First thoughts on the new Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder

The new Zoom F4 field recorder was recently announced, so I decided to share my initial thoughts on it. If you’re not familiar, it’s a portable digital audio recorder that can record 6 individual tracks and a stereo mix, and it features built-in time code, high-quality mic preamps, metal construction, and some nicely designed controls. At the time of publishing it sells for $650 USD, which is a good price for a recorder with these kinds of features. Continue reading First thoughts on the new Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder

First thoughts on the new Zoom H4n Pro Recorder

Zoom just announced the new H4n Pro Handy Recorder, and I wanted to share my initial thoughts on it. The original Zoom H4n has been a popular choice for many, many years, so an update is important news and merits deep analysis.

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Zoom H4n Pro was how closely it resembles the original. The overall shape, as well as the buttons and controls all look very familiar. It’s clear that the significant changes to this device largely apply to what’s inside. Continue reading First thoughts on the new Zoom H4n Pro Recorder

What mic should a French person use to record interviews with a Zoom H5?

A dear old friend recently sent me an email asking which mic I recommended using with the Zoom H5. It was an old roommate of mine who had played drums in my band. She continues to bang the drums professionally to this day. This person is also an excellent sound recordist, songwriter, guitarist, and several other awesome things.

She was writing me from Ireland of all places, where she was working on some kind of audio-related job. The question about the mic came up because her associate was working on a video project Paris. The French person had a Zoom H5, and they needed to record interviews in a “live” sounding space (likely a noisy, large area). Continue reading What mic should a French person use to record interviews with a Zoom H5?

First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-701D Field Recorder

Tascam recently announced the DR-701D field recorder, which, at first glance looks very much like the DR-70D. Indeed, the DR-701D shares the same overall look and many of the features of the DR-70D, but it also has a number of impressive abilities that set it apart.

Let’s just get right to the chase.

Who is the DR-701D good for?

In my opinion, this looks like a great machine for Continue reading First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-701D Field Recorder

Should you buy the Zoom F8 field recorder?

The announcement of the Zoom F8 in early 2015 was big news. Finally, a field recorder existed that offered some of the same features found on professional models that cost three times as much. On one hand, it seemed like a revelation — but it also seemed fishy. How many corners were cut to get the price that low, and are the missing features going to cause you pain? Continue reading Should you buy the Zoom F8 field recorder?

Audio Test: Tascam DR-70D vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

I just completed an audio test of the Tascam DR-70D, comparing it with the Zoom H4n and the Tascam DR-40. The test features side-by-side comparisons of each recorder’s built-in microphones, and you also get to hear how they handle several popular microphone for video work: the Rode NTG-3, Rode NTG-2, Audio-Technica 4053B, and the Sennheiser G3 wireless system with the ME2 lav mic.

Continue reading Audio Test: Tascam DR-70D vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

Tascam DR-70D noise issue + how to fix it

While the Tascam DR-70D is an excellent audio recorder for use in video production, it does have one glaring flaw: its “camera out” jack introduces an entirely unacceptable amount of noise to the audio, but only when the DR-70D is set to send “Cam” audio out of this jack. Okay. That last sentence was really alien sounding. What the heck are you talking about, Sam? Let me try to simplify this… Continue reading Tascam DR-70D noise issue + how to fix it

Tascam DR-70D Review + How It’s Useful in Video Production

If you want an audio recorder to use primarily in video productions, there are many options to choose from. But, if you narrow the list down to just budget-friendly audio recorders that were designed for DSLR cameras — the number of options gets much shorter. You’re pretty much picking between the Tascam DR-60D Mark II and the new Tascam DR-70D. I recently purchased the DR-70D, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the unit in this post.

First and foremost, the form factor of the Tascam DR-70D is excellent. It’s compact, and the design makes it easy to mount it directly to your camera, or neatly slide into an audio bag. The DR-60D Mark II is a bit fatter and taller than the DR-70D. It wouldn’t fit comfortably into my audio bag, and I find it a bit too bulky to mount directly to my camera. The DR-60D is nice for what it is, but the form factor of the DR-70D is much more appealing to me.

Another drawback of the DR-60D is that it only has two XLR inputs. It also doesn’t have built-in microphones. In contrast, the DR-70D can record up to four individual tracks (and it has four XLR combo inputs), and it has built-in stereo microphones. Basically, all of the reservations I had about the DR-60D are not present in the DR-70D. It feels like it was made just for me. Continue reading Tascam DR-70D Review + How It’s Useful in Video Production

First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-70D Field Recorder

I’ve been trying to come up with a spicy intro for this post, but it seems best to start here: I am definitely going to buy the Tascam DR-70D. I’ve been waiting for a manufacturer to come out with a field recorder with this kind of a design for a long time, and it’s finally here. I wanted something small enough for use with a camera, yet with a form factor that would work in a location audio bag. The DR-70D even has some features that I wouldn’t have anticipated.

Continue reading First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-70D Field Recorder

Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

The third and final video in my exhaustive, three-part analysis of the Zoom H5 portable recorder is a shootout of shotgun microphones. I compared the sound of the separately available SGH-6 shotgun capsule against the Rode NTG-2 and NTG-3 shotgun microphones. To keep things interesting, I also included the Audio-Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone and the XYH-5 stereo microphone capsule Continue reading Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3