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.

4 Answers 4


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.

  • 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
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 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.
    – user80
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 7:39
  • Iain McGregor - would you go with sound devices mixer on front of h4n or hd-p2 go with alone?
    – mufumbo
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 19:33
  • I'd rather have the sound devices preamp, but if you want ease of use go for the HD-P2
    – user80
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 9:34
  • thank you so much. I will get the sound devices preamp and keep the h4n as portable recorder.
    – mufumbo
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 10:08

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

  • @Membrans Sound Design - iZoptope RX2 is a life saver ;) +1
    – RedSonic01
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 6:49
  • @RedSonic01 Significantly better than Waves X/Z-Noise? Wondering if it's worth exploring, or if I should stick with those. Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 7:23
  • @pointy stumps - Absolute better ! :) youtube.com/watch?v=9wtEyErZ1dQ
    – Debsound
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 18:20
  • Also... surely you'd never recommend removing noise in post as opposed to making a clean recording?! Commented Oct 3, 2012 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 :)

  • at that point I would probably prefer to go with sound devices mixpred + h4n
    – mufumbo
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 22:22
  • Battery life apparently leaves something to be desired on the FR-2? Commented Aug 28, 2012 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
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 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.

  • 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
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 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
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 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/… Commented Aug 28, 2012 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
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 10:10

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