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Thread: signal to noise in portable audio recorders

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    signal to noise in portable audio recorders

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    I want to buy a small portable sound recorder. I've looked at many but though they mention the recording format (mp3, WAV etc) they never state whether it has the full 96dB signal to noise ratio you'd expect of 16 bit recording. I want one that you can plug an external pre-amp into (not a mike) so it must take line level. Can anyone recommend a recorder which has a line input and which gives at least 96dB signal to noise ratio? Thanks

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    I have the Tascam DR40 and it has line inputs, so I looked up the spec for you.
    It says 92db or more. No idea if that's useful to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
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    No VST can emulate that smell.

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    That's exactly what I need. Thanks very much.

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    I have read reviews of the DR-40 and they say the hiss is bad for external mics. I presume when using a pre-amp plugged into the line input this will not be a problem, and you will get the full 92dB? (excluding the external pre-amp and mic noise of course)

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    On the inexpensive end the 96db is going to be impossible to find...

    curious why you are hung up on 96db as opposed to 92db?

    Here's the list at Sweetwater

    They zip past $500 pretty quick...That Tascam DR40 seems like a good deal
    The DR-22WL maybe even a better deal..

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    I don't care if its 92 or 96dB, I just want the hiss to be well below the hiss of my very low noise pre-amp and microphone. The reason I want a sound recorder is for filming, because I've found that my camera, though it has a line input, the hiss is so bad that you have to turn the camera gain down so low that my pre-amp gain will have to be increased so much that it will clip. In other words if I increase the gain of my pre-amp enough to drown out the camera hiss, my pre-amp will clip on dialogue. So I need a sound recorder with hiss low enough on the line input that my pre-amp, at its present gain of 10, will easily overcome the sound recorder hiss.
    Last edited by timtimtim; 03-27-2015 at 17:33. Reason: changed a couple of words

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