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A good cheap 2(or more) track SD/USB recorder (rackmount if pos.)

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A good cheap 2(or more) track SD/USB recorder (rackmount if pos.)

Postby dbdt » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:18 am

For the past couple of months my iKey RM3 has been steadily dying. It's been mixing a distorted copy of the left channel into the right channel (and vise versa). It was only very quiet at first, but everyday it's been getting louder.

Today I've had enough of it and have been looking around for a new recorder, however I can't really find a recorder that does what I want.

The features I need are:
- at least a 2 track recorder
- records onto SD card or USB stick (ideally both)
- very fast to set up (i.e. just plug in the SD card and press the record button)
- cheap as possible

Ideal features:
- balanced inputs
- rack mounted
- turns on when external PSU is turned on

I've found the TASCAM DP004, however looking at videos of people using it, it doesn't look to be a "just plug in the SD card and press the record button". Also the SD card slot is buried in the battery compartment, which is under the gadget, so just to plug the SD card in, I'd have to start picking it up and fighting with it (I'll be using a new SD card each time I use the recorder). I suppose I could use an SD Card extension cable, but really I want a solution that will just work out of the box.

Does anybody know of a recorder that would be suitable?

Thanks in advance

Dave
dbdt
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Re: A good cheap 2(or more) track SD/USB recorder (rackmount if pos.)

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:51 am

For what you want to do, the popular digital recorders aren't really suitable. They're constructed on the assumption that users will leave the SD-card in situ and not want to be constantly accessing it. The vast majority of users transfer files using USB links to a computer.

For the application you want then the only 'cheap' solution is the iKey RM3 - but as you've discovered, the iKey products are built to a price and aren't known for their longevity.

Have a look at THIS site to get an idea of what's available, but bottom-line is that for what you want 'cheap' isn't really an option.

Of course, Plan B is to think through if you can alter your archiving procedure to make use of one the multitude of much cheaper and reliable small digital recorders. You might want to look at the Yamaha Pocketrak which has a built-in retractable USB plug, meaning it's very easy indeed to connect to a computer and transfer files.
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Re: A good cheap 2(or more) track SD/USB recorder (rackmount if pos.)

Postby dbdt » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:39 pm

Thanks for the reply, I'll check out that recorder & have a look through the site.

My use case is currently this:

A set of 3 meetings (about an hour long) take place every week, they are miked up with boundary mics, shotgun mics, lavalier mics, etc...

One mix of these mics goes through the PA system, another mix goes into the 2 track recorder.

I turn up at the start of the meeting, plug in the USB stick, press record. At the end of the meeting, I press stop, and take the USB stick with the audio recording off site for post production, etc. And distribute the recording (usually on the same day) around to the those who were present/couldn't make it.

I got talking to somebody about it today, and they've donated me an old Philips CD recorder, that I think I'll use for the time being, until I get a new recorder. However, looking at the price of some of those recorders, you'd be better getting a PC with a decent sound card.

I'll carry on thinking about it,
Thanks
Dave
dbdt
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Re: A good cheap 2(or more) track SD/USB recorder (rackmount if pos.)

Postby dbdt » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:19 pm

Found the Zoom R16, looks like just what I'm after. I'll carry on looking around, but if I find nothing else by the end of monday, I'll get it.
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