Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Jesse Smith on May 31, 2018, 05:44:07 PM

Title: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Jesse Smith on May 31, 2018, 05:44:07 PM
I'm attending a "free reed gathering" in September (the Northeast Squeeze-In) and was thinking I should pick up some sort of recording device for workshops and sessions, etc. I was also thinking it'd be good for Tune of the Month type recordings, so I could get a better audio track than my cell phone microphone can capture.

I've heard a bit about the Zoom line of recorders but what else have people had experience with? Not looking for too many bells and whistles, just something reliable that will capture a decent quality recording of a session or lesson.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on May 31, 2018, 05:55:56 PM
I have a Zoom H4n, and I love it. It produces good quality sound, and can be used with external mikes. All recorded onto SD cards, so you can play it back on your PC, then edit enhance whatever.

SJ
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on May 31, 2018, 06:01:33 PM
What sort of budget do you have in mind?
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Lester on May 31, 2018, 06:03:00 PM
I use a Zoom H1 and it's fine for the sort of jobs you want.

https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/Zoom-H1-Recorder-Matte-Black/1FPE
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on May 31, 2018, 06:11:19 PM
Erm, anyone got any experience of devices apart from Zoom? I have a Tascam DR-05, a Zoom H2 and a Zoom H16. Favourite go to is the H2.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Stiamh on May 31, 2018, 07:25:37 PM
No experience of Zoom. I've been using an Edirol for over a decade and like it. More discreet-looking than some models with their in-yer-face mikes. Its replacement looks good (https://stevesmusic.com/en/roland-r07-high-resolution-audio-recorder-white.html) - esp. for the smartphone generation.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Steve_freereeder on May 31, 2018, 07:54:56 PM
...Favourite go to is the H2.
Yes - me too.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on May 31, 2018, 10:15:30 PM
I use an Olympus LS3.
It gives cd quality sound, simple to use and compact.
Our local folk club had a 40th Anniversary session over the dinner time a couple of weeks back. I just popped it on a table, turned it on and let it go for a couple of hours. It can expand the memory with a small memory chip too.
Not sure if it's been superseded by a newer model, but it's a good piece of kit and I enjoy using it.
Cheers
Q
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: penn on May 31, 2018, 11:05:06 PM
I bought a Zoom H4N very recently and am liking it so far. The main reason I went for it was that the current price seems to be fairly good, and it has inputs for extra mics. So you can sit it on the table and record casually thru its built in mics, or connect your own mics (or both, it’ll record 4 tracks) for a bit more flexibility. The first day I had it I took a stereo feed off the mixer at our local open mic, which worked well mixed with its built in mics.
It has a lot of other functions I’ll never use (I.e. there’s a guitar amp modeller inside, and .... uh-oh... reverb) but it seems to do the main recording task very well. It has a fairly slow boot up time - it’ll take you 20 seconds to get into record from off, so you need to be prepared.
Steve
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Jesse Smith on June 01, 2018, 02:13:19 AM
What advantages does the Zoom H2(n) have over the H1(n), for simple workshop/session recordings and as a basic microphone for later merging with a video track?
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Martin P on June 01, 2018, 02:13:49 PM
I have a Zoom H4n, and I love it. It produces good quality sound, and can be used with external mikes. All recorded onto SD cards, so you can play it back on your PC, then edit enhance whatever.

SJ

Ditto.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: JD on June 01, 2018, 03:25:03 PM
I have used a Zoom H2 for several years and it produces very good recordings either in uncompressed format or coding to MP3 on the fly.
But... Be careful if you try to record a very long session. Each recording is a single file. If your batteries fail part way through a recording you will lose the whole thing. This is a consideration when using rechargeables because battery life doesn't seem very long with NiCDs. It may be better with NiMH, I haven't tried them.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Stiamh on June 01, 2018, 03:35:09 PM
I have used a Zoom H2 But... Be careful if you try to record a very long session. Each recording is a single file.

My ancient Edirol has a neat feature to deal with this problem - press the Repeat button while recording (which normally does something else) and it starts a new file (saving the current one, of course).
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 02, 2018, 01:37:12 AM
I use yer common or garden duracells with the H2 outside and they last plenty long enough for anything I've used them for. Also, you can run it off a wall wart if you want.

The main thing going for the H2 for me is the mics are well protected, behind a grill. I'm not sure that there are any other real advantages over the H1 in your context.

The selling feature of the H2 is the 5 mic recording system which allows simultaneous directional and ambient (side) recording (on different tracks). This makes it great for getting atmospheric sound effects and crowd noise at concerts. I have used mine for bird song, but do you need this?
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Robin Tims on June 02, 2018, 08:34:05 AM
Erm, anyone got any experience of devices apart from Zoom? I have a Tascam DR-05, a Zoom H2 and a Zoom H16. Favourite go to is the H2.

I have a Tascam DR-05 too and while the very few recordings I have made are good I find it too fiddly and the display hard to use and see. All the current jargon defeats me (to the disgust of my son). Most of my audio experience comes from reel to reel tape days so the fault is with me not the Tascam which is a nice piece of kit, well made for the money and, I suspect, easy to use really! My old Sony Walkman Pro was, for me, the easiest to use.

Rob
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 02, 2018, 09:28:44 AM
My Olympus LS3 is charged using a usb cable from my pc and it holds it's charge for several weeks.
Turn it on and it tells you the current charge level; select 'record' then it has a choice of folders a>e; press 'record' and the button flashes red, press it again and it records; the stop button stops recording  (:)

It comes with Olympus software but I find it easier to plug it into the pc and transfer the new files to my pc then cut off the end bits using Audacity ( free ) software. I never tweak it in any way to modify the sound.
I have realised that my early recordings were with the mic's pointing straight at the box when I'm playing and they didn't sound 'right'. I now point the recorder away from the box and I sit at right angles to the recorder so I don't swamp it with sound and it prevents it from picking up all the mechanics of the box whilst I'm playing.
I am aware the recorder can work in a much cleverer way if you want it to, but I tend to go for the simple route when recording.
Q
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Anahata on June 02, 2018, 11:29:47 AM
I now point the recorder away from the box and I sit at right angles to the recorder so I don't swamp it with sound and it prevents it from picking up all the mechanics of the box whilst I'm playing.

That's interesting. Does it work as well to have you and the recorder facing each other but further away? (may need a larger room to get this right...)

Most of my recent YouTube recordings use a coincident XY pair (mic heads one above the other, pointing 45° left and right) about 1m away This gives a rather weak stereo image but best mono compatibility, for what it's worth. It also arguably replicates the sound you'd hear if you were sitting in front of me.

I might try experimenting with mics further away to get more sound off the side walls of the room and less 'in your face'.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 02, 2018, 12:11:53 PM
Anahata: I usually record in our conservatory so have limited space to move the recorder further away.
My option was to do this, point it 180 degrees away from me and I sit at 90degrees to it.
I think it works better than my early recordings, which sadly I didn't realise at the time  :(

Early attempts in other rooms sounded like the walls were absorbing the sound, so have opted for a glass walled conservatory.
Q
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Steve C. on June 02, 2018, 01:12:33 PM
Jesse, I cannot remember (in my dimness) but you might email Stuart re: recording policy. 
I vaguely remember that they have "official" recordings and in one or two sessions I was in, people did not like recorders.  Not as a rule, as I remember. 
Mostly, the sessions are such pandemonium, and what with your playing along and trying to learn, etc. managing a recorder might be overkill. 
I think a lot of folks just let their phone recorder apps run "all the time" and just edit out useful snippets. That helps you put the ear worm back in from the session.  IMO. 
(Maybe more people are making better recordings than I think?  Wouldn't be the first time!)
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 02, 2018, 01:30:52 PM
I recently used my recorder recently at a session for the first time and did just as Steve says - press go and let it run.
Am surprised at the point about asking permissions and 'official recordings'
Over here it is just a free for all most of the time, unless a structured session where you are invited to play. The ones I generally frequent usually work on whoever starts a tune first, and recorders often seen.
Q
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 02, 2018, 02:04:58 PM
Other useful features of the Zoom H2 are (no idea if these are rare or common to most recorders, never looked to see what my others do):

1. It continuously records when sat waiting for you to  actually go in to record and includes a a pre-record (length defined in parameters), when it saves the recording, so you don't miss the beginning.

2. It does something similar in auto record mode  so that it only records when you are making a loud enough noise (i.e., playing), but you don't miss the start of playing.

So, in a session, you don't have to have it recording continuously, just when people are playing.
If your recording yourself at home it automatically gives you separate takes.

These features work very well, but need care in setting up trigger levels.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Anahata on June 02, 2018, 02:38:29 PM
Am surprised at the point about asking permissions and 'official recordings'
Over here it is just a free for all most of the time

The OP did mention workshops too, where it would at least be polite to ask if it's OK to record.

1. It continuously records when sat waiting for you to  actually go in to record and includes a a pre-record (length defined in parameters), when it saves the recording, so you don't miss the beginning.

2. It does something similar in auto record mode  so that it only records when you are making a loud enough noise (i.e., playing), but you don't miss the start of playing.
A useful feature, and I'm sure supported by more than just the Zoom. Probably a good idea to include in one's tick list when shopping around.

Though in a typical session, I'd be surprised if you could find  a reliable trigger threshold between background noise and tunes.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 02, 2018, 02:45:29 PM
ah yes indeed, always polite to ask in workshops.
Q
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Mcgrooger on June 03, 2018, 09:47:38 AM
I use my digital recorder for band rehearsals and TOTM recording. It's an Olympus LS10 which has been long superceded by more up to date versions. It has a metal casing and is nice and sturdy. I'd like to replace it sometime with a version which facilitates multi tracking so I can add guitar or second box to my melodeon recordings. The Olympus is the only make I've used. I was slightly put off Zoom products by a guitar multi effects pedal I once owned and didn't like.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: JD on June 03, 2018, 11:58:57 AM
I have used a Zoom H2 But... Be careful if you try to record a very long session. Each recording is a single file.

My ancient Edirol has a neat feature to deal with this problem - press the Repeat button while recording (which normally does something else) and it starts a new file (saving the current one, of course).
If I had known that I might have gone for the Edirol rather than the Zoom. One thing about the H2 for home recording is that it has very good microphone pre-amps on board. These seem to be noise free at any gain setting unlike the pre-amps in the Zoom R16 multi track recorder which become very noisy when trying to record from a dynamic mic if you have to turn the gain up a bit.


Personally, if I'm in a session and need to take away an aide memoire I find a mobile phone does an adequate, discreet job. Horses for courses.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Steve C. on June 03, 2018, 02:31:44 PM
Tru, meant to say "workshop" rather than session.  What they mostly have is a titled, leader led "session" with a specific purpose/goal/theme, so I always figure, best to ask first....
What comes to mind as a time when, responding to the OP, the recorder might be handy, is when, happens often, you find a player who offers to show you how to play something/do something one-on-one and you might want to record that. 
>>>On the original topic:  is there a mic that's mini-USB or lightning or whatever that's small enought to be practical?   Seems like the average decent smart phone probably already has the electronics and memory of one the little portable recorders.  Must be "an app for that"?
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: syale on June 03, 2018, 02:55:34 PM
I have a Zoom H6 which is a nice piece of kit  (:) When in a situation where I am unsure of time of recording and access to mains power I use an external battery pack like this (https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Charger-Anker-PowerCore-20100mAh/dp/B00X5RV14Y/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1528033678&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=Portable+Charger+Anker+PowerCore+20100mAh&psc=1) which easily outshines the 4 duracell I can put in the unit. This way I am reasonably portable and should the battery pack fail it will drop to internal battery. Little bit more to lug around but worth it. I strap it to the tripod with a velcro strap. It also powers my 360 camera so I do not get heat build up in the unit from the internal battery which shuts the unit down  >:(
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Jesse Smith on June 03, 2018, 03:13:31 PM
Jesse, I cannot remember (in my dimness) but you might email Stuart re: recording policy. 
I vaguely remember that they have "official" recordings and in one or two sessions I was in, people did not like recorders.  Not as a rule, as I remember. 

The attendee information page suggests bringing a recorder with the advice to always ask first. The concert in the evening does have an official recording with better equipment, so I wouldn't bother to make my own recordings of that. I'm also interested in getting better sound on my own video recordings for Tune of the Month etc.

I think I'm settling on the H2n. I like the idea of grabbing the five seconds before you pushed record, and it offers a few other microphone configurations than the H1n that might be useful.
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Anahata on June 03, 2018, 06:17:38 PM
On the original topic:  is there a mic that's mini-USB or lightning or whatever that's small enought to be practical?   Seems like the average decent smart phone probably already has the electronics and memory of one the little portable recorders.  Must be "an app for that"?

You mean a USB mic to plug into a phone?
You'd need a phone that has USB OTG (On The Go) capability, which not all do. An OTG adaptor cable will present a normal full size USB socket into which you can plug any USB mic designed for desktop/laptop computers. But the phone must also have USB software support for audio devices via OTG... Also a USB mic might have a built in phantom power supply that drains a lot of current from the phone, so the phone battery could go flat sooner than you'd like.

See This Guardian Article by Jack Schofield (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2014/dec/04/can-i-use-an-external-microphone-to-make-recordings-on-a-smartphone) for discussion of a similar topic. He points out that some phones have a separate mic and better electronics for recording, which would be of better quality  than the phone speech mic and make the benefit of an external mic marginal.

Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Steve C. on June 04, 2018, 12:54:50 PM
Thanks for great reference Anahata.  Interesting.  Would this work:
K Multimedia iRig Mic Cast
They are US$35. 
Is there iOS already on an iphone that would run it?
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Theo on June 04, 2018, 01:05:08 PM
Lots of iphone mic info here

https://www.micreviews.com/guides/top-10-best-ios-microphones
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Steve C. on June 04, 2018, 02:33:19 PM
Also, I looked at their site, they include an "i rig recorder" app that appears relatively sophisticated...
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Anahata on June 04, 2018, 02:44:30 PM
Would this work:
K Multimedia iRig Mic Cast
They are US$35. 
Is there iOS already on an iphone that would run it?

It says it works with IOS or Android, so presumably yes.

Note it's not a USB mic, which is what you were asking about. It looks like it plugs into the headphone socket. I guess phone headphone sockets can support a headset mic somehow*, and that's the functionality that this thing uses.

* I thought the extra ring on the jack was for a remote control, but maybe there's some clever way of making it double as a mic connection as well
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Steve C. on June 04, 2018, 06:31:03 PM
I was just looking at the H1.  US$100.  Runs for 10 hours. All kinds of settings and controls.  Easily replaceable battery.  Stereo.  Very nice.  Etc. Etc. 
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Gena Crisman on June 04, 2018, 06:57:24 PM
* I thought the extra ring on the jack was for a remote control, but maybe there's some clever way of making it double as a mic connection as well

I think it may indeed be both! There's some info here (http://www.instructables.com/id/Galaxy-Nexus-and-others-headset-remote-with-medi/) with a guy modding a remote to work differently. However, I've used a Tip/Ring/Ring/Sleeve cable to a 2xTip/Ring/Sleeve splitter thing that is marketed as a headset adapter with my phone, so I can use an external mic while recording video (I think we talked about this in another thread a while ago actually). It works, but I've had clipping problems, and also sometimes while setting it up it decides to take pictures on its own because it also somehow triggers one of the remote control button functions. That will probably vary from mic to mic/phone to phone though.

I actually just realised, I have a USB OTG cable now from like a snake camera thing that we bought. So, I could try out the H2n via that route this time around. Not that there's really any reason to, but, well, you know!
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Chris Ryall on June 07, 2018, 07:26:25 AM
Personally, if I'm in a session and need to take away an aide memoire I find a mobile phone does an adequate, discreet job. Horses for courses.

Ditto. Discrete and it does the job. I tried a Zoom, but battery life was awful. Gave it to a daughter and tried an Olympus. That was frankly "great" but someone spilt beer on a table at Bromsgrove … it never worked again 😕

These thing ain't cheap and the phone apps are more or less free. Mainly I use recording as an aide memoire for tunes, so quality is not critical to me. Presently using Recorder+ on IoS devices
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 07, 2018, 07:31:57 AM
Hi Chris, nice to hear from you again.
I think it was your past recommendation that I went for the Olympus.
As said, really pleased with mine, if for any reason anyone's seeking an alternative to a Zoom.
Q
Title: Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
Post by: Stiamh on July 09, 2018, 01:21:38 PM
No experience of Zoom. I've been using an Edirol for over a decade and like it. More discreet-looking than some models with their in-yer-face mikes. Its replacement looks good (https://stevesmusic.com/en/roland-r07-high-resolution-audio-recorder-white.html) - esp. for the smartphone generation.

Reviving this old thread because I have just acquired a replacement for my trusty Edirol (still working fine, now officially handed over to my daughter). For some reason these Roland pocket recorders seem to be much more popular with trad musicians over here than all the Zooms that seem to find favour in Europe.

I decided that the newest Roland linked to in the above quote had a few too many wireless bells and whistles for me so I looked around for an R-05 (https://www.roland.com/us/products/r-05/), which has just been discontinued. (Deciding to get a piece of electronic equipment after a long process of deliberation, only to find it is no longer available, seems to be the story of my recent life!) Found one in new condition for $100 less than the price of the latest model. It has all the functions of the Edirol, including the handy split-the-file-while-recording feature, plus a lot more new ones. The controls are much more intelligently placed and access to the battery compartment and SD-card slot much improved.

I went for another Roland not just because I am familiar with the menu structure and file system but because I like the discreet look of the thing, particularly the microphones. The sticky-out angled mikes on other makers' offerings are just too in-your-face to stick on the table at a session, for me anyway. So, if you see a second-hand or as-new R-05, grabbing it would be a good idea in my opinion. And if you want to control the recorder remotely from your phone, then the newest model ought to be good.  :|glug
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal