Sonic Sense Pro Audio Blog
Your Source for Audio knowledge, Tips, & Tricks!
Looking for a handheld recorder? Then you've found the only resource that you need. Here, you can listen to the most popular, best rated models - right now - to see how they compare head to head. You can also watch video reviews, explore features and specs to make sure that you choose the best device for you. Whether you need a handheld recorder to capture a brilliant idea, live performance, band rehearsal, interview, or audio for video - we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!
Handheld Recorder Comparison Part 1 - Recording Music
Handheld Recorder Comparison Part 2 - Audio for Video
We brought Gang Forward, an up-and-coming Colorado-based power rock trio, into our live room and set up the 9 recorder tree along with a pair of Rode NT-5 microphones in X/Y and our good friend “Fritz,” the Neumann KU 100 dummy head microphone watching over the whole thing. Check out the video above to hear audio comparisons of the Zoom H5, Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-40, and Roland R-26 portable recorders. We set it all up again in our studio when local singer/songwriter and all around good dude, Andy Sydow, came in with with his Taylor acoustic and Hohner harp to serenade us for another round of comparisons.
Headphone Listening Online, Really???
In the spirit of providing opportunities for the Sonic Sense community to “hear” products online in the closest approximation to actually “being here” as possible, we have established some unique recording processes. We can now provide the opportunity to compare equipment against a source track to get a sense of what the product introduces in the signal path. These recordings present an experience very similar to what we observe and measure first-hand in our listening and recording environments. While nothing compares to listening to a pair of headphones on your own head, listening to audio comparisons over the internet may help narrow down the search from hundreds of models to maybe just a few.
We call it, “Creating the in-store experience online.”
Zoom revolutionized the portable handheld digital recorder market nearly 10 years ago with the release of the H4. Now, the newest addition to their portable recorder line, the Zoom H5, takes all the popular aspects of previous models, including the H4n, and adds some new features for a wider range of recording capabilities and improved recording quality. An onboard set of intuitive controls including transport and record-arm make recording easier than ever. The H5 is a recorder for creators of all kinds.
Listen to the Full Handheld Recorder Comparison
Welcome "Compression 201", part two of our “How to Use a Compressor” series! If you’ve arrived here without checking out part one, be sure to watch that first if you need a refresher about the basics of what a compressor is, and how to use it. In this next segment, Matt, our lead studio troll presents more advanced functions including:
Powered PA Speaker Comparison and Review - Mackie Thump 15, JBL EON 515 XT, and Behringer EUROLIVE B115D
Live sound is a fast paced, high stakes environment. If your audience doesn’t enjoy the sound, it barely matters how good the performer is. Choosing the right powered speaker for your application and taste can be a real challenge. Without going to a show room, renting, or even hearing a multiple pairs of speakers in person, it’s almost impossible to decide what you like best. To assist you in determining the best portable speakers, the Sonic Sense Resource Center uses a clinical process so you can audition loudspeakers online.
While your listening system will color the sound of the recordings we produce, it does the same thing to the source file included in the video and 24-bit/96kHz audio samples. We minimize the impact of our room by recording a mere 30 inches from the loudspeakers. Like our studio monitor, headphone, and other loudspeaker comparisons, we track everything consistently at the same playback and recording levels.
The latest comparison features JBL EON 515XT, Mackie Thump TH-15, and Behringer Eurolive B115DA loudspeakers. All of these 15-inch, 2-ways range from $500-800/pair and are great for weddings, mobile DJ, or small live performances for up to 200 people.
Whether we're at home, on the go, or at work, we're constantly surrounded by sound. Getting around all this noise so you can relax or concentrate is challenging. Most people may not realize how much the noise we “tune out” can impact us on a deeper level. Excess background noise can increase stress, reduce physical well-being, and even prevent us from effectively storing memories.
According to the American Tinnitus Association, many common elements have distractingly high sound levels. Busy street traffic, or "street noise" can be as loud as 75 dB to 80 dB, that's nearly "twice as loud" as a person yelling just a few feet away. A subway train can be around 100 dB, and that screaming child on the back of the bus, or in the row behind you on an airplane can get as loud as 110 dB. That’s around the level of a loud rock concert. If you're thinking of picking up a pair of noise-canceling headphones to arm yourself in this noisy world, this guide will walk you through some of the key factors you'll want to keep in mind.
Live sound engineers are constantly thrown curve balls during every show. Bad cables, equipment malfunctions, and unruly bar patrons or musicians must be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Since “The show must go on” any problems must be solved without making it obvious to the audience. Recently I had the opportunity to use an entire PreSonus StudioLive sound system for a show at the Dark Horse Bar and Grill in Boulder, CO. I work with a local band called The Wandering Natives from time to time, and this is one of our favorite shows. Normally this show requires me plus two of the musicians in the band bring all of our sound equipment creating a collective “Frankensystem”. This time it was different. The band brought their backline, I brought mics, cables, mic stands, and the entire sound system. The mixer, main system, and stage monitors were all new products from the PreSonus StudioLive AI series. The entire StudioLive AI series comes with SL Room Control and Virtual StudioLive AI, some free powerful control software that helps you get the most out of your live sound reinforcement system. Check out our video that shows you how the gig went!