Flash-memory portable recorders are very convenient. Most of them come equipped with internal microphones. But should a broadcaster use the internal microphones?

These recorders are made to record a live band in stereo with no external mics, and they work well for that purpose. When us radio folks need to capture an interview, it can become troublesome. As the recorder is moved back and forth from the reporter to the guest, the voices fly across the stereo field (very disorienting to the listener).

I recommend that an external handheld mic is the best solution for interview gathering. There’s no stereo image to worry about, and the handheld mic has room for the station’s logo on a mic flag. Cables are available to adapt to whatever type of connector is on the recorder.

And I personally think it just looks more professional to use a handheld mic than to hold a machine up to your guest’s face. (Maybe that’s just me…)

What has been your experience with these recorders? Do you use the built-in mics?


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