I'm looking for an appropriate partner for a Rode NT1A. Originally I wanted to go with a USB interface on macOS, something around 200€ like the new Focusrite Scarlett series. But since my field recorder broke a few months ago I was thinking to ease that other itch at the same time and go with a field recorder and do field recording plus mic amplification/audio interface (and for that purpose obviously only with the NT1A plugged in).

Does anybody have experience in regards to sound quality, e.g. noise levels when you compare the field recorder amps to a dedicated audio interface?


The Rode NT1A is particularly noted for its unusually low self-noise of only 5dB.

OTOH, the little plastic "shaver recorders" like Zoom H4n are noted for having rather ordinary to poor microphone preamps with signal to noise ratios that make them unsuitable for low-noise recording.

Using an external mic preamp (like one of the Scarlett products) is one way to somewhat improve the performance of recording on the Zoom.

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  • Thank you. I totally forgot about the possibility of circumventing the computer altogether. – ff10 Jul 22 '16 at 21:01

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