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Digital recorder recommendations

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Flip Wilson, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    Hey reporter friends.

    Do you have a recommendation for a digital recorder? Or do you just record interviews on your phone? I use both so I have a backup in case something goes wrong with one of the devices.

    My Olympus is many years old and the sound quality is not great anymore. So I'm reaching out to see what the cool kids are using nowadays.

  2. Olympuses are pretty solid. So is the Zoom H1.
  3. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    I've always used Sony recorders and never had a problem. Tried looking up my current stereo model, but it doesn't look like they manufacture it anymore. I think I've had it at least nine years.

    I do find myself just using the recording app on my phone a lot these days -- it's convenient and records in stereo. However, it picks up a lot more wind noise than the Sony.
  4. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I stopped using digital recorders a while back in favor of my iPhone's recorder.

    I also use the TapeACall app and then I transcribe with Trint.com (also an app). They both cost money, but worth it overall for the amount I use both.
  5. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    I alternate my iPhone and a Sony PX ICD 333.

    Depends on the situation.

    I think the current equivalent Sony is the PX 240.

    $45 or so.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I've had a Sony ICD-BX112 for probably seven years now and it's a wonderful device. It does a great job of picking up low voices and sorts through crowd noise very well. I've recorded a lot of interviews with it where I couldn't hear what the subject was saying, either because it was a group interview or a band was playing in the background or something, and it picked up their voice crystal clear.
    Steady wind can be problematic, but it records well even when covered.

    The one big downside is that you can't upload the sound files to your computer. Mine's an older model, though. It might be a feature you can find on newer versions.
    There's also only room for about 500 files on it. That sounds like a lot, but if you're doing a lot of interviews you'll rip through that space and have to delete some files every couple of months. If you have anything important you need to save, it can be a pain in the ass to make sure you don't accidentally delete it during that process.
  7. ringer

    ringer Member

    I like having a separate recorder because there's only one way it's going to get screwed up - and that's if you forget to hit record. My Sony ICD-PX440 works like a charm. I can easily download the audio files to my PC. It' super-light and small. Takes 2 batteries.
  8. Mwilliams685

    Mwilliams685 Active Member

    I use a Zoom H1. If you go to concerts, it's also great for getting bootleg recordings.
  9. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    My current is an Olympus VN-541PC and I went too cheap. The "record" is a switch that's super-easy to flip on in your pocket and randomly tape three hours of you walking and driving. Eats through batteries really fast. Olympus has been my norm for last 3-4 recorders.
  10. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    The iPhone recorder is tremendous sound quality.

    For high quality: Zoom H1 or Tascam DR-o5. Both are at similar price points (about $75-100) and provide tremendous sound quality. They also allow you to download your audio files to your computer or a micro-SD card. I have a Tascam and frequently use it for broadcast (I record all of my pregame shows on it).

    Budget: Whatever the latest model Olympus is. Easy to use, decent sound quality.
  11. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    I use the Android app Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder. A recording goes directly to my Google Drive as soon as I stop it, making it easy to quickly download onto my laptop. You have to pay $2 to make individual recordings of more than 10 minutes.
  12. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I've used my phone the last couple years, but I had an incident recently where an incoming text, for some reason, forced the recorder to stop. Didn't realize it until way late. I was bitter.

    So I went out and got an Olympus VIN 541-PC. No problems with it so far. It was like $40 at Target.
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