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Old 11-24-2011, 05:29 PM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: U.K.
Posts: 2,198
Default Re: Sold my MBox 2... what next?

Originally Posted by Top Jimmy View Post

Carl, I'm not specifically trying to question your experience with the Microtrack, but I tried two of them four years ago and found them to be outright dogs. High noise floor, cheaply manufactured, poor design, and a lack of any semblance of "pro" methodology all combined to convince me to buy an Edirol.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Was it the mkII or the original version of the Microtrack you tried?

At the time, I looked at the Edirol R09HR as well as the Zoom H4 (original version) and I found them both to be fiddley, plasticy, and I hated the U.I. and transport controls on both of them, so that rendered them not really suitable for my needs.

The original Zoom H4 was particularly bad in that you were constantly having to deal with millions of sub-menu's to get anything done - not good if you wanted to change recording formats or turn on phantom power in a hurry.

What the Zoom had in it's favour was dedicated XLR inputs (and I think the ability to record 4 tracks using the XLR's and the built in stereo mic's, though that may just be the newer H4n model) and conventional batteries - the audio interface functionality was very tempting too.

The Edirol again had the advantage of conventional batteries, and built in stereo mic's. It also had the nice features of a built in loudspeaker and a remote control.

I just found that none of those added up to the usability of the Microtrack, which had a much friendlier U.I. and was more compact and robust.

I would rarely use the built in stereo mic's on any model, so the fact that the Microtrack's one was not built in did not bother me, in fact it actually makes it easier for using as a lapel mic, or stealth recording by attaching it to the brim of a cap.

Extra battery power is easily achieved with a very small USB rechargeable battery pack - though I've rarely needed it.

Having 1/4 inch jacks is no problem, as it's actually quite convenient to have a 1/4" to XLR adaptor flying lead trailing out of the protective bag I have, and make connections without stressing the connectors.

With regards to noise floor, I've never found that to be a problem, though I usually record sources with a high SPL through a pair of AT4040's. Even when I have used the supplied mini stereo mic for recording ambiences in a pinch, it's been really good, and totally usable (when I tested them, the Edirol and the Microtrack were on a par as far as I could tell. The Zoom was much better than I expected, but still the worst of the group).

The other thing, as stupid as it sounds, was that I couldn't bring myself to use the Edirol R09HR on the grounds that it looked like an old Braun electric shaver, and the Zoom H4 looked like some Star Trek fanboy had taken a knock off Tricorder and stuck a pair of Uhura's earpieces to the top of it .
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