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List of Audio Recording Devices

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 12/20/2010

There are analog audio recording devices and there are digital ones. Each type has its own pros and cons, and they can be the appropriate device for someone depending on their needs.

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    There are several types of audio recording devices that range from analog to digital. Here are some of the most popular recording devices that one can use for a variety of purposes.

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    Cassette Recorder

    Cassette Tape This analog audio recording device records sound on tapes at 1.875 inches per second. It is good for voice recording which is why it was the device choice for people who want to record conversations for many years. However, it has a poor signal-to-noise ratio, which means the recording levels need to be set correctly. One can expect plenty of noise when recording in quiet environments and quiet voices. Because of the media it uses for storage, storage is key to keep the recordings in tact and of great quality. Cassette tapes are known to degrade over time, so this device is only recommended for people who can store tapes properly and who are only expecting to record voices.

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    MiniDisc Recorder

    MiniDisc Recorder This digital audio recording device stores its recordings on optical disks. The data is compressed using a unique system, which means it cannot be copied easily. The data needs to be decompressed and then recompressed when being copied. This process involves losing quality, which is ideal for people who want to protect the original quality of their recordings. Their compact size make them ideal for recording audio in remote places, although this same compact size may create problems in operating the devices especially for people who have big fingers or people who are not used to operating small devices.

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    DAT Recorder

    Also known as the Digital Audio Tape recorder, the DAT recorder is a digital audio recording device that uses 6 millimeter tape cartridges to store recordings. By doing this, it is capable of recording high quality audio, and by being a digital device, it is quite easy to transfer data between the device to a computer. It provides cassette tape quality with digital capability, but it does have its downside. It is a bulky device and its tape recording parts can be easily damaged by impact.

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    Laptop Audio Interface

    This is one of the audio recording devices that cannot function on its own. It is simply a device that is used to be an interface for laptops. This means it needs a connection to a laptop so it can store its recordings. Laptops, on their own, are already recording devices. However, the quality is simply poor because most microphone inputs are noisy. Any good microphone input can easily just lose the audio quality because laptops are not sensitive enough to preserve good quality audio. This is where the laptop audo interface comes in. Most of these devices have a built-in microphone amplifier which keeps the good audio quality recorded by its analog microphone input which it then converts into digital data to be stored in the laptop.

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    Image Credit

    MiniDisc - Wikimedia Commons; GNU Free Documentation License / Supplied by Drahkrub

    Cassette Tape - Wikimedia Commons; GNU Free Documentation License / Supplied by Mangos