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Multi track audio recorder suggestions


leafcutter
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Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations for a multi-track (6+ channels) portable audio recorder?

 

I film musicians explaining how to play their instruments - in the case of something like an acoustic guitarist I can easily end up with five or more audio inputs:

 

- dedicated voice mic

- room mic / external guitar

- internal guitar pickups (mic / magnetic / piezo)

- A drum kit would need even more than that.

 

My gear has to be fairly poratable as we go on location with limited time to get set up and test.  Having more channels would also be useful in that I'd have more options to record multiple mics for voice just in case there is a problem with one that we don't catch on the day.  I've been using a mix of a Tascam DR60 (2 tracks + a 3rd stereo at -6db) and a scarlett 2i2 (2 tracks) both of which work quite well.  I like that the Tascam is self contained and has some element of backup with the -6db option but it doesn't have enough channels.  The scarlett is also fine but it needs a laptop to work with which is an extra bit of gear.

 

If anyone has a recommendation for gear they've used that might solve the problem I'd appreciate your thoughts.  If I kept my laptop something like the scarlett 18i20 might do the job, or I did even think of getting a couple more DR60 units and fixing them all together - more buttons to press but also more resilience with separate power and recording media.

 

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A long time ago I did a video for my brother, following a rock band on the road and used a Zoom R16 to record their gigs onstage.  Worked great.  4 mics on the drums (kick, snare, overheads), 2 on gtrs, 2 on VOX.

Here's exerpts:  http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=190652  |  http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=196703  |  http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=189632  |  We had a pretty talented guy on the audio desk in post with some killer skills and mixing components, but he was able to do a lot because we captured a decent foundation of sound.

The flexible thing about this gear is that we could set it up ourselves without getting in the way of the venue's PA guy.  We just split the vox lines and did the other mics ourselves during setup, about a 7 minute process.  No computers, thing runs on batteries, uses cheap SD cards.  It doesn't offer the best sound pre-amp-wise, but it's so simple to use that it fit very well for our needs.

For one local gig we also used a Mackie 1620i with an Apple laptop.  (the 1620i is pretty cheap used)  Much smoother preamps.  That thing's audio was sweet, offered a ton of mic'ing flexibility, and had such a clean sound, much more than the R16... but certainly more high maintenance than the Zoom.

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Thanks for those - The DR70 looks like the 60 I have but with better inputs (i.e 4 xlr), similarly the zoom H6.  

 

The Zoom R16 looks like it mixes everything down to 1 stereo channel for recording?  So that would mean getting the mix right before hitting record.  I really need something where I can just record the dry audio and then mix it later - the mackie looks pretty good for that and offers more flexibility than the scarlett I was looking at but it does look a bit big.

 

 

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