Portable Recorder Review: Yamaha Pocketrak 2G

It's certainly small, but how does it perform?      14/11/08

No flash plug


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7:49 mins
Test Criteria
  1. Durability
  2. Microphone
  3. Portability
  4. Durability
  5. Sound Quality
  6. Features
  7. Ergonomics
  8. Battery
  9. Connectivity
  10. Value for money
Our first in a series of reviews focussed on the Portable Audio Recorder. We tend to have a great interest in these devices due to our own use for the video work that we do, so we always jump at the chance to take a look at 'em. First up is the Yamaha Pocketrak 2G
Launched at Winter NAMM 2008, the 2G is the first personal audio recorder from Yamaha, and boy is it small, easily the smallest one we've come across.
    Pros
  • It's Tiny! Smallest pocket recorder available. Easy to carry around.
  • Replaceable battery with fantastic battery life.
  • Decent sound quality, quick to record on 'Auto Levels'
  • Lots of features - Voice Activated recording, Music Player, Alarm, etc.
  • Holds synch very well with Video, even at 44.1kHz
  • Built in speaker for confidence monitoring
  • Playback at 1/2speed for learning/transcribing
    Cons
  • It's Tiny! Small buttons are fiddly to use. Easy to lose. Anything plugged into it is likely to be heavier [cables pulled the 2G off the table more than once]
  • USB 'switchblade' is a bit gimmicky – better to use standard mini-USB connector [what if you lose the USB extender and it doesn't plug in your machine?]
  • Built-in mics & limiter struggle with loud music.
  • Only records WAV at 44.1kHz
Summary – if you need an extremely small audio recorder, there's nothing to touch it. Andy McCreeth

  • Yamaha's 2G Page

    Pricing
    Available now $450, £289, €376

    More From: YAMAHA
    Even more news...

    12 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
    Saxon    Said...

    Great review. However, there was no mention of handling noise when recording. This would be useful to know in future reviews.

    18-Nov-08 11:22 AM


    Andy Mac    Said...

    Thanks, Saxon. As for handling noise, I recorded a whole section of the review using the unit itself... in my hand... so you can hear for yourself. To be honest, it was pretty good in this respect; you can hear a 'click' when I physically move the on-board mic, obviously, but apart from that it's pretty quiet.

    Andy Mac

    18-Nov-08 12:51 PM


    Field Recordist    Said...

    Yes, the self-noise levels of these units is very important. Please try to include something about this in future reviews.

    19-Nov-08 07:15 PM


    Marc JX8P    Said...

    Excellent review and a very cool piece of kit! The use of fixed criteria to compare the recorders is very good as well.

    21-Nov-08 11:57 AM


    Sebastian    Said...

    Thanks for the excellent review! I just can't find the sound files you mentioned...? Regarding noise: it would be very helpful for comparing devices if they would all record "hot air" at the same time. Just like you did with the guitar. Can't wait for the rest of the bunch!

    24-Nov-08 02:06 PM


    Andy Mac    Said...

    Hi Sebastian; FR, etc. - thanks for the comments. Let me know the detailed self-noise test you'd like to see, and I'll try to include it. I didn't so far, as there are many different ways of approaching it; if Auto-gain/limiting is used, this will affect things; also internal mics may not be very good, and folks may be using Line inputs or External Mics in many cases. If you can think of a realistic test which is suitable for use across many models, I'll have a go.

    Andy

    26-Nov-08 06:08 AM


    Sebastian    Said...

    Hi Andy,

    thanks for asking, I really appreciate it! Personally, I don't care about scientific SNR measurements, I'd just keep it simple: auto-gain off, using internal mics and a normal gain that looks healthy with standard testing voice. If there's a Hi/Lo gain switch it might be a good idea to turn it to maximum sensitivity, though. If you like, you could record sth like "Hi this is a self-noise test!" with all device at the same time. Then we can compare easily by putting the resulting files on our workstations and adjusting the levels of these words to the very same value. That would be perfect comparing!

    Thanks for the great work! Cheers, Sebastian

    27-Nov-08 08:37 AM


    Josh G.    Said...

    +1 for a self noise test. For example try of recording the silence of your control room with a reference sound to link up gains (Actually just wat Sebastian suggested). Remember field recording as an important appliance for these devices and their intenal mics (wind noise for example could be an issue). Also, looking forward the the mentioned links to the recordings.

    27-Nov-08 04:35 PM


    Andy Mac    Said...

    Ok guys, I'll do a down & dirty noise test; it won't be lab-style [though I did actually analyse many of them using an Audio Precision test set - but the video review format has to be condensed].

    My 'control room' is hardly silent, though - I'll do it at the dead of night; the vampire noise test ;-)

    As for the sound files, they're coming - when a few more reviews are up, I'll do a page with a comparison table and all the files. Thanks for all your comments.

    Andy

    28-Nov-08 06:23 PM


    Russell Carter    Said...

    is the poketrak 2G good for recording metal? my band and i need something cheap and reliable and i as the drummer need to know if this can handle metal especially metal drums. so please get back to me ASAP thank you

    30-Mar-09 11:21 PM


    Russell Carter    Said...

    is the poketrak 2G good for recording metal? my band and i need something cheap and reliable and i as the drummer need to know if this can handle metal especially metal drums. so please get back to me ASAP thank you

    30-Mar-09 11:21 PM


    Russell Carter    Said...

    is the poketrak 2G good for recording metal? my band and i need something cheap and reliable and i as the drummer need to know if this can handle metal especially metal drums. so please get back to me ASAP thank you

    30-Mar-09 11:22 PM


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