Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best field recorder 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated March 1, 2019
Best field recorder of 2018
Below you can find 3 reviews of the best field recorder to buy in 2018, which I have picked after the deep market research. I must say I am quite a fan of field recorder, so when the question “What are the best field recorder available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable field recorder. The best field recorder will make your fairytale dreams come true! So, what exactly would anyone want to know about field recorder? I know most of us don’t really care much about the history and the origin, all we want to know is which of them is the best. Of course, I will spare you the history and go straight on to the best field recorder.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this field recorder win the first place?
The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
Why did this field recorder come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this field recorder take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
field recorder Buyer’s Guide
Features Recorders Must Have
Preamp – If you can afford it, make sure you have a recorder with XLR inputs. This will allow you to use external microphones which will increase your audio recording quality.
Recording format – 96k/2Wav and up. This will give you the most flexibility when editing and mangling the sound.
Nothing sucks more than hearing a good sound, the missing it because it takes minutes to get everything up and running.
The PX470 is a bit bulkier than our main pick, and its audio quality isn’t as good, but it has a similar layout and navigation system. It does best in quiet settings with minimal background noise.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend Sony’s ICD-PX470. The PX470’s buttons and navigation system are very similar to that of the UX560, but our listening panel didn’t rate the PX470’s audio quality as highly. Recordings were understandable enough, however, and if you don’t need the absolute best audio quality, the PX470 will save you some money. It also has longer battery life than the UX560 at 5hours, but it isn’t rechargeable—you have to remember to keep AAA batteries on hand. It’s also physically larger, measuring twice as thick as the UX560.
If you don’t want a physical recorder, or need to only occasionally make recordings, we also have picks for the best iOS and Android voice-recording apps.
How we tested
We tested recorders in common settings and asked a listening panel to score recordings based on quality.
Most of the recorders have options to select recording modes for scenes like lectures, meetings, interviews, or dictations. Recording modes do the work for you: Selecting a scene automatically changes the recorder’s settings for that situation.
Wirecutter writer Anna Perling recorded MPaudio at the highest bit rates available on each device in order to get the best possible audio quality—this showed what each recorder was capable of. That meant 19Kbps for all recorders except for the Olympus, which maxes out at 12Kbps (though even this should be good enough for voice recordings). For the lecture scene, Anna sat in the back of Sahithya Reddivari’s engineering class at Georgia State University in Clarkston, Georgia, and lined recorders up next to each other, with the mics facing toward the lecturer. For the coffee shop scene, she headed to a crowded Starbucks and sat near the bar with her mom. The two read a Seinfeld dialogue, with the mics facing toward the “interviewee,” or main speaker, to mimic an interview. For the office scene, Anna read a different Seinfeld monologue in a quiet room in her house to mimic dictation, placing recorders on a table feet away from her mouth. Once she had the recordings, she noted how each recorder and app let her store the files, and how easy or difficult it was to transfer those files to her computer, label and organize them, and then upload them to Dropbox.
Anna then conducted a blind listening panel: Four Wirecutter staffers listened to 15-second samples of each unlabeled recording and rated the overall audio quality and intelligibility of words for each.
The Sony UX560’s extra features make an already-great recorder stand out from the rest.
The UX560 also has a rechargeable battery that charges via that USB plug. This means you won’t have to worry about having disposable batteries on hand. The UX560 doesn’t come with a wall charger—you’ll need to use a USB charger or connect the recorder to a computer to charge; if you have a recent Apple laptop or other computer with only USB-C ports, you’ll need an adapter. With a full charge, you can record for 2hours in the commonly used MPformat, or 2hours at the 560’s highest-quality setting (uncompressed LPCM audio at 44.kHz, or “CD quality” audio). Anna recorded for about two hours, and the battery indicator showed that the recorder was still fully charged.
The recorder comes with GB of storage, which allows for roughly 3hours of recording time using MPformat at 19Kbps; that’s comparable to what you get with most of the recorders we tested. A covered but easily accessible microSD slot allows for 3GB more of storage space if you need more recording hours. The UX560 offers a range of file and recording formats so you can opt for better audio quality or smaller file sizes.
Selecting the Clear Voice function during playback helped reduce background noise in our coffee shop and lecture recordings but didn’t make as big of a difference as the noise-cancel feature on the Olympus. The UX560’s other playback options, however, made it overall a better choice than the Olympus for people looking to transcribe interviews or lectures: an A-B Repeat function lets you go back and replay the same section repeatedly, and digital pitch control lets you adjust the playback speed if you need to listen more closely to difficult-to-decipher passages. The UX560 has a transcription mode that will give you a cleaner interface with fewer distractions while transcribing if that’s something you prefer, but you can still fast-forward, rewind, and adjust the digital pitch control in regular playback mode. Oddly, you won’t be able to use the A-B Repeat to replay the same section repeatedly in transcription mode.
For better audio quality, you can plug in an external mic, though we think that would be unnecessary for most people given the good results we were able to get with the onboard mics in our varied test situations. The UX560 also has a headphone jack for monitoring recordings and listening to playback.
The UX560 is a small, compact recorder that feels nice in the hand, and its matte plastic and sleek design make it look a little less cheap than others that were tested. At just inches tall, 1.inches wide, and 0.4inch thick, the UX560 is the slimmest recorder we tested. It can easily fit into a shirt pocket or in the pocket of skinny jeans, while the other recorders are almost twice as thick and fit better in a purse or bag.
The UX560 is half as thick as the PX470, making it easy to fit in a shirt or pants pocket.
Like all of the recorders we tested, the UX560 also comes with a strap loop if you want to add a wrist strap or lanyard; you’ll need to provide your own, though it’s easy enough to find an inexpensive option.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The screen on the UX560’s fades and eventually shuts off during recording, which is a little disconcerting, but an LED indicates that you’re still recording. This recorder also lacks a convenient erase button, so you’ll need to navigate through its menu to delete recordings.
Although its audio quality isn’t as good as our main pick’s, the Olympus WS-85has more internal storage and longer battery life.
If you can’t find the Sony UX560, or its price increases dramatically, we also like the Olympus WS-85for its superior combination of storage space and battery life, each of which was better than with everything else we tested. The Olympus didn’t do as well as the UX560 in our listening tests, ranking lowest overall for audio quality by our panel, though its recordings are still understandable and it scored well on the lecture test, tying with the UX560. The main complaint from listeners was that the lecture and coffee shop audio samples sounded “tinny.” We also found that the Olympus’s menu system is less intuitive than that of the UX560.
The Olympus’s GB of storage is double that of most of the models we considered, including the UX560, and you can expand it even further with a microSD card. The Olympus boasts 1hours of battery life when recording in MPat 12Kbps, or about four times as long as our main pick.
With GB of internal storage, the Olympus has the most memory of the recorders we tested.
The Olympus has one of the largest screens of the models tested, larger than that of our main pick. The larger screen makes the menus slightly easier to see in daylight, but the Olympus’s screen isn’t backlit, making it harder to use in low-light settings. Navigating the menus is also more difficult than on our top pick. It seemed counterintuitive to navigate using the up and down buttons to access different folders, and to have to press the side buttons twice to select items; it’s also missing a back button. On the other hand, it does have a convenient erase button for one-step file deletion.
As with the Sony UX560, a pop-out USB 3.0 plug lets you easily upload files to a computer and recharge the two replaceable AAA batteries, which takes about hours. The Olympus doesn’t have quite as many high-quality recording options as the UX560, but it still has a range of formats that let you optimize quality or maximize storage space. It also has a low-cut filter to reduce excess low-end rumble. Although the Olympus doesn’t have a scene setting aimed at recording music like our main pick, it has presets that tailor recording settings for dictation, meetings, conferences, and telephone recordings. Like the UX560, the Olympus has a voice-activated recording setting to automatically stop and start recordings based on volume levels so you don’t have to manually pause if you’re recording a lecture or conversation with lots of breaks.
While playing back audio, the WS85can compensate somewhat for problems you might have run into while recording: a noise-cancellation setting can reduce overall background hiss (though this comes at the expense of battery life), while a voice balancer setting can even out recordings that were made with the mic sensitivity set too low or high by compressing the overall level for a more even sound (though you might run into increased noise).
During our testing, noise cancellation was effective at reducing background hiss, clangs, and the noise from the coffee grinder, while the voice balancer did even out recorded levels though it made voices sound flat. The effects of both features were more obvious than Sony’s Clear Voice mode and did help make recorded voices clearer, but the Olympus lacks Sony’s handy track mark list, dedicated transcription mode to let you fast-forward and rewind, and digital pitch control to slow or speed recordings, making it overall less useful for transcribing than the UX560.
A neoprene case protects the Olympus from bumps and scratches.
The Olympus is made of shiny plastic and has raised buttons that some people will find easier to use. It’s the only recorder we tested to come with a case—a neoprene sleeve—which is useful for protecting the recorder during storage.
There are two types of audio file formats, compressed and uncompressed. Generally, higher compression means lower quality sound. You should buy a recorder that allows you to capture uncompressed audio in AIFF or PCM (Wav) formats. Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) and Pulse Code Modulated audio (PCM) are audio file formats that store the audio in its raw uncompressed format, meaning you maintain the original recording quality. High quality voice recorders enable you to record your interviews in an uncompressed audio format.
Yamaha Pocketrak PR7
When you are looking for a recorder, you are going to find that you have a lot of options in front of you. After you assess your needs, you will need to decide what type of recorder will be best for whatever project you have planned.
Multitrack Recorder Features
A multitrack recorder is different than a portable recorder in that you can’t carry it around easily, and it records separate tracks that can be put together to create a bigger, more complex configuration. This is, and has been for some time, the traditional way musicians lay down the different parts of a song, before the existence of computers. You can lay down the guitar parts first, then the drums, then the vocals, etc. There are several different models in this category as well, so again, it all depends on preferences and budget when it comes to choosing a multitrack recorder.
Choosing a Multitrack Recorder
Budget – If you are on a tight budget, there are some fairly affordable multitrack recorders on the market, especially if you are just looking for a basic, straightforward multitrack recorder that will record eight to sixteen tracks. Keep in mind, the more tracks a system can record, the more expensive it will be. If you have the budget and the inclination for a higher-end recorder, there are a lot that have the bells and whistles you may need to create your next masterpiece.
Choosing a Handheld Recorder
The best handheld recorder for you depends a lot on your wants and needs, so it is a totally subjective decision. Some of the recorders on the market have tons of features, but they may be a lot of features you do not need, especially if you just want to simply record audio with no extras. If you are looking to record some audio using filters, XLR inputs, and want noise cancellation technology, then you will be looking at some of the higher quality models. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are shopping.
Tracks – How many tracks do you plan on recording? Some recorders will only record a certain number of tracks, so make sure that if you want to record four, the recorder you buy can actually do that.
Memory – Some recorders will take a microSD card or an SDHC card, and others don’t. Make sure to pay attention to what the recorder will use for memory, and how much it is capable of holding. If you plan to do a lot of recording, you need to double check and make sure the recorder you are buying can support that. You will find that most recorders will accept any size of a microSD card, and others may have a sizable internal memory that is enough for your needs.
Extra Features – These can include filters, playback slow-mo, LCD screens, and effects. This is a totally subjective section, and is completely dependent on what you want for your recordings.
Internal vs External Mic – Some recorders come with an interchangeable mic that can are attached at the top of the model. Other recorders have built-in mics, so you don’t have to worry about the extra pieces. This is another personal preference, so just make sure the recorder you are looking at has the type of mic you prefer.
View on Sweetwater
The Yamaha Pockettrak PRis a super portable linear PCM recorder that gives you high-quality recording no matter where you are. It is outfitted with crossed XY stereo microphone, so the PRcan obtain high-quality stereo recordings that are consistently high-quality and have a natural sound. This is a great tool for any musician, and it can be used as a metronome or an onboard tuner, plus it is useful for recordings with features like marker editing and overdubbing.
The Yamaha PRalso has five optimized presets that are great in a variety of ways, so if you are working on a field recording, songwriting, rehearsing, or listening to a lecture, you will have studio quality sound from a super easy-to-use compact recorder.
Sony WM EX194S
One of the last Walkmans to be built, the WMEX194S is a fairly basic player but it incorporates technology that provides extremely smooth tape speed and low power consumption. This gives it a claimed 2hour playing time from two AA batteries, which combined with good sound quality makes it a popular choice. Or for a cheaper alternative, check out little sister model WM-EX180 which has a great build quality for price.
Sony WM-D6C Walkman Pro
Sony’s Professional Walkman is one of the most desirable tape recorders ever made. Not only because its build quality is so high or that there are so many features squeezed into its compact form, but ultimately because it sounds so good. There aren’t many cassette decks that inspire enthusiasts to wax lyrical about sound but this is one of them, possibly the only one that isn’t a Nakamichi. Used by professionals to portable replace reel to reel recorder in the Eighties it retains a cult following but, thankfully, has not featured in any sci-fi movies to date.
If one were to analogize audio recording to photography, the microphone would be like the lens of a camera. While the body of the camera remains an important component of the system, it is the lens that ultimately is the primary factor in determining quality. Microphones similarly play an crucial roll in the sound quality of audio recording. Using a cheap microphone on even the most advanced audio recorders will result in terrible sound.
Note: ENG stands for Electronic News Gathering. Consider this when shopping for audio equipment.
Generally, directional microphones are good for interviews because they help to eliminate surrounding ambient noise. However, very directional microphones, like shotgun microphones, can be tricky if they are not pointed exactly at their targets.
Omni-directional microphones are good for capturing environments and ambient sounds. If you wanted to record a room, or say a band where the source of the sound is coming from various directions, omni-directional would provide the best coverage.
There are so many types of microphones on the market today, it is hard to specifically make a list of all of the best brands. At the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, we use Sennheiser MD 4dynamic handheld microphones, which have proven to be extremely reliable, and of high quality.
Your Recording Options
There are primary ways you can record. Either straight to your computer or by using external devices like a digital recorder and a mixer. How you record will also determine your pre-production (what you do before recording) and post-production (what you do after the recording) workload. I recommend recording into an external device like a digital recorder and NOT into your computer.
Digital recorders are dependable. They record via a microphone input directly onto an SD card. Computers are much more likely to have corrupt files, errors, or other technical issues. The following suggestions are based on using an external recording device like a digital recorder and are all pieces you’ll want to consider before starting your podcast.
Choosing a Microphone
One aspect you should know is the difference between dynamic and condenser mics. Dynamic mics are more affordable, rugged, and direct. Condenser mics are typically more expensive, fragile and sensitive. Many people suggest condenser mics over dynamic mics, but I disagree with this for a few reasons. The main reason being that condenser mics pick up EVERYTHING. Unless your recording area is a professional sound booth, a condenser mic will pick up all of your room noise- creaky chairs, computer fan hum, cars driving by outside- you name it.
Dynamic mics on the other hand are perfect for recording in a small room or basement setting. They offer quality sound with a higher degree of control over room noise.
Entry-level: Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone. Nice sound for the price point. XLR (for plugging into a mixer) and USB (for plugging into a computer) outputs. Trustworthy company.
Standard: Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Vocal Microphone. This is the industry staple for live performance. Reasonably priced, high quality, and very durable. This would easily fulfill your podcast needs.
High-end: Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone. This is one of the best rated dynamic mics around. Used by successful podcasters like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, and Cliff Ravenscraft from the Podcast Answer Man. This mic will not disappoint.
Don’t forget to pick up some mic filters or popscreens to help give you a clean sound. The inexpensive Nady pop filters should work just fine.
Choosing a Mixer
Roland R-0Studio WAVE/MPRecorder. Roland makes excellent products and the R-0is one of them. My two favorite features of this recorder are its size (slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes) and the record/pause feature (allows you to pause a recording instead of completely stopping and starting a new one). The downside is it doesn’t have an XLR mic input.
TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder.This model is used by Alex Blumberg in recording his podcast ‘StartUp’. The Tascam offers a durable construction, XLR inputs, and two sets of microphones for cardioid or omni-directional pickup.
The following equipment are suggestions based on your setup and needs.
Behringer MDX1600 2-Channel Expander/Gate/Compressor/ Peak Limiter Simply put, this device helps remove unwanted room noise and prevent noise from being too loud. The more you work with audio, the easier it becomes to hear the differences and appreciate a tool like this.
You should always wear headphones when recording and editing your podcast. The kind you typically find at the department store probably aren’t good enough. Try to find a pair of headphones that are used for monitoring like the Sony MDR750Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone.
Other equipment like equalizers and preamps exist but their use in your professional podcast set-up is dependent on many of the factors we’ve already discussed.
Stay tuned for Part of our podcasting series next week.
Check out all the OSTraining podcasts
Yeah the audio tests I listened to on YouTube illustrate that the microphone is not as good as the one on the Zoom Hand H6.
I am not so sure.
Have a listen to this audio test that compares the Zoom Hand Zoom HYou can clearly hear the difference in quality between the Hand the HSimilar tests with the Zoom Hproduce the same results since the Hand Huse the same mic capsule system.
It is no surprise that the Hand Hsound better since they are more expensive and were released years later. However, I imagine there are other portable devices available from rival companies that were released after the Zoom HI have seen many comparisons to the Zoom H1, but the audio recorders being compared all seem to be much bigger.
Some alternatives include the Yamaha PR7, Tascam DR-05, Olympus LS-14, and the Olympus LSetc.
RODE NTGcondenser shotgun microphone
If you’re looking for a straight-forward dashcam and you are only concerned with recording out the front of your windshield, take a look at our basic dash cams category.
Improving your shooting environment
The area you shoot in can make a huge difference! The saying “fix it in post” doesn’t really apply to audio. It’s extremely tough to remove ambient noise from a recording after the fact. Save yourself the aggravation and capture the best possible sounding audio during production.
Deaden room reverberation by taping blankets to the walls. You could also invest in acoustic panels that help remove room reverberation.
We prefer the shotgun microphone
At Wistia, we are constantly trying to make our production process more simple and less intimidating. That’s why we prefer to keep a shotgun mic positioned and ready for action in our studio. With this setup, subjects can jump in and out of the space to shoot videos on the fly.
Choosing a Recorder
You have a number of options for how you approach recording audio, and each has its own advantages. For many, a computer-based recording setup using audio software is the most versatile and convenient solution. Others like the physical control offered by hardware. We will take a look at these different approaches and walk you through the buying considerations for each.
These days, most home-based recordings are made using a computer or iOS device rather than hardware-based recording consoles or tabletop recorders. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software offers features and capabilities that would otherwise be quite expensive in a hardware-based setup.
Now, you most likely already have a desktop or laptop computer that you have thought of using for your recordings. However, you’ll want to take note of some specs that are important when it comes to deciding whether your computer can handle the job.
The computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is the component that processes instructions sent from your computer programs. How quickly and efficiently a computer can do this is determined by its clock rate (measured in GHz), and the number of processing cores it has. Since you will be plugging in a number of peripheral devices and layering multiple tracks, it’s important to have plenty of processing power. That means you’ll want a minimum of two cores (preferably four) running at a minimum of 2GHz.
Random access memory (RAM) is a type of memory that programs use to perform audio processing tasks. Typically, audio software and the devices you plug into your audio workstation will require a lot of this type of memory, so more is better. For your recording setup to run smoothly, you’ll want a computer with a minimum of 4GB of RAM, and preferably more for complex recordings. Look for a computer that offers plenty of RAM expansion capability.
The audio files you’ll be creating are quite large, taking up roughly 800MB per 80 minutes of recorded audio. To store all this, you will want a hard drive with a minimum of 1TB of storage. You can also purchase high-speed external hard drives designed to work well with your audio files.
The Glyph StudioRAID mini offers compact and reliable external storage of your audio files with capacities ranging from 1–4TB.
Mobile recording with iOS
An alternative approach to mobile recording that can yield excellent results is to use your iPad or iPhone with peripherals designed for the job. You’ll see a range of options available on the Musician’s Friend site to turn your iOS device into a miniature recording studio on the go. With hundreds of recording, mastering, and effects apps to choose from, the sky’s the limit in terms of of iOS-based recording possibilities.
IK Multimedia’s iRig Pro Duo Studio Suite Deluxe comes with all the hardware you need to produce greatgreat iOS recordings. Even better, it’s compatible with Mac/PC and Android.
The rapid development of musician-friendly apps on the iOS platform has led to the introduction of lots of iOS-enabled gear. These days, your iPhone or iPad can be transformed into the command center for all your audio productions. Harnessing the iOS-aware microphones, mixers, interfaces, and controllers found in the Musician’s Friend iOS Store is a highly portable and affordable way to develop your music production skills while creating projects that can rival professional work.
The Shure Motiv MV5large-diaghragm condenser mic connects directly to your Lightning-equipped mobile devices plus Mac and PCs and produces astoundingly detailed recordings with plug ’n’ play simplicity.
If you opt to go for dedicated hardware for your recording rather than a computer-based system, there are a number of options. One of their greatest advantages are dedicated physical knobs, buttons, and faders that can be much easier to use than delving through the often complex multi-layered menus of computer-based software.
When you’re choosing a multitrack recorder, pay attention to how many tracks you get: audio, MIDI, actual and virtual, as well as how many you can record and play back simultaneously. All but the most basic multi-trackers should give you some editing and mixing features to polish your recordings.
A great option to wading through software menus, the Tascam DP-32SD Portastudio offers real hands-on control of all major functions and up to 3tracks of simultaneous playback.
Some computer interfaces include hardware controls, some have software controls, and some have both. They also often include mixer software to handle routing of the I/O and level meters.
The Mackie Big Knob Studio Monitor Controller Interface features dual Onyx preamps, up to 192kHz/24-bit recording and playback and offers plenty of monitoringchoices.
All computer audio interfaces have some latency, or delay, but very good ones have so little you don’t notice it. Most good computer audio interfaces will provide a way of measuring and controlling latency. Some provide a workaround, such as hardware signal monitoring. An interface with too much latency makes it nearly impossible to perform normal multitrack operations like overdubbing or real-time monitoring. A slower computer will contribute to latency.
Without audio software, computers would not be the music production powerhouses they are today. And there are plenty of software options capable of handling your audio production at every point from start to finish: recording, mixing, editing, mastering, duplicating, and in some cases even songwriting.
An industry standard software suite you will see in most modern recording studios is Avid’s Pro Tools. With lots of professional-grade features and plug-ins, Pro Tools is an excellent choice for those seeking the highest quality audio possible and nearly unlimited sound processing options. However, Pro Tools is a relatively complex program for novice users and involves a steep learning curve.
Pro Tools is the de facto DAW choice of many world-class studios thanks to its sterling sound, amazing plug-ins and capabilities that will let you conquer the most elaborate audio production challenges.
Explore the capabilities of Pro Tools 12—arguably the most advanced DAW software available today.
For those looking for lots of tools to help create music, in addition to recording and editing it, Propellerhead’s Reason is a very popular choice. With a sequencer loaded with synths, samplers and other music creation tools, it’s easy to produce music from start to finish. There’s a Reason version to match most needs and budgets.
Reason is a favorite among producers thanks to its huge set of drums, synths, and effects wrapped up in an intuitive DAW interface.
We’ve just touched on a few of the most popular audio production applications. Explore our huge selection of music software for more great choices.
Choosing Recording Microphones
The large-diaphragm MXL 990 Condenser Microphone is very modestly priced, yet captures highly detailed sound from voices and instruments.
Choosing Audio Monitors
Listening to the playback is an important part of the recording process, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right kind of speakers to handle the job. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a good set of studio monitors and cover some concepts to keep in mind when you’re making your selection.
Studio monitors are critical to good recordings. Intended to provide you with an accurate picture of the audio you are recording, overdubbing, mixing, editing and mastering, they are your first defense against bad sound. Most monitors used for recording today in homes and studios are near-field monitors. A near-field monitor is small enough that you will primarily hear sound coming directly from it—not sound reflecting off of the studio walls. When considering monitors, look at the frequency response and THD specs to get an idea of the monitor’s accuracy.
The biamped M-Audio BXCarbon is a trusted monitor in countless home studios due to its flat frequency response and accurate stereo sound field.
For connections, monitors usually have 1/4”, XLR, RCA or S/PDIF jacks. Some offer only unbalanced or balanced I/O, and some have both.
If you record beat and bass-heavy music or TV and movie soundtrack material, a subwoofer or surround setup will be helpful in monitoring the extended low-frequencies and extra channels necessary in those types of music.
The ADAM Audio Subhas a compact footprint, yet can reproduce frequencies down to 50Hz. Motorized controls allow easy frequency tweaks and wireless remote control.
In addition to your monitors, you might want to include some decent-quality, consumer audio speakers to get an idea of how your recording will sound on consumer devices. If you need some speakers designed for that job, take a look at the Musician’s Friend selection of audio playback equipment.
Listening using consumer-market headphones also can give you valuable insight about how your mix will sound on headphones that are voiced for the listening pleasure of the average music fan rather than 100% accurate sound as day-to-day recording and mixing headphones require.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50x headphones are a great choice for studio headphones. In addition to offering studio quality sound, these headphones are incredibly popular on the consumer market, making them a perfect choice to audition your mixes on.
Choosing a CD Duplicator
Between the writable CD-ROM drives available in many computers, and the proliferation of digital media, you might not have considered specialized equipment for duplicating CDs. However, there still is a demand for the CD format, and discs still are a great way to distribute demos and recordings locally.
If you will be making lots of CD copies, you may want to invest in a tool that will make it quick and easy. At Musician’s Friend you will find a range of CD/DVD duplicators that can quickly make multiple discs at once from a single source.
Choosing Recording Accessories
Some accessories are really necessities, and some simply make recording a little easier. You might need monitor stands, a recording desk, a patchbay, acoustic room treatment materials, a power conditioner, or a rack for your processors. You most likely will also need cables, mic stands, and recording media and extra storage for recorded digital audio.
At Musician’s Friend you can buy all the recording accessories you’ll need to have a great audio studio setup. And if you’d like to get a complete package to get you started, Musician’s Friend has a range of options available on our recording packages page. These packages take the guesswork out of putting together a recording rig since all components are carefully selected for compatibility with each other.
We carry multitrack recorders, computer audio interfaces, computer hardware, computer software, microphones, preamps, signal processors, mixers, headphones, and monitors from great brands like TASCAM, Fostex, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Presonus, Digidesign, M-Audio, E-MU, MOTU, Cakewalk, Alesis, Apple, Steinberg, Sony, BIAS, Event, JBL, Mackie, AKG, Shure, RøDE, MXL, Audio-Technica, TC Helicon, ART, Avalon, Lexicon, Universal Audio, Allen & Heath and many more.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your field recorder wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of field recorder
- №1 — Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder Bundle with Zoom PCF-8 Protective Case
- №2 — Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder with Sennheiser AMBEO VR 3D Microphone
- №3 — Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder