Musicians need the best portable digital recorder. They are great devices for a variety of purposes, which is why they are popular not only to musicians, but also journalists, and people who just what to keep essential notes through the sound of their voice. As you already know, recorders are a device you can use to record any kind of voice.
You are probably wondering the need for this when your smartphone has the same recorder function. You probably think you don’t need a separate device, but you actually do, if you want better sound quality recording. On that note, this article introduces you to the top 5 portable digital recorders you can use for live music.
- TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder
- Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
- Yamaha PR7 Pocket Recorder
- TASCAM DR-22WL Portable Handheld Recorder with WiFi
- Zoom H1n Handy Recorder
let’s take a look of this list below.
The main advantage of this portable digital recorder is its conventional design. It features an LCD backlit screen that displays the settings, a power button that can also stop the recording, and several other buttons for easy use. The recorder is handy thanks to its sleek design. With its high sound pressure design, you’ll be sure that it does well for loud recordings and even quiet sounds.
In terms of performance, this digital recorder comes equipped with an omnidirectional stereo condenser mics. With these microphones, the recorder can pick up sounds from all directions. As such, it is great for when used in live events especially with the 24 bit/96 kHz recording format. It also features different functions for input signal level adjustment and peak reduction function.
Thanks to these features, the recorder can automatically lower its level to peak sound and continue recording. It can change the level based on the sound source, allowing the recording to be set at the optimal level. DR-05 also has a level align function that gives it the ability to adjust the sound volume, so it becomes easy to listen to your recordings.
- Easy to operate
- High audio quality recording
- Improved playback functions
- Lightweight and user-friendly interface
- Sleek design
- Relatively cheap
- Shorter battery life
- Interference can make audio a bit difficult to hear
The design of Zoom H4N Pro is one of its biggest advantages as a digital recorder. It comes with a 1.9 inch LCD backlit display showing different recording options including stereo, MTR, and 4CH. The same panel offers buttons for play, recording, reverse, and fast forward. This recorder takes 30 seconds to boot and gives you the option to mount it to a camera or a tripod.
It is easy to carry as it only weighs about 300 grams. Therefore, you can easily bring it with you to any shooting location. You can even bring it in the field and be sure it won’t suffer damage thanks to its ergonomic body made from rubber. It is highly portable and offers you a convenient recording that makes it the best option for audio engineers
Zoom H4N PRO is a top portable audio recorder for a reason. It is flexible, professional, and quite affordable. It features impressive specs that put it at the top of audio recorders within its price range. However, it does have some disadvantages including the clunkiness. But still, no doubt Zoom H2n Pro is portable and an excellent digital recorder.
- Excellent audio quality
- Handy and lightweight
- Better audio refining courtesy of Cubase
- Tough inline signal handling
- Booting time can be a bit long
The PR7 Pocket Recorder is the newest digital recorder in Yamaha’s line of super portable PCM recorders. It is highly recommended for its effortless superior recordings that you can make anytime, anywhere. It offers you a fantastic recording experience thanks to features such as the XY stereo microphone.
With this mic, you can be sure to capture high-resolution recordings. Using PR7, you can expect recordings characterized by natural sound and steady audio quality. This recorder has powerful functions, and features, such as the metronome, onboard tuner, intuitive surface, and five presets which make it an invaluable device for a musician.
- Great build quality
- High fidelity sound
- Metronome and tuner functions
- Has limited storage space
DR-22WL is a portable handle recorder from TASCAM featuring a traditional design of a small LCD screen but with the added feature of a WiFi. In its front panel, the recorder comes with several mini buttons for functions including record, stop, fast forward, and play. Besides these features, DR-22WL allows you to transfer audios from one device to another.
Additionally, it can record loud sounds such as concert and rehearsals, making it the perfect device for when recording live music. It has around 120 dB SPL, which means it has more than 10x higher maximum sound pressure than that of a movie theater. With such qualities and features, it is no wonder DR-22Wl is a highly recommended premium-quality recorder.
- Sleep design
- User-friendly interface
- Good audio quality
- Easy transfer between smartphones and tablets
- Relatively cheap
- Interference in audio playback
- Shorter battery life
Zoom H1n is notable for portability, high performance, and sleek design. It features a streamlined body with a protective mic enclosure and matte finish. With a rugged, compact design, H1n can record the highest quality sound in virtually anywhere. The mic enclosure is a notable feature of the recorder, which gives it resistance to wear and tear.
Among its most notable features include a graphics LCD display, localized menus, and one-touch button controls. These features make the recorder an excellent option both for beginners and professional creators. It is one of the top choices for a device you can use in audio filming projects, recording song ideas, meetings, and lectures, and more.
- Operates with only one battery
- Sleek design
- Compact and lightweight
- User-friendly interface
- Relatively cheap
- Not sturdy due to plastic design
- Low-end audio quality for professional recordings
Portable recorders can be used in a variety of purposes. Having a portable recorder can be equivalent to having their phones or wallets to some people. It is especially true to people whose line of work is in music or journalism. With so many portable digital recorders available in the market, you must be wondering how you can find the best option. On that note, below are some factors to consider:
While not a feature to look for in a recorder, your budget is an important consideration. The reason is that in the end, you are going to purchase the device that you can afford. On that note, start looking for a portable digital recorder within your price range. From the available options, you can start looking for the most suitable device to help you record anything you want.
One of the most important factors to consider in a portable recorder is the sound quality. The sound quality must be really good, especially if you are recording music. Moreover, it has to be powerful enough that it can pick sounds from any direction or distance. It has to be capable of recording sounds in great audio quality even when you don’t put it near the mouth when speaking.
It is portable that we are talking about right now, which means you are looking for a device that isn’t heavy or large. With that being the case, look for the portable digital recorder in a size that can easily fit inside your pocket or bag. This way, you can easily carry it with you anywhere for recording whenever you need. Fortunately, most digital recorders available these days are handheld and lightweight.
The microphone is an essential part, as it is what picks up the sound. Some portable recorders let you attach an external microphone. However, most of these devices have their in-built microphones. On that note, make sure to find one with powerful in-built mics since bringing a portable recorder would not be ideal if you’ll have to attach another mic on it.
No matter which portable recorder you choose, the storage capacity is a critical feature you have to consider. Most of today’s portable recorders are equipped with built-in memory. On the other hand, others let you expand the memory by adding a memory card. With 1GB storage, you already have a large enough memory capable of recording around 15 hours of audio. However, a larger capacity is better.
Most of the portable digital recorders today are easily compatible with a variety of devices. They are mostly compatible with Windows and Mac computers. However, depending on your device it might be able to connect to your tablet or smartphone. With that, you can easily transfer data for listening or storing.
Besides the qualities mentioned above, the battery life is just as important. The portable recorders before used an AA or AAA battery to work, but that’s not the case anymore. Most portable recorders today come with rechargeable via a power outlet or USB. Whether it is by battery or recharging, make sure that you choose the device with long hours of battery life for more time recording.
The USB connection is an excellent feature. With this, you can easily transfer your recorded tracks without the hassle of pulling out the SD card and plugging it into your PC. You can instead just connect the two ends of the USB cable to the computer port and the portable recorder. Through this feature, you can transfer files more efficiently.
What is a portable recorder?
A portable recorder is a device used for recording sound. It often comes with additional features that contribute to the device’s high-quality recording. Portable digital recorders also have a small form factor. The function of recorders is also available in mobile phones. However, portable recorders offer high-quality recording and advanced features, not to mention you can connect it with guitars or to a DSLR.
How do you use a portable digital recorder?
Using a portable digital recorder is easy. All you need to do is tap the “record” button. With that, the device begins recording, and you can pause or end it by tapping the “stop” button. Transferring files is possible as well. You can do that by connecting the recorder to the PC via the USB port. Once connected, you can just drag and drop the files you want to transfer. If you want to learn more about the use of a portable recorder, especially its advanced features, you can read the manual.
Is price an indicator of the audio quality?
While price is not an accurate indicator of quality, the best features, and high-quality recording is often delivered by more expensive devices. On that note, you can expect that cheap recorders only have basic microphones and lacks in the quality of the recording. Expensive and mid-range digital recorders, however, comes equipped with the best microphones. Moreover, they usually come equipped with other innovations that revolutionize the recording experience. That being the case, price does seem to be an indicator of audio quality.
Overall, the portable audio recorders you can find in this list are exceptional options. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to digital devices for recording music, lectures, and just about anything. All of them have a powerful capacity for recording sound sources during a live event. If you are looking for the device capable of picking any sound, you can have your pick in this list.
Of course, they also have their limitations, but none of the products on the list have the major disadvantage that will make your experience less than satisfactory. There are bound to be some discomfort in using a couple of the portable recorders in this list. But for the most part, they are great options that ensure you will have a most excellent recording experience whether for live music or any other purposes.