Forums

    12 posts

  • avatar
    126 sounds
    43 posts
    looking for a field recorder with QUIET pre-amps


    I have been happily using the Zoom H4N and have recorded lots of wonderful nature sounds, and now I am looking to bump up the quality of my nature field-recordings by buying a field recorder with QUIET pre-amps.

    BUT, unfortunately I don't have the money for one of those kick-butt Sound Devices machines.....

    I done a lot of online research and am just about ready to buy the Tascam DR-680, I have read many users who swear by their QUIET pre-amps.

    And, for my price range is looks like the DR-680 would be GREAT., BUT I feel that since I would rarely use or need more than

    2 channels for my field recordings, I feel that if I bought the DR-680 I would be spending money for the extra features (more channels)

    that I don't need.

    I really do not need all 6 channels like the DR-680 provides, plus that is why it takes 8 AA batteries so, my question is:

    *What other good field recorders out there with QUIET pre-amps in the $400 to $700 range that are only 2 channel

    *I don't need one with built-in Microphones, as I already have a good one (Zoom H4N)

    I may end up buying the Tascam DR-680 anyway, but, I wanted to explore this

    possibility first.

    Thanks for any input you can give me!

    Oh, did I mention that the #1 requirement is QUIET pre-amps ??

    Kevin

    e=mail: kevinboucher1989@yahoo.com

    http://www.freesound.org/people/kvgarlic/

    https://soundcloud.com/kvgarlic

  • avatar
    0 sounds
    1 post


    Check out the R-26 from Roland. Having used both, probably slightly cleaner sound compared to the Zoom...Also Sound Devices do quality battery powered pre's you could then take a line out from into your H4n. Also have a range of field recorders but they are pretty exy...

    http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mixpred/

  • avatar
    3055 sounds
    306 posts


    I purchased the "super" modded Marantz PMD661 from Doug Oade (oade.com).
    I forget the exact specs but the modification makes the pre amps slightly quieter than the ones in Sound Devices recorders.
    He also modifies other recorders as well and has various modifications for various applications.
    At least worth a look if you really want something not very expensive and still very quiet.

  • avatar
    163 sounds
    56 posts


    Or (2nd hand) sound devices usbpre2 (eventually mixpre-d) via digital to some bit bucket. It could be something as lowly as m-audio microtrack. It's a bit of hassle with all the connections and batteries, but that's what you pay for cheaper solution wink.

    Sony (d50/m10) has quite a quiet pres built-in, all you need is to add some nice box for phantom power. I wonder how good new nagra lino is... it is the same case as d50, you need to add external phantom power solution.

    Don't forget mics are also part of the equation. Some cheap large diaphragm Rodes have excelent noise figures, if that's all you care about. Small diaphragm condensers are noisier, but good ones have also superior transient and polar response. So what you get is maybe a bit more noise, but on the other hand much more realistic and deep sounding picture.

    Anyway, if it gets really quiet, you can hear some noise even on expensive nagra/sd with sennheiser mkh.

  • avatar
    473 sounds
    127 posts


    I have a Sony PCM-D50 and, although very good as recorders go, when using low-sensitive mics or recording quiet sources where you need to crank up the gain, it's pres are still noticeably noisier than I've experienced with moderate-priced outboard preamps or audio-interface preamps. Perhaps your solutions is to get a highly sensitive mic (like a shotgun or electret condenser, mic that uses plugin-power) so as not to push your preamps all the way.

  • avatar
    883 sounds
    839 posts


    kvgarlic wrote:
    I have been happily using the Zoom H4N and have recorded lots of wonderful nature sounds, and now I am looking to bump up the quality of my nature field-recordings by buying a field recorder with QUIET pre-amps.

    here is a field-recording I did with a Rode NT4 mic in a Sony PCM D50. The NT4 uses it's own 9v power for 48v. I just made a little modification on the cord between recorder and mic.
    http://www.freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/178136/

    This is a field-recording of a NT4 in a H4n;
    http://www.freesound.org/people/kangaroovindaloo/sounds/182696/
    Maybe you can contact this user??

    To hear, you first have to listen
  • avatar
    126 sounds
    43 posts


    Thanks for the replies....I'll check out the NT4 -- sounds like that is a step up
    in quality of microphones from what I have been using....Very clean, no hiss.

    Kevgarlic

  • avatar
    167 sounds
    1459 posts


    James Collins wrote:
    Check out the R-26 from Roland. Having used both, probably slightly cleaner sound compared to the Zoom...Also Sound Devices do quality battery powered pre's you could then take a line out from into your H4n. Also have a range of field recorders but they are pretty exy...

    http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mixpred/

    +1 for this recommendation.

    I have used many mid-price field recording devices. The R-26 is the best I have come across so far. Although there may be better if you raise the price slightly.

    Furthermore, the R26 has so many great features.


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    ╭─────────╮
    PLEASE VISIT
    ➤ Phazebook
    ➤ HeadCloud
    ╰─────────╯
  • avatar
    130 sounds
    18 posts


    A nice source for checking the mic input noise levels:
    http://www.avisoft.com/recordertests.htm

    Just to second what matucha said, if you're willing to sacrifice mobility a bit, using an external preamp/small interface + bit bucket will probably give you cleaner results in that price range. Echo's Audiofire4 and Audient's mico come to mind, but there are probably many other good options.

  • avatar
    167 sounds
    1459 posts


    Yuval wrote:
    A nice source for checking the mic input noise levels:
    http://www.avisoft.com/recordertests.htm

    Amazing share.

    Thank you very much!


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    ╭─────────╮
    PLEASE VISIT
    ➤ Phazebook
    ➤ HeadCloud
    ╰─────────╯
  • avatar
    130 sounds
    18 posts


    this tiny external preamp also looks great and should be in your price range:

    http://www.audioroot.fr/product/femto/

  • avatar
    429 sounds
    343 posts


    I've just bought a Olympus Ls-100. I'd truly recommend it. Preamps and internal mics are fantastic.

    12 posts