Portable Audio Recorders

I’ve been looking for a good portable audio recorder to record meetings and convention halls. the problem ive had before is the echo and rooms that these meetings and conventions take place, makes it a little hard to hear the speaker. I might find other uses for it. I had my eye on this little doohicky, the Tascam DR 05X:

Its competition seems to be this one, the Zoom H1n:

But i got a line on a deal for this Tascam DR40 which is a older model for 99$

Which one is best for my use case? Is it worth another 10$ for the DR40 I noticed it has 4 tracks instead of 2. Not sure what that means. I Mean i dont see 4 mics on it only 2.

I forgot to mention that i’m willing to look at other hardware options that i might now know of. but i would like to keep it around 100$

That tascam dr05x is pretty solid, that would be my pick at this price range.

It has the option to record 2 more tracks for audio, so you can hook up more microphones via the inputs, somewhat unnecessary for your use case

Get something that can take the +10dB level pro equipment uses. Maybe a venue has a mixing console you can just hook the recorder from?

1 Like

Those are all good and I’ve used most of them in film school. Though I recommend a good handheld or lav mic to go with them

Well i was thinking maybe it recorded better than the DR05x

I dont think they’ll let me. besides i dont want to inconvenience them.

But they already have mics on them. 2 mics. I dont want to bring a bunch of equipment either. just something small and portable

It might, but I don’t think it would be a significant upgrade. I think finding a Tascam DR-07X might be worth the extra cash as you can use them as x/y instead of only a/b recording which might allow you reduce room noise and optimize for the location

I only suggest it because the built in mics can pick up a lot of environmental noise due to their omnidirectional nature so you want to use them in quiet places

You also might have to really crank the gain if you are farther away or in a noisy environment, and then you would potentially be picking up more room noise. You could use x/y mode to help compensate for this but it won’t have as much reach as a/b

It’s why I suggest clip on lavs for interviews. Easy to manage and compact and just insensitive enough to only pick up on the subject and interviewers voices

well the DR40 also allows you to adjust the mics. is that what you were talking about?

Whats the difference between lav mics and the mics on the unit? they seem to be the same size. also does lav stand for Lavalier?

Yes the dr40 does have this feature as well, the 07x is an improvement of this feature compared to the older dr40

Lav stands for lavalier yes
With lavs vs built in it’s a sensitivity issue
The mics on these recorders are designed so you can stick it in the middle of the board room and get everything during a meeting. This means it will get everything in a 15 to 20 ft range
Lavalier mics are specific in their close range use. Designed basically to be hooked to a shirt collar they capture voice within a specific short cardioid range so it picks up that speakers voice and only their voice meaning anyone or anything more than 2 ft away is not picked up.

ah, well i will be recording rooms and convention halls with this. is this the best gear for this?

Its something you have to figure out for yourself unfortunately as every person’s needs are different so it might require some trial and error
I personally recommend lavs but my use case and focus might be different