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Audio Recorder/Preamp Shootout: Sound Devices, Zoom, Tascam, Edirol, Beachtek, and juicedLink

Last month a test was conducted by Robert Rozak, President of juicedLink, comparing the preamps from his company’s products with a similar offering from Beachtek, with both going right into the Canon 7D. He received so much feedback that he’s added a number of devices to the test and is now comparing the signal-to-noise ratio performance of the preamps of a number of devices, the Sound Devices 702, Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-100 MKII, Tascam DR-680, Edirol R44, Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO, and juicedLink Riggy Micro/Assist. Click through to see his results.

The results aren’t very surprising if you’ve used any of these devices before, though the results of any of the recorders would certainly be improved by using a mixer with a good preamp in front of the recorder. The Sound Devices 702 is actually the recorder that I use most often, combined with a Rode NTG-3. Even in difficult situations and without a mixer, I’m able to get stellar results. The juicedLink still seems like a good option as a preamp regardless of the final recorder being used (even if it’s a Canon 7D or Canon 60D), but you will find that the more sensitive the microphone, and the closer you can get it to the subject, the better the signal performance should be.

I’m sure some of you will take issue if you own any of these devices and you’ve been happy so far, but it’s always best to do your own testing, as it’s certainly possibly that you’re getting great results from the equipment you have.

Link: Audio Recorder Shootout: Sound Devices 702, DR-100 MKII, H4n, DR-680, and more … — juicedLink Blog

Related Posts

  1. Get Better DSLR Audio Quality by Using a Good Preamp: Beachtek vs. juicedLink vs. Zoom H4n
  2. Tascam DR-40 Audio Recorder Gets Update, Competes with Zoom H4n at Fraction of the Cost
  3. Audio Recorder Roundup: Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-100mkII vs Tascam DR-40

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 64 COMMENTS

  • I use, and recommend, the DR-680. If that’s not all you need to know ;-), listen to how it makes the narrator sound like a man.

  • Jeff Akwante on 09.26.12 @ 11:40PM

    Lol, this wasn’t biased at all.

    I have the DR-100 MK II and so far I’m really happy with it.

  • Stu Mannion on 09.26.12 @ 11:50PM

    I’ve been using a JuicedLink into my 5D for years and I’m very happy with the sound and workflow.

  • I love my H4n, not only for recording xlr mic inputs for DSLR video, but for recording audio in general. Whether its a voice over, a podcast, music demo, or any type of foley, it does a great job.

  • Depending on the gig, I might just use a Rode VideoMic Pro or ME66 directly into the camera. Newer DSLRs have headphone jacks and that’s helpful. For serious gigs it’s the Sound Devices MixPre-D with Senn MKH416 and Zoom H1 backup. I avoided XLR recorders because the built-in mics which I’d never use add bulk and weight, and influence ergonomics. I’m essentially a run-n-gunner; not into post-sync.

  • I bought the Juiced Link, but couldn’t get it to work. It is pretty clumsy attaching to the base of the camera. Then I couldn’t tune the damn thing. I broke off an important switch because they are too long. I also bought the AGC add-on. Again, I couldn’t get it to work. So it was useless to me.

    My conclusion is this might be a good solution if you are an electrical engineering expert, otherwise use an H4N and pluraleyes. Get results and 1 button easy syncing.

    • John Waters on 09.28.12 @ 6:49AM

      I use the juicedlink and while I’d agree with the poster that it doesn’t seem to attach well to the base of the camera I’d disagree with its general construction and I’ve found it pretty sold – , and I use magic lantern so no AGC defeat needed, I’ve found it to be a quality pre-amp with nice low noise levels. I tend to record straight into a 550d as simply don’t have time for anything else.

      Seems

  • Billy_Dee_Williams on 09.27.12 @ 2:40AM

    I’m buying a Rode NTG-3 pretty soon, but I heard there have been some problems using it with a zoom h4n, which was my original plan. Should I buy another receiver, or a field mixerr like an Azden FMX-42, which isn’t that much more expensive. If I had $2000 budget for a mixer/receiver I would buy a Sound Device 702, but that’s not an option right now. What do I do?

    • HI, Billy!

      I’ve been using Rode NTG-3 and Zoom H4n for the last year, and I’m very happy with both. And never had a single problem. I’ve used, indoors, outdoors, ads, videoclips, shorts… What kind of problems are you talking about?

    • It was the NTG-2 that had gain issues with the H4n. I couldn’t get decent levels with it at all, and then plugged in a Rode NT3 cardioid as a test and it was fine. The NTG-3 also works fine (although frankly, the H4n sounds noisey to me).

    • One of the problems I’ve read about with the H4n is how it’s audio can lose sync with the video. After an hour, it can be out by about one second.

      The solution to this is quite simple: record in 48k, not 44.1. Video and audio keep sync perfectly. I’ve not had any problems with mine. Not “the best” at anything, but it’s more than good enough, it’s easy, and versatile.

  • I watched a couple other of this guy’s videos on the JuicedLink website. Man, if he isn’t the definition of an L7 weenie. Haha nothing against his products, I’ve never tried them personally. His product demo’s are just hard to watch.

  • Ive had the Marantz pmd661 for 2 years now and think its a great piece of gear. Bright OLED screen, and 10-segment LED level meter make the PMD661 a joy to use. I just can’t understand why it’s generally not a well known product.

    • I use one as well, and suspect it’s cost may be keeps it off of the radar of the DSLR users. My only beef is the added weight whenever I shoot solo, handheld and have it strapped to my rigs cage.

    • Everything I’ve heard says the PMD-661 is the budget recorder to get. Thanks for yet another opinion confirming it. I’ve nearly pulled the trigger several times, but keep wondering if I should go the extra bucks for an Oade Bros. upgraded model.

    • For sure, the PMD661 is one of the best all-round packages.. Its a Zoom H4n with Juicedlink quality Preamps and DR100 MKII Features… Nice little thing, it is..

    • Another vote for the pmd661, with a Sen 416 it’s an awesome combo. I frequently find my sound quality is way better than those recording audio for stock audio sites.

      • I’ll add another co-sign to the 661. If you’re gna compare it to other recorders you’d actually have to compare up to gear like the Fostex FR2-LE, and not down to stuff like the H4N. That said, unless you’re doing high end gigs or projects where audio will be spotlighted (as opposed to it being a component of the overall project masked by strong visual elements etc), then I’d argue that the differences in sound quality to gear like the H4N is not noticeable. I started with the H4 and actually still use it in run n gun situations (and of course the H4N is a much better model), but personally I’d say if you can get the 661 for under $450 then do not hesitate.

  • I’d like the same test but with the subject at 10 feet away from the mike.

  • that arab guy on 09.27.12 @ 8:45AM

    Joe Marine is there any way I can see your portfolio or some short films you have shot

    • Yep, I have a Vimeo account with some of them – and if they aren’t posted on mine they are posted through appearances on other people’s accounts.

  • I have a Marantz 661 which is great and the R-44 is rock solid!

  • I have both a Marantz 661 and the SD 702. I used a Juicedlink for a while and while it’s nice to have it in camera, the 661 was a big upgrade. From there, the 702 was a stellar upgrade with built-in limiters and superior pre’s. Of course, as your sound quality goes up, your wallet gets thinner.

    • How big of an improvement is the 702 compared to the Marantz. Is it worth the extra 1k?

      • Depends on how professional your results need to be. Built in limiters is really handy because you don’t have to worry too much about distortion if something gets loud. The super clean pre’s also let you record at a lower volume. All around, it’s much more of a “set it and forget it” machine. You can get good results with the Marantz but you have to babysit the levels a lot more. Another minimal but nice thing is that is uses rechargeable batteries as opposed to AA’s. I suppose you could get rechargeable one’s of those too, but I feel like overall it didn’t last as long.

  • Right now my audio kit includes an Audix SCX1 hypercardiod mic, and a Sound Devices MM-1 single channel pre-amp. It’s close to $1000 in gear, but it sounds fantastic. A great pre-amp makes a world of difference. This set up doesn’t incude a recorder, so if you are doing second system sound, you’ll need to add that. But this works great if you can feed an XLR straight into the camera.

  • As said, they all do a fine job. My only gripe with the juiced link is 9v internal battery only operation. I’ve got some rechargeables, but still wish there was a 12v DC in to run off a brick battery or external source. I hate having a separate battery all of the time, and those 9v only last a few hours, and never die at the same time as the camera batt.

    poor design choice to an otherwise great product.

    • You could add a DC input – though it would void your warranty of course! – or have a trailing connector coming out of the battery compartment somehow. Not ideal, but then again nothing ever is.

      • Haha, true. I will see about rigging something up. Though I would assume a 9v out would be required? Anyway, I emailed the guy(juicedlink creator) for info, because I wanted to mod his product, but he says he won’t help people with mods, because he doesn’t want to be liable for anything. Fair enough.

  • A couple of other option not included in the comparison –

    1. If you already have an H4d similar, connect it directly to the mic in port on the camera via an attenuator cable, in effect using the recorder as a preamp.

    2. FInd cheap portable mixer (eg Art) or preamp (eg Behringer), or even a USB interface; often these have DC power options, but again might need attenuation.

    He could also have included a high-end mixer like a Sound Devices Mix Pre, or SQN Mini in the comparison; that would’ve been interesting

    • Graham,

      “1. If you already have an H4d similar, connect it directly to the mic in port on the camera via an attenuator cable, in effect using the recorder as a preamp.”

      No, that actually does not work to improve the signal-to-noise for the situations described in the comparison video (that dynamic MIC challenge from the pro video coalition). The signal-to-noise is going to be set by the analog to digital converter inside the H4n. The signal-to-noise coming out the headphone of the H4n will not be any better than what is captured by its internal analog to digital converter. So, if we set up the same test is in the video, you would record poor signal-to-noise in the H4n, the H4n would send poor signal to noise out the headphone to the camera. So, the camera would not record good signal-to-noise either.

      What you would need to do is use a JuicedLink low-noise preamplifier before the H4n. You can check out this old blog post where we improved the signal-to-noise of the H4n by about 9dB when using it with a NTG2 and the JuicedLink preamplifier:
      http://juicedlink.com/blog/2010/10/improving-h4n-snr-with-juicedlink-low-noise-preamp/

      But, it would just be simpler to get rid of the H4n, and just use the juicedLink direct to the camera.

      Robert from JuicedLink

      You can always contact me here:
      http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

    • Graham,

      “He could also have included a high-end mixer like a Sound Devices Mix Pre, or SQN Mini in the comparison; that would’ve been interesting”

      Never used the SQN thing …

      Actually, the juicedLink would have performed much better than the MixPre. The juicedLink is designed to interface with the mic level inputs on cameras. If you turn down the gain on the MixPre, the noise level from the line level drivers would be quite high compared to the signal. So, the SNR in the camera would be very poor. You would have to pad the output of the MixPre, to force using a gain high enough to get the signal level above the noise of the line drivers. Now, there’s a new version of the MixPre (MixPre-D?) which has a padded output for camera levels. If you do that, then these tests would have shown that the recorded signal-to-noise would have been equivalent to the juicedLink.

      But, the juicedLink (being designed for just for the application of interfacing to camera) will be much smaller and lighter (and less expensive) than something like the MixPre family.

      Best regards,

      Robert from juicedLink

      You can always contact me here:
      http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

  • Here’s trick for the DSLR crowd if you’ve got an H4N. Go 1/8″ out the headphone jack of the H4N and into your camera’s mic input. Because it’s a strong signal (similar to but not exactly line level, someone else know exactly?) bring the DSLR preamp to one click above zero. Use the headphone volume output to set the level going into the camera. Be careful though, if the H4N inputs clip you’ll get distortion even though the camera’s signal may not clip. This allows you to record great reference audio into the camera while still rolling on your H4N.

    • (and use a stereo splitter so you can still monitor the H4N)

      • Jef Gibbons on 09.27.12 @ 3:50PM

        Another tip, I have the old H4 and it actually has a line output as well as the headphone. I haven’t the foggiest idea why they removed that on the H4n, very frustrating! Anyhow, no attenuator cable needed going to 5D. I always record both on the 5D and the H4, but usually just go with the 5D audio.

    • OK, I just tried this and it worked out much better than expected.

      Here’s what I did: I created a -6dB 1kHz tone mp3 and copied it to the H4n, which I connected to the mic input on my 7D. I set the input level on the 7D to one notch above zero and then played back the test tone whilst adjusting the headphone output level until the level on the 7Ds meters was half way between -12dB and max – my guess at -6dB.

      I then recorded a movie clip with the test tone still playing in, then brought this into Audition to look at the levels: just below -6dB and a perfect waveform!

      So I reasoned that I could do the same with a -0dB test tone and set the levels on the 7D to just below maxing out – that way the H4n couldn’t possibly cause clipping. And it worked again!

      Great, the only thing is when I tried it with my AT835 mic, sample dialogue was pretty weak – peaking at around -24dB with the mic at around 1m from the source (in this case one 4 year old singing Bah Bah Black Sheep – pretty scientific.)

      So some more playing around to do. What I don’t understand is this – I’ve read that you need a -25dB pad to get the right level going from the headphone output of the the H4n to the mic input of the 7D. I don’t get why this is necessary as if anything, the signal I was getting was already too weak…. ?

    • I’m kind of repeating myself here from my previous reply. But, no, that actually does not work to improve the signal-to-noise for the situations described in the comparison video (that dynamic MIC challenge from the pro video coalition). The signal-to-noise is going to be set by the analog to digital converter inside the H4n. The signal-to-noise coming out the headphone of the H4n will not be any better than what is captured by its internal analog to digital converter. So, if we set up the same test is in the video, you would record poor signal-to-noise in the H4n, the H4n would send poor signal to noise out the headphone to the camera. So, the camera would not record good signal-to-noise either.

      What you would need to do is use a JuicedLink low-noise preamplifier before the H4n. You can check out this old blog post where we improved the signal-to-noise of the H4n by about 9dB when using it with a NTG2 and the JuicedLink preamplifier:

      Robert from JuicedLink

      You can always contact me here:
      http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

      • Graham Kay on 10.3.12 @ 2:08PM

        Hi Robert

        Thanks for your detail here. Is the A/D converter in the signal path when going out to the headphone output?

        My rationale for mentioning the h4n is simply that lots of us already have them and it seems like a good idea to get use out of something you already own than splashing out on more gear for what might be incremental gain. As I say, t seems to work fairly well, though not brilliant I will admit.

        One thing I have found is that the -25dB pad cable that I bought is unnecessary. It’s kind of the opposite situation to what you describe with the mixpre in that I need to have the preamps cranked all the way to 100 on the zoom to get a decent signal from the mic.

        I’m not saying this set up is ideal. An ideal set up would be a single device – a camera with proper inputs and preamps etc, remember those? I’m getting sort of peed off with this constant business of putting together these jury rigged setups that only ever nearly work as intended! Ah well….

        • Graham,

          “Is the A/D converter in the signal path when going out to the headphone output?” ANSWER: Yes. Most cameras/Recorders use a codec IC with an architecture similar to the AK4646 (amp, A/D, filtering, digital gain control, output to headphone amp). So, you’ll never get any better SNR out the H4n headphone than what was captured by the A/D. So, there’s no SNR benefit to taking the H4n headphone out to the camera.

          “might be incremental gain.” ANSWER: I disagree that the benefits of using the juicedLink over the H4n are incremental. The H4n was designed for high school kids to record their bands in their basement. It’s not the right tool for video production (for a small crew or one man band). I’ll list the reasons again here:
          1) Like we’ve already mentioned, the dynamic mic challenge demonstrates better signal-to-noise performance versus handheld recorders like the H4n, DR100MKII, etc
          2) Save lots of time because there is No need to synchronize audio with the video in post production when using the preamplifier and recording directly to camera.
          3) Easier to quickly adjust signal levels on the fly using potentiometers on the preamp (rather than having to go into the menu system of the firmware to select which XLR input to adjust and then hitting the gain rocker Button 1,000,000 times, like in the H4n)
          4) Using a preamplifer and recording directly to camera, you will never forget to record your audio since there is only one place to hit ‘record’ (many people neglect to hit record on the external recorder, and when you hit record the first time, it’s not actually recording, you need to hit it a second time to start of recording)
          5) Using a preamplifer and recording direct to camera, you’ll never miss a spontaneous occurrence while you are filming events. The preamplifier boots instantaneously. Many external recorders have an extremely long boot time.
          6) The juicedLink low-noise preamplifier also has a unique feature called Audio Output Bracketing, which can be used for camera overload protection, so you’ll have a backup of your audio at a safe lower level that you can pull from in post in case somebody suddenly screams and you blow out your main recording channel.
          7) A preamp that was designed to accompany the camera can be easily mounted to the camera. Where would you put the recorder? Also, the juicedLink preamps are ‘Riggy’, so they take advantage of the valuable real-estate next to the camera, and you can add a Riggy bracket to mount mics or wireless receivers right to the preamp.

          If you’re a small crew or one-man-band, then use a tool that was designed for great audio and an efficient production flow … that’s my point …

          Best Regards,

          Robert from juicedLink

          You can always contact me here:
          http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

  • JuicedLink is fantastic about emailing customers. I’ve sent them numerous emails about their products – mostly with concerns that I’ve read on forums – and they’re great about sending detailed answers. If you have questions, just ask them. Forums have a lot of misinformation from people who haven’t used the gear, or from people who don’t know how to use the gear, and JuicedLink has demystified many questions for me.

  • john jeffreys on 09.27.12 @ 1:56PM

    I have an H4N and an NTG2 on a boom pole and its fine for mostly everything. I like the way the H4N sounds, its really warm (I don’t know how to explain it). My school bought us a fancy Fostex recorder and it sounded like ass, and the UI was terrible. I would gladly take a well designed interface (h4n) at the slight compromise of sound quality.

  • No, really, I love infomercials! I watch hours and hours of them on my TV and I’m so glad my favorite blogs are starting to include them as content. They, in no way, call into question the integrity of the site.

    Come on Joe, we know you’re always looking for content and opportunities for us but showing a video masqueraded as information by the owner, who clearly has a conflict of interest, is not good. It’s not too late to take it down.

    Sorry Joe and Koo but it had to be said.
    I love the site.

  • I own a JuicedLink CX211, an H4N and a range of mics. My experience is that when using XLR mics with the H4N, you get extra noise especially with dynamics. In some mics though, noise is minimal especially if they have filters on them. I get pretty incredible results with the H4N and the Rode NTG-2 shotgun. With handheld dynamics like the Audio Technica AE6100/LE, I get noticeable noise especially with the volume/gain turned up.

    However, the JuicedLink does an excellent job of eliminating the noise, in my scenarios.

    Also, since the H4N can be used as a USB interface, you can use a mic +JuiceLink + H4N for Skype or Google+ Hangouts. You get great audio doing that.

    If you do not mind syncing audio or do not care about video, you could use a Cloudlifter with the H4N. I do not own a Cloudlifter (yet, hopefully) but they deliver pristine results. You only use those with mics that do not need phantom power. Also, they only have XLR out so that won’t work with a DSLR.

  • Has anyone thought a Zoom H4N headphone jack output used as preamp for the DSLR mic input? You can raise the headphone level up to 100%, lower the Camera’s input level down to minimum, and you will have something similar a preamp like Juicedlink with added features of the Zoom recorder. What do you think?

    • This seems to be a popular question. Sorry for the repeat, but …

      No, that actually does not work to improve the signal-to-noise for the situations described in the comparison video (that dynamic MIC challenge from the pro video coalition). The signal-to-noise is going to be set by the analog to digital converter inside the H4n. The signal-to-noise coming out the headphone of the H4n will not be any better than what is captured by its internal analog to digital converter. So, if we set up the same test is in the video, you would record poor signal-to-noise in the H4n, the H4n would send poor signal to noise out the headphone to the camera. So, the camera would not record good signal-to-noise either.

      What you would need to do is use a JuicedLink low-noise preamplifier before the H4n. You can check out this old blog post where we improved the signal-to-noise of the H4n by about 9dB when using it with a NTG2 and the JuicedLink preamplifier:
      http://juicedlink.com/blog/2010/10/improving-h4n-snr-with-juicedlink-low-noise-preamp/

      But, it would just be simpler to get rid of the H4n, and just use the juicedLink direct to the camera.

      Robert from JuicedLink

      You can always contact me here:
      http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

  • Lucas Adamson on 09.28.12 @ 4:37AM

    This is a very biased video, claiming that Juicedlink is in the same level as really expensive mixer/recorders and that everything else is just crap. Well, I don’t buy it for a second, based on experience of using several of them.

    This is just a commercial, and should never have been put up here – it degrades NFS to repost something so biased and commercially driven, in my opinion.

    • He might be selling a product, but his results have been vetted by knowledgable people.

      If you actually look at the prices, the best value is probably the Tascam DR-680, as that is $600 compared to the juicedLink Riggy Assist which is the most fully-featured juicedLink product, and costs $470, but does not actually record audio.

      With the juicedLink you’ll stil need an audio recorder if you’re doing anything serious, so really, if you’re looking at it that way, he’s advertising another company’s product that does more for only a little more money and delivers equivalent performance.

      The Zoom and the other Tascam are less expensive, and are also recorders, so it stands to reason they may not have the best preamps inside. I think poor is definitely a subjective term, but his results are not biased, you can listen for yourself and determine what sounds better or worse to you.

      I’ve used the Tascam, Edirol, Sound Devices, and Zoom, and the Sound Devices is definitely the best of the bunch in terms of performance and features, but you pay for it.

      • Lucas Adamson on 09.29.12 @ 7:22PM

        I still maintain that it is a highly biased review and not the least bit objective or scientific, and the S/N ratio recordings shouldn’t even be trusted – this is a commercial!

        Yes without doubt the SD is the best recorder, hands down and by some margin of perfectionism. My experience is that the H4n has a considerably higher noise floor than the Tascam DR-100 Mk2, but no distinction is made in the review – thy’re both just “poor”. Likewise, the DR100 Mk2 has a similar S/N ratio as the DR680, but not according to this “test”.

        The whole thing’s just hokey and should be disregarded.

        • Lucas,

          The material is presented with enough detail that goes into the assumptions of the tests, the methodology, and the results. I’d be happy to engage with you and answer any questions that you might have regarding any of that.

          Robert from juicedLink

          You can always contact me here:
          http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

        • Lucas,

          Also, I looked up the specs in the tascam user manuals:
          DR100MKII: 92dB SNR,
          DR680: 98dB SNR, -75.5 dBu sensitivity

          They don’t really give apples/apples comparison on sensitivity. At high gain:
          DR100MKII: -70dBu nom, -54dBu max
          DR680: -75.5 dBu min, -44dBu nom, -21dBu max

          So, 6dB of the difference is attributable from the difference in SNR spec. But, I can tell you that a large portion of the difference has to do with the fact that the DR100MKII is gain limited in sensitivity. The DR 680 could be adjusted to hit peaks of -12dB on the meter. The DR100MKII was gain limited, so even at max gain, the signal couldn’t get the peaks up to -12dB. So, the DR100MKII signal level was much lower, relative to the 1 bit quantization noise of the A/D, resulting in poor SNR.

          I hope this helps your understanding of the tests …

          Best regards,

          Robert from juicedLink

          You can always contact me here:
          http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

          • Lucas Adamson on 10.1.12 @ 9:54AM

            I don’t have a problem with your test, in as much as it is a commercial for your product, which I have never used – no doubt it is excellent!

            What I object to is it being posted on here as though it is a multi review, or comparison, as normally one would expect that the reviewer had no vested interest in any of the products. Being the owner of the company which produces the “hands down bargain winner” in a comparison such as this is an obvious bias, and whilst you did post recordings of S/N ratios, we can’t be sure that everything was tweaked to perform at it’s optimum settings at all. You seem like a stand up guy and all – I’m not suggesting you’ve rigged it, but at the same time, I can’t take it too seriously either. Still, I’m sure it’s a great product and clearly much better than the beach-tek, IF this test is to be believed.

            In future, you might want to get somebody to at least pretend they’re doing an independent comparison review, like all the big Japanese companies, lol

      • i kind of look at the results the same way. If you’ve got a full crew (audio team, post team), then the DR680 is a great value. Sounds great, lots of channels, not that expensive.

        But, if you’re a small crew or a one-man-band, then using an external recorder is not the right tool for you (especially one of those handheld recorders):

        OK, let’s be really clear about this, and list out all of the reasons:
        1) Like we’ve already mentioned, the dynamic mic challenge demonstrates better signal-to-noise performance versus handheld recorders like the H4n, DR100MKII, etc
        2) Save lots of time because there is No need to synchronize audio with the video in post production when using the preamplifier and recording directly to camera.
        3) Easier to quickly adjust signal levels on the fly using potentiometers on the preamp (rather than having to go into the menu system of the firmware to select which XLR input to adjust and then hitting the gain rocker Button 1,000,000 times, like in the H4n)
        4) Using a preamplifer and recording directly to camera, you will never forget to record your audio since there is only one place to hit ‘record’ (many people neglect to hit record on the external recorder, and when you hit record the first time, it’s not actually recording, you need to hit it a second time to start of recording)
        5) Using a preamplifer and recording direct to camera, you’ll never miss a spontaneous occurrence while you are filming events. The preamplifier boots instantaneously. Many external recorders have an extremely long boot time.
        6) The juicedLink low-noise preamplifier also has a unique feature called Audio Output Bracketing, which can be used for camera overload protection, so you’ll have a backup of your audio at a safe lower level that you can pull from in post in case somebody suddenly screams and you blow out your main recording channel.
        7) A preamp that was designed to accompany the camera can be easily mounted to the camera. Where would you put the recorder? Also, the juicedLink preamps are ‘Riggy’, so they take advantage of the valuable real-estate next to the camera, and you can add a Riggy bracket to mount mics or wireless receivers right to the preamp.

        If you’re a small crew or one-man-band, then use a tool that was designed for great audio and an efficient production flow … that’s my point …

        Best regards,

        Robert from juicedLink

  • Is it just me or did the Tascam, Dr-680, Edirol R-44, and Sound Device-702 sound very clean?

    I thought they compared very well with the juicedlink.

    I know lots of people use the H4n, but from this test, the noise floor seemed much louder compared to say, the Tascam. The Beachtek did not impress.

  • Thank you all for your time to watch the tests, and for your thoughtful comments.

    If you have further questions, you can always contact me here:
    http://www.juicedlink.com/contact-support

    Best regards,

    Robert from juicedLink

  • I just pulled the trigger on the Tascam DR-680. Running now at $699 at B&H and Amazon. I’ve been doing more narrative work as a boom pole/sound op lately and the Zoom H4N has been starting to bug me with it’s multiple issues. For situations where I am a one man band I wish there was a better mounting options for the DR-680. That’s one of the many things I like about the H4N. But it is not, alas, a truly professional recorder for mission essential projects.

    I might like to pick up a juicedLink device in the future. I think the main thing holding me back is price. As a tool that is designed to work with the DSLR it may become unneeded as new designs arrive in the next few years or as my career develops. Still love the clean audio from a DSLR. So I will keep it on my radar should the need arise.

    Does anyone know what the audio issues are when recording directly into the Blackmagic Cinema Camera or GH3? Thanks. Nice to see a passionate discussion of sound!

  • When I record in camera I use a Sound Devices’ MM-1 which is only 1 channel but very small and super high quality. It’s almost as expensive as a single channel portable recorder which goes to show how you get what you pay for in terms of pre amps. Has built in limiter and high pass too, takes rechargeable batteries, again, highly recommend it!

  • Hi,

    I’ve just got a Rode NTG-2 Mic and Tacsam DR40. However, when I record audio, unless the subject is very close to the mic, there is a lot of hiss. I am using an XLR cable to connect the mic to the DR40, and filming with a Canon 600D.

    I’ve looked all over and there seems to be lots of different advice. My question is….

    Is it possible to use the NTG-2 with the DR40 when the mic is not very close to the subject?

    Is it better to use a DR100?

    Or is something like Juicedlink Riggy a better option?

    I’m making documentaries and fiction.

    Many many thanks in advance!

    Daniel

  • heh, I know this is half a year since the video was created yet I am still using this video for the basis of setting up my first audio system with my Canon 60D.

    After a few hours of research I wonder how the RA222 Riggy assist compares to the Tascam DR-60D (once it’s released of course)

    I think we can all agree that the Juicedlink Preamp sounds loads better than the Tascam DR 100mkii and that the DR 680 sounds way better than the Juicedlink Preamp. I wonder where the Tascam DR-60D would fit in.

    I hope it comes out soon and maybe Robert will make another comparison video ;D

    -Devap