I think we're at the cusp where memory card recorders are going to
become the choice.
I'm not sure there is an ideal recorder yet, but my suggestions would be:
(a) Use of Compact Flash cards
(b) Separable battery pack to allow longer recording times with multiple packs
- I would ideally prefer something that used rechargeable standard cells
- I don't like soldered-in batteries
(c) Have true 48V phantom (probably not important for oral history,
but is for music)
(d) Be able to record mono for double the recording time
(e) Provide a wide variety of formats for recording (interviews in
MP3 might be adequate)
(f) Absolutely NO specialty formats. WAV or MP3 or Ogg Vorbis, or
others of that ilk.
(g) Robust mic in connectors
The M-Audio apparently fails on several of these (b, c, and d -
though d is future), but it has a lot of things right.
I think HHB now has a recording mic, but it fails on (a) at least as
the memory is built in.
While MD is very interesting, I think its day is over mainly due to
real-time copying requirements back at the ranch/office/lab...unless
that's been solved. I haven't been watching that closely.
If I had to buy today, I'd consider the M-Audio very, very seriously,
despite its 30V phantom (will drive AKG but not most Neumann mics),
it comes with a stereo mic, uses CF cards, can charge off a USB port
while recording (I wonder if the Palm USB car charger cord will
work?) It's under $400. Files drag and drop from the CF card either
in the device or a separate card reader.
If I were just doing interviews, and the price was right, the HHB mic
would also be a real contender.
Other options not to consider: cassette, reel-to-reel, DAT, pen
recorders with non-standard file systems
One other option to consider is putting a USB mic preamp on a laptop
computer, but that only appeals to geeks.
There are probably much better devices than this for the purpose
A good place to browse--they cover the concert taper market:
Their own stuff is a bit roughly constructed, but the one digital
piece I bought several years ago (a TOSLINK-SPDIF converter) worked
as advertised and Len was very helpful making it work with my D8 DAT
Walkman's oddball digital interfaces.
The more I think about the HHB for oral histories and someone singing
or playing a guitar in an interview situation, the more I think it
makes a lot of sense. Send out two for some really important interviews.
At 11:14 PM 9/26/2005, you wrote:
>The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University is
>considering updating our portable recorders. These machines will be used by
>staff and students to conduct interviews and gather oral history in the
>field. Quality, cost, ruggedness, reliability and storage capacity is
>always a consideration but we'd like to get something that is also both user
>friendly and allows easy manipulation and transfer of data to a PC.
>Mini Disc is high on the list at present but the pocket "memory card" type
>voice recorder has also been suggested.
>Anyone care to weigh in with an opinion on either of these or possibly other
>All replies greatly appreciated.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Media web: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm