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Hey guys,

I am looking to improve the noise on my recordings, since I have been using the h4n and it's a bit noisy with the ntg-2.

For sound quality + limiter, which one should I get? 1) Tascam HD-P2 2) Tascam DR-680 3) Edirol R-44 4) Roland r-26

I want clear crispy sound by spending less than $1000 on a field recorder. Also, it would be nice to not having to carry a mixer.

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4 Answers 4

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I would really recommend a Sound Devices preamp, that way you really don't have to worry about the recorder choice. I use them in front of an R-44 for really clean recordings.

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but then I have to have a bunch of different cables to handle the hot signal from the preamp to the crappy h4n. I was thinking in getting the tascam 680 or the hd-p2 and then including the sound devices preamp later if necessary? –  mufumbo Aug 26 '12 at 22:02
    
If you are trying to improve noise on your recordings then the preamp is the most important part of the chain, as most recorders are accurate, especially when set to 24 bit. Unless you are buying a Sound Devices recorder, then I would buy the preamp first. Even plugging the preamp into an H2 gives a decent sound (obviously not ideal, but it is still an improvement over the H4n with built in preamps). Think of the preamp as a permanent part of your kit, and the recorder as something you upgrade as needed. You will only need 8 tracks on large shoots, so I suggest the hd-p2. –  Iain McGregor Aug 27 '12 at 7:39
    
Iain McGregor - would you go with sound devices mixer on front of h4n or hd-p2 go with alone? –  mufumbo Aug 27 '12 at 19:33
    
I'd rather have the sound devices preamp, but if you want ease of use go for the HD-P2 –  Iain McGregor Aug 28 '12 at 9:34
    
thank you so much. I will get the sound devices preamp and keep the h4n as portable recorder. –  mufumbo Aug 28 '12 at 10:08

I think choose Tascam DR-680 and buy iZotope RX2 (remove noise).

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@Membrans Sound Design - iZoptope RX2 is a life saver ;) +1 –  RedSonic01 Aug 27 '12 at 6:49
    
@RedSonic01 Significantly better than Waves X/Z-Noise? Wondering if it's worth exploring, or if I should stick with those. –  pointy stumps Aug 28 '12 at 7:23
    
@pointy stumps - Absolute better ! :) youtube.com/watch?v=9wtEyErZ1dQ –  Membrans Sound Design Aug 28 '12 at 18:20
    
Also... surely you'd never recommend removing noise in post as opposed to making a clean recording?! –  pointy stumps Oct 3 '12 at 13:12

There seems to be a few Fostex fr2's knocking around on ebay at the moment for around 600 dollars. Have you considered it? great pre's :)

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at that point I would probably prefer to go with sound devices mixpred + h4n –  mufumbo Aug 26 '12 at 22:22
    
Battery life apparently leaves something to be desired on the FR-2? –  pointy stumps Aug 28 '12 at 7:23
    
Depends on what solution for batteries your using - yes Alkaline batteries suck but the Tamiya NiMH you can get 4-5 hours - or lithium ion just go forever. –  RedSonic01 Aug 28 '12 at 10:19

How many channels do you want/need? If you don't need more than two, the simple answer would be to get the fostex. But I suggest a more complex dual unit setup. Get a Sony M10 and a Sound devices preamp. That way you get a great small recorder to use with internal/pip mics, and with a SD preamp you get great preamps and monitoring. The M10 has awesome battery time and the internal mics aren't at all bad although the stereo spread is almost non-existant. If you want more than two channels, I'd buy the tascam 680, add the low noise preamp mod when you can afford it.

I bought the R26. it's quite ok but have a few to many quirks in use, but it's a pretty affordable way to be able to record 4(6 with an extra hardware mod or using the internal mics) channels. Unfortunately the internal mics aren't good enough for low level sounds.

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For the moment, I just need one mic. From your comment, it seems that all I need is the low noise pre-amp in front of the h4n? I have the month to exchange the h4n on amazon. –  mufumbo Aug 26 '12 at 20:53
    
As far as i understand the zoom line ins aren't proper line inputs requiering a pretty low input level to avoid distortion. Easy enough to control on a SD preamp but is it a low noise input? I doubt it from what I read about it. –  ErikG Aug 27 '12 at 5:56
    
You'll need to give it a lower level input through 1/4" jacks with an inline attenuator. See here: danmccomb.com/posts/880/… –  pointy stumps Aug 28 '12 at 7:22
    
the lower level input isn't necessary if I get the sound devices mixpre-d. That's what I decided to get. mixpre-d -> h4n –  mufumbo Aug 28 '12 at 10:10

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