[RNLD] basic audio recording gear

Mat Bettinson mat at PLOTHATCHING.COM
Thu Mar 28 01:27:35 UTC 2013


I can't recommend a cheap digital recorder of the type you mention, other
than suggesting a different class of device, particularly since you
mentioned BOLD:PNG.

As you may or may not know, BOLD:PNG moved on to using inexpensive mobile
phones and a custom Android application. 'Moved on' perhaps unfairly
suggests an upgrade with no drawbacks but that's probably not the case.
Steven Bird and Florian Hanke are on the pointy end of the project and may
correct this categorisation.

Using mobiles seems to be an excellent way to record certain genres such as
narratives but clearly aren't as suitable for having a third person
record dialogue between other interlocutors. Well, one can do that with a
phone too but it requires using an external microphone and interfacing
decent microphones to mobile phones is not exactly common.

I've been trying out add-on microphones to mixed success. There's no
technical impediment. Last year I rigged up a Sure SM57 microphone to an
Android smartphone with excellent results. I've yet to try it on a
directional boom-style condenser microphone. I did get poor results with
one or two models of super cheap Android phones but great results with a
Huawei U8150, about $70 delivered on ebay.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think, assuming
the quality is up to scratch, that using phones with and without add-on
microphones would be suitable for your work?

Having some visibility on concerns and requirements in this regard would be
quite helpful in my research. I'd also like to make some recordings
available to back up claims about recording quality.

Additionally, mobile phones running interactive applications obviously
provide considerable other benefits. Not the least automatic recording of
meta data, synching of recordings wirelessly and of course the whole
re-speaking aspect of BOLD as implemented in Bird&Hanke's Aikuma
application (which is on Google Play right now).

I hope I haven't overstepped with this. I'm sure someone else will come up
with a more practical here and now suggestion.

On 28 March 2013 11:22, Margaret Carew <margaret.carew at batchelor.edu.au>wrote:

> Hi
> I'm looking to buy a number of audio recorders for a project, working to a
> similar concept to BOLD:PNG
> http://www.boldpng.info/
> The idea being that the recorders are provided to a few key people who
> then record independently, and recordings are fed back into the central
> project for curation (by me working with the team).
> Budget is limited, and the cheaper the unit, the more we can buy. so I'm
> looking at either Olympus WS-812 or the Zoom H-1, both priced under AUD$150.
> Does anyone have any thoughts? I'm concerned the zoom unit might be flimsy.
> Thanks
> Margaret Carew
> Project Linguist
> Desert Peoples Centre, Alice Springs
> Research, Teaching and Learning Division
> Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
> tel: 08 8951 8344 | fax: 08 8951 8311
> email: margaret.carew at batchelor.edu.au<mailto:
> margaret.carew at batchelor.edu.au>  | www.batchelor.edu.au<
> http://www.batchelor.edu.au/>
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Mat Bettinson
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