Hi, I'm a music producer and sound artist (electroacustic music, field recordings and soundscapes etc). I'm looking to invest in a portable audio recorder which, given my recordings needs (everything from instruments to interviews to atmospheric noise) can pretty much record anything in really high quality. Most recorders i've looked at are really good for some things and not others. some have a small size and large memory but no phantom power, others have full xlr inputs but are way too big and bulky.
I suppose i'm going digital... or should i stick with analog tape? heh
anyway, lemme kno your thoughts, suggestions and opinions. all are welcome
The Zoom H2 is cheap and quite small. Runs on AA batteries, no XLRs and works with dialogue and FX... uses SD cards.
Check out www.wingfieldaudio.com
You don't say your budget, but I have been extremely happy with my Oade modified Marantz PMD661. I think it fits in the "medium" size recorder category, I've managed to sneak it in to record some really loud music with no trouble; the pre-amps are extremely quiet so you don't necessarily need an external one, it has XLR in, and the built in mics aren't too bad. If you search Freesound for "pmd661" you can find some example sounds that I've uploaded.
Also, here is a look at a bunch of recorders:
Like Corsica, I am not sure your budget, but analog tape is a thing of the past. Get a digital recorder.
All the Oade mod stuff I have heard sounds great and those are a great suggestion. Different Mods are available for your price range.
I personally use a Sound Devices 722 and I love it; very transparent, lots of gain without noise, good internal storage and the units are built like tanks. I have tried so many portable field recorder and, imo, nothing beats sound devices stuff; but it is also a serious investment and it is def. not a stealth rig.
Not for you i guess but I use my iPhone. It's so simple that a mobile phone does everything for you. You can even plug in a microphone if you want to. (I didn't) For the results please check my sounds. (search for Maarten Otto)
I've been using the Marantz PMD620 for almost a year with excellent results. Great ambient field recording (ocean) - clean indoor results (Irish pub) and decent interview exchange with on-board mics, but better results with external mic for that. There's a comprehensive review over at transom.org.
If you're after something that's pocketable (just about) and has XLR inputs, you might want to consider the Marantz PMD661.
Dimensions are 165x93x36mm. No experience of using one though.