Four Portable Recorders That Are Ideal For Field Recording of Samples
Post date:Thu, 10/03/2019 - 12:50
With the vast amount of samples that are available online, many of which are free, it might appear pointless to go out and create your own. However, there is nothing quite like building up your own unique library of samples to use in your music. Sampling is a technique that has had a massive influence on a lot of musical genres, especially electronic music, and hip hop, as well as pop. While many musicians stick to recording studios for recording their own samples, there is also a world outside the studio that is filled with unique sounds. This is where owning a portable field recorder comes in very handy. These devices typically offer features that go far beyond what would be possible using your mobile device as a recording device. Check out the following portable field recorders if you are tempted to go out and record your own samples
Zoom H4N Pro
The Zoom H4N Pro doesn't come cheap, but it has a reputation for being one of the best 4 track recorders for musicians. It features a portable design, onboard X/Y microphones, two combo input jacks, as well as overdubbing, effects and much more. In addition, it can record sounds of up to 140 dB SPL without any distortion. It also has low-noise mic preamps that support recording resolutions up to 24-bit/96 kHz. Thanks to the -120 dBu EIN noise floor, the H4N Pro can not only capture audio at lower volumes but also with less noise and fewer artifacts. Other features include a USB audio interface that allows you to record directly to your computer, stereo mode that can be used with either the built-in X/Y microphones or external mics, as well as studio-grade effects. The H4N Pro can run on 2 standard AA alkaline batteries or NiMH rechargeable batteries to provide up to six hours of operation.
The Olympus LS-P4 is one of the first linear PCM recorders worldwide that allows users to record in the FLAC format. As most people will know, this format is capable of recordings that are better than CD quality, but still smaller than the PCM WAV format. With 8GB of storage, it allows you to save quite a few recordings, but if space is more important than quality, you can also make use of the MP3 format. Or you could simply add up to 32GB of external memory by using a micro SD/SDHC card. The LS-P4 features a tresmic built-in microphone, voice guidance activation as well as Bluetooth operation. You can even control it remotely via an Android app and, best of all, it has a battery life of about 39 hours. Add to this the fact that the LS-P4 is compact as well as lightweight and it’s clear to see why it is such a popular choice.
For a portable field recorder that is affordable, simple to use and packed with useful features, the Tascam DR-05X is a solid choice. It has dual internal condenser microphones that can handle anything up to 125dB SPL, and using only two AA batteries it can last up to 17.5 hours. Users who require even longer use will be glad to hear that the DR-05X can also be powered by a USB mobile battery. Thanks to its USB Audio interface, the DR-05X can also be connected to a PC with ease. Other notable features of the DR-05X include its overwrite function, auto recording function, peak reduction function, seamless gain control, and self-timer recording function. It offers high-quality 69kHz/24-bit WAV/BWF linear PCM recording and also supports MP3 files for long recordings.
The Roland R-07 features WAV and MP3 support with the ability to record in both formats simultaneously. Roland designed the R-07 to be simple and intuitive to use, which means it features a sleek design instead of the usual array of wires and adapters. This pocket-sized recorder comes with one-touch recording setup and has Bluetooth capabilities, so you can use your smartphone to control the device. The R-07 is powered by two AA batteries and it is also compatible with USB bus power. Thanks to Dual Recording and Hybrid Limiting there's less risk of artifacts from aggressive limiting when using the R-07 too.
Portable field recorders are by no means a necessity when recording your own samples, especially if you are only experimenting with the process. These days all mobile phones tend to have enough storage and recording capabilities to record fairly decent samples. However, if you find yourself hooked on the process and end up using field recordings for a lot of your music, then a decent portable field recorder can be a real boon. Let us know in the comments below or on the forum whether you stick to samples that are available online or if you have ever tried your hand at recording your own.