I have a Tascam DR-05 and I'm really pleased with it. It has raised
buttons that would work well for someone blind - there's also an earphone
jack for monitoring.
The only problem with it - and a drawback of any digital recorder - is
being able to go through the menus to play back, erase or do other
functions on the device. Even with the earphone jack you can put it in
record mode and hear what it would be recording, but it might be in "pause"
mode and not actually recording the signal - you can really tell unless you
can see the display.
That's what makes a digital recorder a little different from an audio
cassette or DAT - if you put in a tape and it's rewound and you press
record, you can be pretty sure it's recording.
It seems to me that it would be a simple matter for manufacturers to add
voice response on the menus of these things to make them accessible for
someone blind; it could be a feature that could be turned on with a
particular combination of key presses. It would seem like a good selling
On Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 6:21 PM, Arthur Gaer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Apropos of this discussion, coincidentally I just today ran across a
> third-party wired remote for the Zoom H4n.
> Zoom has their own wireless remote, but it has soft touch flush keys.
> This one is half the price and uses raised physical buttons. Might be
> particularly useful for a blind person manipulating the H4n.
> Arthur Gaer
> On Mar 27, 2015, at 1:01 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > The Zoom H4n has XLR/TRS inputs, plus 1/8" input for the rear channels,
> so it's theoretically possible to record 4 channels at once. The mic
> preamps aren't noisy like the M-Audio, but the inputs are overly sensitive
> for line-level inputs. I recommend using a 10dB pad with line inputs.
> > To your point, Tascam makes good flash recorders, no doubt. In the
> typical budget of a "sound catcher," the Zoom is a better value because of
> the versitility and features. By the way, the Zoom 6 is stealing market
> from Sound Devices. I'm sure the SD sounds better, but you can get a lot of
> the features for way less than half the price, which is fine for
> budget-constrained video producers.
> > As a wider point, I do think almost any of these flash recorders are
> more difficult for a blind person to operate than an old-school cassette
> recorder. The sound quality will in almost all situations be better with a
> flash recorder, but they are not simple 3-button beasts. If your friend
> ends up trying out some different models, I'd be curious to know which one
> she ends up finding best for her situation, and why. In my opinion, all of
> the flash recorders I've owned or tried out suffer from "feature-itis" and
> are overly complex vs. what they are used for 90+% of the time.
> > Oh, one other thought for your friend. Do not discount the idea of using
> an iPhone or iPod Touch with one of those plug-in mics from Rode, Zoom,
> Tascam, etc. The advantage there is that I think there is a special iOS
> interface for the blind, so she might be able to have sound cues for all
> the controls, and sonic confirmation that it's recording correctly. An iPod
> Touch with 32G memory and one of those mics prices in slightly higher than
> a Zoom H4n, but still not ridicu-priced, plus she can listen to her music
> and podcasts and have her news read to her on her way to and from recording
> > -- Tom Fine
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 1:45 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recorder for blind user?
> >> Thanks, Tom -- that's useful information. My recommendation of Tasxam
> over Zoom was mostly based on test reports I've seen that suggest the Zoom
> mic preamps are noisier than the Tascam, and also the Tascam's provision of
> XLR mic inputs on some models.
> >> Peace,
> >> Paul
> >> ---
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