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I'm planning to buy a pair of Samson C02s for one-on-one outdoor interviews (mostly dog trainers working with dogs, so lavaliers aren't really an option) as they seem to be very good microphones for their price and they fit quite well within my budget.

However, I was planning on using them in a slightly bigger interview setting (4-6 people, split in two groups) and I was wondering if they would do a good enough job to cover them and also produce a decent enough audio for social media (most likely a Facebook live event).

Might there be other alternatives to the Samson C02 somewhat within the same price range? I'd love to have a pair of Rode NT5s but the jump from $100 to $400 is a bit too much right now.

Somewhat a related question is about the audio interface. I'm looking at the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 which would allow me to connect the mics to my laptop and join the audio with the video from my DSLR, or I could pay 50% more for the Zoom H4n which would allow me to leave my laptop at home. Which one would people pick?

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Samson C02 is awesome mic, but its condenser so it requires phantom power (if you going to record long sessions this might not be best idea for field recording since it consumes allot of battery), Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is awesome choice too, and doesn't need external power but you need laptop to power it via usb, so make sure your laptop battery life is durable.

Zoom H4n is very good and the main advantage is mobility, but i would pick dynamic mic for it not condenser.

if you record outdoors make sure you use Deadcat wind muff for the mic, not regular foam

  • I've had some recommendations for the Tascam DR-60D MKII, which can be powered by an external USB battery for longer sessions (I don't think I'll ever record more than an hour) and seems like it has better pre-amps for XLRs than the H4n. Would it be a better choice? I thinking mostly of flexibility and ease of setup. – Andrei Maxim Dec 10 '17 at 6:46
  • flexibility and quality mater for me, i wouldn't go with laptop and audio interface in the field, at least not too often. i never tested Tascam DR-60D MKII but i read it has great reviews – skunkhaze Dec 13 '17 at 0:34
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I'd strongly recommend avoiding the Zoom H4n, as by 2017 standards it is truly dreadfully awful.

Plenty of others to consider on this list:

http://ironfilm.co.nz/which-sound-recorder-to-buy-a-guide-to-various-indie-priced-sound-recorders-in-2017/

I'd very very very strongly recommend avoiding the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as well, as while it is a great little USB audio interface, for your needs that workflow is far too clunky and impracticable.

Samson C02 is a pretty ok ultra low budget recorder, but it really is intended for indoor use, not outdoors!

However for your purposes, perhaps the wider pick up pattern instead could be a benefit over a shotgun.

But do remember to get sufficient wind protection for it!

Also, how are you going to position? Likely you'll want to use a C stand with each, and a boom pole (and boom buddy).

  • Thank you very much for the answer. I've opted for the Tascam DR-60D mkII for portability reasons (being able to put it on a tripod below my DSLR was also a quite great). I would have loved a Zoom F4 but everything is coming out of my own pocket as these interviews are for promoting a non-profit. As for the mics, the plan is to have them either like some table top microphones or on a C-stand for static interviews and on a boom when people are more active. – Andrei Maxim Dec 19 '17 at 8:00

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