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a good external recorder for my vinyl rips needed, must be simple!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Robert Godridge, May 2, 2021.

  1. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm back on this subject again, having posted this thread years ago
    Best external recorder for vinyl ripping?

    I'm looking for an easy to use portable recorder that will record from line or RCA in to a flash drive, but there are concidderations, due to my being totally blind it needs to be simple!
    I have an IKey recorder that only records in 16 bit, I wish to record in 24 bit preferably 192khz as best practice.
    the IKey is very simple, switch it on, press the select button (it waves settings from last time) press record and you're recording. I need it to be as simple as that as I cannot see a screan!
    How are the Tascams for simplicity?
    Rob
     
  2. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    Options haven't changed very much since your original thread. The issue with all the mentioned alternative devices is that you need to be sighted to use them. The TASCAM handheld recorders have small screens and tiny buttons.

    Don't obsess over 24/192; it's not necessary. What is generally recommended is that if you do any post-processing (click removal, noise reduction), you do so in 32-bit float as is done by Audacity. Once you have things the way you want, your final step is to export the files at 16/44.

    Are you unhappy with the iKEY recordings? Perhaps if you explain why, someone can offer suggestions.
     
    McLover likes this.
  3. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm not unhappy with the IKey recordings, but I do post processing and am pretty sure that would bennefit from 24 bits or wouldn't it?
    So, I started using a 24 bit usb preamp into my computer. Issue there is I don't have a separate computer for recordings and there's the occasional drop-out.
    Let's imagine I got a Tascam and had help setting it up. Could I turn it on and have it remember the settings from last time, so press one or two buttons and we're in business?
    I'd love opinions on how hard I should try for 24 bit rather than 16 to be fair!
     
  4. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    You need a tape monitor loop to use one. And know how to set line input, sample rate, and set record level. Screen is small. None of these have big screens.
     
  5. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    tascam da-3000, korg mr-2000s
     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  6. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    What post-processing software do you typically use?
     
  7. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    You could use the Tascam DR-05X if someone sets it up or if you figure a way to set it up its many options, which I think would be difficult but possible with some trial and error. It will remember your last settings. Its maximum sampling is 96/24, which is more than enough for vinyl or shellac records.
    Then to use it to record to the MicroSD card, one long press on the power button turns it on, one press on the Record button puts it into Record-Pause, one more press of the Record button starts it recording, then one press on the power button stops the recording, and a long press on the power button turns it off. The higher models would be similar but not really necessary, because they all use the same DAC.
    The Tascam DR-05X has a faked "Mic In/Line In" input, it is really a Mic In input only, and you will probably need an external attenuator with adapters to match the typical RCA jacks of an attenuator to the 3.5mm stereo phone jack the DR-05X uses for input, to bring a preamp out or tape out down to the level it can accept without clipping. I can have a few suggestions for a variable attenuator.
    The 24 bits recording would be converted to 32-bit when it is brought into Audacity or anything else, but more particularly the 96k sampling, does help with click repairs and other processing compared to an original DR-05X recording at 16 bits and 44.1k sampling, which it can do.
     
  8. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Da-3000. Doesn’t get much easier. Like using a cassette deck.
     
    elvisizer likes this.
  9. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you for that very detailed reply!

    With the Tascam, does it have a usb port? as I don't have an sd card slot in my computer. Could I plug it into the computer and have it be recognised as a card?

    When you talk about attenuation, I'm using a mixer with gane faders for every channel. Would turning the gane down and monitering with headphones do the trick and make sure it doesn't clip? Could I plug an rca to 3.5 cable into my mixer and use the line out into the Tascam?
     
  10. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I use clickrepair, isotope rx, possibley dcart as well.
     
  11. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    Sorry, I should have also asked what software do you use for the initial capture?
     
  12. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Rite now I use Audacity with ASIO4all, but I'm hoping to use an external recorder, due to computer dropouts.
     
  13. ubiknik

    ubiknik Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    The DA3000 uses sd cards and also has 2 usbs, one for storage or moving files and one for a keyboard.
    With the keyboard you hit f12 and it's ready to record, then the space bar to initiate recording or pause recording, the S key stops recording.
    All the initial settings remain in place until reset.
    The main issue you would have is setting the recording level which is accessed by hitting f3 3 times and then scroll down one and enter, this gives you a readout of levels here that can only be seen visually, but if your phono rig is the same each time then this step would only be necessary when you are changing a cartridge etc., the levels will stay the same until changed.
     
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  14. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    The keyboard is a great feature, but risks making it sound like you need one adding complexity, which you don't. The level and other settings can be accessed via the menu and is pretty simple. Otherwise just hit the buttons just like old school.

    My only complaint with mine is that the clock loses the time. It's a known issue with some of them, but the only thing it affects is the date stamping of the files. No biggie for me.
     
  15. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    yeah, both the tascam da-3000 and the korg mr-2000s are basically the same as using a tape recorder- they look far more complex than they are in use!
     
  16. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yikes, just looked up the tascam da-3000 and it's over £1000!
    In real terms, what are the advantages to it over the dr05 or something for simple vinyl ripping/ that is all and I mean all I would do!
     
  17. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    sound quality.
    da-3000 and mr-2000s are pro studio recorders designed to make a stereo pre-master recording from the multitracks of a song. the dr-05 is a portable recorder, so it won't have as good an ADC, and the BOM for the device includes things like microphones that you won't be using, which in the other devices would go towards higher-quality components.
    also they can record in DSD but most people don't really care about that (but I do!)
     
  18. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    The Tascam DR-05X does have a "Micro USB" port - the same as the charging cable for most cell phones - I do not use it that way - its manual says:
    "By connecting this unit with a computer using a USB cable, you can power the unit with USB bus power, and use the unit as an SD card reader and as a USB audio interface."
    That would be a "MicroSD" card only.

    The mixer faders should be enough to attenuate, and I think you would hear if it clipped badly (when it clips badly it is horrible) if you record with it into a MicroSD card and monitored through the DR-05X headphone jack. Also when you check those files later in your audio editor I think you could find any lesser clipping there and reduce the input level a bit. Once you find a good recording level, you can leave it there for all needledrops.
    Yes, you could use a RCA (at the mixer master out or whatever out is controlled by the faders) to 3.5 (at the Tascam) cable.
    I don't have experience using it as a USB audio interface, but I think it would give you up to 96/24 as a (good) USB ADC into the computer.
    The DR-05X has around 500 different settings in its various menus, but for needledrops, once three or four things are set the way you would want it, it keeps the settings. If the 2 AA batteries go dead, it will keep the settings for a few hours, but then it goes back to factory defaults.

    You can download the PDF manual from this page, it is 64 pages, with a lot of text, and unfortunately a lot of diagrams, but you could read what could need to be set. And maybe many of the diagrams, which show the text menus that display on the LCD screen of the unit, could be read. But the unit has no tactile feedback when setting the menus.
    Basically set the date and time, set the sampling, set the input level, and you should be able to use it, and I hope so.
    https://www.tascam.eu/en/docs/DR-05X_OM_RevC_multi.pdf
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  19. FrankieP

    FrankieP Forum Resident

    There’s also the Tascam SD-20M which is similar form factor as the DA-3000, does not do DSD but able to record up to 96k/24bit wav onto SD cards. Has less input options (no digital) but has 2 analog rca inputs perfect for vinyl recording. It’s cheaper at $300. If you want portable option, i highly recommend the DR-100MKIII over the mentioned DR-05x. Bigger screen too.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  20. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    How large are these units? Portable would be good but not absolutely needed, does the SD-20M run off batteries? If you have one, how useable might they be if you can't see menues?
     
  21. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    Have to be able to see menus.
     
  22. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm fine with having help set it up, then each time I turn it on I press a couple of buttons, or do these units not save information from the last use and have to be set every time?
     
  23. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    Level indication in digital, critical. Go over 0dbfs, you're clipping. Note, not VU ballistics in terms of metering. Understand physical challenges, I have multiple ones. Most Tascams remember sampling rate and line input, but the meter displays are very small.
     
  24. Robert Godridge

    Robert Godridge Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ah! I'll be bypassing a lot of this as I'm using a mixer a friend made specially for my needs and will be controling the levels that way. I hope that makes more sence!
     
  25. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    While units like the rack mount Tascam DA 3000 for $900 have transport controls, the first thing one has to do is press the menu button and turn a jog wheel to highlight different menu options on the screen. Options one might often use, like input volume and input source, are behind such a menu.

    I think I would consider a computer recording interface (a sound card). Your ultimate goal is to get music into a computer, correct? An often-recommended Focusrite 2i2 gives two analog gain knobs for recording level and a big volume knob for playback output level. The final knob is headphone jack volume. The few other switches can be labeled.

    Even if you use a simple program like the Windows sound recorder, at least you have voice navigator to tell you when you have focused on the single record button. It can be started with a command line option with wave file name, so that it doesn't try to use wma format and you have less GUI: soundrecorder /file C:\music\yourfilename.wav

    I'll keep looking, but the screen menu display is pervasive. If you do find a good model, I can wire up the 0 db digital overload light to give you an electric shock. haha.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021

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