I get it. Super-small stereo
recorders are great for documenting band
rehearsals and songwriting ideas. But
now that teeny multitracks and recording-
enabled smartphones are making the
scene, will miniature digital two-tracks fade
into history like the cassette Walkman?
Apparently not. Companies such as
Alesis, Boss, Korg, Sony, Tascam, Yamaha,
and Zoom still produce excellent stereo
decks, and now, tech giant and celebrated
camera and lens maker Olympus joins
the party with its LS-7 ($199 retail/$159
street). The LS-7 is small enough to hang
out in a shirt pocket, and its onboard, triple-
mic configuration (stereo condensers,
plus an omni center mic for meatier
bass frequencies) captures a wide sonic
spectrum. If you’re
recording loud bands
with the onboard mics,
however, take care where
you place the LS-7, as the
tiny condensers can be
by brutal signal levels,
resulting in some smearing
of midrange and
high frequencies (cymbals,
guitars, etc.) and
loss of dimension. But
if you find the sweet
spot in the room, you’ll
be rewarded with stereo
tracks you can transfer to a
DAW for overdubs and editing without
compromises in audio quality. Sweet.
Parameter tweaks, internal file management,
and file transfers (via USB) are easy,
and for those who need reading glasses,
but detest wearing them, all operations
can be guided by the voice of a business-
like, but kinda sexy British woman.
A “pre-record” buffer always captures a
few seconds of sound before you hit the
Record button—a lifesaver if the drummer
clicks off a tune before you can get
to the LS-7’s controls. The LS-7 is truly a
well-thought-out recording tool for musicians
on the go.
Kudos Super small. Good sound. Prerecord
buffer. Omni center mic. Voiceguided
operations. External mic input.
Concerns Some abrasive high-frequency
content was noted when recording highvolume
Contact Olympus, (888) 553-4448;
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