I currently use a sd mix pre-d with a zoom H4n. Its a nice setup. The advantage of this setup is that it is really modular. I can use the mixer, or the mixer and recorder it only the recorder. What I don't like about the H4n, is that you cannot put it in a bag, like other recorders. That's why im looking four an alternative for the H4n.

Because i am using a good field mixer, pre amps are not really important. I do want good xlr inputs, line or mic level.

The fostex fr2le is my best option at this moment. But what I don't like about it is that I cannot see the display if it's tucked away in my bag. it gives you certain feedback. For example: When recording you can double check if the time is really running or checking the take or slate number. That really important to me.

Other options for fields recorders are tascam or sound devices. But those are more expensive.

Another dilemma: I can choose a good field recorder, but why do I need the fields mixer then? Why not use the pre amps of the fields recorder instead of the field mixer. Where can I draw the line?

So does anybody know a good fields recorder in combination with a field mixer?

3 Answers 3


Have you seen the Sound Devices 7-series recorders? http://www.sounddevices.com Also check the SD 552 out, on the same site but under mixers. It's a mixer with a built in recorder.

There are numerous other alternatives. Cheap or expensive. The Tascam DR-680 for example, and the Edirol R-4 Pro are decent field recorders/mixers and a lot of bang for the buck.

Lurk around these forums and check out vendor's webistes. Like www.trewaudio.com or www.coffeysound.com or the best one IMHO, http://www.pro-sound.com/

Browse the categories and look at specs and get an idea of what you can get.

On a side note, if you get a remote for the H4n, you CAN put it in a bag. I have mine with my SD302, with the H4n beneath the mixer and the remote coming out. I only monitor levels with the 302.

  • Using the remote is an option, but need to see the display. So, thats not really an option for me
    – Ravian
    Nov 6, 2011 at 3:04
  • Why do you need to see the display? I set my levels so that they sound good, and I don't have to worry about clipping. Works for me and my ears. I use the SD302 for metering if I have to check. There probably is another reason for you though.. Nov 6, 2011 at 12:35
  • I like to check the display once in a while, to check if the levels are still good, and also to check the recording time. Also when playing back a recording, or adjusting settings, its handy to see the display.
    – Ravian
    Dec 1, 2012 at 16:38

I am eyeing the Zaxcom Nomad and that will probably be my next recorder/mixer purchase. It satisfies what I need for doing sfx recording and also will allow me to do docu/eng mixing or a small budget film if need be.

  • Nomad is bringing out a new product soon. The Nomad Maxx!
    – Ravian
    Dec 1, 2012 at 16:39
  • I ment to say Zaxcom Maxx
    – Ravian
    Dec 1, 2012 at 17:02
  • Problem with both the nomad and the maxx is the samplerates :( Dec 4, 2012 at 1:36

The Sound Devices mixers work well with various recorders. This way you get SD preamps quality, and save the money until you can buy serious recorder (SD 744t or 788t, maybe Nomad) The Tascam DR-680 has a very good quality for the money. And it works very good with SD mixers as it can accept a signal that is as hot as +24dBu (top of the range output on SD mixers). 302, 442, or 552, whichever suits your budget. They're all fine. With the 442 and 552 you can record 4 or 5 isolated tracks. Also 552 gives you an option to record 2 channel timecode material. Good stuff :-)

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