HHB Flash Mic- on a Bike

BG on a bike with mic
Took the new all-in-one HHB Flash Mic/Recorder (US$1K street) for a literal spin. Wrapped it in a Rycote full-ball wind-sock (that I use for my Shure VP-88), stuffed it inside the chest pocket of a shell-jacket (in above mic it’s that tribble sticking outta my torso), then pedaled about 30-miles, recording and babbling into it much of the way.

HHB Flash MicThe HHB is a good-sounding microphone with a high-quality digital recorder built right into the mic tube. It’s a mono omni dynamic mic. I rarely use dynamics cuz they just don’t sound as good as condensers (which have wider frequency response and greater signal level = better basses and highs = crispness and presence). But for a dynamic the HHB sounds pert-dern decent. Here’s a mic-ing-while-biking clip:

You can hear it’s pretty good with handling and wind-noise (at least w/ sock on). You can see the mic-to-mouth distance in above pic and hear it’s picking up my voice and road sounds rather well.

Ease-of-use is where this thing really shines. It’s gotta 1GB flash memory card (non-removable) built in, which gives you 3+ hours of recordings (at 44.1KHz, 16bit mono .wav). If it’s on it’s in record-monitor mode. One-button starts the recording, and there’s a pre-record buffer that writes-to-disk the up-to-10sec. of audio before you hit record.

Batteries (2 AAs), which weren’t fresh when I statrted, lasted 4+hours. The headphone amp powered my Etymonic buds well — no trouble monitoring. The thing is really light-weight, but the mic housing and buttons feel rugged. The level meter screen is small but usable. The LCD display is quite readable, even in fairly strong outdoor-light, with usable indicaters of mic-lvel and battery-life. The bottom button/dial on the bottom turns it on and controls all the levels and myriad menu commands, which is a bit tedious; but if you set most everything before you go out it isn’t a prob. There’s a mini-USB jack (digi-camera style) on the bottom for uploading your soundfiles via computer. Didn’t use the filters (high & lo pass) or auto-level controls, so don’t know nada about how they perform.

In sum, this thing performed admirably in this difficult-to-record situation. So considering the parameters: an all-in-one light, rugged mic/recorder that sounds good, is simple to use, stores lotsa audio , and runs a long time on a set of batteries, HHB has done a really nice job. But as with all HHB products, you pay for their high-quality and innovation: the HHB Flash Mic’s about US$1K (street).

Cred: Borrowed the mic from Atlantic Public Media. Recording was for the new series Stories from the Heart of the Land. Thanks to Emily Botein for clip selection.

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Comments (4)

yep, it sounded pretty good. You’ve aged in the 10 years or more since I’ve seen you – I of course haven’t. (right)

Anyway, I thought that the flash mike sounded pretty good. I wonder how it would compare to one of those crazy flash recorders with the mics on top – like the edirol (sp?) or the new roland.

Just a question.

Comment added by Milt Lee on 05.26.07

You gotta point; never thot of that. The stereo electret condenser mics that come w/ the Zoom H4 and Edirol R-09 are s’posed to be good. Maybe not as easy as the HHB but better in numerous other ways. See: Transom’s: Portable Digital Recorder Comparison.

Comment added by Barrett Golding on 05.27.07

[…] series Stories from the Heart of the Land, adapting his bicycle to my much-smaller height so I can mic-while-biking for said series, polishing production w/ Viki Merrick of the new HV special “Father […]

[…] Voices producer Barrett Golding gave one a spin as well, and got good results. He blogged about it here: and the final results can be heard […]

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