Best field recorder for ambient sounds?
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Old 14-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
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Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Hi, been looking into field recorders for recording both samples and field recording (i.e background noise, crowds etc).

Which one would y'all recommend? So far the Zoom H4n sounds like my best bet

Cheers.

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Old 15-11-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

I have the Zoom recorder H1 - Fantastic little tool. Recommended.
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Old 16-11-2010, 05:55 AM   #3
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASunProject View Post
Hi, been looking into field recorders for recording both samples and field recording (i.e background noise, crowds etc).

Which one would y'all recommend? So far the Zoom H4n sounds like my best bet

Cheers.
Blue Microphones make a mic that will turn your iphone into a recorder. don't know if thats an option. i heard they were ok. Zoom, Roland, M-Audio and Fostex all make quite a few different models all with different options depending on usage.

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Old 17-11-2010, 10:09 PM   #4
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

The Zoom H1 is only 100 bucks these days. Can't beat that.
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Old 17-11-2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Yeah I just got the H1 and am fairly obsessed with recording every moment. (what can I say its a new toy!) different room sounds in my house street sounds etc, etc, etc.

But really anything will work. If your cash strapped use your mobile phone, sounds really "crap" but that may give you a sound that defines what you do. Or an old school tape dictaphone - there a little hard to find new - I have been looking for a while cause I do tape manipulation stuff.

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Madlib is awesome! but he talks about the equipment he uses, and how he works with an old 4 track and his dr sample with its inbuilt effects, and he makes amazing stuff that gets released comercially.

I know that this is about making ambient recordings, but if you take this attitude and apply it to what ever your doing you'll be very productive.

P.S. I still think the Zoom is a beast for bugger all bucks!

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Old 18-11-2010, 07:19 PM   #6
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Does anybody have experience of the H1 AND something like the H4n, or just experience with the h4n in general? I had another ambient musician tell me that the H1 just doesn't compare when stacked up against the H4n, even for the price.

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Old 18-11-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

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Originally Posted by ASunProject View Post
Does anybody have experience of the H1 AND something like the H4n, or just experience with the h4n in general? I had another ambient musician tell me that the H1 just doesn't compare when stacked up against the H4n, even for the price.
the h4n is a much higher quality unit so if you have the funds for it, i would go to the better model.

the h4 has real xlr mic inputs as well as an on-board stereo mic, the h1 has no XLR only a small plug in power mic jack

the h4 is also a 4 track recorder with usb out.

heres the deets

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Old 18-11-2010, 11:13 PM   #8
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

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Originally Posted by mightyspirit View Post

the h4 is also a 4 track recorder with usb out.

Yeah true about the quality of sound and the quality of the build is a lot nicer, even the H2 is a lot better built. If your using it in the field, having the xlr connections probably doesn't matter it's not like it will have phantom power or

And for the record the h1 has a usb out as well, not that you would use it. Its so much faster to stick the card in a built in card reader, if you got one, and download. In my experience its 3 of more times faster.
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Old 18-11-2010, 11:37 PM   #9
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

I know what I'll do I'll up load some field recordings I have done at various qualities. I have been getting into birds with traffic, and if you would like me to try something in particular just let me know, I am happy to experiment.

If someone has a H4n that they are happy to do the same with, we can all listen to the difference.

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Old 19-11-2010, 08:15 AM   #10
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Quote:
I know what I'll do I'll up load some field recordings I have done at various qualities. I have been getting into birds with traffic, and if you would like me to try something in particular just let me know, I am happy to experiment.

If someone has a H4n that they are happy to do the same with, we can all listen to the difference.
Awesome, thanks
Just a bit of ambient field recording like you said and a few samples of some organic sounds, i.e closing a door or something simple.

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Old 22-11-2010, 11:19 PM   #11
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

I made a bunch of recordings over the weekend and have been extremely busy. So sorry I have not posted the files yet. Hopefully I'll get a chance tonight after work.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:11 AM   #12
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Oh man, this is a perfect thread!

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I'm personally leaning towards the Zoom h2 because it seems to be among the more sturdy/compact recorders, plus my budget is super-tight.
I really look forward to hearing M-wallus' comparative recordings, though. If the quality of the H4n is good enough/h2 poor enough, I just might bite the bullet for an H4n.
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Old 24-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #13
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

if my internet wants to work properly I shall put up a bit of sound for you it is all recorded on a H1 as I went for the mega budget/I cant wait option, and don't regret it. I am only using it as a sketch and note pad I have other gear and mics to use when in the studio.

You can really hear the difference when your playing around with the different quality settings. As I said I am using it as a note pad to quickly talk about ideas while I'm walking to work or out and about and have tried the different quality setting on MP3 and WAV.

One cool thing on this is that you can add tags while your recording in wav by pressing play, it doesn't create separate files but is handy if you making a recording and then think of something - you just hit play then blab away and you don't have to trawl through hours of crap to find it.

Damn Net keeps crashing!!! I have uploaded the file but it keeps stopping.

P.S. I am on Mobile internet in Australia so give me a brake, its fast enough but not the most reliable!!



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Old 24-11-2010, 12:11 PM   #14
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

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So anoying!! i dont know why that didn't work properly.
Any way, some Australiana soundings.

The files are all over the place in terms of I have used both WAVS and MP3s here at various different qualities

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Old 24-11-2010, 02:03 PM   #15
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

the H4N is DEFINITELY an incredible tool, of very good quality. Some field recordings I did ijn Japan can be downloaded there : [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

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Old 26-11-2010, 11:15 AM   #16
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

Thanks cheerleader. I'll have a listen when I next have a little more bandwidth!! but its good to see your site. what you are doing seems very interesting.

I dont know if this is something that anyone would be interested in but I played a ambient gig last night and it was recorded on a H4n straight of the desk so this may be of interest for this post. I know its not a feild recording but still may be helpfull

Last edited by m_wallus; 29-11-2010 at 11:37 PM.. Reason: thought I'd update this as I dont want more wizards on this post
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:59 PM   #17
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

using H4N with much satisfaction, after toying for years with a sony minidisk + ECM 907
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:01 PM   #18
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

I just found this thread again!
Thanks for all the responses! I ended up opting for the H4n, when i have the cash anyway, as I need some inputs into which i can plug a couple of Piezo contact microphones so i can mic up a bit of sheet metal and punch it etc.
H4n has got good reviews by everyone by the sounds of it. Good stuff.

Last edited by ASunProject; 13-12-2010 at 08:47 AM.. Reason: Spelling error, oops ;)

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Old 10-12-2010, 09:33 AM   #19
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

I still have my old Zoom H4 and it's been my main tool for sound ever since I got it. Field recorder, audio interface, it does it all. If I breaks, I'll probably get an H4n.
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Old 19-12-2010, 03:18 PM   #20
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Re: Best field recorder for ambient sounds?

hello there...How did the use of the MiniDisc and microphone work for field recordings?I have yet to try it...

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