Audio Recorders for Filmmaking 2019: Choosing a Sound Recorder for Your Video Projects

In this episode, I explain my opinions on each of the sound recorders and mixers I’ve used for filmmaking. This includes the following. Click the links to jump ahead:

00:36 Zoom H1, H1n, and Tascam DR-05 Handheld recorders

03:00 Zoom F1 lavalier and on-camera recorder

05:17 Tascam DR-10L and Lectrosonics PDR mini body pack lavalier recorders

06:43 Tascam DR-60DmkII, Zoom H4n Pro, Zoom H5, Zoom H6

11:53 Centrance Mixerface R4R

12:50 Roland R-88 (Discontinued but can find used)

13:48 Zoom F4/F8/F8n, Sound Devices MixPre, Tascam DR-701D

32:21 Sound Devices 600 Series and Zaxcom Maxx, Nomad, & Deva

Recorder/Mixer Reviews - If you want more detail:

Zoom H1n: Handheld recorder which is a good option for using it like a wireless lavalier recorder

Zoom F1: Small recorder made for recording lavalier microphones or as a camera-top shotgun mic

Tascam DR-10L: This is my favorite tiny recorder for using in place of a wireless lavalier microphone

Lectrosonics PDR: Pro level lavalier microphone recorder.

Tascam DR-60DmkII: My favorite budget recorder with XLR inputs for recording on location

Zoom H4n Pro: Ok option if your XLR microphone has a strong output signal. Not a good option for mics like the RODE NTG2

Zoom H6: Much better option than the H4n Pro. But the screen is hard to see in direct sunlight

Centrance Mixerface R4R: Incredibly durable handheld recorder with 2 XLR inputs, great preamps, but no screen

Zoom F4: 4 XLR microphone inputs. Very good preamps and timecode generator

Zoom F8n: Probably the most value for money. 8 XLR inputs with great preamplifiers and durable build

Sound Devices MixPre-6: 4 XLR inputs, very good preamplifiers, analogue limiters, and durable build

Sound Devices MixPre-10T: 8 XLR inputs, very good preamplifiers, analogue limiters, timecode generator, and durable build. This is my backup recorder/mixer for paid jobs.

Zoom F8, Sound Devices MixPre-6, and 633 Sound Sample Comparison: Hear the difference between the Zoom F, Sound Devices MixPre, and Sound Devices 633. You’ll need some good headphones or speakers.

Zoom F vs Sound Devices MixPre - Which should you buy?: A little perspective on which might be best for you.

Sound Devices MixPre Control Surfaces: If you’re at a table, desk, or cart, these control surfaces can make mixing a little easier.

Zoom F-Control Control Surface: If you’re at a table, desk or cart, these control surfaces can make mixing a little easier.

Sound Devices 633: Why pros use expensive recorders/mixers like the 633

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Fairlight and Audition, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Zoom H1n

Tascam DR-05

Zoom F1

Tascam DR-10L

Lectrosonics PDR

Tascam DR-60DmkII

Zoom H4n Pro

Zoom H5

Zoom H6

Centrance Mixerface R4R

Zoom F4

Zoom F8n

Sound Devices MixPre-3

Sound Devices MixPre-6

Sound Devices MixPre-10T

Sound Devices 633

Zaxcom Maxx, Nomad, Deva

Anker USB-C Battery Bank

Aputure COB 120DII LED Light

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic GH5S

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!