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hello all,

ok the thing is, i already have h4n..the quality is emmm...kinda ok for beginning, now i'm thinking about upgrade and as far as i know, the audio will be cleaner with h4n with sd, but the thing is i will be mostly recording sounds for sound design so i think i need 192khz sampling rate(what as far as i know r44 does), also i think that by just using r44 i will feel a little bit more comfortable (also i then could sell h4n and buy a better mic, or save more money and buy a proper mic), BUT i'm a little bit scared about preamps on r44, thou i'm fixing sound from h4n quite successfully with izotope rx plugins, i think there will be situation where i will really need clean preamps...so which way would you go for?

p.s.:sorry for my not so good english ;)

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First consider some alternative recorders: e.g. Marantz PMD 661 ($599), Tascam HD-P2 ($699) and the Tascam DR-100 ($313). And look into JuicedLink preamps if your budget is tight ($300).

Not sure why you feel the need to record in 192khz. If your hope is to record the "best possible quality sound ever" you should be saving up for a Sound Devices recorder and proper mics instead of relying on cheap handheld recorders.

I have heard some samples from H4N + preamp + mics and it sounds great. I'm sure R44/HD-P2 + preamp + mics will sound even better.

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    I'd personally recommend against spending extra money on the juicedlink preamps. IMO they'll be no better than the builtins on any of the handheld devices. – Rene Oct 6 '11 at 22:24
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I own a Tascam DR-100 and in conjunction with a good shotgun microphone (although not the best on the market) the Tascam is extremely good quality and will give you professional recordings of the sound you want to capture.

I have used the R44 and it is a very, very good portable recorder, and I don't have anything negative to say about it besides one thing. It goes through batteries so quickly. I have tried so many different brands and when recording at only 96kHz (used as a reference frequency against other records not capable of the full 192kHz, such as the DR-100) I have only ever managed to stay in the field without a battery change for maximum 1 and a bit hours using one external mic with the phantom power provided by the R4. and just a little over 2 hours with the phantom power being provided via a battery.

The DR-100 however, has a Lithium Ion battery that I would trust to run my own life support machine. O.K. a little exaggerated but I'm sure you understand my enthusiasm. I was out recording on a film set from 10am until around 6pm this summer just gone and I had to change to the AA batteries at 16:30pm. this was quite a heavy recording sessions with starts and stops of recordings and turning the device on and off for set preparation for a minute or two. This is whilst it is providing the phantom power for a RODE NTG2 shotgun.

So the Lithium Ion alone lasted 6 hours (of course this number will change due to not recording constantly for 6 hours) However you can see that having that powerful internal battery is a definite advantage for sound designers who are out most of the day collecting material.

As for the AA batteries I have only ever used 2500mAh rechargeable and whilst providing the phantom power, I would say you can get 2 hours out of them (it may be more, this is just an estimation).

So to summarize,

The Edirol R44 has fantastic quality and 4 mic capabilities but will cost you an arm and a leg in batteries, not to mention the high price of the unit.

The Tascam DR-100 can record up to 96kHz 24bit but some sound designers will say this quality is plenty for most manipulation needs. (some may disagree) The built in Lithium Ion battery is a marathon runner and unless you get a defective one, it will carry you throughout the day. Finally you can buy a good mic and the DR-100 for the price of the R44, which, I'm sure most people with agree with me, is better than having a kick ass recorder and microphone with a rubbish frequency response. Quality mics are more important.

Neither units cause horribly noticeable amounts of operation noise or hiss.

My opinion, the Tascam is the choice for an independent sound designer like me. If you have the money to buy batteries by the barrel, go for the Edirol R44 to have that extra sound quality when manipulating your sounds.

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  • I would like to add, I am no way a representative or affiliated with the Tascam brand or company in anyway. I am just extremely happy I bought the right recorder :D – Blank Canvas Sound Design Oct 6 '11 at 21:40
  • Interesting perspective. i sold my DR-100 because I was unhappy with the battery life and sound quality. – Rene Oct 7 '11 at 13:46
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thanks for all the answers..so to sum up, most of you(i mean in other forums too) prefer battery life to a little bit better preamps?

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There is a new recorder coming out from Roland in a weeks time: http://www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/products/100093

I'm really excited about it and it may(or may not) be the upgrade option from the zoom. Waiting for the first reviews! The mic preamps are going to be the determining factor if it's worth the money.

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