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Author Topic: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops  (Read 2041 times)

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Jesse Smith

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Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« 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.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 06:40:18 PM by Jesse Smith »
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #1 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
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 06:01:33 PM »

What sort of budget do you have in mind?
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Lester

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #3 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

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #4 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.
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Greg Smith
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Stiamh

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #5 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 - esp. for the smartphone generation.

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 07:54:56 PM »

...Favourite go to is the H2.
Yes - me too.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #7 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.
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penn

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #8 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
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #9 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?
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Martin P

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #10 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.
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JD

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #11 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.
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Stiamh

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #12 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).

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #13 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?
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Robin Tims

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #14 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
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #15 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
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Thrupenny Bit

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Anahata

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #16 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'.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #17 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
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Steve C.

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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #18 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!)
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Re: Recording gadget for sessions and workshops
« Reply #19 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.
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!
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