Using portable handheld audio recorders for voiceover

SonyRecorderI picked up a Sony digital handheld stereo field recorder to play around with.  This category of portable digital recorders are primarily made for location recording of  music performances and ambient sound (I use it for both of these purposes), by journalists for conducting interviews, etc.

After playing around with this great recorder, I have found that it can function pretty well as a recorder for capturing voiceover.  The Sony (there are a number of comparable brands available as well) is battery operated, has 2 condenser mics, and can record 24-bit/96kHz stereo WAV files on an internal 4 gig flash drive.  The recorders usually interface to a PC via a USB cable allowing fast transfer of files to a PC for editing.

These types of recorders can be an excellent option for use within a corporate production environment, allowing the recording system to be moved to the voiceover narrator (or a more quiet location) as needed.   They set up quickly (get a small photo tripod for this purpose – 8 inch is fine), and have a headphone jack that allows for monitoring.  The Sony has a fur-style windscreen that minimizes breath pop.   And the quality of the microphones is great.

Consider this approach as a low-cost option to building a standard recording setup.

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