Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Discuss your workplace, instruments, amps, and any other gear.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby milk » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:30 am

I'm looking to purchase a cheaper (sub £100) stereo dictaphone/digital audio recorder.

Mostly for recording oral histories, though maybe for some very basic field recording at points.

I understand at that price bracket the quality won't excel, but it would be nice to have something that doesn't easily fall apart or have a major design flaw (like a terrible in-built stereo mic placement or stupid frequency response). I might even save up for a mid-level device if it sounds (hah) worth it. Bonus points if it can record to FLAC to save space :)

Any recommendations or things to avoid? Thanks.
wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio etc. - a collection of mostly Linux and free links (OpenID auth for anti-spam, try DW)
Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet

Luc
Established Member
Posts: 709
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:04 pm

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby Luc » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:28 pm

I can't understand why you need any help with this when your requirements/expectations are admittedly low. For what you want, any recorder will do really. Even FLAC is overkill.

I have the Tascam DR-05. I am not very happy with it, but only because I think it's too basic. I just couldn't afford any better. As far as recording goes, it works just fine. No FLAC, but it records in WAV or MP3 (all bitrates). It costs 100 greenbacks on Amazon.

This one costs half:
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-ICDPX370-Di ... 06XFTWCBJ/

You can also use your smartphone (assuming you use one). The good thing about the phone is that you always have it on your person.

tavasti
Established Member
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:56 am
Location: Kangasala, Finland
Contact:

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby tavasti » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:35 pm

milk wrote:I'm looking to purchase a cheaper (sub £100) stereo dictaphone/digital audio recorder.

Mostly for recording oral histories, though maybe for some very basic field recording at points.

I understand at that price bracket the quality won't excel, but it would be nice to have something that doesn't easily fall apart or have a major design flaw (like a terrible in-built stereo mic placement or stupid frequency response). I might even save up for a mid-level device if it sounds (hah) worth it. Bonus points if it can record to FLAC to save space :)

For dictaphone use, even ebay cheapest might be ok (range 10-25$). But in case you can spend bit more, up 100£, then cheapest real audio recorders (suitable for recording music) are available:

https://www.gear4music.com/Audio_Recorders/Handheld

I would go for Tascam or Zoom, but no real experience.
Linux veteran & Novice musician

Hear my music at https://audiu.net/users/tawaste

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby milk » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:06 pm

Luc wrote:I can't understand why you need any help with this when your requirements/expectations are admittedly low.


I could go by Amazon stars/reviews, but I wanted to ask here in case anyone has a "ooh, you should check out the XY, it's basic but really not bad".

My expectation is not /so/ low that I don't mind about awful devices that might have high ratings because folk on Amazon might not know better or find a certain issue with the device to be as much of a show stopper/slower as others with recording device experience might. Or maybe the reviews do cover such, but belt&braces; I didn't want to rely on just one 'source'. £100 is a fair bit of money for someone on a low income for something that's essentially a hobby.

I have the Tascam DR-05. I am not very happy with it, but only because I think it's too basic. I just couldn't afford any better.


What feature or quality does it lack? As I said, I might be willing to splash out a bit more for a more expensive model.

This one costs half:


Thanks, but stereo is a hard requirement.

You can also use your smartphone (assuming you use one).


I have done this in the past, but I would like stereo imaging and a somewhat better quality of mic than what a smartphone provides.
wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio etc. - a collection of mostly Linux and free links (OpenID auth for anti-spam, try DW)
Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet

Luc
Established Member
Posts: 709
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:04 pm

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby Luc » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:31 pm

milk wrote:
I have the Tascam DR-05. I am not very happy with it, but only because I think it's too basic. I just couldn't afford any better.


What feature or quality does it lack? As I said, I might be willing to splash out a bit more for a more expensive model.

I wish it had more inputs so I could use it in a wider choice of situations, such as recording a band — on multiple tracks. I bought it years ago, when I still attended many live performances and had full access to the mixing desk. You see, not your case. Mine either anymore. I moved to a small city and I kind of lost interest in those events. They're generally good for getting drunk and socializing, but the music is same old same old TBH. I'm getting old. :?

I wouldn't mind if it could double as a USB audio interface. I wouldn't mind at all. Not your case either me thinks.

I often find it sounds too "hot." I later found out that Tascam is actually known for that. Zoom recorders tend to sound cooler. You can find Tascam vs. Zoom comparisons on YouTube and check it out yourself. Again, not part of your stated requirements.

I used to lust after the Roland R26. I think it sounds better than all the others in the comparisons. But it's always been too much for my shallow pockets. Even used, I still can't afford it. I believe it's discontinued. But I always had music in mind. Not quite what you claim to be after.

Many reviews make me believe that the Sony PCM-M10 is the best of them all, but that is waaaay out of your (our) budget.

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby milk » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:44 pm

Hmm.. multiple inputs/tracks, or a model with both omnidirectional and directional mics, would be very handy for recording groups of people. Also, I'd never considered a portable recording device as a USB interface, though now that you mention it, that's pretty neat, two birds with one device.. The character of the audio recorded is naturally something I would be interested in knowing, thanks for noting such differences. (It was literally one of the things I asked about, frequency response. :P :) Hmm.. maybe I could wait a few more months and go for a second hand Roland R-26 (the non locking XLR connectors would somewhat worry me) or something similar. Thanks to the two of you for the input!
wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio etc. - a collection of mostly Linux and free links (OpenID auth for anti-spam, try DW)
Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet

Luc
Established Member
Posts: 709
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:04 pm

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby Luc » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:18 pm

Well, if you're willing to dig deeper into your pockets, I guess the best cost-benefit option is the Zoom H4N. It's not high end, but it's very good. It has a very basic audio interface feature (mixed down two channel/stereo only), two extra XLR/TRS inputs, and at least some very basic kind of bouncing feature — for example, you can play the guitar and record it, then play it back on headphones and record your voice on top of the instrumental track. You even get the XLR locks you just mentioned. I didn't know you liked them. :wink:

There is better, but that one will cost well above your budget already, I'm afraid.

There is an additional tip I can give you. Tascam has an old line of recorders, the DP-006 and DP-008. I don't recommend them. They look quite impressive on the outside and they're portable enough, but they're old, have fewer features and cost more, even used. I really don't see the point.

Happy rec'ing.

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Stereo dictaphone/cheaper digital audio recorder?

Postby milk » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:42 pm

I got a bit more money in than expected, and, with my usage plans have embiggened, I think I'll be getting a Zoom H6 + XLR & shotgun capsules. Thanks again for the reflections.
wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio etc. - a collection of mostly Linux and free links (OpenID auth for anti-spam, try DW)
Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet


Return to “Your Studio & Gear”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest