I am regularly asked for recommendations on how to record church services or sermons. Most people simply want to record to some kind of file, perhaps do a little editing or post processing, then upload to the web. While you could record straight to a laptop, that requires the laptop to be there at FOH, you need an interface, and you have to be confident the laptop won’t bug out on you. Sometimes you want the hardware reliability of a rack-mountable recorder that just works. Tascam is here to hook you up.
I found an entire rack full of recorders that record to solid state media (either Compact Flash, SD or both, depending on the model) or to CD, again, depending on the model.
Going in photo order, the HD-R1 is the big dog of the group. It has balanced I/O, mic preamps with phantom power, RS232 control (I know, who cares…) and more importantly, Ethernet control! Assign it an IP address, put it on your network and you can control it with your browser. I want one already… You can record from 44.1 to 96 KHz in either 16 or 24 bit MP3 or PCM modes, and transfer files via Ethernet or USB. It will list for about $1,000.
The SS CDR200 is a combo CD Recorder/Solid State recorder. It is chock full of features both on the I/O side (balanced and unbalanced analog, AES, S/PDIF) and recording targets (Compact Flash, SD, USB, CD). It’s RS232 controllable (for you install guys), and it can be programmed with up to 20 instant start selections for firing off tracks or sound effects. It too costs about $1,000.
If you don’t need to record to CDs any more (and who really does…) the SS 200 offers pretty much the same feature set as the SS CDR200 without the CD bay. It lists for $599.
For those on a tight budget, the SS 100 offers the cuing and media options of the 200 without balanced or AES I/O. It has RCA jacks plus S/PDIF I/O on the back, though you also give up RS232 control. However, you do save $100 as list is $499.
So there you go. Four options for recording a two-track version of your service or sermon.