Apart from the obvious stuff like preamp/converter quality & size/weight, what useful new features should be invented in the next few years?

I would like;

  • Custom rules to stop & start recording - e.g. when an input level above -20dB is detected between 3-4am, start recording until it goes below -20db for 10 minutes.

  • Ability to take one mic input and route it to more than one preamp (so you can record a high & low gain version of the mic source)

  • GPS which writes your location & altitude to metadata during recording, with regular updates in case you move. GPS changes the clock when you cross a time zone.

  • Ability to create custom shortcuts/macros for the most easily accessible buttons

  • Voice recognition to operate the recorder

  • Ability to control every function remotely - via a smart phone app, a computer on the internet, a dedicated radio control (with level meters and a display)

  • Wireless network interface (internet or lan) to transfer recordings to my computer, and to use remote computers as a recording medium.

  • Ability to store metadata during recording which tracks every change of setting made by the user over time, including gain on the preamps.

  • Monitoring delay function - e.g. when im recording loud impacts I could add a 2 second delay so i can hear the recorded sound without hearing the actual thing simultaneously. (like confidence monitoring i suppose but more customisable)

  • Ability to charge mobile telephones & usb devices.

  • Measure air temperature & humidity, and regularly stamp the info into metadata during recording (and warning messages when temperature is too high/low for the unit to work properly)

Are there any devices that can do this stuff already ?

If someone made a product with all those features I might give up my sound devices recorder.

  • 1
    Aaaaactually... Eye-fi is making a wireless/geotagging SD card. It geotags photos when you and hops on your wifi connection at home to let you download the files from it without using a card reader. I have not heard of someone using one on a recorder, but it seems like it's just a short step away. www.eye.fi
    – VCProd
    Jan 24, 2011 at 21:13
  • 1
    "Custom rules to stop & start recording - e.g. when an input level above -20dB is detected between 3-4am, start recording until it goes below -20db for 10 minutes." You trying to record owls, or ghosts? :P I do share a lot of your wishes, and I'd best most of them are plausible in the not-too-distant future. Jan 24, 2011 at 22:47
  • Love the geotagging and metadata idea.
    – Bruce
    Jan 25, 2011 at 2:08

4 Answers 4


My wish list beyond what's been mentioned (wireless and geotagging are my faves):

  • Removable faceplate. All controls and meters, and headphone jack, remain on the faceplate. This would greatly facilitate easy access to control surfaces while tucking away the main recorder, either for reasons of stealth or environmental protection (from rain, etc.). Wired acceptable, but via Bluetooth would be even better.
  • Ability to always and ever record a duplicate channel for every primary channel that's -N dB lower than the channel you seem to be recording. Not unlike how Sony handles anti-distortion recording in its portables, but perhaps with user-controllable offsets. Would be great for gun and vehicle shoots!
  • If wirelessly enabled, hook up to an algorithmic, cloud-based speech-to-text service for automatic transcription. With timecode, if stripped into the recording, based on the recorder's capabilities.

I'd like a wireless version of Sound Devices C.Link ie wireless sample accurate sync between multiple recorders especially for situations when there are multiple recordists capturing the same material from different perspectives and they may not be within cable distance...

I'd also like a tiny microphone that actors swallow (or maybe it sticks to a tooth) which constantly records & transmits audio. A bit like an internal radio mic except instead of hiding it in hair or clothes its actually inside the actor. In post you would use some kind of internal body/throat impulse response to regain clean natural sounding dialogue.

  • C.Link via wifi would be bad ass. Imagine $99 airport expresses used for range extension! Jan 26, 2011 at 5:28


  • built in camera for visual tagging,
  • silent buttons/no handling noise,
  • on-board editing/trimming, as soon as apple give up their clickwheel patent..


  • instant replay while recording.
  • suggestion of optimal mic position related to source.
  • wireless access/tethering so the files are available immediately for post.

.. btw Sony's PCM-D1/D50/M10 range already use a backup track of -20/-12dB lower level, it's just not recorded on the medium..


The Marantz PMD661 has a dual mono recording mode. When enabled, the left channel is recorded normally on the left side, and -20 dB down on the right channel.

A lot of the features mentioned here... some sound OK, but I like minimalism and simplicity. I want to set levels, hit record, and go.

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