Easily one of my favourite recorders in the current range has to be the Olympus LS-3. It is a bit of an all-rounder, perfect for recording crystal clear audio in any situation, it was just as happy sat on a boardroom table, in the middle of a load and vocal focus group or smuggled into the recent Coldplay concert held at Allianze Stadium in Sydney (17th & 18th November, 2012). Not only does it record superb audio it is also very well placed pricing wise, sitting just under the AU$300 mark making it a not so hard leap for the professional looking for a quality recorder.
So, it was with a tear in my eye when I heard this week that we would be getting no more LS-3’s in Australia in fact when the last LS-3 in our own stock left with the courier today for its new home all the staff stood and paid their respects, that is how much this little recorder was admired.
I can feel your angst as you read this but wait there is hope. Olympus may be cruel by taking the LS-3 away from us but they could be forgiven. The rumour has it that the superb Olympus LS-12 and LS-14 will make an appearance in early 2013, not yet confirmed but this is the thinking in the circles we digital voice people move and shake in. As is the trend in music recorders the LS-12 and LS-14 are quite ugly but superbly good, ugly it seems is the new black.
Olympus have only recently launched the LS-12 and LS-14 in the US, last month in fact, and judging by the US pricing we could be seeing the lower end of AU$200 for at least the LS-12 which will put immense pressure on the WS-813.
Here is what Olympus American wrote about the two new kids on the block when they were announced on their blog ( link ):
- For starters, both recorders feature a max SPL of 130 dB. Unless you plan on recording jet engines you should have a hard time clipping these mics.
- Low noise – like in the LS-100, we’ve separated the audio and system circuitry for minimal sound degradation. And like our previous LS recorders, a switchable low-cut filter (100Hz/300Hz) helps to reduce unwanted background noise in any environment.
- Tools for musicians – built for the writing musician, the LS-12 and LS-14 feature a chromatic tuner, metronome, playback speed control and overdubbing capabilities for creating rough demos.
- Mode Select Dial – this new feature allows you to quickly access the onboard tuner as well as the Manual, Smart and Quick recording modes. Manual is for the seasoned recorder who knows exactly how to dial in settings for the perfect recording. For the novice, Smart mode automatically adjusts levels and records with one touch of a button. Quick mode is for those time sensitive moments when you need to capture an idea or a quote. No level adjustment takes place in this mode.
So what’s the difference between the two?
- While both recorders feature 90-degree stereo mics, the LS-14 incorporates our “Tresmic” system. Engaging the third, center omnidirectional mic opens up the frequency response to 20Hz – 20kHz (60Hz – 20kHz for the LS-12).
- Memory – the LS-14 features 4GB of internal memory while the LS-12 holds 2GB of internal memory. Both are expandable to 32GB with SD/SDHC card.
- Price – the LS-12 will retail for $149.99. The LS-14 will retail for $199.00 <– US Pricing