WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

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Jeffrey Armbruster
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WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue May 29, 2018 10:39 pm

I'm looking for something inexpensive to record my practice sessions. I don't need wifi or such. Simple is best as i'm a luddite. But ideally I want something that sounds good enough in itself not to depress me ("is my tone really that awful?").
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Wuuthrad
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed May 30, 2018 4:48 am

I still use a Sony Pockettrack, which is over 10 years old now, for practice and field recordings. There are better options available these days , with better mics, better storage and better computer integration.

I recommend something like this: a portable digital stereo recorder with built in condenser mics. I think about it this way: for better or worse, the technology is above the standard used when Bream and Segovia recorded much of their early work, so what you play is what is heard, more or less. And they're generally easy to use and convenient, as you can just press record and go. Not a whole lot of engineering knowledge required.

A quick search at Musicians Friend or your preferred retailer for a Tascam, Zoom or Sony portable field recorder should give you more than enough options to choose from. Sometimes with these devices the simpler is the better as long as the mics are good. Which they are in most every case.
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by simonm » Wed May 30, 2018 9:13 am

WTB … wilderness trail bikes? Never come across wtb before. :-)

There are gazillions of threads here about Tascam Zoom, Sony and so one. Inexpensive is a very flexible concept depending on your finances. If you put a price range in, it would help people make suggestions. e.g. $50-$80, $80-$120, $500-$850.

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sxedio
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by sxedio » Wed May 30, 2018 10:59 am

Yep, lots of recorders out there. I have a Zoom H5 but do use some of the more advanced features, you could go for any basic recorder from the brands mentioned above.
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed May 30, 2018 3:38 pm

My notion is that someone might have an old Tascam or Zoom lying around the garage because they upgraded, and so they would want to sell it for $50.00 or so. That's all. My apologies if this is inappropriate.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
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Wuuthrad
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed May 30, 2018 4:25 pm

The Tascam Dr05 does WAV (up to much better than Cd Quality, recording industry standard uncompressed audio) and MP3 should you need it.

I see some bundles with an added mic and SD card should you need one. About 100 $ and still some Memorial Day discounts out there. And yes used is a good idea.
"Music before all else, and for that choose the irregular,
which is vaguer and melts better into the air."

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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed May 30, 2018 4:34 pm

Wuuthrad, there's a Do5 with a portable added exterior mic plus headphones in the bundle at $150.00 on the big river site. This is version 2, whatever that means. Other iterations of this same version 2 come without headphones and mic. So: my guess is that having the external mic is worth it, and the headphones too...? finally: some of these Tascams have the mics pointing out and some have them in a cross configuration, pointing in. Is one preferable to the other? doubtless this has all been covered ad nauseum, but I may pull the trigger and want to get it right.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
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Wuuthrad
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed May 30, 2018 4:47 pm

It's nice to have headphones to listen back and the other add ons are nice bonuses which may be of some use. The mic configurations are probably not a huge concern in this range as either will do an adequate job. Pointed out will be a possibly better stereo sound. One aspect to consider there is the physical size. I prefer mics pointed out. And the tripod table mount is a really convenient, almost necessary! (If that's the combo you're looking it) Without one I've had to rig some creative things when using my old Sony.
"Music before all else, and for that choose the irregular,
which is vaguer and melts better into the air."

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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed May 30, 2018 4:54 pm

Also you may not need a lavalier mic but I suppose it might come in handy. Looks like a nice package honestly. I wouldn't expect the sound coming out its own speakers to be good for much more than reference, so there's added value in the headphones and line out to connect to a better sound system.


With headphones you can monitor while recording, and in a sense practice recording engineering. This can help with mic placement (recorder placement) and also fine tuning of your playing. A more subdued attack or fingerstyle can often result in a better recording, as these mics can pick up a lot! I hear people breathing a lot in modern recordings.
"Music before all else, and for that choose the irregular,
which is vaguer and melts better into the air."

Paul Verlaine

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Steve O
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Steve O » Wed May 30, 2018 5:07 pm

I have a Zoom iQ5 that plugs directly into the iPhone. It works well and was less than $100 CDN.

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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by rojarosguitar » Wed May 30, 2018 6:33 pm

Steve O wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 5:07 pm
I have a Zoom iQ5 that plugs directly into the iPhone. It works well and was less than $100 CDN.
+1

Or any of Tascam, Zoom or Olympus recorders with inbuilt mice in your price range. They all do perform better than many pro gears 20-30 ys ago
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed May 30, 2018 7:28 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll need a stand and headphones so the package Dr05 is what I'll probably go with. Hopefully I won't find that I also need another taller stand to make a decent recording. And I'll assume that the (probably) cheap headphones will sound better than any speaker on the recorder.But again this is all for learning purposes and also to get used to playing for 'an audience' I suppose.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
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Wuuthrad
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed May 30, 2018 8:25 pm

I think you may be surprised at the quality of the device, particularly in accuracy! Consider one the most important parts of sound recording: mic placement; near the guitar, or further away for added room ambiance for example, a kind of natural reverb. You can add reverb too later which is a common trend, which I personally cannot stand. Classical guitar bass isn't going vibrate your table too much so you can go that route, setting the stand on one.

I've used my aging Sony for quite a variety of different recordings, live concerts, acoustic music, and line inputs from a mixer with great results. The only real complaint would be not having a proper drum set mics for band practice, but even then it sounds good. Not such a big deal for classical guitar obviously.
"Music before all else, and for that choose the irregular,
which is vaguer and melts better into the air."

Paul Verlaine

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Location: Berkeley, California

Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed May 30, 2018 9:10 pm

update: a co worker has an old Tascam hand held recorder that I'll receive sometime soon. It even has an old external mike. I think it may serve me well. It also has a 24 foot cable stuck in one of its jacks--hopefully not the mic input...
thanks again for the advice and info. I'll still go with the Dr05 package if this fails for some reason.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
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Re: WTB inexpensive recorder for practice only

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed May 30, 2018 11:58 pm

Yes! And who knows, it may become the sought after "vintage" sound in some years time, and highly collectible.

There's an 8 Track Tape following after all, and I still prefer the sound of Bream's old recordings (some were possibly mono?)
"Music before all else, and for that choose the irregular,
which is vaguer and melts better into the air."

Paul Verlaine

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