View Full Version : Portable Digital Recorders

Mar-17-2004, 3:34pm
I'm looking for something light and portable that I can slap down in the middle of a jam to record a few songs. Also, the music must be easily ported to my computer. It appears my only option is a "digital voice recorder" but I know nothing about them. Can anyone help steer me in the right direction? I thought about tape decks or mini-disc recorders, but those aren't easily ported to a computer...right? If I'm wrong, please tell me.

Mar-17-2004, 5:10pm
Jeff, my Sony minidisk recorder has a USB port and comes with software for downloading recordings to your computer. I've gotten some fine recordings with it and a small Sony stereo mic. Alas, I haven't taken advantage of the computer hookup because the provided software works only with PCs and I've got a Mac at home...if the computer hookup worked for you then I think you'd be pleased with the sound quality. It's not right in front of me, but I think the model number is something like RZ-707. If you need specifics I can check at home tonight.


Mar-17-2004, 5:55pm
Craig For a mac ownload" Protools Free" from digidesign you will be able to download your Sony to protools via the USB. You will have to boot up on a 9.x OS as OSX does not support Protools free.

Mike Buesseler
Mar-17-2004, 9:02pm
Can I jump in here with a related question? (If anyone is still reading....)

I have a slightly older Sony MD player, iMac computer. My MD player doesn't have a USB connector, but my computer does. Can I get an adaptor to take "line out" to USB? Anybody know anything about this?


Mar-17-2004, 9:21pm
Mike Griffin makes an adaptor that will go from a mini plug to USB , I used one on with an older sonyMD and Imac in the past.

Mike Buesseler
Mar-17-2004, 9:29pm
Nick--I love this site. #I posted that question, moved to another forum, and before I signed out, got notification of your post. #Thanks a million. #I'll check it out.

When you use the USB, you still have to transfer files in real time, yes? #One serious drawback to the earlier MD players. I hear newer ones are not so limited....

Mar-17-2004, 9:32pm
Thanks! That's rockin' good news. I'm still on system 9.xx.
Might you know what version Digidesign is handing out these days? I actually have
a 2002 version already that I never even contemplated might be useful with my


'Very good, Mr. Danger. And now I think you're ready for this:'

'Why, that's nothing but a two-bit ring from a Cracker Back Jox."
--Nick Danger, Third Eye

PS: Mikeb, unless your line-out is also a digital optical out like
on my newer Sony I don't think you have any digital output, certainly
not USB compatible, I'd think. If it is optical maybe there's a card you
could put in the computer to download through. Just guessing here.
PPS: Just read Nick's adapter suggestion. Sounds Kewl! chp

Mar-18-2004, 7:38am
When are they going to make a small IPOD type harddrive device that does voice recording with an external microphone? I've looked up and read about the Archos Jukeboxes and other stuff, but have heard more bad than good on these.

Mar-18-2004, 11:25am
I have an archos juke box and it works pretty good has a USB connection and works with my mac, the best part is that it is also a 20 GB hard drive. The setup takes a little practice but it gives you the ability to preset the quality and the sound levels.
The battery charge is good for about 5 hours or more of recording time I havn't drained it yet but I recharge it after every long recording session. After it is in the mac i use Peak Lite for clean up and making separate tracks and then burn CDs using Toast.

John Flynn
Mar-18-2004, 11:48am
Can you use the Archos Jukebox with a microphone for field recording? A friend of mine has one and it doesn't look like you can. If there is a model that can, or a method to do it, I'd appreciate the info.

Bob DeVellis
Mar-18-2004, 4:10pm
The Archos AV300 series can use a mic for field recording -- either the built-in one or a plug-in. I've heard only good things avout the 300 series.

Mar-18-2004, 4:52pm
Jeff, check out the iriver iHP-120 or 140. #I was looking for an mp3 player but wanted the recording option as well. #It records in .wav or .mp3 and it supports drag and drop...your pc simply recognizes it as a portable hard drive. USB 1.0 and 2.0 compatable. #I continue to be impressed with it but it wasn't cheap, around $300. #The only negative you'll read about it is that the navigation system is not very intuitive. I agree...but it only took about a day to get used to it. #Overall, I've been extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone in your situation. #i hated the thought of having to jump through the hoops that sony puts you through with their minidisc to pc issues. #Let me know if you have any specific questions about it. No financial interests, etc.... #--Bob

PS. it has an internal mic and it comes with a lapel mic, the lapel mic works fine for jams but for demo stuff, I'm looking for something with less hiss. I figure I'll have to spend another few bills for a decent stereo mic. If you or anyone else has suggestions I'd appreciate it.

Mar-20-2004, 6:46am
What about the Zoom PS-04 palmtop studio? Or the Tascam pocket studio 5? There are a bunch of cool multi-track recorders on the market now. They both record to smart media, and I think the Tascam has a USB interface. I think you'd get a better sound than from a digital voice recorder.



Mike Buesseler
Mar-20-2004, 8:31am
Man, for $200, that Zoom PS04 looks incredible. (I can't use the Tascam with my iMac, but it might be equally amazing)!!

Anybody got any experience with one of these?

Jeff A
Mar-20-2004, 11:46am
I have a Tascam Pocket Studio 5. For recording, as a practice tool, its pretty good.I think they sell for $300 now. An update is probably on the way as these started out selling for $500. The onboard mike is not much use, so expect to invest in one or two condenser mikes, mike stands ,cables, phantom power, mixers, etc. Recording can get expensive quickly.I use a little mixer that has phantom power and then output into my stereo reciever and speakers.That has work good for me. And yes it uses a usb cable to access the computer. End result can be pretty good. I wish I had more time to fiddle with it, but the truth is I would rather just play!