21 November 2011

Best gadgets for audio recording?

Reel to Reel?
Meg and Frith over at Yarraville were asking, "What's the best audio recording gadget?" Here's what we know, but we're definitely on the hunt for more information.

A lot of people use the Easi-Speak (for example Sarah Phillips when she was at Continuing Education Bendigo). We  recommend getting the "professional" one, ie a level up from basic.

Josie and Ann at the CAE have been using "The Yeti". Ann says, "The Yeti has been a great tool for both our classes and meetings. Basically the Yeti runs through the USB port and uses Audacity. (I originally thought that this device would be the same as the easi speak microphones which convert straight to MP4 files but no you will need to use Audacity and convert using Lame)."

There's a range called Zoom: the zoom h4 can operate as both a standalone recorder and a microphone to go into the computer, but it's much more complex than you need. The others might be worth looking at (H1 & H2).

The H1 is recommended by these professional radio people at Transom. Not sure if it can operate as plugin mic for computer, but will do standalone mp3 & usb upload.

This sort of thing - the iMicrophone - gets good reviews, but of course you need an iPod/iPhone/android phone to plug into.

[Incidentally Woolworths are selling android phones for under $200 unlocked & outright, might be worth considering.]

Jill at CNLC has been using the iriver E-100 regularly to capture oracy tasks by ESL students. It looks and feels like a mobile phone or ipod so is less intrusive (than the Yeti or Easi-speak) to students who may be somewhat selfconscious about performing in front of others. The E-100 model has now been superceded by the E-300. Some colleagues in other centres have complained about how the battery runs down very quickly....

Michelle at Wingate reports that teachers there have two Sony IC recorders which have a USB for downloading and recharging. They mainly use these for recording student speaking tests.

Bill Street has just posted some great practical tips for getting started with Podcasting over here at Bass Adult Education Centre.

I had some links over here on my delicious bookmarks, from a project we called "Can You Hear Us?" - might be out of date though (MC).

So dear reader, what are your tips for the best audio recording gadget out there? And your stories about the ones that really didn't work?

image and photo credits: licensed under creative commons at flickr: Thanks very much: Pablosanz at flickr.