Documentation equipment

This page offers advice contributed by our members and from other useful web sites about the various components of documentation equipment, including audio and video recorders, microphones, headphones and speakers.

 

General advice

Hans Rausing Endangered Language Fund

Historical Voices Audio Technology link

PARADISEC's Audio Preservation Links site

 

Audio recorders

Advice about audio recorders can be found in the following discussions on the RNLD list:

  • April 2010 — clip-on microphones and cheap audio recorders
  • May 2007 — audio recorders in areas with no electricity

Fostex FR-2LE digital audio recorder is reviewed in Language Documentation & Conservation Vol 2(1) (June 2008)

Kurt Brunner and Nick Thieberger compiled a comparison table of recorders (prices in US dollars as at March 2008).

There are also video clips reviewing some of these recorders on YouTube (e.g. here).

 

Video recorders

A very useful guide to making video (aimed at documentary film makers, but still useful for language documentation) is 'Shut up and Shoot'.

Advice about video recorders can be found in the following discussions on the RNLD list:

  • March 2010summary of a discussion about video cameras for fieldwork
  • February 2008 — Zoom H4 Digital Recorder, videotaping a spoken lexicon

 

Microphones

Advice about microphones can be found in the following discussions on the RNLD list:

  • April 2010 — clip-on microphones and cheap audio recorders
  • August 2006 — Directional vs. omni directional microphones
  • August 2005 — Opus 55 Mk II omnidirectional microphone

Bartek Plichta has reviewed a number of microphones on his web site (see links below) These reviews offer recommendations for microphones which have the electrical and acoustic performance necessary for recording excellent spectral detail.

 

Headphones and speakers

Advice about headphones and speakers can be found in the following discussions on the RNLD list:

 

GPS

A discussion about the usefulness of GPS in fieldwork was held in May 2009 on the RNLD email list and is summarised here.

 

Recording music

A summary of recommendations from RNLD members on this topic was created by Piers Kelly (1 June 2009).