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Location Recording

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Localhero, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Localhero

    Localhero Active Member

    I need to record a choir in a hall to bring back to my semi pro studio to add to a track Im doing.
    Have tried a Zoom H4n but quality not good enough.
    Can anyone suggest something I could buy to get better quality?
    I dont want to use a laptop as my father needs to use it in his studio after iv'e finished (he's 83 years old) so he needs something simple to use!!
    Do you suggest adat/dat/minidisk?Also I would need some decent mikes that can be used for the choir and later in his studio.Any suggestions please?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Are you talking about a simple stereo recording, or do you need to record more channels than that for mixing when back in your studio?

    The H4N can produce remarkable quality for its price. Did you use the built-in mics or external ones? For choir work, you really need external mics on a high stand. I have made ad-hoc choir recordings on an H4N using small MBHO cardioids as the external mics, and apart from the stand, all the gear (H4N, PSU, mics, mounting bar, headphones and cables) fits in a small briefcase for transportation.

    If you are looking for more channels than this, or for even higher quality, but not recording to a laptop, you need a hard disk recorder or a memory stick recorder. Note that, as well as being outdated, DAT and minidisk are inherently two-channel devices. Multi-channel recorders include the Alesis HD24(XR) and JoeCo Black Box with external drive, but both of these types of units require external pre-amps.

    A new recording interface that is worth investigating is the RME FireFace UFX, which can write audio files to a USB memory stick or external USB hard drive. You can later plug the stick or drive into your studio computer to transfer the data. The UFX has 4 channels of mic pre-amps, and you can add up to 24 more external ones if you need. In the studio, the UFX forms an excellent audio interface for recording directly to a computer. YouTube clip showing USB writing.

    For microphone suggestions, you would have to give us an idea of what budget you are working to, and also information about the venue(s) and whether this gear is for recording public performances or simply for recording sessions.
  3. Localhero

    Localhero Active Member

    Thanks a Lot Boswell I'll look into that! Stereo recording of the choir will be fine,I have a ZED R16 at home which I can then eq on before sending to my DAW.(I dont want the r16 going out on location)!! I used built in mikes and I was thinking of something like Superlux S502 or even spending up to say £400 on mikes .I need a good enough quality to bring back and add to tracks already layed for a musical i am involved with.I will look into the rme but I really need something that my dad can just press play and record and see the levels in his studio also.If im spending on mikes I would like some that i could use in the studio and out if possible?

    Many thanks

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I think you could do better than the rigid ORTF-format S502. That sum would easily cover a Rode NT4 (fixed XY stereo mic) or might stretch to a pair of Rode NT55s (interchangeable omni and cardioid capsules) and a mounting bar. The NT55s are also very useful in the studio as instrument and overhead mics. There are several other makes of SDC pairs in this price bracket, so let us know if this is the direction you could take.

    I've not played with an RME UFX that has the latest recording firmware, so I don't know whether the recording function has to be activated manually or can be programmed into the flash memory and becomes a single button-push when in the field. It's a really nice piece of kit, though, and as a field recorder, could well start to challenge other non-computer based recording devices.

    Don't under-spec the gear for the choir recording if you want studio use from it as well!
  5. Localhero

    Localhero Active Member

    Yeh thanks Boswell Couldnt agree more-as it happens i can easily get rode mics in the uk and believe it or not I have been looking into these the last day or so problem is a pair of 55s in the uk is around £599.I can get the nt4 for around £360.I intend using the mike for acoustic guitar recording after sorting the choir out! I am looking for a slightly better recorder than the zoom h4 also with a max budget on that of around £400 (i just find the writing on the h4 display as to small and the jog wheel doesnt behave very well either.The rme is way above budget at the mo any other suggestions?
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    A pair of NT55s is much more versatile than an NT4, with the exception that the NT4 can take an internal battery if you want to use it with a recorder that either does not have phantom power or gobbles its batteries when you turn PP on. The cardioid capsules of the NT55 are the same as those in the NT4 (and NT5).

    I hope it is the H4N you are looking at as a battery-powered field recorder rather than the older H4. The H4 indeed had a cramped display.
  7. Localhero

    Localhero Active Member

    No it is the older h4 iv'e got (unfortunately)and I can hardly read the display-I am looking now at upgrading that but not sure what to get in place-something that i can read a display easy would be nice!

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