Hey, I'm currently studying sound for film, tv and games and I'm looking for a field recorder to gather my own library of Foley sounds to pick and choose from.

I don't have a huge budget which I think may be a problem but I do already own a Rode NT2a so I'm idealy looking for something that has XLR inputs and good Pre-amps/Pantom Power as well as reasonably good built in mic's. At a stretch I could probably spend around £500 but idealy no more than.

I've recently been looking at the Zoom H4n before being turned away by comments surrounding audio clipping and poor pre-amps, does anyone have any knowledge or use experience with the H4n to clear this info up?

At the higher end of my budget I have also breifly looked at the Marantz PMD 661 which I beleive may be just what I'm after. Has anyone had any use of this device and could you tell me what you think of it? Are the Pre-amps any good and are recording results using the built in mic's of high quality?

Alternatively if you can recommend any other devices that would be great. I'm looking for a device with as clear recording quality and low noise to sound ratio as possible for film and new media.

Thanks in advance for any feedback :)


3 Answers 3


Best entry-level portable recorder Small budget solution for portable recording Low-budget field recorder with good pre-amp


word on the street. these things are the bomb. http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-audio/resource.latest.bbsccms-assets-cat-audio-latest-pcmd50.shtml

havent used one but i can see their significance

  • @SoundsGood Foley is not usually recorded in stereo but rather in mono. Since this recorder doesn't have an XLR input (Sony don't even mention a line input), you wouldn't be able to use your own mic with it. So you're stuck with a stereo setup which isn't what's needed for Foley. Jul 14, 2010 at 4:08

I got recommended the Tascam DR-100 and I'm happy with it so far, it's a bit noisy but I've never used it with a different mic than my AT8015, maybe they don't work out so well together. I have to use the preamps at high gain with this mic, I'd need to compare with other mics models/makes. The headphones amp is a bit noisy past the 7th mark (out of 10) on the dial. I read the mic preamps are theoretically quieter than the PMD661 and FR2-LE. Again, nothing is worth a good test.

alt text http://www.tascam.com/i-3717-17-64-0-E58640BD.jpg

Interface-wise it rocks, the switches at the back are practical, the wheel and the few buttons at the front make it very intuitive to use. The double power source is great: 1 rechargeable battery and a set of 2 AA batteries. The onboard stereo mic sounds OK, the omni is crap but who would use a stereo pair of omni mics spaced of 2 inches?

Not quite sure if this is a complete description as it's 6.20am here...

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