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Desperately need help buying equipment/ recording solution!

Hey guys,

I need a portable easy to use (no laptop) setup that I can use to record classical performances... Mainly chamber music (2-4 instruments) primarily clarinet and piano.. no orchestras =).

I go to an arts academy and it is essential that I find some way to record myself.

I do not need super high end equipment either...

I was thinking minidisk player...but then there's the whole phantom power thing with mics.. A pair of mics for stereo recording would be very nice.

I'M a complete Noob! Embarrassed

Thanx for the help =)


Boswell Fri, 03/02/2007 - 09:28
48V is the standard for phantom power, but the point was that some portable recorders only put out 24V or 30V, which isn't enough for many microphones.

The Rode NT4 is a top-end stereo microphone, and can run off an internal 9V battery, so obviating the need for any phantom power from the recorder.

Cucco Fri, 03/02/2007 - 13:07
I agree with Boswell-

An NT4 (which I have recently begun evaluating and like what I hear so far) would be a HUGE step up from any built-in mics.

The mic, plus a decent stand, appropriate cables (not to be biased, but I think the cable that comes with the NT4 is a huge weak-link), and pretty much any solid state recorder on the market would do you very well.

Welcome to the addictive world of recording! Most of us started out this way years ago and then grew and grew...It's for that reason that I suggest you don't skimp on quality too much. You'll likely find you enjoy what you're doing and will want to do it more (plus others will offer you $$$ to help them out). Investing in cheap/disposable gear is a fantastic waste of money. However, getting yourself a quality piece of gear which can be utilized in later situations is simply a wise investment (and often worth the extra 10%-50% investment up front).



Boswell Thu, 03/01/2007 - 11:53
There are several portable recorders that would do the job. Try the Sound Devices 744T.

One problem is that almost all of the recorders put out less than 48V phantom power for microphones. The 744T is an exception, but you can get round the problem by using a self-powered microphone such as the Rode NT4. The NT4 would be a very good mic for your use - high quality, stereo in a single body and battery option.

If you want a minidisc recorder, then you may have difficulty in finding one with a microphone input. Ebay could be your friend here. A suitable stereo mic for this quality level would be the battery powered Sony MS957. Being a mid-side mic, it has a stereo width switch, useful for swapping between a couple of instrumentalists and an ensemble.

JoeH Thu, 03/01/2007 - 14:58
Tascam, Fostex, M-Audio, Sony and Korg all make some fine, dedicated, stand-alone 2-track portable recorders with built in mics and some even have a mic stand adapter for the whole unit, if they're small enough. These are primarily chip recorders, and they have very low self noise, so the onboard mics are able to be fairly quiet.

Do a google search for these brand names, and add: "Portable 2-track Stereo Built-in Mic" and see what you find...there's a LOT out there.

This month's issue of EQ magazine has a roundup of them as well, in an article by Craig Anderton. You have a lot of great, affordable stuff to choose from.

Member Fri, 03/02/2007 - 07:08
I'm mainly looking for a mic solution.

I have the Belkin tunetalk stereo which can record at full stereo CD quality with no auto gain. It also has a mic input... the problem I'm having is that I would like to buy a high end mic to connect to my ipod however all High end mics need Phantom power? I'm not sure.... I need something to power the mics and change the phantom power to a mini jack to connect to my ipod.

Member Fri, 03/02/2007 - 07:43
The 744T looks amazing though 4k is way out of my budget =D....

The zoom H4 looks really good as it can accept phantom power mics.

"One problem is that almost all of the recorders put out less than 48V phantom power for microphones."

Is 48V not enough for most high end mics?

do you think the H4 would be able to handle 2 high end mics simultaneously?