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Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

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Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby theloniouscoltrane » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:53 pm

I want to record from the soundboard, preferably at 24/96 or even 24/192. The goal is to get the cleanest possible recording , with good portability and low price. All I need is a stereo recording

After having read all the handheld reviews, where a large portion of the cost is wrapped up in mics and preamps, and multitrack recorders with high prices and multiple inputs I just don't need, I find nothing about what I need.

Any ideas would be very much appreciated.
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby chris... » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:40 pm

theloniouscoltrane wrote:After having read all the handheld reviews, where a large portion of the cost is wrapped up in mics and preamps

If you're looking at inexpensive handheld stereo recorders, most of those probably have cheapo mics and preamps, so no need to worry.

For what it's worth, I suspect M-Audio didn't spend anything much on the Microtrack (v1 or v2) preamps, and it has no mics at all. And it does 24/96. But I'm not sure how great the convertors are. However, it should hopefully be inexpensive on eBay.

Another plan might be to get an appropriate audio interface for a laptop.

It would almost certainly help if you explained what is to be recorded, and why 96 or 192 kHz is wanted, as those high sample rates are usually associated with very high end audiophile activities, which are generally not known for being "inexpensive".
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:31 pm

Pretty much all of the current batch of portable recorders include built-in mcs and preamps. There are plenty around that will do 24/96, but only the higher end units will do 24/192... and being realistic, it is pointless recording at that rate anyway.

All of the cheaper units only have 3.5mm (1/8 inch) unbalanced line inputs, but that might be fine if your console has unbalanced record outputs. The onboard converters will be perfectly adequate for recording the putput of a live console. If you need balanced line inputs and higher quality you'll need to increase the budget, and the cheapest I can think of is the tascam dr100 mk ii -- but that also has an Spdif input to, so can be used as a 'bit bucket' if you have a digital output available somewhere in your system.

Without knowing your budget it's impossible to offer any more advice... You appear to want to make high quality recordings from a live sound console, but in most cases the console output will be a less-than-perfect balance because of the acoustic contribution of the on-stage back line and folback, as well as any tonal compromises imposed by the PA and hall acoustics.

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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:46 pm

theloniouscoltrane wrote:I want to record from the soundboard, preferably at 24/96 or even 24/192.

Why? It won't sound any different to 24/44.1.
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby mjfe2 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:24 am

Sorry to hijack this thread but can I ask the same question for recording eight (or preferably 16) channels. Is there something portable that could take this number of inputs from the insert points on our desk? We want to make live recordings when we gig but it seems superfluous to buy some kind of interface that has eight or more preamps when we already have all the preamps in our desk. Also I like the idea of recording to an SD drive or similar rather than lugging along a laptop to each gig.
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby ef37a » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:41 am

mjfe2 wrote:Sorry to hijack this thread but can I ask the same question for recording eight (or preferably 16) channels. Is there something portable that could take this number of inputs from the insert points on our desk? We want to make live recordings when we gig but it seems superfluous to buy some kind of interface that has eight or more preamps when we already have all the preamps in our desk. Also I like the idea of recording to an SD drive or similar rather than lugging along a laptop to each gig.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may13/a ... -ice16.htm

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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:57 am

The JoeCo recorder is one option, and the analogue input version is designed to take its signal from unbalanced insert points without disturbing the mixer's signal flow. This thing is designed by some of the same team that brought SADiE to the market.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/a ... corder.htm

And the obvious lower cost alternative is A&H product that Dave has already listed.

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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:28 am

And let's not forget Cymatic Cymatic

and the Zoom R16/R24 Zoom R16

Of course, they 'only' record up to 24-bit, 44.1KHz, WAV (48K for the Cymatic), but I've always found that perfectly adequate for location work. I've regularly used the R16 with sniffer inserts and it's worked well.
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby John Willett » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:14 pm

mjfe2 wrote:Sorry to hijack this thread but can I ask the same question for recording eight (or preferably 16) channels. Is there something portable that could take this number of inputs from the insert points on our desk? We want to make live recordings when we gig but it seems superfluous to buy some kind of interface that has eight or more preamps when we already have all the preamps in our desk. Also I like the idea of recording to an SD drive or similar rather than lugging along a laptop to each gig.


For your use, the best option is the JoeCo Black Box recorder - no contest.


Edit - I see Hugh beat me to it this time
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby John Willett » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:21 pm

theloniouscoltrane wrote:I want to record from the soundboard, preferably at 24/96 or even 24/192. The goal is to get the cleanest possible recording , with good portability and low price. All I need is a stereo recording

After having read all the handheld reviews, where a large portion of the cost is wrapped up in mics and preamps, and multitrack recorders with high prices and multiple inputs I just don't need, I find nothing about what I need.

Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

I would go for the Olympus LS-100 for analogue only - or the Tascam DR-100II or the Marantz PMD661 Mk.2 if you find a digital input useful (the Tascam and Marantz units are the only ones on the market I know of that have a digital input).
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:42 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:

and the Zoom R16/R24 Zoom R16

Of course, they 'only' record up to 24-bit, 44.1KHz, WAV (48K for the Cymatic), but I've always found that perfectly adequate for location work. I've regularly used the R16 with sniffer inserts and it's worked well.

Second that Mike. I do the same with an R16. Great portability and value.

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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby chris... » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Most of the units suggested for the OP are "good", but few fit the requirement of "inexpensive"...
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Then Cymatic uses the same converters as the ICE from A&H and does 96kHz and costs just £364

http://www.cymaticaudio.com/index.php/products/live-recorder...

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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:10 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:Then Cymatic... does 96kHz...
Not in 'record' mode - only 'interface'.
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Guy Johnson » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:09 pm

Er, Hugh, what's "putput of a live console" ?

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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:20 pm

Guy Johnson wrote:Er, Hugh, what's "putput of a live console" ?


Probably a dodgy capacitor in the power supply.
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Re: Best inexpensive recorder to capture line level signal

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:06 pm

Guy Johnson wrote:Er, Hugh, what's "putput of a live console" ?


What! Do you really not know? And there's me thinking you're some kind of big shot record producer...

I've sacked my proof reader and moved the P key to the other side of the keyboard, well away from the O.

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