I decided to run a test for each of the recording scenes and found uses for other features that surprised me. First, on the interview scene, I sat with my subject and used the preset scene. The recorder was held at arm's length between us and the voice levels were even throughout the interview. I rotated the recorder and audio was maintained at an even level and quality. The two microphones are built in to the top of the recorder and perform superbly. During all my recordings I was pleased that extraneous sounds were not a problem.
During a remote broadcast at a community festival, I ran across a great use for several features at once on this recorder. The scenario is a remote broadcast at a community festival. The talent can use the device as an off-air monitor using the FM feature, and also record the air checks of the remote broadcast. As any remote broadcaster knows, finding the right people to interview at the same times as the on-air breaks can be difficult and sometimes impossible; with this device in hand the interviews can be recorded at any time and played back on air with a connection from the headphone out to a line-in on the mixer for the broadcast.
The next scene I tested was meeting. This scene worked very similar to the interview in that sound from all directions was treated equally. But in recording in a conference room with about 10 people speaking, all voices came through clearly.
Finally I tested the music scenario at a local concert in which the bands wanted a live recording. The fullness/richness of the recorded show was astounding. The bands and I were completely impressed by the recording quality. I liked that the record level could be easily set using the touchpad. Simply touch the record button and the device is in standby, then by touching the pad the level can be adjusted up or down while viewing the numerical reading. Once the level is set, press the record button again and it's good to go.
Using micro-SD cards, the unit can take up to 8GB of storage. 2GB can be 1 to 3 hours of recording depending on the sample rates used. The cards are easily inserted and one could have a library of songs on one card, thus functioning as an MP3 player, and then when the recorder is needed, swap out the cards for recording purposes.
The unit is rechargeable by connecting via USB, much like major brand MP3 players. Depending again on use and sample rate of the recording the battery at full charge can last up to 56 hours. According to the manufacturer the charge from dead to full charge is 150 minutes. The USB is used to transfer files to and from a PC, and it will charge the unit during the transfer.
The red backlit dot matrix LCD screen is very easy to read and all the features easy to understand. At a glance one can see how much recording time/space is left, battery level and the many audio settings.
This unit is a must-have in the arsenal of any audio production professional where field recordings are standard. For those who are not sure, give it a try, you may surprise yourself with the opportunities created.
Wilson is an announcer, producer, webmaster and promotions guy at WAKO-AM/FM, Lawrenceville, IL.
Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.
These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.
It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.