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Portable Recorders

Discuss pocket/portable recorders: brands, usage, settings, etc. Share recorded samples, tips, tricks, advice.

Members: 47
Latest Activity: Jan 11, 2014

Discussion Forum

Zoom H6

Do I need another portable recorder? No, I don't.Did I order up the new Zoom H6 the first week it was available ... yes, I did (head hung in shame).I unpacked it very carefully so I could hopefully…Continue

Started by Fran Guidry Aug 18, 2013.

Zoom Q3HD for Acoustic Recording for YouTube 5 Replies

Anyone using the Q3HD for recording acoustic for YouTube? I found a few YouTube reviews of the product. just wondering what this group thinks about it.

Tags: video, acoustic, Recording

Started by Bill Sovitsky. Last reply by Fran Guidry Dec 23, 2012.

Anyone know GarageBand well? 7 Replies

I've been using GB for quite a while for simple tweaking of songs I record. Nothing heavy handed just a little reverb, etc.Yesterday I brought a song from my Zoom H2 into GB, started playing it back…Continue

Tags: GarageBand

Started by Terry Angelli. Last reply by Terry Angelli Dec 28, 2011.

Video recorder advice? 20 Replies

I'm interested in purchasing a portable video recorder that will do a respectable job of recording live performances. I've been advised that there are two leading units, each with their own…Continue

Tags: live, recorder, Video

Started by Matt Richards. Last reply by Fran Guidry Mar 5, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Terry Angelli on December 30, 2011 at 4:00pm

I uploaded an original song that I would be interested in getting feedback on the recording, not the tune. I recorded it on a Zoom H2 and edited it in GarageBand and would be interested in any input about how to improve my recordings.


Comment by John Gundrum on November 16, 2011 at 4:19pm

Don: The Roland R-05 is a good portable recording device.  But it is not suitable for adding additional instrumentation.  For that you'll want a multi-track recorder like these. The other solution would be to use a computer with a good PCI, Firewire or USB audio interface.  Most audio interfaces come with lite versions of DAW software for you to use.

I think PreSonus has gotten good reviews for their audio interfaces and DAW software combinations.  Take a look at the AudioBox or FireStudio products.

Comment by Don Lawson on November 16, 2011 at 11:20am

Hello to the Portable Recorder Group...

I am very new to amateur recording, just beginning to dabble in garageband (and logic express 8)...

Question: has anyone used or know about the Roland R-05 Wave/MP3 Recorder...

My long term goal is to record my partner(wife) and my songs/music and jams... we play guitar / ukulele etc... and i would like to add additional guitar/bass/keyboard/ backup vocals etc... the Roland may be a good tool to catch our jams or individual takes and then export the initial takes into recording software (I do have a BIG learning curve ahead)...

Thanks for your thoughts, advice and suggestions


Comment by Fran Guidry on September 1, 2011 at 10:17am

The Zoom H2n was released a bit ahead of schedule and mine came a couple of days ago. I did some crudely level matched, same performance clips using the H2n, an H2, and a Rode NT4 through an Echo Audiofire Pre8:



Comment by Terry Angelli on June 4, 2011 at 4:57pm
Ooops! I forgot that I added a "flange" effect to No Expectations.
Comment by Terry Angelli on June 4, 2011 at 4:48pm

Great answer Fran!

I use my Zoom H2 for rough recordings of myself as well as my buddy and I when we jam.

If a recorded performance is decent I export it to my Mac and edit it in GarageBand which is included software for the Mac. I don't go crazy with editing because it is too time consuming. All I do is add some reverb so the sound isn't too dry and very few other effects. GarageBand is a simple easy way to edit this type of audio files. If your on a PC "Audicity" is a free program that is similar to GB. I downloaded the Mac version but have yet to work with it very much, no spare time to learn how to use it since I have GB.

If you go to my page (Terry Angelli) I just posted the Rolling Stones "No Expectations" that I did with my buddy. It is not a great performance but I tweaked the song as follows: Reverb overall, thin "radio" sound at the start and audio goes from left to full stereo and the "full" sound. This took all of an hour in GB and the opportunity to learn from both playing, recording and tweaking mistakes. And it's FUN.

That is the thing for me, fun. The recording process can get very cumbersome and time consuming which I have little patience nor time for either.

Invest in a small recorder, it will help you learn when you playback and as you progress you can fool around with tweaking for a better sound.

BTW, the two other songs I have on my page were tweaked in GB as well. Both were live recordings and lacked fidelity and dynamics. A little tweak improved them to where they were much more listenable.

Have fun and ask away as we all share on this page.


Comment by Fran Guidry on June 4, 2011 at 1:16am

Recording is useful for capturing lessons, self-critiquing, saving ideas when composing or arranging, and for making clips to share with the internet community.


True stereo means "solid" - an audio image of a position in space. A well recorded stereo clip might give a sense of the room where the recording took place (or might give an illusion of doing so). Two channels are also used to combine different parts of the guitar's tonality, or to create an enormous sounding guitar.


Recording using an attached device is (sniff) generally considered a last resort rather than a first direction. Recording gear of all kinds has gone up in quality and down in price to an astonishing degree, so excellent mics, preamps, and digital converters are all around us. Garage Band is a piece of software, not a recording device or interface. It will work with any audio device that is compatible with your Mac.


The Q3HD has a relatively wonderful audio subsystem, relative to other video cameras under $2000, that is. But its video is comparable to pocket cameras that cost much less than the price of the Q. Zoom has done a nice job of making a niche product instead of a Flip clone.


The quality/distance question is pretty hard to answer - it depends on what image is desired, the audible character of the room, the volume of the source, and whether post processing is an option. I've had fun using REAPER digital audio software to enhance the audio I captured with the Q3HD, for instance.


The zoom function in the Q3HD is digital, that is, it's the same as blowing up the image in post production.


My Homebrewed Music blog has a few articles about the Q3HD and comparisons to a couple of other cameras. I've also posted some videos on my YouTube channel with audio and video from the Q.


I must admit I'm mystified by folks who plug in their acoustic guitars to hear them at home. I wonder if the practice inhibits the development of good acoustic tone, which is one of the most subtly difficult aspects of playing.



Comment by Michael & Kody on June 3, 2011 at 11:35pm
Being new or making a 2nd motivated attempt at playing guitar, as now I'm retired an have more focus. Yet, Im ignorant about. The recording issues an wonder if we could discuss some basics, so I can get up to speed, some question may sound dumb but here goes:
What is the purpose, so you can rewind an listen to your mistakes, in order to improve?
Since a guitar is Mono, what an how does Steeo come into play? I have a Martin DC with 1/4 inch out an use a 5watt Vox portable & have access to Mac/Garage Band. But what conveys to stereo or 2 channels an why is t.hat important?
I also have a Martin D35. Make Note: Shubb (Capo) just came out with a small Mic enclosed in plastic that clamps to your sound hole an plugs into your amp or Mac/G/B 1/4 inch. It really is useful and sounds ok, allowing you to connect your otherwise Acoustic, non/elec to an amp or G/B to see if you want to spend the Big Bucks for an Anthem woody or other internalpre-amp. One fellow I know liked it so well, last week he paid the local shop to place the $10 Shubb Mic inside the hole, hardwired to a button out........ Look for the item, it's really handy, for $10 bucks, unbelievable!
I have been looking at the Q3HD, because the write up an description sound really cool for many uses. I am curious how Close you have to be to the subject to capture descent Video. Does it Zoom into the stage if your on the back row.......? 30 ft .? 100ft, 50yds. What's your experience. It sounds remarkable in the advertisements, why even mess with a Flip HD or STD cam? Here the Audio is heaven!

There you have it, my dumb questions........then, I get confused over the irony of having a high end Acoustic (earthy, natural) and complicating my life with all these electronic gadgets, turning my rainforest woody box ax into a head banger heavy metel squelching noise machine with peripherals..........Weird, I know......... Cause, actually, seems like I'm only trying to emulate the Tonal Quality of my Martin, not innondate myself with affects! But, I do like having the sound come back to me from across the room, I can here what I'm doing better........still, I'm not sure what the Recording gear is for and or Stereo, as apposed to some theory, thoughts or help understanding these comments an the desire for the peripheral? Maybe I just don't get it.....of course I'm open to anything that helps me become a better player with exceptional tone.......

Looking forward to some feedback, go easy on me, I'm fragile........Rock On!
Comment by Dan Hugen on May 29, 2011 at 6:01am

I use the Zoom Q3 it works good for what I do! You can upload straight to your youtube channel. I have 3 videos on this site you can look at. It is easy to use and very handy as a portable device. I paste the embed code from youtube to get them to acoustic guitar.

Comment by John Gundrum on March 15, 2011 at 8:14pm

I started a Cakewalk SONAR Users group to trade ideas, tips, techniques, shortcuts, ask questions, post how-tos & useful links & anything related to producing music or scoring video & games using Producer, Studio, Essential or previous versions of SONAR.


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