Question about Olympus DS-50 Digital Voice Recorder

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Terrible sound when recording music in XQ

Perhaps I have the wrong settings or I'm placing the recorder in bad spot, but when playing back recordings of our percussion band (in XQ), the sound quality is NOT good. My drum almost sounds like another instrument. It sounds different. Maybe this just insn't for recording music.

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  • marco1ca Aug 20, 2007

    Basically I bought a recorder (DS 50) that isn't suitable for recording music. Therefore, please inform me as to which digital recorder will best record music.


  • Anonymous Mar 13, 2014

    when play button is pressed no sound from recording



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Hiya marco1ca...The recording qualities and characteristics of your Digital Voice Recorder is designed and optimally calibrated for Audible (voice) recording. Essentially, recording of sounds with peak levels that exceed a conference room of 20 or so people speaking at moderate levels will completely overun the sensitivity and be over-modulated both during recording, and during playback, as in your experience, producing unrecognizable audio. Although it supports and plays Audio files such as mp3 and WAV with ample quality, while doing so, it is only functioning as a player and not a recorder. If you would like to continue to use your Digital Voice Recorder to record live music, execution of the following Setting changes will provide you with the "best" you can get, albeit, you will still not be pleased with the recording. Our objective is to cancel as much sensitivity of your recorder, both aurally and electronically by removing and retarding all features that promote sensitivity. 1) Remove the Stereo Microphone Unit, and record using the built-in Monoraul Microphone. As you can obviously see, the individual Stereo Microphones are very close together. The method that your DvR uses to achieve stereo separation is by increasing the directional sensitivity of these microphones individually. 2) Change your recording mode from your present setting of ST XQ, to SP by; a)pressing and holding the Menu Button for 2 seconds, or until "Rec Mode" is displayed. b)press OK to enter setup. c)press either + or - until SP is displayed. d)press ok to save your change from ST XQ to SP. "SP" mode does not incur any electronic enhancement or proccessing from your recorder. 3) If applicable, change your Microphone Sensitivity Setting to "DICT" by sliding the Mic Sense Switch located on the left side of your recorder. "DICT" is the lowest sensitivity setting that your recorder can achieve. Finally, if in a secure environment, place your recorder MUCH further away. Sound is the movement of air. You are attempting to record a PERCUSSION band, which truly is the epitome of air movement creating sound. What you have been recording and hearing was not sound, but air which was digitally captured simply because there was not enough time for sound to materialize. If you would like to try an experiment to physically understand the process of sound, have someone stand in front of you and whistle a note, and ask the person to sustain the whistle while approaching you until their lips are as close to, without touching your ear. When that physical point is reached, you won't hear whistling, you will only hear air/wind. The closer you are to the source of the sound the more condensed, and electronic signal proccessing becomes overwhelmed, again, causing overmodulation and distortion. These steps are "all the resources that is available" for your specific recorder. Remember, it is a digital !VOICE! recorder, and there is no voice that is as loud, or that produces the dynamic wavelengths as a band playing. If you would still like more information regarding your Olympus DvR, their Technical Hotline Number is 1-888-553-4448. You can also email them at [email protected] Please update your post on your progress and/or if you have any further questions.....good luck my friend...chris

Posted on Aug 20, 2007

  • V. Chris Suehiro
    V. Chris Suehiro Aug 21, 2007

    Comment by marco1ca, posted on Aug 20, 2007
    Basically I bought a recorder (DS 50) that isn't suitable for recording music. Therefore, please inform me as to which digital recorder will best record music.

    Hi marco1ca...In my opinion, the Edirol R-4 made by Roland. Click on the following URL to view the R-4 Portable Recorder:

  • V. Chris Suehiro
    V. Chris Suehiro Aug 21, 2007

    For more portability, the R-09 may be viewed by clicking on the following URL:



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