NAMM 2010: New Field Sound Recorders Perfect for Sound Effects Production

The 2010 NAMM Show featured a slew of brand new products designed to make production easier and more mobile. Among them included several portable sound recorders that are perfect for those of you who produce sound effects and foley work.

Sanyo introduced the “world’s slimmest and lightest” Xacti sound recorder (their ICR series), measuring a mere 9.4mm thick and weighing in at only 46 grams. That’s right, grams. It’s somewhere between the size of an iPod and an iPod nano, but it does a whole lot more. It’s built in stereo mics (of which there are three sets) record sound in CD quality Linear PCM (that would be 16-bit, 44.1k), as well as several MP3 formats as well, up to 320 kbps. It comes equipped with a 4 GB microSD card, and you can get several cards for infinite hours of sound recording. It is a handy, true-to-life tool that can become a true asset in the field, and it’s optional speaker system is pretty sleek. Goes on sale beginning at the end of January, and no price has been announced yet.

Tascam’s new product line includes the DR-08 and DR-2d handheld portable digital recorders, which are a step up from the Sanyos. Both record up to 24-bit, 96kHz resolution, for seriously high-quality audio, in both Linear PCM and MP3 formats. The DR-08 is about half the size of the 2d, featuring and adjustable, built in stereo mic pair that can be spread and rotated to get the perfect sound. With USB capablities, the 08 is perfect for transferring recordings for editing or sharing on the web (or selling on Productiontrax). Runs on AAA batteries.

The 2d is the big brother, and has a really cool new feature: it records a simultaneous second take at a lower level so that if your main recording spikes or clips, you have a backup ready to go. The larger size (about the size of an iPod) affords the 2d a larger widescreen interface, a scrubbing wheel, and SD card slot (comes with 2GB). Another handy feature is the wireless remote control, which lets you get your sounds recorded from across the room (like when you don’t want to be right next to the lion when it roars…).

Also releasing new portable digital recorders was Sony, who introduced the PCM-M10 Linear PCM Recorder. Similar to the Tascam models, this guy records up to 24-bit, 96kHz, and is ideal for live music, nature, and field recording. Has built in memory of 4GB, expandable with the trusty micro M2 sticks OR microSD cards. It features a 5-second pre-record buffer, WAV and MP3 formats, digital pitch control, and is bundled with a copy of Sound Forge LE for desktop editing. Featuring both a built in mic and speaker, as well as a line in AND mic in, this little machine is extremely versatile. Also available in your choice of red or black, if you really are that vain, and there is a line of add-on products designed to accompany the recorder including a wind screen, tripod, carrying case speaker set, and the supplied remote control (although the remote is NOT wireless like the Tascam model). Weighs 6oz, and runs on AA batteries.

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