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Buyer’s Brief: Audio Recorders & Mixers

In this month’s Buyer’s Guide we examine a number of options for recording and mixing audio, each product designed to capture pristine sound while offering portability and reliability.

Azden Corp.

FMX-42u

With a feature set that includes an onboard A/D converter, Azden’s FMX-42u portable mixer has four XLR inputs and 2 XLR outputs, plus USB digital audio output, mini-plug out and switchable phantom power. Simultaneous use of both the digital Mini USB and analog XLR outputs allows the analog signal to be sent to the camera while a backup digital signal is sent to a smartphone or tablet. Each of the mixer’s four inputs has its own level control with pan function, switchable low cut filter and limiter. The FMX-42u can be powered by 6 AA batteries for up to 15 hours or via the optional BC-27H power supply. The FMX-42u has a suggested retail price of $780. 

TASCAM

DR-70D

The DR-70D four-channel recorder and mixer offers four balanced XLR mic inputs with phantom power, a compact form that can be mounted either above or below a camera, and a pair of built-in microphones to capture sound on-set. The HDDA microphone preamps include 64dB of gain for quiet performances, and all four inputs have individual gain controls. Each input has a limiter and low cut filter for controlling volume. Also included is Dual Recording mode, which records a safety copy of audio tracks at a lower level to prevent distorted takes. Tracks are captured to SD card, SDHC or SDXC media. Cards up to 128 GB are supported. Estimated price is $299.99.

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