All things Sound

My recording kit (and how I chose it)

imageMy audio recording setup was recently featured on the Genealogy Guys podcast, and I’ve long wanted to describe it here. Why haven’t I? In order to follow the course of a story of weighing this or that feature, one must have an understanding of the feature in the first place. So I’ve had to lay some groundwork. I’ve written an article on analog and digital, and have been working on the Equipment Guide to all the different items in a portable audio setup.

Now I’ll revisit, once again, the twists and turns of making my decision, and the factors that led me to buy what I did. Of course, that was in April of 2006. Since then, several new audio recorders have come out. Though my the reasons for my decision are worth examining, I don’t know that I’d come to the exact same conclusions in June, 2007 as I did in April 2006. But I’ll tell you about my list of “must haves” and the factors I considered.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on June 28, 2007 in • AudioAudio: Hardware
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On digital formats: the audio CD player graveyard

O Brother CD in CD TrayOver the weekend, my first audio CD player (born 1985) went to the recyclers/electronic waste disposal people. I used it from 1985 to about 1999, and attempted to give it a second life at the family cabin. The persistent failure of the mechanism that opens and closes the disk tray killed it (despite one successful repair attempt). So it went bye-bye.

Why is this event worthy of note here on this site? My audio CDs are good only if there’s a device that will play them. The end-of-life of an early CD Audio player stands as a signpost: It’s a marker of the time that’s transpired since the format was invented, the popularity of that format, and a warning of the risks we take when we store our stuff on Audio CD disk media.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on September 20, 2006 in • AudioDigitalityLongevity
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First things first: Analog and Digital

I took a break from tax prep to research and purchase a solid-state digital recorder (and a microphone and some cables). I had narrowed my choice down, but at the last minute, I veered in another direction and bought a digital recorder with a 20 GB hard disk.

Throughout that long afternoon of research, I felt as though I was EveryShopper, caught in the tug of war between the eminently reasonable “Just tell me what I need to get!” and the ever-hateful “Well, it depends on what you want to do.” (ever-hateful, but correct, dangit!) As I weighed this feature and that aspect, I thought, “Ah! I’ll write an article about making this decision and put it on the website.”

But once I began scribbling the permutations of feature A versus feature R that were a part of my decision-making, I realized that I would first need to write about portable recorders in general. No. Wait a second. While we’re getting into first-things-first, I think I’d best define “analog” and “digital” and get that out of the way. (Plus, I’m thinking I’ll probably need to create a glossary for this site.) I’ve spent the last couple of years researching audio matters. I find myself wishing it were simpler than it is. I hope that this attempt at explanation succeeds at making it a bit more straightforward. So here’s Purchase Decision, part 1: Analog and Digital.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on April 30, 2006 in • AudioDigitality
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iPod Hacking Adventures, part 1

In search of a new-old recording tool: iPod as digital recorder. In which we try to adapt an iPod, 2G to record using Linux. And fail. And learn some new things. Chiefly: This method only works for a 3G iPod only.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 11, 2005 in • AudioAudio: Hardware
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