Hand held audio recorder?

A bit of background - I’m currently trying to raise funds to produce a new Fetlar website. The project will be partly funded by our museum (I’m the secretary and a trustee) with the addition of whatever grants I manage to secure. To date I have managed to raise £4k and hope to increase that to £10k+

Part of the fundraising effort - predominantly made up from grants - will only be possible if I make this a venture that will benefit the community as a whole, increased tourism, support for local businesses etc. etc.

One thing I really want to capture (to put on the website) are local stories from Fetlar’s past that may be lost forever, if they’re not documented in the very near future. The current population consists of approx. 25% born and bred Fetlar folk and they are pretty much all of an advanced age.

The challenge - I have approached some of the likely contributors and have received a positive response, therefore I now need a recorder to capture the tentatively planned interviews. I realise that a smart phone will do this but I want it to be high quality, as I intend to put this material on the site for people to access and hear the stories in the traditional Fetlar dialect.

What to buy - This is where I need some recommendations. I have looked at several portable devices and, as usual, the choices are bewildering. Something like this appears to be adequate to me, but perhaps there are better alternatives???

Tl:Dr et al :sleeping_bed:


All I can say is that I’ve seen some ASMR videos using Tascam mics that look like that and they pick up everything very clearly.

Know nothing about recorders though.

Good luck with the project!

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The Tascam DR you linked to is a decent unit without spending Astell & Kerns money.

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Is it all vocals or some cine films

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Sounds like a great project Paul. It might be nice to take a decent black and white image of each of the story tellers and upload it along with the audio to youtube which may drive traffic to your planned site?
When operating on a budget it Is sometimes Worthwhile contacting one of the better film schools / fine art establishments with an outline of your project there may be a talented student who would jump at this if you can offer a roof over their head?


The Tascam looks ideal for your purpose. It’s what I would use for your job. You wouldn’t want to unnerve the local folks with any more technology so they don’t let their memories flow. With a bit of practice with positioning you will get very good results.
What a great project! Go for it.
There appears to be a 30 day return policy so check the terms and conditions and use it as a try out period.

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Could BBC Scotland help with the project? Might be worth approaching them.

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Perhaps these guys might be helpful?

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Why not try with your start phone first. The mics are very good and you’ll have the audio ready to edit with date/time etc.

Failing that I bought a cheap Sony px240 when I was doing commentary on my sons rugby and that was very good (saved my getting the phone wet). It’ll take an external mic if you find you need one

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Zoom make some excellent little hand-held recorders.

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Similar thought occurred to me - I’ve used both my dumbphone and my laptop - both plus a decent, cheap mic and the fidelity of the recordings is remarkably good; plenty good enough for spoken word.

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Send me your address by PM @pmac and I’ll send you the M-Audio Microtrack I used to record concerts on before I got ill. It has sat in its box for years so you are more than welcome to it. It records to an SD card as either WAV or MP3 and the internal microphones are very good. Transferring the files to a PC is a doddle. If I hadn’t already given away my microphones and battery box you could have had the full bootleg rig.


Wow! What a great offer, Olan.

Much appreciated!

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Amazing that I was able to find it. I don’t think I have used it since I recorded Spiritualized at the Sydney Opera House. I’ll check it still works.

EDIT: It turned on immediately so I’ll give it a charge and check it works. There is an unused condenser microphone in the pack. I think there are portions of a Tori Amos gig on the SD card that is in the device.


Just audio, I would be concerned that filming it might put the participants off.

If they agree, I will be doing that.

Great project, best of luck with it.

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I’ve done some experimenting with my ageing Samsung and there is an annoying hiss on playback. It isn’t a huge deal but if I can do it in higher quality I will be happier.

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Just a thought :grinning:

Lol, much as I embrace faff in all things hi-fi I think hand held digital will do for this one.

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