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Looking for suggestions Portable recording device

#1 User is offline   PrairieSchooner 

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 07:45 AM

I have a DP-03 Portastudio; I find it very user unfriendly and (admitting that I'm old and not very tech inclined) and I think the manual is extremely confusing. Since I don't use it very much I sort of have to relearn everything I knew about it (which ain't much) every time I do try to use it.

I'd like to find an easy to use, self contained portable unit (built in mic, etc.) that I could use to record myself now and then, or whip out when someone is playing something I'd like to keep. Doesn't need to multi-track, although it'd be OK if it had that capability. Needs the capability to save to CD (somehow) and/or to something like Sundcloud, etc. Doesn't need to be studio quality of course, but I'd like it to produce something I wouldn't be ashamed to post on the occasional website, etc. Not looking to spend a lot of money either (I don't want much, huh?).

Something better than propping a cell phone up in front of me. Any suggestions? Thanks...
And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling. - George Carlin
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#2 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 09:02 AM

View PostPrairieSchooner, on 02 July 2015 - 07:45 AM, said:

I'd like to find an easy to use, self contained portable unit (built in mic, etc.) that I could use to record myself now and then, or whip out when someone is playing something I'd like to keep.


You might look at a Tascam DR05.....
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#3 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:49 AM

My situation also...

My question is does the Tascam DR-05 offer any low-tech playback options other than the built-in speaker and headphone jack? Can an external speaker be fed through the headphone input?
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#4 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:54 AM

View Postjedzep, on 17 January 2016 - 10:49 AM, said:

My situation also...

My question is does the Tascam DR-05 offer any low-tech playback options other than the built-in speaker and headphone jack? Can an external speaker be fed through the headphone input?


That I don't know. I've always just downloaded the .wav file to a computer and played it back from there. The DR05 records quite well. Playback, not so much.
2011 Guild F50R burst
2002 Guild JF30-12 burst 

2011 Guild F-212 XLCE
2014 Martin GPC12PA4 12-string
2008 Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RAVS


2012 Epiphone Lennon EJ-160E VS


1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string sunburst

2012 Epiphone Dot CH

2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

Yamaha Motif XS7

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#5 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:58 AM

Good to know. Thanks!
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#6 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 08:31 AM

View Postjedzep, on 17 January 2016 - 10:49 AM, said:

My question is does the Tascam DR-05 offer any low-tech playback options other than the built-in speaker and headphone jack? Can an external speaker be fed through the headphone input?


I use the headphone jack as a line-out to feed into the Line-in of a stereo system or mixing board. The built-in amp will not drive a full size set of speakers, but would probably work with a set of small non-powered computer speakers.
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#7 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 01:55 PM

View PostL5Larry, on 18 January 2016 - 08:31 AM, said:

I use the headphone jack as a line-out to feed into the Line-in of a stereo system or mixing board. The built-in amp will not drive a full size set of speakers, but would probably work with a set of small non-powered computer speakers.

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#8 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 02:02 PM

Thanks Larry! Just bought the Tascam DP-006 which gives me a few more options. Got it new for $109 with free ship. We'll see if the instruction book makes my head explode.
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#9 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 05:36 PM

I have a Tascam DR 40 and I'm sort of in the same boat. I have to use it more I admit but it has a lot more functions than I will ever use. I picked mine up used, as new, so I guess the last guy had the same problem. The basic functions are very easy to remember after a few uses. I run my headphone line out to Photive Cyren (the cheaper/est one) Bluetooth speaker (line in). Speaker and DR 40 less than $200, can't complain. I promised myself that I would learn how to use it better this winter, but hasn't happened yet. Winter isn't over yet so it could still happen!
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#10 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 06:11 PM

I take this as encouraging A-phob. I'll play around with it this weekend and listen through headphones until I find a little speaker system that uses RCA-plug. The manual is waaay too thick though...a bad sign.
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#11 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 06:43 PM

View Postjedzep, on 18 January 2016 - 02:02 PM, said:

Thanks Larry! Just bought the Tascam DP-006 which gives me a few more options. Got it new for $109 with free ship. We'll see if the instruction book makes my head explode.

View Postjedzep, on 21 January 2016 - 06:11 PM, said:

I take this as encouraging A-phob. I'll play around with it this weekend and listen through headphones until I find a little speaker system that uses RCA-plug. The manual is waaay too thick though...a bad sign.

I just checked the manual and think it's fine.

What puzzles me is that both DR-05 and DP-006 have built-in omnidirectional mics. It came to me as some surprise since I really knew nothing at all about these two recorders before ten minutes ago. In most applications I would prefer cardioids.
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#12 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:34 PM

Looking it over, Cap, there are mic and guitar quarter-inch inputs. I have both soundhole pickup, electric guitar, and a Shure PG mic setup. I'll try all and hopefully figure out how to connect to drum tracks via my Boss looper. Why? I'm wondering. Fun I guess.
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#13 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 07:23 AM

View Postjedzep, on 21 January 2016 - 07:34 PM, said:

Looking it over, Cap, there are mic and guitar quarter-inch inputs. I have both soundhole pickup, electric guitar, and a Shure PG mic setup. I'll try all and hopefully figure out how to connect to drum tracks via my Boss looper. Why? I'm wondering. Fun I guess.



How is it coming JZ? I haven't been hearing any cussing over there. [cursing]
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#14 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 03:56 PM

Tell ya' what a-phob, I think I'll be able to figure out a decent bit of what it can do. I quickly realized I wanted compatible speakers and found cheap used mini's on Ebay, since the headphone option is restrictive and cumbersome for playback. I'll hook the 10 dollar cheapies up and get squared away with basic recording modes, but I'm already looking to upgrade to Logitech Z323 speakers or better, to allow for a subwoof. First I'll fiddle around with the ones I bought for a while.

Two things that slowed me down...one was searching for the erase track mode after I realized the recordings were stacking up and not automatically erasing when taped over like reel to reel or cassette. Also, unless I haven't figured it out yet, the built in mics are always on whether or not you use the standard 1/4" inputs for external sources. The AC adapter which retails for $30 can be found for 8 bucks also on Ebay. Got that too because batteries are a pain.

I spent Saturday hunched over my desk with a magnifying glass reading tiny print, pressing buttons, turning dials, and playing short guitar riffs. Oh, there WAS cursing. Smoking and drinking too. I did get some sinister pleasure, though, out of watching downstate friends and family get the big snow while here in Cooperstown, usually snow country, there wasn't even a flurry. The speakers will make things more fun for sure.
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#15 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:47 PM

View Postjedzep, on 25 January 2016 - 03:56 PM, said:

Tell ya' what a-phob, I think I'll be able to figure out a decent bit of what it can do. I quickly realized I wanted compatible speakers and found cheap used mini's on Ebay, since the headphone option is restrictive and cumbersome for playback. I'll hook the 10 dollar cheapies up and get squared away with basic recording modes, but I'm already looking to upgrade to Logitech Z323 speakers or better, to allow for a subwoof. First I'll fiddle around with the ones I bought for a while.

Two things that slowed me down...one was searching for the erase track mode after I realized the recordings were stacking up and not automatically erasing when taped over like reel to reel or cassette. Also, unless I haven't figured it out yet, the built in mics are always on whether or not you use the standard 1/4" inputs for external sources. The AC adapter which retails for $30 can be found for 8 bucks also on Ebay. Got that too because batteries are a pain.

I spent Saturday hunched over my desk with a magnifying glass reading tiny print, pressing buttons, turning dials, and playing short guitar riffs. Oh, there WAS cursing. Smoking and drinking too. I did get some sinister pleasure, though, out of watching downstate friends and family get the big snow while here in Cooperstown, usually snow country, there wasn't even a flurry. The speakers will make things more fun for sure.

Yup, that sounds like the first weekend I spent with mine. I seem to recall that the exterior mics (appear) to stay on w/1/4" inputs on external but you can go to the screen and adjust input levels all the way to 0. At least with the DR40. You may have figured that out by now.
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#16 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 03:11 PM

Still stupid! Got my cheesy little computer speakers, but they can hardly be heard. Think I shoulda' been shopping speaker systems that have their own power source.
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