I’m conducting interviews and recording focus group sessions, and I need a recording device.  What do you suggest I purchase that gives me the most bang for my buck?

While we do not personally check each recording device on the market, we do chat with our existing clients, and do our best to read up on the latest products available on the market.  We do recommend you complete your due diligence by reviewing blogs, websites, and reading reviews on websites where you are able to purchase equipment.  Additionally, check out the listserv’s of different organizations, and see what the people are saying.  You’d be amazed at how quickly people reply to posts with questions about which devices to use, and also how to use them.

Whatever the device, we do recommend spending a bit more on your recording device, so that you’ll hopefully save dollars on transcription in the long term.  Additionally, if you’re able, we also recommend that you purchase an external microphone.

We recommend the following resources to begin your equipment search.

  1. Vermont Folk Life Center
    If you’re looking for one of the best sources for evaluations of field research equipment, particularly for oral (or personal) historians, we suggest you search here first. In addition to their own content, this site offers links to numerous other sources of valuable information.
  2. Transom
    Also an excellent source for evaluations of new equipment, along with some excellent articles about a number of topics related to sound recording equipment.
  3. Safe Sound Archives
    In the interest of full disclosure, we have been referring our clients to George Blood of Safe Sound Archives for the last 10 years, and we’ve yet to hear anything but excellent experiences.

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