OLYMPUS LS-100 Review By Joseph Timmons – Xombiewoof Magazine
Images Courtesy of Olympus – Technical Facts Gathered at Olympus Web Site – http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/ls-100.html
Retail Cost $ 399.00 – Personal Observation : Well Worth It, If Not Worth More !
As our readers know, I was to attend NAMM 2013 in Anaheim California this year, I was looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful new products for performing, recording and making music possible. I had the opportunity to get my hands on this perfect portable studio by Olympus. I was, at first, expecting a nice portable digital recorder with a few little gizmos, but was overwhelmingly surprised, and I must say I should have expected a product as great as this from Olympus.
The Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track Linear PCM recorder is a compact yet highly versatile piece of engineering that helps working musicians write music, create demos, rehearse, and capture live shows. It’s very easy to use, in fact ( due to my lack of patience ) had spent only 20-30 minutes reading the manual, the controls are EASY to understand I was able figure out how to use it quite easily. This unit can save to internal memory, but I used a 32 GB SD Card, never filled it, and I tried to. I was able to record all of my NAMM 2013 Interviews and some live performance segments, no problems at all. I also was able to use it to record master tracks for video interviews, and with the ability to quickly convert to MP3 format, transfer to my laptop and into my audio / video editing software was a snap !
Musicians will appreciate the onboard tuner, metronome and lissajous functions, which allow the recording of multiple tracks and studio regulatory functions all on one device. Enjoy capturing every note of a live performance, having great sounding and clean recording with the XLR inputs and because it’s designed to do it all, the convenient multi-tracking capabilities of normally much larger equipment. Getting back to the XLR inputs, WOW, if the internal microphones were not good enough ( and they are, I used only the internals, so nice not to have to lug around a bunch of cables ) you could use your own Studio Grade Microphones for the familiarity of use, and possibly to extend the range of this recording device to the limits – which the Olympus LS-100 did not seem to have, completely limitless for portable recording with studio quality sound.
As I said, I used the Olympus LS-100 at NAMM 2013, which was extreme and very crazy, noise blaring everywhere and not a quiet area in the convention center. I had a chance to interview Rikki Rockett of poison about his company, Rockett Drum Works, I had 20 Minutes to set up the camera, set the audio, get my questions in and finish a one take perfect interview before he had to leave for another appointment. people were clamoring for his attention, well wishers and picture takers coming out from every corner, I had one shot! I turned on the Olympus LS-100, set the levels and then turned on the camera, took my spot, interviewed Rikki Rockett and got a PERFECT INTERVIEW, or so I hoped, just after we started, a drummer started the worst sounding drum solo just behind us, I kept going and prayed for the best. I thanked Rikki for the interview and shot outside to check the track…..It was FLAWLESS, the recorder caught every word, no distortion or feedback, and best of all the automatic sound dampening features recorded from the directed aim only, no additional sounds, no drums, only Rikki’s voice and mine.
Check out the Rikki Rockett Interview, The Master Track was recorded using the Olympus LS-100, I used the track in it’s entirety with no editing, the whole track from fade in to fade out was taken in one shot. Note: the recording level was set to 5 on both left and right channels and the recorder was located in my left breast pocket of my shirt, if you look closely, you will see the built in microphones coming out of the pocket area.
Check out the Technical Specifications below, This little wonder Packs it all in a truly beautiful and compact form!
- Recording Format – Linear PCM (WAV) /MP3
- Internal memory – 4GB
- External memory – Max. 64GB (Optional)
- Frequency characteristics (Internal microphone) 20Hz～20kHz
- MIC jack – φ 3.5mm, impedance 10kΩ
- LINE IN jack (MIC jack) – φ 3.5mm, impedance 12.5kΩ
- XLR/Phone jack – impedance 10 ｋΩ
- Phantom power supply – 48V/24V
- EAR jack – φ 3.5mm, impedance 8 Ω or more
- Maximum headphone output – 10mW + 10W (at load of 16Ω)
- Speaker – Built-in ø 23 mm round dynamic speaker
- Maximum speaker output – 480mW (Speaker8Ω)
- File editing function – Yes (PCM/MP3)
- Wireless remote control set (RS30W) – Yes (Optional)
- Voice activated recording – Voice Sync
- Play Sync recording, Pre-recording function, Multi Track function, Over Dubbing function, Metronome function, Tuner function
- Lissajous function, MP3 Convert function, CD Write function, Lowcut filter (100Hz/300Hz), Battery – Lithium-ion rechargeable battery x1
- Battery life (Rec) – Approx. 12 hours 30 minutes (Lithium-ion battery)
- External Power Supply – AC adapter A514 (Bundled)
- Dimensions – 159.0 x 70.0 x 33.5mm / 6.28” x 2.75” x 1.31”
- Weight – 280ｇ/ 9.8 oz
- Compatible OS (USB Connect) – Microsoft Windows XP/ Vista/7 Mac OS X 10.4.11～10.7
Bonus, as well as being able to capture crystal clear audio, multi track record and assist with every need of the recording artist, this wonder machine will recover direct to disk, that’s right, the Olympus LS-100 can record direct to an external CD Recorder, making it a true portable recording studio, complete with CD Mastering – Remember when we used to record our garage bands with an old Cassette Recording Boom-Box, imagine if we had one of these, wow, the possibilities are endless and with a retail of only $399.00, you get so much more than you would think possible.
Get to your local Pro Audio Retailer and try the Olympus LS-100 for yourself, you will be amazed!
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