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Eric Disco

I tested out a ton of different devices and found the best set up. It’s not cheap and you could go a lot cheaper but if you are going to be doing stuff in loud environments at all and want to get her voice in the recording as well as yours, you’ll want to get something good.

First, you need a powered mic. A powered microphone is important because it picks up the signal a lot clearer than a regular mic. Particularly if you want to pick up her voice on the recording, you want to make sure your mic is powered or it will only get your voice.

In order to use a powered microphone, you need a digital recorder that has a powered pre-amp. In other words, the digital recorder sends power to the microphone.

There are very, very few portable digital recorders (the size of a cell phone or smaller) that also have a powered microphone pre-amp.

Your best bet is the Yamaha Pocketrak C24 (about $160 at Amazon). It’s roughly about the size of an iphone cut it in half long-ways. The nice thing about this unit is that it has a USB adapter built into it so you can connect it to your computer and download files without any cables.

The navigation is okay—not great—but it does pretty much everything you need it to do. The built-in memory is more than enough for a few hours recording time. It also includes a limiter so the recorder doesn’t clip when things get really loud, like if you’re on a train. I also like the fact that it comes with a battery instead of recharges, that way you can swap it out the go.

Next you’re going to want a microphone. I recommend the Countryman EMW Classic Lavalier, about $180 from B&H Photo. This powered mic is designed for people performing on stage and is designed to attach to the inside of your clothes. This is important when it comes to recording. It comes with an awesome Viper Clip which eliminates the rubbing inherent in clipping microphones to clothing. The viper clip protects face of the mic from the inevitable movement of cloth for when you attach it to the inside of your clothes. It’s practically invisible.

If you want to go cheap, you could simply get some type of headphone with a mic for phone calls like this, I’m sure there’s cheaper. But her voice will be a lot quieter, almost inaudible at times. And the recording won’t be that great. But it should pick up your voice for the most part. If you get this, you can use your smartphone and download a recording app. Then loop the mic out the top of your shirt.