Digital Audio Recorder Recommendations

My school has tasked me with finding out about digital audio recorders that we can use in our adult classes to record conversations to provide feedback on pronunciation, common errors etc.

Somehow they assumed I know something about these things. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good brand for recording VOICES. I do not care about getting a 4 GB i-Pod because of its storage ability. I’m looking for something that can record voices clearly. Storage capacity probably doesn’t need to be more than 6 - 8 hours.

I need brand names, reasons for recommendations (eg “What’s good about this brand is…”) and approximate price. Thanks to whoever can help.

DSN, why does it have to be digital? Many people still use cassette based tape recorders because they are cheap, easy to use and students can listen and record tapes at home. If it needs to be digital for transfering to CD or putting on the Net, then you have two ways that I know of:

Mini disc recorders are cheap and you can burn them to CD. Getting a little more pricy and fiddly are DAT players, which is basically a high quality digital tape recorder (both DAT and mini disc recorders allow you to add track marks for example "lesson 1, Monday 10AM, this makes archiving stuff really easy). Mini disc and DAT both sound fine for voice recording. If you want to reveiw classes you need to find a machine with good and fast shuttle controls for reviewing material over and over. Mini disc beats DAT hands down here!

There is nothing worse than buying a machine, trying to use it, then discovering that it is not what you wanted in the first place.

I have no experience with ipods or the like, but I think you would have to down load the file on to a computer (assuming it has a mic level audio input), edit it, then copy it to CD or tape for your students to listen to. Maybe you don’t have the time to do that?

I can’t be specific about products, it all depends on your buget. The first thing you must decide is what you’re going to use the machine for. I have an old Mini Disc player I could show you if you like, this way you can try before you buy.

Hope this helps. I think someone else can help you more with the ipod question.

L :smiley:

Go to Nova (or wherever you like) and buy a digital voice recorder…

Why digital? You should use digi because of data portability, you can plug it into USB and burn a disk or email it quickly. Easy enough to erase and record a new file in 2 seconds.

I think you should get a Dyne DN464. That’s what I use. I’ve bought a number of them after my fist Dyne was stolen. I’ve bought and sold a few until finally buying the same model again. This Dyne model is small. It has a speaker on the back so you don’t need earphones. It has an external microphone jack (important). It also comes with a little thingy that you can plug into a phone line and record conversations. Mine has 128megs of memory which is more than enough for your application. You can get them for cheaper if you want the 64Meg version.

I bought this particular model because it’s VERY small. You might be able to find a cheaper one with more options for less. If you short-list a couple models, maybe I can keep you from buying a mistake or if you want to see a pic of mine, email me.

Thanks for the replies. The reason we’re going digital is exactly because we can put it straight onto the omputer, burn CDs etc. My school is very high-tech in this regard, and teh students more so (adults). In this day and age, old-fashioned casette players just don’t cut it any more, with teachers as much as students. Stop, rewind. Oops, too far. Fast forward. Oops, a bit far again (even with a counter).

I will check out the Dyne model you mentioned. Any idea of price before I head off to Nova?

Here in Chinese!

TD do you need to buy an external mic to plug into it or does it have a built in one? My Chinese ain’t good enough to work it out. Thanks for bringing me up to date!

It appears to only work on PCs, Mac users beware!

L :smiley:

Not answering your question but providing useful info for mac users. No hardware device required, just the software, CD spin doctor 2. It will do an awesome job without the need of buying anything (I believe it comes bundled with toast). The internal microphone on your pb or ibook will suffice. I just finished recording my school play with the help of a co teacher who part times as a voice over. You’ll get an aiff file which you can then toast. Very professional sound, trust me on this.

Yeah it’s got a built in mic as well. I don’t use an external but it’s nice to have the option.

Mine was $4000. I haggled her down form 4800 though. This model hasn’t come down in cost at all for some reason… and it’s hard to find. If you want to find this model, enter through the back door of Nova taipei and it’s your second or thrid booth on your right. They won’t have them on display but they can get them if you ask for it by name or model number.

One more important note. I’ve noticed that they are making them with a lot of multi-function buttons (one button that does a lot of different tasks), stay away from that style. Make sure it has a delete button… the last thing you want to do is have to navigate through menus. Try to find a dedicated record, play, delete, pause… and anything like that. You want to be able to control mic input levels, too.

Good luck, mang.