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Minidisc or not - recording starte kit info needed (1 Viewer)

GMS

Well-known member
I’m looking to start recording bird calls and songs and have spend a lot of time looking at previous threads to help me get started. I haven’t yet found the info I was looking for. The main purpose is to have the equipment continuously running at the migration watch point to record calls of migrants flying past. I also want to use it occasionally to record song/calls in other circumstances. It does not need to be the best quality, just good enough for ID purpose. I want to be able to convert into sonograms.

In the Netherlands and Germany this has been used very successfully to record and document species like Olive-backed Pipit, Little Bunting, Rustic Bunting and many more via a sonogram, when it would not have been possible to get these accepted without a recording/sonogram. In these cases minidisc recorders and external mics were used.

I’m rather confused about the amount of equipment out there. My budget is up to £100 pounds and I realize that I won’t get any Zoom H2, H4’s, LC-10s or anything else like that. So that leaves me with either a digital voice recorder with external mic or a minidisc recorder with external mic. Are there any minidisk recorders arounds (need to be on the cheap side) were file transfer is now possible via USB ? Any recommendations for voice recorders that might be suitable for the intended purpose ?

At the moment I’m leaning towards minidisc although I’m well aware that this is been described as outdated. But looking at cost/performance this seems to be the best option. Just to reiterate that I don’t require the perfect recording, just good enough quality to nail down these flyover pipits, buntings, crossbills or skulking phylloscs J Would have been nice to have something to record Iberian Chiffchaff recently.

My microphone choice at the moment would be a Sony ECM-719 (relatively inexpensive) which I know has been successfully used by others.
 

Fozzybear

Ich bin ein Vogelbeobachter
Well an MDLP mode recording with high capacity MD should give you long enough recording on one minidisc although how long you can record with one battery I don't know (you could use external power if that's available though).

I used to use minidisc back in the nineties and it was a good format but what it's like now I couldn't say. I had a portable recorder, pre-netMD. I would imagine a flash voice recorder would give longer battery life and would use standard AA or AAA batteries - I think there were MD recorders that took AA batteries but worth checking before you buy as the rechargables are not cheap for them (back in the nineties they wanted over fifty quid for one for my unit).
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
I don't think MD would be the option for long-running recording – I can only get about half an hour's recording on my expensive set! Also I don't know how long MD will last... My set up uses AA batteries in an additional compartment, as the original rechargeable battery leaked and is now useless.

I can try to find out what various people I know in NL are using (or were using: the set up of one of them was stolen recently!!!) – give me some time!

The guy I went on holiday with uses a very simple & cheap voice recorder (also used by various other "world birders" I should add), but in conjunction with a Sennheiser mic (count on 200 pounds for that!), but I guess you could get something cheaper for that too.
 
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GMS

Well-known member
I can try to find out what various people I know in NL are using (or were using: the set up of one of them was stolen recently!!!) – give me some time!

That would be great.

The guy I went on holiday with uses a very simple & cheap voice recorder (also used by various other "world birders" I should add), but in conjunction with a Sennheiser mic (count on 200 pounds for that!), but I guess you could get something cheaper for that too.

If it works well (the cheap and simple voice recorder) than that would be an option too. Could you find out the model of this one too please ?
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
Sorry I should have said!

It is a great little recorder, although I've only had it a few weeks. I brought one a knocked down one as well. It was mainly for my wife's use recording music as a a school teacher but it works well. It will record 3hrs of PCM wavs and much much more if you set it to mp3, it is intended as a music recorder so has a much broader frequency range than the digital recorders aimed at the voice market. It was accidentily left on overnight and recordered for ten hours before the battery gave out.

One downside for bird recording is that the built in mics are basically omni directional and are also very good at picking up the handling noise if you hand hold it, and have a quiet source. It does take an external mic but that would extend your £100 budget even further.

One added extra is the timer function. I recorded the dawn chorus by leaving it on the window sill and programming it to switch on at 5am and record for an hour. It was a shame that what I got was mostly rooks.

The model they have replaced it with is basically the same but has expandable memory and does 24 bit/96kHz recording.

More here.
 

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