On the next day, I will do some location recording for some short movie. I'm planning to use 4 Mic (2 Shotgun and 2 Lav). But the problem is I don't have 4 track Portable Recorder.

I have a shot list from the Director. All of the shots are going to take place in bedroom and kitchen. I think my boomer will not move much.

Is it possible if I record the dialogue use my Laptop, 8 Track USB soundcard and some Mic Preamp by using nuendo as the DAW?

I mean is there any different quality within Handheld Recorder with USB soundcard?


I'm all for highest quality, as well. However, this presumably si not Hollywood level production, neither is it a concert recording in static setup.

In location recording, what matters is getting the job done.

In practice, this means dedicated recorder.

How are these 4 channels fed to you? Boom and 3 wireless mics?

Anyway, just a rent a 4-channel solid state recorder, if you don't have one. Or record onto two 2-channel recorders and sync in post (extra work but low cost.)

Location recording to DAW is a recipe for disaster and I do not recommend it. Use dedicated recorders. Sound Devices units are reliable if you can afford to buy/rent them, and are standard for this type of work. Otherwise, newer Tascams have decent noise level. Diminutive Sony PCM-M10 has fantastically low noise and is highly recommended - just feed it 2 channels from your mixer/preamps via Line-In http://bit.ly/SonyM10. Surprisingly, line-in on cheap/old Tascam DR-07 is excellent, too.

Have it done, good luck :)

  • Tascam also has some cute microrecorders that stick on the end of a 9V battery and record the lav mic without having to transmit. Which makes me think you could use a smartphone the same way, and you have no shortage of them. Dialog can be re-recorded in the studio so you just plan a fair quality reference track.
    – JDługosz
    Mar 9 '15 at 18:36
  • @jdlugosz please link to such Tascam recorder?
    – boshap59
    Mar 9 '15 at 23:11
  • On the page tascam.com/applications/recording/handheld_recorder you can see the DR-10 variations. As I write this, the DR-10C for lav mics (not in the US? I wonder why), and DR-10X for XLR. USD$180 at B&H.
    – JDługosz
    Mar 9 '15 at 23:40
  • @jdlugosz thanks for that, looks interesting - must be new. However, NO meaningful specs that I could find anywhere, including Tascam's own site (THD+N etc)...
    – boshap59
    Mar 10 '15 at 4:06

Recording through your interface, assuming it has decent mic pres, into your DAW would actually give you better quality results than a "Zoom" or similar handheld device. Just make sure to record at the highest possible sample rate and bit depth.

I hope that helps!

Justin Van Hout

  • Hi Justin, welcome to sound.stackexchange. I've edited your answer to exclude the website link. You can add that to your profile page. Cheers Mar 5 '15 at 16:48
  • Additionally, can you further explain why using a DAW is better quality than a Zoom device. As it stands there is no argument for one of them in your answer. Mar 5 '15 at 16:49
  • I think his experience is that a cheap handheld recorder is the low end and and the stuff on the main computer workstation is high-end, in fact the best among the equipment. That's the opposite of real amateur where the "real" preamp and dedicated mic in the Zoom blows away any consumer audio stuff, dSLR mic, motherboard sound chip, phone, etc. and is his first "best" recorder.
    – JDługosz
    Mar 9 '15 at 18:45
  • Downvoted this - the answer makes vague general assumptions with no supporting evidence.Recommendations re sample rate are just plain wrong and evidence an attempt to answer with no supporting experience.
    – Mark
    Dec 19 '16 at 13:12

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