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Portable digital recorders?


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I have the H2, as many others, cheap and decent sounding, nice for capturing soundfields, thanks to the 4 mics.

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  • 3 years later...

i sold my tascam dr-100 mk2 because i rarely used it cause it was too heavy and too big to carry it around. so i needed a replacement and i've spent the last two months deciding which recorder to buy next. i'm not planning to use external mics so i don't need XLR inputs so it had to have good enough internal mics with good enough preamps. it had to be as portable as possible, to use replaceable or rechargeable batteries, to be well built and not to be too expensive (i'd buy nagra lino if have the money but i don't).


so after much thought and consideration, after reading everything that could be found on the net, after hearing 74 millions of samples... i've bought the Olympus LS-11. i have to say that this thing is everything i could ever ask for in a portable recorder. it's small, sounds amazing and it's easy to operate. all in all i couldn't be happier!

the problem is that this model has been discontinued and is replaced with the LS-12/LS-14 which imo are worse (at least for my needs), so i found this one on thomann.de listed as a b-stock for 180 euros and it was the last item. b-stck couse the battery cover is damaged by i found the replacement for $4. yu-hu!


my advice is if you can find olympus ls-5/ls-10/ls-11 of even ls-3 (known in the us as ls-7) BUY IT! BUY IT! BUY IT!


pics inside:










beside the ls-11 i was considering to buy sony pcm-m10 or olympus ls-3. the sony is great! except it has omnidirectional internal mics and the ls-3 sounds a bit worse compare to the ls-11 but if i hadn't found the ls-11 i'd bought the ls-3, no problem. other small recorders didn't attract me at all.

Edited by xox
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At the time I got it, the Rode one hadn't been changed to the lightning connection so I went with the Zoom. Its cool how it spins about into different configurations and is also useful when using the phone as a video camera. I would say the Rode is the better product but priced higher.


But yeah, for the money the Zoom is great imo.

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I have the Zoom H4N and would say that it's doubtful you'll find something better at that price point.


Despite all the Zoom hype though, I would say there are some negatives. The preamps can be noisy when you push them and you have to be quite careful about how you hold/place the unit as the plastic around it picks creates noise onto recordings. I also think the onboard effects when using it in multi-track mode leave a lot to be desired - I hoped you could download more custom ones but there weren't.


For my purposes, it's perfect though. Just process after in your DAW.

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