It is one of the worst feelings when you get back home from an awesome adventure, plug in your GoPro to see your amazing footage, and find out that you can barely hear your voice, let alone the sound of your drag roaring while line is pealing out of your fishing reel. Especially with a GoPro being in the waterproof housing, it really cuts down on the quality of the audio and really muffles it. So to improve the quality of the audio, and to have another means of recording audio, I started using a cheap voice recorder!
Why a Digital Voice Recorder?
- A digital voice recorder is its own device. It doesn’t plug into your camera. So if the audio is corrupted or lost on your camera, having a digital voice recorder could be your back up audio.
- Most of the digital voice recorders have their own power supply (the one I use is powered by two AAA batteries). So you don’t have to worry about draining power from your camera. I haven’t had to replace them yet and its been six months.
- Some digital voice recorders allow you to record audio with or with out attaching a microphone to it. To make sure I can get the best audio out of the device, I use a lavalier microphone.
- If you want to keep your GoPro safe in the waterproof housing, and still get great audio, this is a route you may want to try.
The Sony ICD Digital Voice Recorder
After doing hours of research and watching video reviews on different digital voice recorders, I chose the Sony ICD PX333, now updated to the Sony ICD PX440. It is easy to use, simple, one of the more cost friendly digital voice recorders. The Sony ICD PX333 along with the Sony ICD PX440 have many attractive features:
- 4 GB Internal Memory – Allows you to record hours of audio without worrying about using a SD card.
- Memory Card Expansion Slot – So you can use a micro-SD card to increase the amount of data stored
- Intelligent Noise Cut – Helps you cancel out the background noise and makes your audio a little more clear
- USB Transfer – Transfer file from your digital voice recorder to your Mac or PC.
- Built in Microphone – Ready to record out of the box!
- Microphone Input – If you wanted to use a microphone you have the option to use one.
- Built in Speaker – Listen to files that you recorded.
- Headphone Output – If you want to playback something you recorded.
- Hold Slide – A slider to lock/hold the device so you don’t accidentally press a button or stop recording
Along with an easy to read screen, the buttons are a nice size. The size of the recorder fits nice in one hand and can also be operated with just one hand.
Using your Digital Voice Recorder
Things to check before using your digital voice recorder:
- Battery Level – Make sure you have enough before you start
- Data – Do you have enough storage space for your recordings?
- Microphone? – Are you going to be using a microphone? If so does that have batteries?
Keep it simple! Turn the recorder on via the power button slider. Make sure you have it pointing the right direction to record what you want. Press the record button. If your worried about accidentally hitting any buttons, lock your recorder with the button slider.
Once you’re done, take it off hold/lock by sliding the button slider, and press the square stop button. Then the file automatically saves and your ready for your next recording. It is fairly straight forward and easy to use. With the Sony ICD Digital Voice Recorders, there are many different folders to organize your files in.
To listen to something you recorded, you can play it back either through the built in speaker, or through headphones that you connect to the digital voice recorder.
Once you get to your computer, the files can easily be moved and downloaded via USB cable. Deleting files can by done through your computer, or on the actual digital voice recorder itself.
As a second means of recording audio, or even your primary way of recording audio, a digital voice recorder may be something you want to try. It has many positives but also comes with some negatives. The negatives really don’t have to do with the digital voice recorder its self, they really only apply if you’re actively out recording video. For the price, its a cheap solution to improving your audio!
- Captures Quality Audio
- Records 57 to 96 hours of audio
- Easy to Use
- Not waterproof
- If you’re replacing the audio on your footage with what you recorded on the digital voice recorder, matching it up can be difficult and increase editing times.
- Another thing to carry and worry about if you have other camera equipment.
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