Advice on audio recorders
1. What do you want to record with your audio recorder?
With an audio recorder, you can easily make high-quality sound recordings. When choosing an audio recorder, it's important to know what you want to record, since not every audio recorder has the same microphone and therefore can't always be used. What are you going to use the audio recorder for most?
2. In what format do you want to make recordings?
You can make recordings in different formats. Not every audio recorder supports all formats, so it's good to know in what quality you want to record and what you want to do with the recordings. This way, you also know immediately which audio recorder you should or shouldn't choose.
WAV recordings Waveform Audio File files are uncompressed recordings. As a result, the file size increases with regard to compressed files, but a big advantage is that the quality is high because no quality is lost. This gives you great freedom at the moment you want to edit recordings.
AAC recordings Advanced Audio Coding is based on MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoding. In this format, it's possible to record audio and visual recordings in low quality.
MP3 recordings MP3 is a widely used file format for sound and stands for MPEG Audio Layer III. Sound is converted to a lower quality, which is excellent for making voice recordings. The quality is determined by the bit rate which can be between 32kbits/s and 320kbits/s for MP3 files. At a lower bit rate, the quality will be lower, which means that the possibilities for processing your recordings will decrease.
MP4 recordings MPEG-4 files are also known as MP4 files. It's a method for compressing digital audio and video files. MP4 files are video files that also contain sound. With compression you deliver on quality, but with less memory you can capture more video data for streaming or distribution on CD.
- WAV format: audio in high quality, extremely suitable for post-processing
- AAC format: audio in reasonable quality, suitable for post-processing
- MP3 format: audio in low quality, not suitable for post-processing
- MPEG-4 format: audio and image in reasonable quality, not suitable for post-processing
3. How many audio tracks or musical instruments do you want to record?
When you want to compose songs yourself and you want to record both vocals and guitar or drums, the use of an audio recorder with multiple tracks is interesting. This way, you can record and edit different audio tracks separately and then rejoin them to create your own song later on. With multiple tracks, you can record multiple audio sources separately. How many audio tracks do you want to record at the same time?
XLR connections If you use multiple music tracks to record audio sources separately, it may be wise to use an audio recorder with XLR connection. To make high-quality recordings, it's wise to directly connect musical instruments to your audio recorder. This can be done with an XLR cable. In this case, the audio recorder must have an XLR connection. Through this connection, sound is recorded directly to the audio recorder and quality loss is prevented. With multiple XLR connections, you can separately connect multiple musical instruments.
4. Which type of microphone suits which situation?
You can record in mono or stereo sound. Mono sound plays back recordings via 1 channel. With these recordings, the spatial effect isn't audible. When you play it back, for example, all sound seems to come from the same direction. With stereo sound, a recorded sound can be heard via two channels. This makes it easy to hear the difference between sound sources and to place them in the room.
The quality of your recordings doesn't only depends on the file format, but also on the type of microphone. Audio recorders, for example, are mainly distinguished by means of the directional characteristics of microphones. This characteristic indicates from which direction sounds are picked up. This depends on the angle and direction in which the microphone is aimed.
Type of microphones
Omni-directional: sound from all sides
An omni-directional microphone is also called an undirected or 360-degree microphone. This type of microphone measures sound from all directions. That's why this type of microphone is especially useful when you're not sure where the sound will come from or when you are in the middle of the sound, like at concerts and sporting events. In addition, this type of microphone is mostly used in tie-clip microphones, which are microphones that you attach to your shirt during presentations. This way, you can move your head freely without the sound quality diminishing as your face turns away from the microphone.
Directional: sound from 1 side
A directional microphone is a directional microphone that is insensitive to sound from the back. As a result, this type of microphone only absorbs sound from one direction. These microphones are also called cardioid microphones and are very useful when the sound source is right in front of the audio recorder. Audio recorders with a directional microphone are therefore extremely suitable for recording vocals or a single musical instrument.
X/Y microphone: realistic stereo sound
For the most realistic stereo sound you can best use 2 directional, or cardioid, microphones positioned in a so-called X/Y setup. In this setup, both microphones are placed 45 degrees to the audio source, so sound is recorded less directly, but phase shift is prevented which results in a realistic stereo sound. This type of microphone is often used when you want to record 1 or a few musical instruments in realistic stereo sound. Recordings from an X/Y microphone can be easily converted to a mono sound.
MidSide microphone: sound from left, front, and right
Do you want higher quality stereo recordings, but also more flexibility when you want to edit recordings? If so, you should opt for audio recorders with a MidSide microphone. These microphones combine a directional microphone, which records sound from the front, with a bi-directional microphone that records sounds from all sides. This way, sounds are also recorded on the left and right of the recorder. By adjusting the bi-directional microphone's sensitivity, you can influence the stereo image of your recordings.
Each type of microphone is extremely suitable for specific use situations. However, there are some specifications that can only improve the quality of recordings, regardless of the type of microphone. Think, for instance, of a zoom microphone and a low-cut filter.
Zoom microphone: zoom
In some situations, the sound source is further away than desired and it's impossible to get closer. In that case, a zoom microphone offers solution. Similar to a video camera, the microphone zooms in on the remote audio source. This can be very useful in, for example, rooms where you have to sit on the last row and the artist is at the very front.
Low-cut filter: noise suppression
In some cases, you want to take pictures while you are having a lot of ambient noise. In the open air, for example, you can suffer from noise from the wind or a person's cough. Do you make many recordings in these situations? If so, a low-cut filter, or noise suppression, can offer solution. Sounds with a low frequency are not recorded.
5. Which accessories make the use of an audio recorder more pleasant?
Once you have made your choice for an audio recorder, you will experience even more fun with the right accessories. To make the most of your audio recorder, we have a few accessory packs that make the use of your audio recorder easier or more pleasant. Of course, we also have separately available accessories.
Separately available accessories
It is, of course, possible that you want to use an audio recorder in different situations and that you actually need different microphones. Buying multiple audio recorders isn't necessary in this case. The solution can be found in the purchase of an extra, separate microphone.
If you make audio recordings, you obviously want as pure a recording as possible without disturbing sounds such as wind noise. To prevent wind noise, you can use a windshield, a deadcat, or a deadkitten. Windshields are often model-specific and made of foam. A hairy windshield is called a deadcat, the small variant is called deadkitten.
An audio recorder with built-in microphone(s) is always convenient, but you still get the best sound quality when you connect a musical instrument directly to your audio recorder. You can do this with an XLR cable. In addition, Audiorecordershop.nl also has many other cables that can be used with your audio recorder.