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Line in recording device


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#1 ariannemarksman

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:42 AM

I'm looking for a recording device/mp3 player to buy as a present for someone who plays in a band. The recording device needs to have the ability to play what is being recorded out through the earphones at the same time the recording is taking place. (So basically, when you're recording yourself singing, you need to be able to hear at the same time what you sound like through your earphones). Someone told me that this is called "line in", but I'm not really sure if that's what they meant??

Can anyone tell me what this kind of function would be called, or could recommend some specific devices? It doesn't need to be also an mp3 player, but obviously that would be great if it was. Price range would be about $40 maximum.

Thanks!

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#2 Capn Easy

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:53 AM

"Line In" refers to the voltage levels -- it's a standard that will assure compatibility with most other audio equipment you're likely to use.

I own an Alesis PalmTrack that would fit your needs well, but you'll have difficulty finding one for $40. I did a quick check at Amazon -- new ones look to be starting at $80 and used ones start at about $60. The market is pretty dynamic and prices can change (up or down) quickly, so keep an eye on it. Several of the sites that carry it have it listed as "discontinued," so that may be a factor as well. The PalmTrack does a beautiful job of recording to SD cards, but it does "forget" its settings when you turn it off, so you have to get into the habit of manually setting up each time you power up.

The name for the device you're looking for is "portable digital recorder." Major manufacturers are Alesis, Zoom, Tascam, and Sony. Make sure that the recorder you're interested in is intended for musicians -- the other big market segment for "portable digital recorders" is for recording business meetings -- these are likely to be cheaper (and more in line with your price point) but less likely to provide higher quality MP3 or WAV recording options, less likely to provide a "line in" port, etc. Big names in the business lines would be Olympus, RCA, and Sony "Voice" recorders. They might still be worth considering as a starter system, but make sure it will fit your needs.

#3 ariannemarksman

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:54 AM

Yeah, I saw a couple of "voice" recorders that turn out really bad quality recordings :wacko: (seems a little pointless to buy something to record a class or meeting and then be UNABLE to hear the content of said meeting because of the bad quality)...although you're right, they were really cheap, maybe around $20, although I've seen one offered for $10 (admittedly it was an unnamed brand).

I've heard that Sony is probably the best brand to go with for a recorder? I've been to a couple of shops but most of the staff are high school kids who tend to go "huh?" or "I dunno" when asked any questions, so I haven't been able to get any idea as to which models or brands have the "listen as you record" function.

I'm also worried about the quality, because even though some recorders claim to have 192k recordings, the result isn't much better than those $20 ones. Short of trying one out (which most stores won't let me do), I really don't have a clue how to deal with that :huh:

But thanks for the help! I've now got a better idea what to keep an eye out for.




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