Audrio recording: We really hate crappy interface.
March 11, 2010 6:08 PM   Subscribe

We have done some market research, and we are aware that digital audio recorders and Mac computers are not exactly friends or buddies. We want to do some reasonably priced field recordings, and mostly voice logging. An easy interface with iTunes would be a major plus. What have you used, and what do you recommend?
posted by ovvl to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The ipod and iphone both do this, tho I'm not sure how much fidelity you're looking for.
posted by nevercalm at 6:19 PM on March 11, 2010

Best answer: I have a Zoom H2. I love it. It sounds good (particularly for its price, $150-$200), and as far as I can tell, it is totally friends with OS X.

You plug it in to the computer via USB and a menu on the device will ask you whether you want it to function as an audio interface or a USB storage device. If you choose the later, it mounts just like any USB drive. You open a Finder window for the drive, and drag the (.WAV) files from it to where you want them. There's no easy iTunes interface I'm aware of, but if you drag the files from the Finder into iTunes, it'll import them.

It also stores everything on an SD card. So, if you have an SD card reader, you can just move recordings on/off it using that instead of plugging it directly in via USB.

This recording was a single take using a Zoom H2 set on a piano bench in a living room, minimal post-processing. Somewhere I've got some other takes of other music and lectures I've grabbed using it if you're interested.
posted by weston at 6:43 PM on March 11, 2010

It's no big deal, really. I use Flip4Mac and Audacity for editing. Olympus WS320 or something (too lazy to go find it right now).

Really, it takes like 10 seconds.
posted by Madamina at 7:57 PM on March 11, 2010

Response by poster: Technical considerations aside, we aren't ever going to achieve anything near as exquisite as the vocal harmonizing on that track, weston. But so far we are digging the Zoom H2 (and we don't even like Christmas).
posted by ovvl at 8:00 PM on March 11, 2010

Here's a brief review of the Zoom H4N by the mac audio guy. You can get it for around $250 if you look around a bit.
posted by VikingSword at 11:33 PM on March 11, 2010

Nthng that it doesn't make a bit of difference if you use a Mac or PC for most digital recorders I know. Zoom H4N is sweet, a bit flimsy but awesome features and lovely sound. I'd say it's worth the few extra bucks over the H2. I use a Tascam DR-1 for a lot of things, durable as heck, big display.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:57 AM on March 12, 2010

Best answer: I have a Zoom H2. I love it. It sounds good (particularly for its price, $150-$200), and as far as I can tell, it is totally friends with OS X.

Almost every "what audio recorder should I buy?" question on AskMe gets answered with "the H2 or the H4n" - and for good reason. For the the price, you cannot get a better quality, more user friendly, bang for your buck recorder. The Zooms are awesome.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:47 AM on March 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you all!
We had done some research on various interesting products, and we were looking for personal insights for usability, after an unfortunate incident involving a Boss-BR with a terrible interface, tears of rage, etc. Also, we had played around a bit with a Zoom H4n that friends had loaned us, which was nice but not exactly the thingy.

post-script: while I was at work yesterday, ms.ovvl went to the store and purchased the H2 after examining it closely. Surprise! We have played around with it and it seems to be exactly what we want. The low-fi/hi-fi options are good for our different purposes.

also: re-iterate again that swell performance on weston's demo was a selling point.
posted by ovvl at 11:11 AM on March 13, 2010

For a very cheap and versatile solution Griffin makes an adapter called iMic that connects to any recorder. I've used it with an old SONY tape recorder and with a new digital recorder with very good results. It comes with software to clean-up recordings and the files flow right into iTunes.
posted by Pamelayne at 10:35 PM on May 30, 2010

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