I have searched through the questions, but I feel each person has specific requirements that necessitates a specific question.

I'm on a $1k budget and I need a field sound kit. I'll be going fx, ambience, foley (not in studio), maybe a little vocals, but no music.

I know SD 702 is the way to go but again, money.

So far I'm hearing Fostex FR-2LE, roland r44, marantz pmd 661 or 671.

What do you guys think? Thanks in advance!

7 Answers 7


If just starting out I don't think you need to be jumping into spending so much on a recorder straight away, unless buying second hand.

If you want brand new kit, I'd strongly recommend the following:

  • Tascam DR100 MkII - Very decent portable recorder. Internal mics are great for the price you pay for the device too, as well as having XLR inputs.

  • Rode NTG2

  • Rode Mini Boom (if doing dialogue booming)

  • Rode Blimp Kit - For decent pistol grip, shock mount, wind protection

  • A decent pair of headphones

That should all cost you around $1k if you shop around a little. eBay stores can be a good bet for these kind of deals, or go agree a package from your local/preferred AV store.

Of course, if you wanted to go the second hand route that's a different matter. You could probably pick up one of the recorders you mentioned second hand but that might still take up more than half your budget, and you need to leave some money for mics and peripherals. Of course you if you can get a more advanced field recorder than the Tascam or other units in that range for a similar price it might be worth it.


Here's my solution: http://sonicskepsi.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/ipad3-♥-mixpre-d-♥-auria/

  • this is very very interesting, will wait for ipad mini, and see how that will go with mixpre-d.
    – Linas
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 7:42

For a brand new kit, I would also suggest the Tascam DR100 MKii.

These are great, not only because they have decent features for the price as well as XLR inputs, but they are one of the few handhelds around with a digital input. This means when you are wanting to upgrade you can get a SD USBPre or Mixpre-D and bypass the cheap converters and pre amps on the Tascam and go Sound Devices.

I would suggest starting with a cheapish stereo mic like a Rode NT4 as it is a good all rounder and particularly good for ambiences. Get a Rode Dead Kitten to go with it too.

If you don't have any headphones, get some Sennheiser Hd25s, and get yourself a bag.

That will get you under $1k I think, and you'll be cookin'.

Of course if you are just after a recorder then I'd suggest getting the Tascam and an SD USBPre2 and a USB battery pack.

  • @Matt why the usbpre2 and not the mixpre-d? Thank you so far!
    – nlawrence
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 12:55
  • I personally went for the Usbpre2 as it could also double up as an audio interface with versatile ins and outs - it has SPDIF and Toslink, while the Mixpre-D only has AES out (I think) and I'm not sure how easy it is to convert to SPDIF. The kit been working well for me anyway.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 17:29

Buy a Sony PCM D-50 and put the rest of your budget in the bank, saving for a Sound Devices 702 and external mic setup down the road.


Good choice. Dr100mk2 - ntg2 or ntg3 (much better) and a blimp (must have !!!)


I'd suggest the TASCAM DR40+ NTG2 or NTG3. The DR100mk2 has just too many buttons and functions but honestly you'll be using only half of them most of the times. You gt a DR40 for around $150. The DR40 gives you the option of changing the directions of the mic which lets you record in AB as well as in XY pattern, which is not the case with DR100. Plus, as you are on a tight budget it'll help you save a couple of hundred dollars which you can put it in other stuff.

  • As an owner of the DR-40, though, the preamps aren't amazing are they? What was suggested by Matt - being able to use digital inputs from a field mixer - seems like good extensibility. Plus the DR-40 doesn't have a minijack in, which can be really handy a lot of the time... anyway, it's still a great recorder for the price! Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 11:43

Can I just ask. . . if you're recording dialogue for a short - it's fine to just plug your Rode NTG2 straight into the Tascam 100?

Also. . it's $1k for you guys, but over in the UK all that stuff basically comes to 1 grand sterling.

  • you should get decent sound from that combination...and yes prices kinda suck, for example sd mixpre-d in usa is 750$ and here in europe its 890eur :/
    – Linas
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 11:45

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