worked well for several years. Last year, however, it began to give me problems, so I'm looking for a new device and wondering what you all think the latest, "best" recorder for ukulele (or any acoustic musical instrument) might be.

Hands down the Zoom H5 kicks serious butt. Has everything you could ever want and most people don't even use all the features. The various capsules you can get are also fantastic but the standard XY capsule works incredible. Here are a few recordings I did with the H5.

Boat Paddle ML Tenor: https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-jay/zoom0004mp3

Barron River Tenor: https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-jay/barron-river-tenor-ukulele-living-waters-low-g

The recorder was probably 1-2 feet away, not plugged into the recorder.
Pretty amazing unit.

Good luck!

Choirguy
05-14-2016, 06:02 PM
You can't go,wrong with any of the Zoom recorders that offer multiple inputs. Some models are easier to navigate than others, so make sure to keep that in mind when purchasing.

jelow1966
05-14-2016, 07:04 PM
Have never used a Zoom so I don't know how they compare but I'm quite happy with my Tascam Dp-008EX especially considering the price. Since you are familiar with Tascam already it'd be an easy upgrade.

John

Tootler
05-14-2016, 11:40 PM
For most of my You Tube recordings I use a Tascam DP006. More basic than the DP008 (which I also own) but still capable and easy to use.

A direct replacement for your original one would be the DR05. I've heard good things about the Zoom recorders but I've never owned one. However I find the Tascam recorders I own to be good quality and the built in mics give good sound quality.

Hms
05-15-2016, 12:33 AM
I have the Zoom H2n, great little recorder.
Will also act as a USB mic.
20 hours recording off 2 AA batteries.
Not as expensive as the 4/5/6 models.
H

Mivo
05-15-2016, 04:25 AM
The H2N is noisier than the H5 and H6, though it's all relative and may not be an issue for a large number of uses. When I went through the decision making process, I eventually settled for the H6, though in retrospect the H5 would have been just as fine, but at the point of purchase I wanted the maximum of flexibility, even though so far I never needed it (I had also gotten a good bundle deal which resulted in me having to pay less for the basic device plus all the accessories than I would have had to pay for the basic device alone.

I think for many people a portable microphone for their existing iPhone or iPad is a good solution also. A really good, less sophisticated field recorder is the Sony PCM-M10, which is fantastic for the price. Noise level and quality are excellent. I don't think Sony makes those anymore, but they are still available. I feel it's the field recorder with the best price/performance ratio.

I didn't buy the H6 and the PCM-M10 for recording ukulele, though. It was for doing field recording where I wanted as noise-free samples as I could get while staying under €500 (using the PCM more than the H6, but that is chiefly because of the smaller size and strong pick-up qualities of the device).

pointpergame
05-15-2016, 05:25 AM
I bought a Sony PCM-M10 some years ago for the wifey. She's an opera chorus singer, and a recorder of this kind is essential for her through the many 2 to 3 hour opera rehearsals. I have used it for meetings, seminars, and home music. I don't have a comparator, but here's my take on the PCM-M10.

1) High quality sound / great internal mics, nicely placed on the recorder. Very usable analog-like recording level knobs.

2) I can't think of a culture or a group of people I don't like. But when it comes to designing human interfaces for electronics, some companies are "not as good" as some others. Sony ( the company ) is terrible. On top of that, my wife struggles considerably with technical stuff. The recorder was a gift of love and I understood that for every 60 minutes of recording, I'd have to supply 30 minutes of technical support. But, LO! This recorder isn't all that bad. She can make recordings with it...still needs a hand downloading them to the home computer...but acceptable. Old-fashioned and out of touch but at least the lettering isn't dark grey on black background ( like much of Sony's home equipment). A random example? You can only set the date to European style ( day / month / year ) and not to American style ( month / day / year ). Some people find this confusing. Naming files is an exercise in frustration even for me. I have no idea if the Zoom also has a clueless interface or if the company actually hired somebody to create a modern / thoughtful one.

3) Apparently still available on Amazon and, to my surprise, significantly cheaper than the Zoom.

drbekken
05-15-2016, 10:41 PM
Roland 'Edirol' is also ok.