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06-23-2019, 08:09 PM   #1
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Hannican's Avatar

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Audio Recorder?

I'm looking to get into Field Recording and taking audio of nature sounds, mostly ambient type stuff, but I'd like to get a unit that does well for that AND plugs into my K5iis so that I can use it to take audio for videos I shoot on the Pentax.

Does something exist that will do an excellent job for both tasks? I've been told to get the Sony PCM D100 for nature recordings... but will this do well with the camera?

A final, third interest, is podcasting and interviews with people. If I can find one device that does all these well, I'd be VERY pleased!

Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks so much guys!

06-23-2019, 08:50 PM   #2
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I have had success with the Tascam DR-05. It has a line out jack to plug into your K5iiS, as well as a headset jack to monitor what you are recording. It is small, less than $100, and very similar to the Zoom Hx series.
06-23-2019, 09:19 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Check out Zoom products, Hannican!
06-23-2019, 09:44 PM   #4
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The sony is a very good piece of kit, and it's built in microphones are probably better than it's competitors (under $1000 or so), but I don't really feel it's the best option for podcast type situations.

In a podcast situation you really want to individually mic up each person who is speaking rather than to just mic up the room, given that the Sony doesn't have XLR inputs this would limit you in the gear you could use. You could use it as a receiver for a good quality mixer with good quality microphones, but that'd be getting pretty expensive by the time you buy all the extra gubbins. Also in field recording it would be useful to have other microphone options, the stereo mics that are built in on the sony need to be up close to get a good result.

I personally went with the Tascam DR40 for similar stuff to what you are describing, to that I've added several xlr microphones for different purposes, it works well enough that the gear isn't really a limitation (the DR40 has since been replaced by the DR44). The zoom H4n is another option at that price point - When I can justify the cost I'll go for the Zoom H6 which has interchangeable microphone modules and more lines in, but for now I'm happy with the DR40.

Each of these options will allow you to send a headphone line out to the microphone in on your camera. I personally keep them seperate and just clap for the camera and then I'll replace the camera audio with that from the recorder in post.

06-23-2019, 10:01 PM   #5
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I can vouch for the Tascam products. I've got an older DR-08 I've been using for years without a hitch. Small with very good audio quality. This model has been superseded by newer products, but I have no need to upgrade.
06-23-2019, 11:22 PM   #6
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Another vote for the Tascam DR-05. It's inexpensive and I've been impressed with the audio quality I get from it. Build quality could be better -- the battery door doesn't feel so robust and the build is a bit plasticky. However, it has performed very well in the field. I have used it at work for recording audio for training videos, etc. The inbuilt mikes are very sensitive and good for recording ambient sound. For recording speech you can use a lavalier mike or try a shotgun mike.

I wouldn't bother plugging the line out into the camera. The K-5 series have quite poor audio quality with automatic gain control which can't be disabled -- this causes an increase in noise in the quieter sections. In my experience it's better to add the audio from the external recorder to the video in post -- you can use the audio recorded by the on-camera mike to help sync things up.
06-23-2019, 11:54 PM   #7
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this should work: Zoom H1n Handy Recorder (2018 Model): Musical Instruments?tag=pentaxforums-20&

06-24-2019, 06:07 AM   #8
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I've used a Zoom H1 in the past (don't shoot much video lately) and sync'd it with the video during editing.
Easy to do if you've got a sync point like a clap or some other easily distinguished noise.
I use Vegas as an editor which gives a profile of the audio tracks and by zooming in the timeline it's easy to relate the two audio files, remove the camera track and add the Zoom track.
06-24-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
send a headphone line out to the microphone in on your camera
Before I tried this I'd research how strong a signal your microphone input could take. An external microphone might put out perhaps a -40db signal, whereas a field recorder with an amplified line level output might be -10db (much stronger). You don't want to fry your camera's mic input. It might work fine; I don't know. But I'd be cautious.
06-24-2019, 08:18 AM   #10

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QuoteOriginally posted by Hannican Quote
If I can find one device that does all these wel
I started with a Tascam an earlier version of the DR-05. Can't remember the model number. When I got into more serious recording, I got a Zoom 4N. The zoom offers XLR (along mini and 1/4") inputs for the ultimate in flexibility. I also bought a Roland R-05 which is a very nice unit as well. The Roland only takes mini jacks. If you want the ultimate in jack of all trades get a Zoom unit. The Zoom 4N can be had for about $200 or less in the used market or maybe even new. They do have an updated version of the Zoom if you want to try the latest version of their recorders. You are only going to buy it one time. If they are not dropped or abused, these things last for ever. It is a long term investment so get the best unit even if it is a little beyond your budget.
06-24-2019, 09:05 AM   #11
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The Tascam DR-40 I own some years now is a nice recorder and got some firmware updates. Some accessories like battery pack and cable remote you can get for it. As already said it offers two XLR ports with phantom power 48V. The reason I bought it. If you use high end quality mics you get very good sound quality but the build-in mics are also not bad at all IMO.

If you want to work more computer connected and use Apple MacOS and IOS devices (iPhone or iPad) I highly recommend Sonic Port VX. I was really surprised about the very good sound quality. If you go mobile simply connect it to your iPhone or iPad and use an app like Voice Record Pro. This setup has some nice advantages compared to a more proprietary device like the Tascam or similar solutions. With the Sonic Port VX you can even build up a small DAW (digital audio workstation) system if you choose Cubase Pro or similar on a Mac or Cubasis on an iPad. But the VX doesn‘t offer XLR ports.

I wouldn‘t connect these solutions to the camera audio out port because sound quality will not be the best you can get ... if that‘s important to you.

Simply record on the camera and special devices seperately, synchronize the sound tracks in post and then replace the camera sound track of your video (if you do videos) with in post processing optimized tracks.

This you can by example do with Cubase Pro (a DAW - from Steinberg) and I think it‘s even possible with free Apple MacOS App GarageBand or if you make advanced slide shows using FotoMagico. The two latter ones are only availlable on the Mac platform.

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