Field Recorder advice

Since I am planning some holidays in the austrian mountains, I'm currently thinking about buying a nice field recorder to bring with :)
I am strangely in love with Roland R-26, but I guess there are other good/better options, too – like the Zoom H6 …

Also, I am not so sure, if the “recording quality” differences are really that big or important. I learned to like some dirtyness/noise in recordings, also thanks to the OP1 ;) Kind of gives everything a less sterile touch. So maybe I don't even need to spend like 500 €?

Any recommendations or advices?

Thanks! :)

I have a Zoom H2n that lasts up to 20 hours on two AA/LR6 batteries (and can be calibrated for 1.2V NiMH, too). 4 mics for a bit of surround if you want it, uses SD memory, has line in and line out, some basic effects (dynamics), analog gain control, tripod mount…

Probably not as good as the H6, but a heck of a lot cheaper and the results sound good to me. It will record 59:xx on the 2GB card it comes with, when set to 24-bit/44.1kHz, and almost an hour and a half @ 16-bit

thanks krism, that would confirm my theory that i don’t need to spent too much money :slight_smile:
i mainly want to record ambient, athmospheres, soundscapes, noises and that stuff to sample and use it later in my tracks …

any other experiences?

I totally lied to you about MP3 recording, the other options were for 16/48 and 24/48 >.>

I also found out that Zoom has a VST plugin for Mac and Windows that decodes the M/S mics, too, so you can adjust them in a stereo mix or something.

I come a video production background and I use an H4n extensively. Its a great little recorder!

I plan on selling it in order to purchase the newer H5 $270 (Not yet released). IMO the H5 is very similar to the H6, just missing a few features. The H5, like the H6, also has the nice option to swap out the X/Y mics with other optional mic modules.

Some things I dislike about the H4n:

-Poor/noisy preamps…however still good enough to get by (Improved on the H5 & H6)
-The gain level adjustment consists of click buttons - the sound often gets picked up by the internal mics (Improved on the H5 & H6 - turn knobs)
-Poor battery life

I plan to pick up the H5 when it’s released (end of july). Hope this helps!

I used an Edirol R09-HR for awhile, very simple to use and the sound quality was better than I expected. Downside was that there wa sa lot more handling and wind noise than I expected, which I’ve found true of most of the smaller hand held portabel recorders. Also, it never felt that discreet, at least in the city, maybe not an option in the mountains.

These days I use my iPhone and something like FiRe to capture field samples where I’d rather get the moment than pristine fidelity. Always with me, discreet, really not too bad for a lot of things. By no means is it good enough for post production work and the like, but for convenience and being on hand to get it recorded in time, just works better for me.

Especially if you;'re just going to mess it up in a synth later on anyway :slight_smile:

+1 on a smartphone for “in the moment” capturing. My first ever field recording experience was with an iPhone 3GS and Blue FiRe (the free version of FiRe).

Another alternative is your OP-1 itself, assuming you have a working mic still =/ Or don’t mind buying something like the Audio Technica PRO 24.

The onboard mics on the H6 are great. And the preamps sound very nice to me, as do the converters. It’s a bit big to be spontaneously put in your pocket, thus might end up not being brought with you, but in terms of sound quality it’s very good. It doubles as a USB audio interface, and also as a battery (or usb) powered compact 6 channel mixer. Also there’s the option to remove the mics and put an extra set of two xlr inputs. It’s good.

Pros: good quality, versatile
Cons: a bit big

Check out this youtube channel:

Mr. Green goes throughout the streets of different cities using an H4n to record sounds and vocals for sampling on hip hop tracks. The quality sounds great.

thanks guys for the hints and tips.

for the “in the moment” recording the iphone sure is a solid backup.
in fact with this idea in mind i bought a tascam iM2 mic a while ago – but it turns out, especially for quick spontaneous recordings it is not practical (plug the mic in, start the app, hope the mic is recognized, turn of autolock, turn on flightmode, etc) and kept me from doing recordings in the first place.

the zoom h5 seems like a good in-between option. thanks for the hint! i will look into that one (it’s not a beauty though :wink:

i will check out the video after work, thanks!

with the h6, I have a 6 channel audio recorder, with 2 onboard mics and 4 inputs?

and does it to either the computer or an SD card? at 24/96?

the H6 also has a $70 pair of combo jacks (like the 4 built into it) you can swap out instead of using the mics it comes with @dimi3

I’m with Tarekith - if you’ve got an iphone/ipad/ipod then you can get some pretty decent field microphones that you can keep in your pocket alongside your device and plug-in and record when needed.

I’ve got a Tascam iM2 (which only works now with my ipad1 and not my ipod or iphone), but that as an example records amazing audio quality and I’ve used it to record audio for professional video work.

It’s too bad Rode still doesn’t have a lightening version of the XY mic, man that thing was awesome.

Thanks everyone for the comments and hints. I will not pull the trigger yet, let’s see … :slight_smile:

I did on an h6 it is awesome! best portable system I have seen in a while. 20 hours on 4 AAs 64gb card gets you 20 hours of recording at 24/96…

this is a midnight jam… slightly heavy handed… Analog Rytm only mains out to a H6 in 24/96

Rode iXY mic now has a Lightning version:

Apogee Mic 96K plus iOS device might be good too if going iOS route.