Portable digital audio recorder in Seattle?
September 26, 2008 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a reasonably cheap portable digital audio recorder, on short notice, in the Seattle area.

I have a student who is taking a leave to go to Kenya to volunteer with an education / development NGO. While he is there, I have suggested that he -- a musician -- collect sound so that he might put together a multimedia or audio piece. I want to provide him with a portable digital audio recorder. Cost is an object: something like the Edirol R-09HR looks great, but is pretty much the upper limit of my budget. The other catch is that he is in Seattle, and leaves on Monday, so ordering over the internet is probably out.


First question: where can I find a store in Seattle that will carry these kinds of portable audio recorders?

Second: Any suggestions? Here is a compilation of reviews of field recorders, and here is a relevant older AskMe question.
posted by bumpkin to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I have no suggestions on specific models (I do all of my field recordings with an old MiniDisc with a pair of headphones plugged into the mic jack), but would definitely recommend guitar center on westlake for your shopping needs. I know they carry a selection of portable recorders, and they've always done me right on my purchases.
posted by nomisxid at 1:43 PM on September 26, 2008


Thanks for the recommendation. So far, I have dug up Streamline AudioVideo (link). Heard anything about these guys? They aren't open on Saturday...

csg
posted by bumpkin at 1:46 PM on September 26, 2008


I have a Zoom H2 and it's pretty great. $199 and I bought it at a local music store. Has a tuner and metronome built in, too. You can only hear sound played back through earphones or some kind of amp, in case that's an issue. It's quick to set up & use - three settings for gain (low, med, high), you can put it on its tiny little stand and let it record in the middle of a group of musicians, or set it to record in a more focused way. Sound quality is pretty good. The review that convinced me to buy it featured a recording of rain falling.

The guy at the music store where I bought it said that all but two of the employees there had purchased one of these.
posted by amtho at 2:18 PM on September 26, 2008


Seconding Zoom, although I have a H4. Both are great value for money and best -buy in the field. H4 is more expensive and, I've been told, has better sound quality (but haven't compared that myself).
posted by mi at 2:55 PM on September 26, 2008


I haven't looked through the links above, but this one is supposed to be pretty good for voice and other sounds. Less than $50 right now on Amazon...but there may be a big box near you that could come close to that.
Hmm, might have to pop for one myself.
posted by artdrectr at 3:52 PM on September 26, 2008


I'll third the recommendation for the Zoom H2. I used one to make field recordings in Tanzania and it did everything I needed it to. I just got off the phone with someone at American Music (4450 FREMONT AVE. N, phone (206) 633-1774 open 10-6 tomorrow and 11-6 Sunday) in Seattle and they have 11 in stock at $199 each. You'll also need a SD card and I recommend NiMH batteries with a smart-charger. Failing that I know NiMH batteries as well as normal AA batteries are readily available in Nairobi.
posted by ChrisHartley at 4:50 PM on September 26, 2008


Batteries: get Eneloop batteries. Unlike other NiMH batteries, they'll hold a charge for a long time if you leave the device/batteries just sitting around. It's very disappointing to charge your batteries, have them ready, then go to record something (or take a photo) only to find that the charge dissipated even without your using the device.

Eneloops (and I think there's one other brand) are something everyone should know about!
posted by amtho at 8:04 PM on September 28, 2008


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