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Old 01-17-2021, 02:12 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Default Portable recording for practice

Hey all, so I have a good PC with reaper and I plan to eventually get some mics and an interface for real recording... but before I set that all up I wanted to get my hands on a more portable recording solution just for analyzing my practice and improving.

I have been looking at some of Zooms products recently. Can anyone advise me on what would be the best way to get started with this? I just want something I can lay on my music stand and record myself, then quickly play back via my headphones. I have been using my phone up until now for this... and of course the quality is just awful.

I dont want to spend too much because I want to spend the real money on my actual recording setup for my PC. This is really just a practice tool.

Any advice?
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:43 PM
rmoretti49 rmoretti49 is offline
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Well, if you are sure that you will want to eventually record into your PC, the a recorder that already has a built-in audio (computer) interface makes sense. The Zoom R8 is one possibility ($299), but I think it is more complete in what it offers than it is simple.

For bare bones simple recording, consider Tascam. I own the DR-07, and the sound quality is very good. Great built-in microphones. Simple, but a bit cumbersome to operate. Take a look at all the Tascam and Zoom handheld recorders. Some are as inexpensive as $99.

Or even something like the nondigital Portastudio products that you can still find on ebay. Very good sound quality on metal tape, and extremely easy to operate. While some might consider this technology obsolete, it still works.
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Old 01-17-2021, 03:27 PM
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The Tascam DP 008 is a portable version of their porta-studio multitrack recorders. I’ve had lots of fun with it. It basically captures guitar, vocal, and drum machine tracks just like a recorder, with 8 available inputs for mics or instruments, and so-so built-in mics if you dont want to bother with mics and cords. Totally self contained and portable. Its not an interface though, on the down side.

Oops-posted twice. Cant find “delete” within the edit function?
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Old 01-17-2021, 03:28 PM
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dnf777 dnf777 is offline
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The Tascam DP 008 is a portable version of their porta-studio multitrack recorders. I’ve had lots of fun with it. It basically captures guitar, vocal, and drum machine tracks just like a recorder, with 8 available inputs for mics or instruments, and so-so built-in mics if you dont want to bother with mics and cords. Totally self contained and portable. Its not an interface though, on the down side. Personally, I dont mind, as I like a dedicated interface (Audient) and separate portable recorder or DP to carry out.
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Old 01-17-2021, 04:06 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Interesting... didnt think about a recorder that would double as an interface. I was planning to get one of the simpler Focusrite Scarlett interface specifically for my PC recording when I get that up and running. The plan there is to do a simple 2 microphone input (likely Shure or something) as well as a midi input for my Arturia controller.

My original plan was to keep the portable recorder separate so I can use it in various places for practice and not be bogged down by needing a PC or laptop with me.

Maybe Ill just look into one of the more basic products from Zoom or Tascam like you both mentioned.. and then go for a dedicated interface when I am ready for recording on my PC
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Old 01-17-2021, 04:21 PM
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I use a Zoom H5 as my main recording device. After doing a few recordings I transfer the files to my PC and master in Reaper. I don't have to worry about the fan on the PC turning on in the middle of a recording.
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Old 01-17-2021, 04:50 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
I use a Zoom H5 as my main recording device. After doing a few recordings I transfer the files to my PC and master in Reaper. I don't have to worry about the fan on the PC turning on in the middle of a recording.
Interesting. Do you think you are getting similar quality to something like a dual Shure Sm57 setup? I think that was my plan when going direct to my PC. If you do... maybe I should just go the route of the portable and forget a separate mic and interface setup in the future
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Old 01-17-2021, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JParrilla View Post
…I dont want to spend too much because I want to spend the real money on my actual recording setup for my PC. This is really just a practice tool.

Any advice?
Hi JP
I use a Zoom H1n. It boots in under 10 seconds (from off to recording), and fits in my shirt pocket. I'm not going to carry my computer in the front seat of a car and keep it ready for when ideas strike.

And my H1n is never far from my guitar practice area (about 3 feet away actually).

I use it for musical 'note taking', remembering ideas that pop into my head when I'm doing other things I should be focusing on, but don't want to lose the idea.

I can either plug in earbuds to listen back instantly, or pop the mini-SD card and plug it into the computer to listen (don't even have to upload since computers can play stuff directly from the card).

Mics are decent, and it has a tripod socket on it for more serious use. Well thought out, and a company with a history of standing by their products, and updating them during their life (yes it can be updated via USB).

I own far more serious gear…which gets used far less unless I'm on a recording project.

Have fun picking out something and using it.




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Old 01-17-2021, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JParrilla View Post
Interesting. Do you think you are getting similar quality to something like a dual Shure Sm57 setup? I think that was my plan when going direct to my PC. If you do... maybe I should just go the route of the portable and forget a separate mic and interface setup in the future
I use external mics when I use my Zoom H5. The built in mics are ok for practice recordings, but they aren't as crisp sounding as my external mics. I have an attachment bar for the Zoom which is attached to one of my mic booms.

Here's a recording I did recently with the H5 and 2 AT-2035 mics. Excuse my sloppy playing.



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Old 01-17-2021, 05:17 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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@ljguitar Thats what I imagined I would use it for. I love my beefy PC and Reaper.. but at the end of the day I often just find myself with my guitar either practicing or trying to come up with stuff.. I dont always want to be tied to a microphone and computer setup. Thanks for the info about the H1N.

@TBman Oh ok, makes sense. That sounds very, very good.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:08 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JParrilla View Post
@ljguitar Thats what I imagined I would use it for. I love my beefy PC and Reaper.. but at the end of the day I often just find myself with my guitar either practicing or trying to come up with stuff.. I dont always want to be tied to a microphone and computer setup. Thanks for the info about the H1N.

@TBman Oh ok, makes sense. That sounds very, very good.
Pick yourself up a Tascam DR-05. It's similar to the Zoom H1 but a much better portable. (I got rid of my H1 and purchased a DR-05.)

A good set of headphones and the DR-05 will do everything you're looking to do.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:33 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Pick yourself up a Tascam DR-05. It's similar to the Zoom H1 but a much better portable. (I got rid of my H1 and purchased a DR-05.)

A good set of headphones and the DR-05 will do everything you're looking to do.
Does this model allow me to override the mics with my own mic input for the future in case I wind up getting some higher quality mics?

EDIT: Nevermind sorry, I see it has a single Line In as well

Last edited by JParrilla; 01-17-2021 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:59 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Im looking at the new DR-05x and DR-07x. The only difference is that the 05 has 2 omnidirectional mics in a fixed position. The 07 has 2 unidirectional mics that can be put in variable X/Y or A/B configurations.

Would the unidirectional make more sense to get sound direct from the sound hole vs getting a lot of ambient noise?
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:43 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JParrilla View Post
Im looking at the new DR-05x and DR-07x. The only difference is that the 05 has 2 omnidirectional mics in a fixed position. The 07 has 2 unidirectional mics that can be put in variable X/Y or A/B configurations.

Would the unidirectional make more sense to get sound direct from the sound hole vs getting a lot of ambient noise?
The Dr-05 omnis will pick up slightly more "room sound" than the cardiod pattern mics on the Dr-07. This sounds like it might be more advantageous, but the omnis on the Dr-05 won't be subject to proximity effect (boosting the bass frequencies) if you try to use the recorder in close mic configuration.

In either case, you do NOT want to pick up the sound directly in front of the sound hole. What you'll end up with is a nasty and boomy recording.

It sounds like you're looking for simplicity, so either the DR-05 or the DR-07 positioned 8 to 12 inches back from where the neck joins the body will give you a reliable, clean and clear recording of your guitar.

If you want to use external mics then you'll be using phantom powered condensers and you'll want a recorder that's a bit higher up the food chain.

If you're new to recording then just get a basic hand-held and stand mount it or use it in a phone mount until you decide you need something a lot more advanced. IMHO you might want to stick with simplicity if you want to evaluate your playing and/or technique.

There are a bunch of recorders that would suit this prerequisite; Zoom H series, Tascams, etc.
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:58 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
The Dr-05 omnis will pick up slightly more "room sound" than the cardiod pattern mics on the Dr-07. This sounds like it might be more advantageous, but the omnis on the Dr-05 won't be subject to proximity effect (boosting the bass frequencies) if you try to use the recorder in close mic configuration.

In either case, you do NOT want to pick up the sound directly in front of the sound hole. What you'll end up with is a nasty and boomy recording.

It sounds like you're looking for simplicity, so either the DR-05 or the DR-07 positioned 8 to 12 inches back from where the neck joins the body will give you a reliable, clean and clear recording of your guitar.

If you want to use external mics then you'll be using phantom powered condensers and you'll want a recorder that's a bit higher up the food chain.

If you're new to recording then just get a basic hand-held and stand mount it or use it in a phone mount until you decide you need something a lot more advanced. IMHO you might want to stick with simplicity if you want to evaluate your playing and/or technique.

There are a bunch of recorders that would suit this prerequisite; Zoom H series, Tascams, etc.
Yes, simplicity is what I am after. I have never recorded any music before whatsoever. I just want to get recordings for evaluating playing.. then move on to getting some of the better recordings onto my PC into reaper to maybe layer additional tracks, keyboard, etc. But yes the main point here is to upgrade from my current situation of recording on my cell phone mic
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