Capturing the Sounds of Ireland...and Maybe Bono's Pot of Gold

Many know I'm a fan of the Inside Home Recording (IHR) podcast. It's for people who like to record the sounds of stuff. I like capturing moments, so naturally, home recording is interesting to me.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Derek and Paul at IHR asking them for the best method for recording music in the pubs in Ireland. I hear the pub music is rad, and gerg and I thought it would be cool to bring some home with us.

Maybe I can even record an interview with Bono! Think I can bribe him with smiles...and killer dance moves?

Our hope was that we could record bits and pieces from our upcoming trip and create a soundtrack from our trip. Not only would we have photos, but we'd have sound bytes as well, to keep the memories as potent as the whiskey. *hiccup*

On their latest podcast, Paul and Derek responded to my letter. Click here to listen to the entire podcast and their response to my question. I was about to get sassy cuz Derek assumed I was a "he" on the podcast, but quickly corrected himself and said "or she, I guess." Also, since I've been called Reetsyburger my whole life, I was surprised to hear his fugged pronounciation of my nickname. It is a strange name, I guess.

As for their recommendations, personally, I liked the Belkin Tunetalk option. It's definitely the most cost-effective option for it's size. However, it didn't work with either of our iPods. DRAT.

Here's their written response to my question "How can I record pub music in Ireland?":

"Very difficult, unless you can get permission from the venues you
attend to plug into their mixing board (if they have one).

If you don't mind the background noise (which gives you a good live
vibe), a portable recorder like the Zoom H4, Edirol R09, M-Audio
MicroTrack, or an iPod with a recorder like the Belkin one I reviewed
last fall -- the built-in mics will capture a lot of background noise,
but will give good stereo images (the links below go through our
affiliate programs, so if you buy through them we get a small

You can also plug cables into them if you do get permission from the
venue to go straight from the board. If you're using the built-in
mics, you can get close to the stage so you can get a good balance of
sounds. (Incidentally, using a video iPod with the recorders' built-in
mics tends to pick up hard disk noise -- remote mics or a flash-based
iPod nano might do a better job.)

If you don't mind more gear, you can bring two more-directional mics
to plug into your portable recorder (the H4 works best for that, since
it has XLR connectors), but you'll need to be more precise in how you
position them.

Regardless, to get the best sound you'll probably need to be obvious
enough that you'll have to get permission from the artist and/or venue
to record what they're doing. If you don't mind somewhat poorer sound,
you can probably be more hidden about it.

And make sure you either have fully charged batteries or access to a
power plug -- and an appropriate power adapter for Irish 220V sockets."

Derek K. Miller


As luck would have it, good ol' Lodahl has a mini-disk recorder, and is letting us borrow it for the trip. We want to wait to buy our own digital recorder until the Zoom H2 is available.

So with the mini disk recorder, and some Irish luck, we'll be coming home with music, and hopefully some interviews.

Thanks Lodahl!


Anonymous said...

If you want a spare MD recorder, let me know. Mine is blue and shiny.

Anonymous said...

PS. Griffin makes an iPod attachment that lets you record straight to your iPod. It's like $30-40 on ebay. Zunes are the lame. Have you used one? It's like playing with a broken Go-Bot when what you wanted was Optimus Prime.

Anonymous said...

Reetsyburger said...

My iPod is and antique and gerg's nano is a 1g, so we couldn't find a decent iPod recorder that was compatible. We were looking into the Belkin Tunetalk (similar to Griffin), but couldn't find one that could be used with our goofy iPods.

I agree about Zunes. They are lame. I meant Zoom H2 when I wrote "Zune." I've corrected it in the blog. My badizzle.

Anonymous said...

Word booty. As soon as a new ipod comes out, you guys can buy my 30 gig 5th gen ;)