Updated: Jan 5, 2022
I'm a big fan of field recordings and I've used many in my songs of 2021. Just in November I recorded a great set of sounds in Greece with my Tascam DR-07X. But I was pretty unhappy with this device and I recently upgraded to a much better one. Read in this blogpost about the Zoom H5.
Note: I bought the devices myself, I didn't receive any payment for this blogpost and I'm in no way connected to Zoom or Rode, the manufacturers of the featured devices.
The Tascam DR-07X is a budget recorder
Unfortunately, the Tascam is one of the cheaper recorders and has some big drawbacks. I thought it's efficient to start low, but that was not the best idea. For one, it records everything with a pretty big inherent noise. There is a high-pass filter onboards to minimize this somewhat, but you do end up having to spend quite a bit of time processing each recording at the computer.
Also, and much more annoying to me, half of the recordings are unusable because the electronics are not shielded and constantly record noise from my watch and other nearby electronic devices.
At the beginning of my field recorder adventure, I thought this drawback was actually cool, since I like noises and unperfected sounds. But it turned out that they are actually more annoying than cool, even during post-processing, and I would actually like to record "clean" sounds. Because, very often, they just destroy otherwise very good sounds.
Well, to resolve this, I wanted to use an appropriate external microphone, which has a low self-noise and can also record quiet sounds. This is also not feasible with the Tascam, because it offers neither a line, nor an XLR input.
The Zoom H5 recorder offers a huge set of features
Ergo, I had to admit to myself that the Tascam was a bad buy (as so often ...) and I will have to upgrade to a more expensive device. Had I then but equal to a Zoom grabbed! I decided for the H5, it offers 4 recording tracks, the capsule it brings is replaceable if you want that, I can connect a mic to the XLR input and the recording quality is just great. Plus, I can also use the recorder as a small audio interface, which is also iOS compatible.
At the same time I have also treated myself to a microphone. I have long considered, but finally decided on a directional microphone with which I can record selective sounds. I have found that most of my recordings are about details and less about ambient noise, so that the choice is then easy for me. For ambient recording, I can still use the two mics on the Zoom.
Rode NGT4plus shotgun mic
The Rode NGT4plus is very easy to use, quiet when recording and has a rechargeable battery, so doesn't rely on phantom power. So that I do not pick up noises by handling, I have dazubestellt still a holder.
I will tell you about my adventures and experiences with the two devices certainly still in detail and I will write a test report on it soon. And If you have one or both of the devices in the possession, I am always grateful for tips on use :D Just post in the comments.
Which mic do you use?