Archive for the ‘Portable Recorders’ Category

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Tascam DP-004: 30 years after the first Portastudio

February 24, 2009

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Thirty years ago, Tascam were pioneers of a new market: home recording. With their Portastudio products, they brought simple, accessible recording to the masses, and gave thousands of bands and instrumentalists the tools to capture tracks in their garages and bedrooms.

TASCAM’s DP-004 Digital Pocketstudio is based on 30 years of easy-to-use cassette Portastudios, updated with four tracks of CD-quality digital recording. Like those groundbreaking Portastudios, a row of knobs set levels and pan instead of a list of menus.

The DP-004 can record two sources at once to the included 1GB SD Card. A built-in stereo condenser microphone makes it simple to record anywhere you go, perfect for concerts, rehearsals and songwriting inspirations. A pair of 1/4″ jacks on the rear panel allow you to connect your own microphones or sources. You can even switch the inputs to guitar level for recording.

The DP-004 allows you to build up your arrangement until you’ve filled up all four tracks. The Bounce feature allows you to consolidate tracks and make room for more overdub layers. Also available is an autopunch feature for fixing problems, track editing and an undo function.

Mixing is also built into the Digital Pocketstudio. Once you set levels and pan, record your mix onto a dedicated stereo master track. You’re able to transfer your tracks and mixes to a computer over USB 2 for CD burning and sharing online.

Despite its go-anywhere compact design – smaller than a paperback book – the DP-004 is simple enough for students, songwriters and musicians who want to keep their recording process simple and creative.

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Connections:

  • Two 1/4″ unbalanced mic/line inputs
  • Switchable guitar input
  • Headphone/Line output
  • USB 2.0 connector

Recording:

  • Four-track digital multitrack recording
  • CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit WAV recording
  • Records to SD Card media (1GB card included)
  • Autopunch, repeat and record undo
  • Dedicated stereo mixdown track

Physical:

  • Powered through AA Batteries or optional PS-P520 power adapter
  • Battery life: About 8 hours recording, about 8.5 hours playback (alkaline batteries)
  • Dimensions: 6.1″ W x 1.3″ H x 4.2″ D (155mm W x 33.5mm H x 107mm D)
  • Weight: 2.8 oz (360 g, w/o batteries)

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Line 6 Backtrack – Instant portable recorder/ instant reply for guitar

February 20, 2009

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In a an already very busy market Line 6 have took the plunge into portable recording devices. So lets take a look at what features this has to offer.

“BackTrack™ provides total inspiration control anywhere you play music or feel inspired, including at home, in the studio, at soundcheck and at rehearsal.”

At home, BackTrack offers the best ways to capture and organize all your musical ideas.

* Like a creative safety net, BackTrack makes sure all your ideas are captured
* “Instant replay” anything you just played by pressing “Play”
* Separate your best ideas from the rest by pressing “Mark”

In the studio, BackTrack gives you a head-start turning your inspirations into complete songs.

* Drag the better-than-CD-quality .WAV files right into your recording software
* The clean and pristine audio offers total plug-in processing flexibility
* Packed with your ideas, BackTrack is your portable idea vault

At soundcheck, BackTrack redefines the entire experience.

* Adjust your tone hands-free while BackTrack loops a song or riff
* Walk around the venue and check your tone while BackTrack does the playing for you
* Capture the energy of your live show and drag the high-quality audio to your DAW

At rehearsal, there’s no end to what BackTrack can do for you and your band.

* BackTrack + Mic records your whole band with stunning clarity
* Capture a direct signal perfect for dragging to your DAW by putting BackTrack in-line between your guitar and your amp
* Capture your guitar tone by putting BackTrack in-line after your amp or effects

I would personally would love to see this device fitted in the future with an onboard modelling chip like that of the pocket POD, Im almost suprised its notalready  featured here. But you still get a lot of amazing features for your buck.

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New Zoom H4n: The Next Generation in Handheld Recorders

January 26, 2009

The H4n is Zoom’s most sophisticated handheld recorder to date. The H4n offers up a significantly improved user interface, integral X/Y stereo condenser microphones, a digitally controlled mic pre-amp and the ability to use both internal and external microphones simultaneously for 4-channel recording.

The new Zoom H4n

The Zoom H4n offers superior, built-in X/Y stereo condenser microphones that allow variable recording patterns at either 90° or 120°. The Zoom H4n portable digital recorder has a large 1.9-inch LCD screen, an intuitive interface and an onboard reference speaker. In addition, Zoom has incorporated several of the most popular features from the H2 to the H4n such as Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compatible time stamp and track marker functions and its autorecord and pre-record features so you never miss a moment.

For musicians and songwriters, the H4n has a more user-friendly multi-track recording capability along with Hi-Z Inputs for recording guitar and bass, variable speed playback capability for “phrase training”, onboard studio effects and over 50 different guitar and bass amp modelling settings. Also, a new stamina mode enables the H4n to operate continuously for an incredible 10 hours on a single set of AA batteries. The Zoom H4n is the most robust digital recorder yet from Zoom, with a rubberised, shock resistant body for improved chassis protection, all-metal microphone design and a built-in mounting joint for tripod and microphone stand use.

The Zoom H4n records high-resolution audio at 24bit/96kHz on SD/SDHC media of up to 32GB and is USB 2.0. The Zoom H4n field recorder is shipped with a 1 GB SD card, wind screen, mic clip adapter, AC adapter, USB cable, protective case and Cubase LE recording software. An optional remote control (The Zoom RC-04) is also available.

The Zoom H4n will be available in stores from Feb/March 2009 with a Suggested Selling Price of £329.99 including VAT. The optional Zoom RC-04 Remote Control will have a Suggested Selling Price of £29.99 including VAT.

For more info and list of New and improved features:

ZOOM H4n Product Page

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Roland MV-8800 Complete Production Solution

January 2, 2009


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Since 2003, Roland’s MV-8000 has been a coveted centerpiece for many of the world’s greatest hip-hop and R&B producers. With its powerful hands-on features, and its ability to incorporate a VGA monitor and mouse, it brought the best of the hardware- and software-based production worlds together. Today Roland sets a new standard in production power and flexibility with the MV-8800.

  • Complete production solution, from beat creation and multitrack recording to mixing, mastering and CD burning
  • Tight integration of drum machine-style pattern recording and DAW-style linear recording
  • Realtime control of audio pitch and time, groove quantize, and pattern/song arrangements — great for both studio and stage
  • World-class sound library pre-installed on the internal hard drive
  • Legendary Roland instrument and effects models onboard, including TR-808, TR-909, SRV reverb, SDD-320 Chorus, SBF-325 Flanger, Boss BF-2 and HF-2, and RE-201 Space Echo
  • Three MIDI ports (IN x 1, OUT x 2) for connecting external MIDI devices
  • Color LCD with icon-oriented interface
  • Accepts external VGA monitor (optional) and optical mouse

Create your own sounds or load up to 128 instruments or drum kits at once from the MV-formatted sound library that’s preinstalled on the hard drive. Newly created drum kits are provided, including a special collection of 16 vintage drum machines such as the legendary Roland TR-808 and TR-909. Acoustic and electric pianos, strings, guitars, horns, synth basses, and other essential instruments are also included.


Amazing Pitch & Time Control

Load hundreds of loops, hits, or vocal phrases at once, all with realtime BPM matching. Just tap the tempo and all the samples lock to your new tempo! You can match the pitches of melodic phrases just as easily. Create loop-based tracks on the fly, all locked together in perfect pitch and time sync.

Vintage & Modern Effectsl

An incredible lineup of modern and vintage effects is built into the MV-8800, including models of classic Roland SRV reverbs, SDD-320 Chorus, SBF-325 Flanger, Boss BF-2 and HF-2 pedals, and the legendary RE-201 Space Echo. The MV-8800’s multi-effects processor includes an Analog Modeling Bass that turns the MFX engine into a virtual SH-style bass synthesizer. All MFX knob tweaks can be automated as you mix.

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Christmas Gift Suggestion: Dolphin’s Top 5 Portable Recorders

December 2, 2008

Portable, handheld recorders are fast becoming as common as ipods, and increasingly more people consider them essential tools for their craft! Ideal for recording rehearsals and ideas on the go, field recordings, interviews and much more! Get one this Christmas!

There are many, really good handheld recorders available at Dolphin Music – you are sure to find one that fits your needs and budget. Here’s just some of the 5 best models you can find here!

Edirol R-09HR Including Free 4GB SD CardThe R-09HR is a professional, high-definition recorder that travels light and performs like a heavyweight. With crystal-clear 24/96 fidelity, the R-09HR is the new flagship of EDIROL’s award-winning R-series recorders. Features 24-bit/96kHz linear PCM high-resolution, low-noise recording and more! View details…
Line 6 BackTrack + MicGreat songs begin with great ideas. Capture all your revelations, epiphanies and inspirations the moment they strike. Inspiration Insurance Inspiration is spontaneous, and BackTrack™ + Mic is your guitar’s instant replay button. Easy to use, BackTrack + Mic captures everything you play without ever hitting record. View details…
Zoom H4 4-Track Handy Digital Audio RecorderThe palm-sized Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder is ideal for recording live musical performances, interviews, podcasts, meetings, classes and seminars. The Zoom H4 records linear PCM at up to 24-bit/96-kHz sampling rates or compressed MP3 format at up to 320kbps bit rates. View details…
Zoom H2 Handy RecorderThe H2 will record via the integral one point stereo design microphone, and achieves the Mid/Side (MS) Stereo technique by using a 3 microphone capsule configuration and digital signal processing. Affordable and very versatile!  View details…
Yamaha Pocketrak 2GThere are so many compelling reasons to record band rehearsals or music lessons for later review that a portable recorder is an essential item. Recording conferences and meetings has become a matter of course too. Naturally, the smaller and lighter that recorder is, while delivering top-class sound quality, the better. View details…

Still undecided? To view more handheld recorders just click here.

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MicroTrack Tales From the Road: Richard Devine

October 23, 2008

Sound designer Richard Devine ventures underground to capture sound effects with the M-Audio MicroTrack recorder.

Name: Richard Devine
Occupation: Artist, producer, sound designer, remixer
Credits: BT, Trent Reznor, Aphex Twin, Apple, Ableton, Nike, Scion, Land Rover, Audi, Microsoft Gaming Division (Halo2), Sony PlayStation, Konami and more
Base of Operations: Atlanta, GA
Official Website: http://www.richard-devine.com

“The MicroTrack has been an amazing tool—I never leave home without one,” says Devine. “I have three of them including the MicroTrack II, and all have proven to be solid and dependable. I often go out and record in very difficult situations, doing sound design work for TV, film and video games. Sometimes I even record sound from fireworks, weapons or heavy machinery. The MicroTrack has held up time and time again.

“I recently went on a field recording trip to Petty Johns Cave in northwest Georgia. The cave is located on the east side of Pigeon Mountain in the Appalachian Plateau. It has small rivers and waterfalls deep at the bottom of the cave, which is about four hours below ground level. I used the MicroTrack II to capture the unusual ambient sound of water flowing through strange cuts in the rocks. All the recordings ended up getting included in my new Sony effects library. The MicroTrack held up very well even in the most challenging conditions.”

Hear more of what Devine has to say about the latest M-Audio gear – click here. 

More Info:

M-Audio MicroTrack II

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Pocketrak 2G – A practical road-test

September 12, 2008

The new POCKETRAK 2G Digital Pocket Recorder is ideal for all kinds of audio applications. Rather than simply listing these we thought it would be great to do a proper, real-life road test. This road-test however would not take place in the obvious band or studio environment though….

Yamaha lent one to their own Jean Ketley who put it through its paces during her unique educational stage production. Jean speaks about how she used it during rehearsals and the performance.

Jean said: “I’ve worked for Yamaha for nearly 27 years and in that time have worked for both the sales side and the Music Schools. Prior to this I was a professional musician and singer for 15 years so it’s no surprise to find that in my spare (!) time I run a 20 strong choir. For accompaniment I turn to either a Yamaha digital piano or the Tyros keyboard, but as I conduct as well, I often write arrangements that I then record onto the Tyros to use during performances.

For the past 7 years, working with the choir we have been involved with the local primary school and each year we stage a 2 hour concert there, transforming the hall into a theatre complete with staging, lights, video projection and smoke machine (which is very popular with the children!).

I work with years 5 & 6 – they have their own 15 minute performance of a popular musical, joining the choir in 2 or 3 numbers, competing amongst themselves for a part in the Stars In Their Eyes/X Factor/Pop Idol part of the show which includes my making short, quick fire videos to screen just prior to the performance of each “act”.

Yamaha Pocketrack 2G

The new

Pocketrak 2G pocket recorder was an innovation for me this year. I was able to use it in several ways:

As the Pocketrak has its own rechargeable battery, during rehearsal I was able to very simply record the children’s performance by placing the Pocketrak on a table in front of them – it’s easy one-press record function and the tilt-up microphone stops any sound bouncing from the table top. Then by connecting the recorder using a standard mini-jack lead to the PA or convenient amplifier I could replay the recordings to them and review it instantly – they then understood the need for voice projection etc. I did the same for the 20-strong choir by securing the Pocketrak on to a projector suspended from the ceiling of my music room where we rehearse. The sound quality is simply remarkable thanks to the highly sensitive stereo microphone. It is also possible to attach Pocketrak to a camera tripod which makes placement very simple and convenient.

My videos include voice-overs which I record separately to the filming. Instead of using a mini-disc player and microphone which then have to be recorded to PC, the Pocketrak was much simpler and easier, but more importantly the sound quality was significantly better. Oddly enough I had made a couple of voice-overs on mini-disc prior to testing the Pocketrak but found the method of extracting the sound files was taking too long – to get round this I simply hooked the Pocketrak up to the mini-disc player with one lead and then recorded the files back onto the Pocketrak which I subsequently connected to the PC by its own internal USB connector. So simple!

I also find learning songs a little tedious so always use my in-car driving time to try and learn them on the way home. I would normally record the music with and without vocals onto a CD. However my car only has a cassette player so I have to use a portable CD player which has the separate tape adapter – because the Pocketrak also doubles up as a personal stereo I was able to import my music from a computer into the Pocketrak and by connecting it into the car hi-fi was able to play back. Importing files into the Pocketrak is also extremely simple – I just connect the inbuilt USB connector to the computer and drag and drop either WAV files or MP3 files into the Pocketrak which appears like an external drive. The file name shows in the playback window so it’s easy to recognize each piece. I could see that this could be helpful to drama students learning lines too; and of course if I wanted to remind myself of a task to do I could also use it as a Dictaphone – it has several folders which allows work to be recorded and stored in an organized fashion…..crucial for anyone working in education.

During the live show performance I had planned to connect Pocketrak directly to the mixing desk but since we had a professional in who used a DAT recorder I simply positioned the Pocketrak on top of the mixing desk and recorded the ambient sound – very live.

I see this device as an invaluable tool for recording performance (including GCSE & A level); for evaluating rehearsal; for learning; for easy playback and saving data. And it’s so easy – you don’t have to be a “Techie” to do it!”

View Pocketrak 2G Page at Dolphin