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portable recorder for bells
Old 18th September 2012
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🎧 5 years
portable recorder for bells


I like bells and I have decided to record bells in my country every time I get a chance. That is either from inside of the tower or outside. For now, I have been using really bad things for recording sound, like my Nokia E5 mic and Nikon CoolPix L120 stereo Mic. But I have decided that I want something more, better quality sound than those integrated mics. I am an amateur and I do not want to spend a lot of money on recording equipment (yet), I just need something portable to carry with me so that I can record every time I get a chance. The recordings will be mainly for me to listen to, and for youtube videos, not for quality CD releases or so. Also, churches in our country usually have 5 bells max, so there is no need for mics all around the tower like for carillions, I just want something portable to take with me. I have been searching and reading and I found recorders:

- Zoom H1
- Zoom H2n
- Tascom DR-07 MKII
- Rode VideoMic and Pro

I set that I would like to stay under 200€, but if necessary (if there is no other way) I can go a little above it.

Here are examples of my recordings:
- Nikon L120, outside: St. Ulrich church above Dobrunje, Plenum - YouTube
- Nokia E5 for sound (100 meters): Parish Church of St. Francis of Assisi, plenum - YouTube
- Nikon L120, inside: Šmarna gora - bell play - YouTube
- Nokia E5, 50 meters: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v8cmri1jwmjptzu/svDuh_12h.wav
- Nokia E5, 50 meters, crowded: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zeb5s8czlh...0clip%2016.wav

Now I know these recordings are very amateur and crappy, and that a lot also depends on good location, but at least I want a better quality recording equipment for my projects, as now Im using improvised (said mildly) recording equipment)

My drawbacks for those hand recorders:
- cardioids are sensitive to loud sources (aka bells from up close), also sensitive to background noise (like city traffic, people around) - but dynamic mics dont have as wide frequency range
- Im sure that shotgun would be better for outside recording, but what about inside (and im not sure that either of those recorders are shotgun anyway, except Rode)?
- If these recorders are omni-directional, does that mean theyll pick up all noise around and that I cant do directional recording?

I would really need some advices from people into this business so that I wont buy or look at expensive machines when I (might) not need one or if Im looking in the wrong direction. Thanks for any help provided.
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