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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Hi guys. I need to find a good tape recorder that is affordable. I am going to be using it for the sessions I go to. Is there a recorder that can slow down tunes and still be able to play along with it? Any brand or shop recommendations? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:01 pm 
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Define affordable...

Zoom H4n is the latest and greatest from Zoom in their Handy Recorder line. I've heard nothing but good things about the Zoom products. I aim to get one myself once I recover from buying a laptop. :p The H4n runs ~ $349 w/ all the accessories. You can get that price on Amazon or eBay, but from the same seller.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:04 pm 
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Affordable is less than $100.00 I don't even think I can afford that. :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:07 pm 
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The Whistle Collector wrote:
Hi guys. I need to find a good tape recorder

Must it be a tape recorder? Or are you just showing your age? :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:12 pm 
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:lol: :lol: I have no idea what they call them these days. My guess is that they have digital now? The sad thing is that I am 21. :tomato:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Less than $100 you can get plenty of recording devices, but I don't know that they'd satisfy your needs... A while back I picked up a little Sony digital recorder so I could record meetings at work. It's good for that, but I'd be terrified to listen to music on it. Ran me about $30, I think. I just went to Target and bought one off the shelf (I checked their recording range and such before buying, and that one had the best range of frequencies recorded).

The Zoom H2 is $163 or thereabouts (just looking on Amazon right now). I'll see what else I can dig up that would work.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:13 pm 
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4 possibilities that are under or just barely over $100 --

3 digital voice recorders from Olympus:
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-DS-40-Dig ... grid_i_1_0

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Digital-V ... rid_pt_2_1

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-WS-331M-D ... grid_i_2_0

1 digital audio recorder from Dynasonics:

http://www.amazon.com/Dynasonics-track- ... grid_i_1_2

I have zero experience with these, but I can say that the first three likely won't be very nice quality. The fourth will probably be decent. (These are guesses, but *educated* guesses! :p)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:17 pm 
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I have a "stone-age" Sony recorder that I bought four or five years ago. Cost about $100 when I bought it. I love it. Positives of mine are tiny size, always on, mic slot where I use a stereo mic. Negatives are the Sony proprietary file format, low storage capacity (2 hours at medium bit rate), non-expandable. I approximate the quality at AM radio without the mic, FM radio using the mic.

Olympus has some popular models with plenty that are under $100 that will do just fine for learning tunes.

In many settings the room acoustics and background noise will be the limiting factors, even on "stone age" models like mine, or the cheap models currently being sold. This will likely be true of most sessions.

The curious can listen to some live field recordings at my Soundclick page. "Church Bells in Dublin" is a whistle recording, "North of the Rainbow," is a flute recording.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... tent=music


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:26 am 
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The Whistle Collector wrote:
:lol: :lol: I have no idea what they call them these days. My guess is that they have digital now? The sad thing is that I am 21. :tomato:


Digital Recorders. I'm not sure you'd find any decent quality machines that still use tape to record on.

Regarding the slowing down of recordings during playback while maintaining pitch, this is something you can do on your PC afterwards, but probably not something to look for in the recording device. My wife uses slowy-downy software, but I don't recall the name of the program.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:16 am 
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Protean wrote:
4 possibilities that are under or just barely over $100 --

3 digital voice recorders from Olympus:
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-DS-40-Dig ... grid_i_1_0

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Digital-V ... rid_pt_2_1

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-WS-331M-D ... grid_i_2_0

1 digital audio recorder from Dynasonics:

http://www.amazon.com/Dynasonics-track- ... grid_i_1_2

I have zero experience with these, but I can say that the first three likely won't be very nice quality. The fourth will probably be decent. (These are guesses, but *educated* guesses! :p)
Thanks for those; they look like a good deal.



Thanks for the advice Martin, I will try to look into that software.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:38 am 
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BillChin wrote:
I have a "stone-age" Sony recorder

If that's stone age, then I guess my Sony micro-cassette recorder is Proterozoic! :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:40 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
BillChin wrote:
I have a "stone-age" Sony recorder

If that's stone age, then I guess my Sony micro-cassette recorder is Proterozoic! :lol:


I believe my old Sony has 16 mb (that's megabytes) of non-expandable storage, so I think it qualifies in terms of digital time frames. The bit sampling rate for recording is likely lower than the lowest/cheapest model being sold today.

The sound quality thing is mostly overblown, and a way to get people to spend money. A friend bought a $60 Olympus about two years ago, and it is fine for recording live music. The fancy, expensive ones will only be a little better at a session, because of room acoustics and background noise.

Now, if a person is doing studio work, or in a concert hall with near perfect acoustics, the more expensive models might be worth it. In a bar, where many sessions are, not so much. I am very happy with my "low-quality" Sony. The small size means more than an increase in sampling rate because I am that much more likely to have it when I want to record, than one of the bigger, more expensive musician units.


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