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Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder

B&H # OLLS100 MFR # LS-100
Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder

Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder Front View Right-Side View Back View Bottom View

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Product Highlights

  • Superb 96kHz/24-Bit Linear PCM Recording
  • Supports Linear PCM & MP3 Audio Formats
  • Internal 4GB Built-In Flash Memory
  • External SD Slot Memory Up to 64GB Card
  • Two 90° Stereo Condenser Microphones
  • Left & Right XLR / Phone Combo Inputs
  • Multi-Track Recording Up to 999 Tracks
  • Simultaneously Edit Up to Eight Tracks
  • Voice Sync, Play Sync & Overdubbing
  • Separate Audio & System Circuit Boards
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You Pay: $329.99

Questions? Ask our experts:

The Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder features high-quality 96kHz / 24-Bit Linear PCM recording, which captures every nuance of every note and syllable with a rich, resonant quality. With this level of digital recording, the LS-100 gives you the ability to make truly colorful, dynamic recordings almost anywhere. It also supports 44.1kHz / 16-Bit Linear PCM and MP3 format as well. MP3 recording is ideal for times when convenience and quantity are more important than quality. The LS-100 is equipped with 4GB of internal Flash memory. It also offers external memory with an SD card slot that supports cards all the way up to a capacity of 64GB.

The LS-100's dual 90° directional stereo condenser microphones have a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz, which allows them to capture a wide range of audio from the lowest audible bass frequencies to the highest audible treble frequencies. Olympus used an innovative system when designing these mics, which ensures that the entire frequency range of human hearing is captured with exceptional clarity. This design also supports a maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of up to 140dB, which means you'll be able to clearly record even the loudest live performances. Plus, the LS-100's integrated stereo condenser microphones have independent left and right recording level dials, so you'll be able to maintain optimum balance, as well as make adjustments on the fly.

Designed with pro musicians in mind, the LS-100 features 24V / 48V Phantom Power for condenser mics, ribbon mics, etc. The built-in instrumentation amplifier cuts slight noise and amplifies signals as well. This allows the use of much longer cables. Plus, with integrated left and right stereo XLR / 1/4" Phone combo jacks, it's easy to connect external mics for recording. This way, you're not limited to using just the built-in stereo condenser mics. Another sound minimizing feature is the separate audio and system circuit boards - each with their own power supply. Separate circuitry helps maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio and it eliminates cross-channel interference as well. This ensures clear signal transmission.

Another highlight of the LS-100 is its ability to do multi-track recording and overdubbing. On the LS-100, up to 999 tracks can be recorded using the fixed 44.1kHz / 16-Bit format for CD writing. Plus, up to eight tracks can be edited simultaneously. Overdubbing lets you make a recording and then go back later to add additional parts over the original recordings. It can be used by musicians to add a supplementary recorded sound to a previously recorded performance or by vocalists to sing harmonies with themselves. The LS-100 also features functions for file editing, pre-recording, metronome, tuner, Lissajous for chords, MP3 converting, CD writing and Play Sync recording. It has hi/med/lo microphone sensitivity switches and a 100Hz / 300Hz lowcut filter.

The LS-100 is equipped with Voice Sync and Voice Guidance as well. Voice Sync is the Olympus technology for voice activated recording, which is one of those extra benefits that saves time and energy. Voice Guidance provides voice feedback for actions, which allows the user to operate the LS-100 without looking at the backlit LCD display. For added convenience, the recorder is also equipped with a headphone jack, a 3.5 mm mic / audio line-input and an integrated speaker. The 480mW round dynamic speaker allows you to listen back instantly after making a recording. If you're a professional musician, then the benefits of the LS-100 are obvious. However, this recorder was also designed for high-quality podcasting. It also works great for journalists who prefer to listen back to ultra-clear recordings after an interview. It can even be used to build soundscapes, capture ambient noise, or even for birding and nature enthusiasts who want to record wildlife with lifelike clarity.

High-Quality 96kHz / 24-Bit Linear PCM Recording & Two Storage Options
The LS-100 features a fixed Linear PCM recording setting of 44.1kHz / 16-Bit. However, the recorder is capable of truly pristine 96kHz / 24-Bit Linear PCM recording, which delivers sound that's even better than what you would hear on a compact disc. Every nuance of every note and syllable is captured with a rich and resonant quality. The LS-100 gives you the ability to make truly colorful, dynamic recordings almost anywhere. Plus, for times when quality is second to convenience and quantity, you can record using the MP3 format
Internal & External Storage Options that Support Up to 64GB of Memory
The LS-100 is equipped with 4GB of internal Flash memory. It also has an SD card slot for recording directly onto memory cards. This external memory option supports SD cards all the way up to a capacity of 64GB
90° Directional Stereo Condenser Microphones
With a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz, these high-quality directional microphones capture a wide range of audio from the lowest audible bass frequencies to the highest audible treble frequencies. Olympus used an innovative mic design to ensure that the entire frequency range of human hearing would be captured with exceptional clarity. This design also supports a sound pressure level (SPL) of up to 140dB, which means you'll be able to clearly record even the loudest of live performances. Plus, the LS-100's integrated stereo condenser microphones have independent left and right recording level dials, which lets you maintain optimum balance, as well as make adjustments on the fly
Separate Audio & System Circuit Boards to Minimize Noise
The LS-100 is equipped with separate audio processor and system circuit boards. Plus, each has its own independent power supply. Separate circuitry helps maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio. It also eliminates cross-channel interference and enables clear signal transmission
Stereo XLR / Phone Combo Inputs & 24V / 48V Phantom Power Supply
Designed with pro musicians in mind, the LS-100 features 24V / 48V Phantom Power for condenser mics, ribbon mics, etc. The built-in instrumentation amplifier cuts slight noise and amplifies signals, which allows the use of much longer cables. Plus, with integrated left and right stereo XLR / 1/4" Phone combo jacks, it's easy to connect external mics for recording. This way, you're not limited to using just the built-in stereo condenser mics
Eight Track Multi-Tracking Function
Multi-tracking and editing is a staple of professional recording and is a technique where multiple separately-recorded sounds are mixed together to create a single stream of sound. On the LS-100, up to 999 tracks can be recorded using the fixed 44.1kHz / 16-Bit format for CD writing. Plus, up to eight tracks can be edited simultaneously
Overdubbing Function
Overdub recording allows you to record sound over an original sound, while still being able to keep the original sound. Overdubbing has several useful applications. It can be used by musicians to add a supplementary recorded sound to a previously recorded performance and vocalists can use it to sing harmonies with themselves. With LS-100, you'll be able to make a recording and then go back later to overdub additional parts over the original recording
Voice Activated Recording with Voice Sync
Voice Sync lets you start your recordings, stop your recordings and then start your recordings again using only your voice to automatically initiate the record function. Voice activated recording is an extra benefit that saves time and energy, while simultaneously lowering stress and frustration for those times when you could really use a hands-free start/stop record feature
Packed with Convenient Features
Besides Voice Syncing, the LS-100 features functions for file editing, pre-recording, metronome, tuner, Lissajous for chords, MP3 converting, CD writing and Play Sync recording. The recorder is equipped with a hi/med/low microphone sensitivity switch and a 100Hz / 300Hz lowcut filter. It also has a headphone jack and built-in speaker for instant playback
Live Recorder with Plenty of Uses Beyond Music
The LS-100 is ideal for podcasting, while journalists and foley artists will appreciate the clear sound. You can even use it to build soundscapes or capture ambient noise. Plus, birding and nature enthusiasts can record wildlife with lifelike clarity
Voice Guidance
Voice feedback for actions lets the user operate the LS-100 without looking at the display
UPC: 050332179226
Recording
Type Digital
Mode Stereo
Recording Format PCM (WAV)
MP3
Bit-Rate 16 -bit - 24 -bit
128 Kbps - 320 Kbps
Sample Rate 44.1kHz - 96 kHz
Recording Time Not Specified By Manufacturer
One-Click Recording Yes
Voice Activated Recording Yes
Microphone Type External Stereo
Pickup Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Playback
Speaker Yes
Features
Display Size/Type LCD Backlit
Indicators Power, Low Battery, Recording, Voice Volume, Peak
Power
Battery Type 1 x Built-in Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life (approx.) Recording: 12.5 Hours
Power Adapter Yes
General
Internal Memory Flash Memory - 4 GB
Compatible Memory Cards SD
Connectors XLR In
XLR In
1/8" mini In
1/8" mini Out
USB USB 2.0 (Mini-B)
System Requirements Windows XP, Vista, 7 
Mac  OS X 10.4.11 - 10.7
Dimensions (WxHxD) 2.76 x 6.26 x 1.32" (7.0 x 15.9 x 3.35 cm)
Weight 9.88 oz (280 g)
Packaging Info
Package Weight 2.25 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 10.2 x 7.5 x 2.9"
Note: 24V / 48V Phantom Power Supply, File editing function (PCM/MP3), Play Sync recording, Pre-recording function, Multi-Track function (999 Tracks / 8 Track Edit Simultaneously), Overdubbing function, Metronome function, Tuner function, Lissajous function, MP3 Convert function, CD Write function, Lowcut filter (100Hz / 300Hz) & Microphone Sensitivity function (lo/med/hi)
Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder
  • Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery
  • AC Adapter (A514)
  • USB Cable
  • Carrying Case
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    OlympusLS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder
     
    3.9

    (based on 17 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (2)

    69%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Good audio (11)
    • Reliable (7)
    • Compact (6)
    • Long battery life (6)
    • Easy to use (4)

    Cons

    No Cons

    Best Uses

    • Conversation piece (6)
    • Lectures (5)
    • Concerts (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Tech savvy (9), Experienced (3), Gearhead (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Great Recorder with Room for Improvement

    I got this recorder two weeks ago, and I've used it for recording live events and interviews. The built-in mics capture phenomenal sound, and the XLR inputs offer lots of additional options. I...Read complete review

    I got this recorder two weeks ago, and I've used it for recording live events and interviews. The built-in mics capture phenomenal sound, and the XLR inputs offer lots of additional options. I have used it with the Sennheiser ME66, and I was able to capture clean sound in a bustling and noisy environment.

    The menu interface is intuitive and comprehensive.

    Four of the things that I think this recorder got absolutely right are the use of the lithium ion battery (as opposed to disposable); the internal storage; the ability to provide phantom power; and the ability to use the recorder as a USB mic. I'm sure that as I continue to use the recorder, the list will continue.

    The one thing that I hope Olympus adds is the ability to record simultaneously off of the built-in mics and the XLR inputs. The Zoom H4n is able to do this which is important, especially for videographers. The addition of this ability would put the Olympus LS-100 Recorder heads and shoulders above all other hand-held recorders.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Frustrating, Not Designed For Musicians

    I am a musician and was looking for a little multitrack recorder to preserve ideas on. I was all set to buy a competitor's handheld unit when I saw this was coming out in...Read complete review

    I am a musician and was looking for a little multitrack recorder to preserve ideas on. I was all set to buy a competitor's handheld unit when I saw this was coming out in a few days. After watching a video on the unit (hype?), I did something I never do, I actually ordered a brand new product the day it was released. Initially this unit is very impressive but over the course of a couple months I've realized some serious limitations that one would not expect on a recorder costing this much. I'll skip the specs and get right to it.

    There are 2 main modes in this unit, "Recorder" and "Multitrack". They are self defining with "Recorder" being single track. One issue I've run across is that some options are only available in one mode and not the other. There is also some impressive looking "lissajous" mode for checking the phase relationship between your mics. This mode strikes me as slightly ridiculous, but I don't usually do field recording and adjust my mics by ear when in the studio. Since I use mainly the built in mics on this and don't use it in the studio it is basically irrelevant to me. I wish they would have put some of that effort spent on this into other areas as you will see below. Here are the main highs & lows:

    PROS-
    1. Very easy to use, intuitive, menus nicely organized.
    2. Incredible battery life and power options.
    3. Decent internal mics & sound quality in general

    CONS-
    1. No way to pause playback, ever, in either mode.
    2. No index functions ala A/B loop, memory point playback in multitrack mode.
    2. No way to add to/alter single tracks in multitrack mode
    3. Drops playback of tracks after fastforwarding

    The PROS are pretty obvious. This thing is easy to use. I barely read the manual to get going. I wish I had, I would have hopefully noticed some of the shortcomings. Easy to use with amazing battery life...like 12hrs(!) That is my single favorite thing about it. It's more like a smart phone than a recorder. It shuts itself off after a programmed amount of time, it's great. I can't imagine having to put AA's in this thing....it would drive me crazy. Half the time I never even turn it off because it doesn't matter...never have to worry about powering down. When it's low just plug it in or plug into a USB port and it recharges quickly. The designers get an A+ on this aspect of the recorder. I didn't particularly buy this for "high quality" sound so I'm not going to get into it too much...suffice to say records in formats from MP3's all the way up to 96ghz/24bit and it sounds pretty darn good. I'm using this for demos am am settling on 44ghz/16bit as a default. There are a couple of compressors built in (1 and 2), the description of these is pretty vague but I gather one has a fast attack and the other slow.

    I'll address the CONS point by point because some are pretty serious:

    1. No way to pause playback. You need to think about this...imagine an analog reel to reel tape recorder, now imagine that every time you press "stop" when the machine is playing or recording, the transport instantly rewinds to the beginning of the tape...that's what happens with the LS-100! So, let's say you are trying to come up with a part for the 2nd chorus of a song...say 1:50 seconds into a song (like I was), when you are done and want to hear it, you only option is to press STOP (it instantly stops and resets to zero) then press PLAY, then hold down the Fast Forward key to advance to 1:45 seconds...and that's just to hear it once. If you don't like what you hear, you press "STOP". "RECORD" to arm the track, "PLAY", "FF" to advance to the 2nd chorus, "RECORD" to begin recording again, and then "STOP" and repeat the 1st process to hear it, every time having to press "PLAY" and then holding down the FF key for 10 seconds or so to advance to 1:45 on your song. It becomes very tedious to say the least. I should also point out that you can't pause record either. This glaring omission (I have never seen any audio recorder, be it cassette, digital, reel to reel without a "PAUSE" button) is only exacerbated by CON #2 because...

    2. There are no indexing functions available in Multitrack mode(?!) Hello, multitrack mode is where you need the indexing! The designers of this thing were smart enough to put Indexing and A/B loops functions into this thing but then don't let you use them in Multitrack mode? Makes no sense. Indexing would have possibly been a passable work around in the situation I described above under #1. As it is you are just SOL.

    3. Can't alter tracks once they've been recorded. The best way to describe this deficiency is by example. Let's say you have a guitar part on track 3 that only appears in the chorus of a song. As you are developing the song, you come up with a nice little guitar part you'd like to play during the intro. Since there's nothing on track 3 until the chorus you decide to put it at the beginning of track 3. If you try it, here's what will happen: as soon as you arm track 3 to record during the intro (bear in mind, you haven't actually started recording yet), it completely erases everything that has been recorded on track 3 (turns it into a blank track). That's the bottom line with this complaint...you can't alter, add to, or partially erase tracks in any way once they've been recorded. You either accept them or erase them entirely.

    4. This last one is strange. I recorded 7 tracks at 96/24. After 2 minutes of playback I rewind 20 seconds to hear the end again, but now, only 2 tracks play instead of all 7. If I stop and restart they're all there. I don't know if this has to do with the 96/24 setting or not. It's a pain. Another reason to have a pause button. This has happened both with the internal memory and an SD card.

    All in all it's a very mixed bag with this unit. The "Recorder" mode oddly enough has index functions and an overdub (sound on sound) option. I don't really understand this part of the design. Ok, I can layer sounds on one track but what happens when I make a mistake? I have to start over completely. The whole point of multitracking is that you record one track at a time so you can redo it if you make a mistake.

    I do like the size and battery/power options. I take it with me in my car and listen to ideas from the night before. It's handy and I never have to worry about battery life. As it turns out I'm using the Recorder mode for rough ideas and then use the multitrack mode to arrange them. It's working but it can be tedious as I described.

    I will also point out that I was so incredulous on the "pause" issue that I actually called Olympus and spent 30 minutes on the phone with them after which they verified with me that there is no way to pause the unit. I also asked them to checked into a remote that they offered which says it offers "record/pause/play" capability but they tested that too and it would not pause either.

    So ultimately what do I think? I consider it a somewhat powerful unit, clearly not designed by or for musicians, that should probably cost about 25%-35% less than it does. It's still a useful tool but with some serious limitations.

    Reviewed by 17 customers

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    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Bulky, Flimsy & Overpriced

    By jlg4880

    from New Bern, NC

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Clear Sound

    Cons

    • Bulky/Heavy
    • Flimsy Buttonsswitches
    • Flimsy Buttons Switches
    • Gimmicky Features
    • Lackluster Build Quality
    • Pricey / Poor Value

    Best Uses

    • Paperweight

    Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

    You'd be much better served with a Sony PCM-M10 at 65~70% the cost or the Sony PCM-D100, even though it's 2~3 times the cost, it's 10~100 times better.The LS-100 has a lackluster build quality, it's bulky, loaded with gimmicks, and has a screen not much bigger than a postage stamp.

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    (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    5 stars!!!

    By Ryan

    from San Francisco, CA

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

      Both great in recording and playing. Things like this are really cheap in the U.S.

      Share this review

      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Needs little cosmetic improvement

      By Nicky

      from Bucharest

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Use

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Performances

        Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

        helloAlthough it is said that when connected to mains the recorder will functions normally, because only pins 1and 4 are connected, it does not ! Remote Storage appears on the screen and the recorder is useless until I unplug it … I bought it with plans to use it like this and now I cannot work as planned because advertised features dont really meet the reallity. Also when connected to computer you dont see the files on the SD card (only those on the internal memory), even if you select SD card from storage menu. So I am forced to carry an aditional card reader, get the card out and copy like this because I cannot see the files stored on SD card when the card is in the recorder and the recorder is connected to computer. I hope this will be fixed soon …

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        (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Loaded with features

        By Sound Engineer

        from Seattle, WA.

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Easy To Use
        • Professional Features
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • Poor Quality Sound

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording

        Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

        This LS-100 is loaded with features and is easy to use from the menu to the professorial XLR mic inputs and easy to read display. But I found that the built in Stereo microphones to deliver seam to be lacking in the quality that I was looking for they sounded rather thin and hollow.

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        (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Perfect indoor recorder

        By Steve

        from Hungary

        About Me Tech Savvy

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • High Dynamic Range
        • High Quality Sound
        • Long Battery Life
        • Reliable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Concerts
          • Conversations
          • Lectures

          Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

          This device creates high quality recordings, even when the music is REALLY loud. Ideal for recording loud (Rock, Jazz) concerts.
          I was recording a concert the other day and when my SLR with an external stereo mic picked up distorted sound, LS-100 still gave me a perfect, non distorted result.
          The only inconvenient thing I have faced with so far was that one time I used it in an outside recording session in some light wind. The mike was completely useless in this situation (while my other mike was hardly bothered by it). You need to get one of those fluffy protectors for such cases. Overall I am happy with this unit.

          Share this review

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Clean audio, some limitations

          By selky1

          from portland, or

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • High Quality Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • interviews

            Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

            So far I really like this recorder. I have the smaller ls-10, which is all metal, so at first I was disappointed that the body of the ls-100 is plastic, but it has performed well and seems sturdy enough. Only complaint I have so far is that from reading the manual it seems that I have to change menu settings whenever I change my input source. I wish the unit would just recognize that a mic was plugged in to the xlr, or to the mini. But, that brings me to it's second limitation, which is I don't believe it can record to one channel with the mini and one channel with the xlr. I had planned to feed my shotgun into the xlr, and my lav into the mini, but it will only record whichever input I select (one or the other, but not both). So you can control the levels on each channel independently, but from what I can tell, that's only applicable with the dual xlr inputs. And mini isn't the same as 1/4", so you can't just plug the lav into the other xlr (without an adapter, but I couldn't find a mini cable with threads to hold onto the 1/4" adapter so it falls off). Other than that, great clean audio.

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            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great product

            By wildliving

            from Australia

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • High Quality Sound
            • Long Battery Life
            • Reliable

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                My first recorder, to be used for nature recording.

                Just wanted to correct an issue raised by another reviewer. The unit does PAUSE playback, if playing back a track and STOP is pressed, the track pauses, press PLAY again and the playback resumes. I have no idea why the reviewer has a problem. It also pauses during recording, press the REC button and then again to start recording, then if you want to pause recording press the REC button again. Press STOP to finalise the track. Admittedly Olympus could be consistant with the operaion here, i.e. to pause playback the operator should maybe have to push PLAY again (so the the PLAY button is a PLAY/PAUSE button, in the same way that the REC is REC/REC PAUSE, or even have a separate PAUSE button!

                I have little to compare against in terms of sound quality but as a beginner I am very happy with the dynamic range and ease of use, it does everything and more for my needs.

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                (2 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Output only 2 tracks!

                By Ivo

                from New York

                About Me Tech Savvy

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                      Mixes all tracks to 2 output tracks to edit. What's the point of separate tracks in (more than 2) if you can't edit them individually!

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                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Excellent Sound

                      By Trumpetrain

                      from Suburban Philadelphia

                      About Me Gearhead, Musician, Photographer

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Compact Design
                      • Full feature set
                      • High Quality Sound
                      • Long Battery Life
                      • Simple interface

                      Cons

                      • Picks Up Background Noise

                      Best Uses

                      • Concerts
                      • Live field recordings
                      • Support for video shoots

                      Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                      I have used the LS-100 to record a concert band, replacing a unit with separate XLR microphones, cables, and a lot of setup time. The sound stage is great, and the frequency response is outstanding. It can take our loudest sounds without overload (over 100 musicians in a middle school auditorium). With that comes a drawback, however: ambient room noise (HVAC) transmitted through the stand to the unit becomes a low-frequency rumble that cannot be eliminated with anything Olympus offers, nor with software, without canceling out the tubas as well(!). That rumble is as annoying as old-fashioned tape hiss, and it interferes with the sound of the lower register instruments. I have ordered a Neumann Z 26 mt shock mount to try to deal with this problem and will report on the results later.

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                        (11 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        2.0

                        Frustrating, Not Designed For Musicians

                        By drums

                        from Wisconsin

                        About Me Tech Savvy

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                              I am a musician and was looking for a little multitrack recorder to preserve ideas on. I was all set to buy a competitor's handheld unit when I saw this was coming out in a few days. After watching a video on the unit (hype?), I did something I never do, I actually ordered a brand new product the day it was released. Initially this unit is very impressive but over the course of a couple months I've realized some serious limitations that one would not expect on a recorder costing this much. I'll skip the specs and get right to it.

                              There are 2 main modes in this unit, "Recorder" and "Multitrack". They are self defining with "Recorder" being single track. One issue I've run across is that some options are only available in one mode and not the other. There is also some impressive looking "lissajous" mode for checking the phase relationship between your mics. This mode strikes me as slightly ridiculous, but I don't usually do field recording and adjust my mics by ear when in the studio. Since I use mainly the built in mics on this and don't use it in the studio it is basically irrelevant to me. I wish they would have put some of that effort spent on this into other areas as you will see below. Here are the main highs & lows:

                              PROS-
                              1. Very easy to use, intuitive, menus nicely organized.
                              2. Incredible battery life and power options.
                              3. Decent internal mics & sound quality in general

                              CONS-
                              1. No way to pause playback, ever, in either mode.
                              2. No index functions ala A/B loop, memory point playback in multitrack mode.
                              2. No way to add to/alter single tracks in multitrack mode
                              3. Drops playback of tracks after fastforwarding

                              The PROS are pretty obvious. This thing is easy to use. I barely read the manual to get going. I wish I had, I would have hopefully noticed some of the shortcomings. Easy to use with amazing battery life...like 12hrs(!) That is my single favorite thing about it. It's more like a smart phone than a recorder. It shuts itself off after a programmed amount of time, it's great. I can't imagine having to put AA's in this thing....it would drive me crazy. Half the time I never even turn it off because it doesn't matter...never have to worry about powering down. When it's low just plug it in or plug into a USB port and it recharges quickly. The designers get an A+ on this aspect of the recorder. I didn't particularly buy this for "high quality" sound so I'm not going to get into it too much...suffice to say records in formats from MP3's all the way up to 96ghz/24bit and it sounds pretty darn good. I'm using this for demos am am settling on 44ghz/16bit as a default. There are a couple of compressors built in (1 and 2), the description of these is pretty vague but I gather one has a fast attack and the other slow.

                              I'll address the CONS point by point because some are pretty serious:

                              1. No way to pause playback. You need to think about this...imagine an analog reel to reel tape recorder, now imagine that every time you press "stop" when the machine is playing or recording, the transport instantly rewinds to the beginning of the tape...that's what happens with the LS-100! So, let's say you are trying to come up with a part for the 2nd chorus of a song...say 1:50 seconds into a song (like I was), when you are done and want to hear it, you only option is to press STOP (it instantly stops and resets to zero) then press PLAY, then hold down the Fast Forward key to advance to 1:45 seconds...and that's just to hear it once. If you don't like what you hear, you press "STOP". "RECORD" to arm the track, "PLAY", "FF" to advance to the 2nd chorus, "RECORD" to begin recording again, and then "STOP" and repeat the 1st process to hear it, every time having to press "PLAY" and then holding down the FF key for 10 seconds or so to advance to 1:45 on your song. It becomes very tedious to say the least. I should also point out that you can't pause record either. This glaring omission (I have never seen any audio recorder, be it cassette, digital, reel to reel without a "PAUSE" button) is only exacerbated by CON #2 because...

                              2. There are no indexing functions available in Multitrack mode(?!) Hello, multitrack mode is where you need the indexing! The designers of this thing were smart enough to put Indexing and A/B loops functions into this thing but then don't let you use them in Multitrack mode? Makes no sense. Indexing would have possibly been a passable work around in the situation I described above under #1. As it is you are just SOL.

                              3. Can't alter tracks once they've been recorded. The best way to describe this deficiency is by example. Let's say you have a guitar part on track 3 that only appears in the chorus of a song. As you are developing the song, you come up with a nice little guitar part you'd like to play during the intro. Since there's nothing on track 3 until the chorus you decide to put it at the beginning of track 3. If you try it, here's what will happen: as soon as you arm track 3 to record during the intro (bear in mind, you haven't actually started recording yet), it completely erases everything that has been recorded on track 3 (turns it into a blank track). That's the bottom line with this complaint...you can't alter, add to, or partially erase tracks in any way once they've been recorded. You either accept them or erase them entirely.

                              4. This last one is strange. I recorded 7 tracks at 96/24. After 2 minutes of playback I rewind 20 seconds to hear the end again, but now, only 2 tracks play instead of all 7. If I stop and restart they're all there. I don't know if this has to do with the 96/24 setting or not. It's a pain. Another reason to have a pause button. This has happened both with the internal memory and an SD card.

                              All in all it's a very mixed bag with this unit. The "Recorder" mode oddly enough has index functions and an overdub (sound on sound) option. I don't really understand this part of the design. Ok, I can layer sounds on one track but what happens when I make a mistake? I have to start over completely. The whole point of multitracking is that you record one track at a time so you can redo it if you make a mistake.

                              I do like the size and battery/power options. I take it with me in my car and listen to ideas from the night before. It's handy and I never have to worry about battery life. As it turns out I'm using the Recorder mode for rough ideas and then use the multitrack mode to arrange them. It's working but it can be tedious as I described.

                              I will also point out that I was so incredulous on the "pause" issue that I actually called Olympus and spent 30 minutes on the phone with them after which they verified with me that there is no way to pause the unit. I also asked them to checked into a remote that they offered which says it offers "record/pause/play" capability but they tested that too and it would not pause either.

                              So ultimately what do I think? I consider it a somewhat powerful unit, clearly not designed by or for musicians, that should probably cost about 25%-35% less than it does. It's still a useful tool but with some serious limitations.

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                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Good quality audio but multi track issue

                              By Nsurround

                              from Madison, WI

                              About Me Gearhead

                              Pros

                              • Battery life good
                              • Easy to operate
                              • Internal mics are decent
                              • Low system noise

                              Cons

                              • HP Live monitor delayed
                              • Intl mics fixed position
                              • No record while charging

                              Best Uses

                              • Music recording

                              Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                              I use this recorder for music recording on the fly when I need something quick and easy. I was surprised that the internal mics were fairly balanced in response and low noise in general. Coupled with the ease of using most external mics using the XLR standard and phantom power, if needed, it is a very useful addition to a musicians equipment bag. That being said I was fairly disappointed that the live headphone monitor audio is slightly delayed from the audio source. This makes the multi tracking capability of this unit almost useless. I am not sure if this is fixable by a firmware update or not. Have contacted Olympus but did not get a response back about this. Not very incouraging. This issue is mentioned in several other reviews on the internet. It would be a little decieving to call this a true multi tracker and the issue is not mentioned at all by Olympus as far as I am aware.

                              While you cannot use this recorder while the internal battery is recharging, the battery life is decent and getting extra batteries with a wallwort recharger is a no brainer and costs very little. The internal mics being in a fixed position are not as flexible as other handhelds with multi poistion mic heads however I am getting really decent rcordings with the mics just as they are.

                              The software is easy use and understand. The online manual is much more detailed than what you get from the booklet that comes with the unit.

                              All in all I am satisfied with the unit becuase of its good qaulities I have pointed out above. However if you are looking for a handheld multi tracker as is suggested in the promotional material this unit falls short of its intended purpose based on the audio delay issue.

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                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Where have you been all my life

                              By Andrew

                              from Sydney Australia

                              About Me Tech Savvy

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Compact Design
                              • High Quality Sound
                              • Long Battery Life
                              • Reliable
                              • Speech prompts on menus
                              • Versatile input options

                              Cons

                              • Very susceptible to wind

                              Best Uses

                              • Conversations
                              • Environmental sounds
                              • Lectures
                              • Motor sport

                              Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                              The Olympus LS-100 is the audio recorder I have been waiting for. A hand-held recorder with this many features and very high level of performance at the price is a great achievement. As I am blind, the voice guidance feature allows me to use most of its facilities without having to remember key sequences.

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                              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Almost Perfect

                              By WEH

                              from North Carolina

                              About Me Gearhead, Tech Savvy

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Compact Design
                              • Ease of use
                              • High Quality Sound
                              • Long Battery Life
                              • Reliable
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                              • Auto-level not linked

                              Best Uses

                              • Concerts
                              • Conversations
                              • interviews
                              • Lectures
                              • Oral histories
                              • Recitals

                              Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                              Using the recorder to document oral histories. Quality is exceptional. Easy to use. Works flawlessly EXCEPT in one instance: Auto-level is independent on ech channel such that, for example, if a sudden percussive noise overloads one channel, stereo soundstage is thrown way off and takes a couple seconds to recover. As useful as auto-level could be, in an environment where extraneous noise is likely to occur, it is useless. Understand that this is a minor quibble of an otherwise exceptional recorder. The LS-100 puts its competition to shame.

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                              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Great Recorder with Room for Improvement

                              By Steve4Liberation

                              from San Francisco, CA

                              About Me Tech Savvy

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • High Quality Sound
                              • Reliable

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Conversations
                                • Lectures

                                Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                                I got this recorder two weeks ago, and I've used it for recording live events and interviews. The built-in mics capture phenomenal sound, and the XLR inputs offer lots of additional options. I have used it with the Sennheiser ME66, and I was able to capture clean sound in a bustling and noisy environment.

                                The menu interface is intuitive and comprehensive.

                                Four of the things that I think this recorder got absolutely right are the use of the lithium ion battery (as opposed to disposable); the internal storage; the ability to provide phantom power; and the ability to use the recorder as a USB mic. I'm sure that as I continue to use the recorder, the list will continue.

                                The one thing that I hope Olympus adds is the ability to record simultaneously off of the built-in mics and the XLR inputs. The Zoom H4n is able to do this which is important, especially for videographers. The addition of this ability would put the Olympus LS-100 Recorder heads and shoulders above all other hand-held recorders.

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                                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Very Impressive

                                By Blakey

                                from Lorne, Victoria

                                About Me Tech Savvy

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • High Quality Sound
                                • Long Battery Life
                                • Reliable

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Conversations

                                  Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                                  wedding videos, real estate voice overs, interviews and music videos.
                                  Best sound of 5 mics I use
                                  2 XLR connections with phantom power is a bonus, bonus, bonus
                                  A little bulky, but its got those XLR connectors, yet light. A TCG would've made it close to perfect

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                                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  This thing

                                  By yitic

                                  from carbondale, il

                                  About Me Tech Savvy

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • High Quality Sound

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Concerts
                                    • Conversations
                                    • Lectures

                                    Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                                    I use this for capturing sounds to be used in my music projects, as well as for recording my lectures and DJ sets. Though many professionals might want to supplement this with their own external mics, the built-in mics sound amazing. Low noise, and they capture very loud sounds. I brought it to a concert, stood right in front of the speakers and it captured the sound with no distortion. I have recorded two live DJ sets using the line-in, and they sound great. I recorded the sound of a flowing stream and with headphones on it sounds like you are there! You can choose from many different recording formats, Mp3/wav and a variety of bit depths and resolutions. It also can render your wavs to mp3 but, somewhat annoyingly, ONLY if the wav is in 16bit mode. The modern color interface is nice, though sometimes it feels a bit unnecessary. One time it froze on me and I had to take the battery out. I am very happy with this purchase and I bring this thing everywhere with me.

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                                    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    What I needed, and more.

                                    By Izzy

                                    from Seattle

                                    About Me Tech Savvy

                                    Verified Reviewer

                                    Pros

                                    • Compact Design
                                    • High Quality Sound
                                    • Reliable

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about Olympus LS-100 Multi-Track PCM Recorder:

                                        I was hesitant to purchase a new [$] item with no reviews, but I'm glad I did. Construction is solid. I have tested both the on-board mics and recording through XLR with the RHODE NTG-3, both sound spectacular. Menus are intuitive and button layout is ergonomic. Overall, a great recorder.My only worry is that your only option for mobile power is the dedicated Li-ion battery. I'm used to carrying around a bag of AA's that I can quickly swap out if necessary. Knowing that I'll have to stop recording and wait while the battery charges scares me a little. Now, it does boast 12.5 hours of battery life, but I bet you that doesn't weigh in the use of phantom power.Anyway, I am %100 satisfied with my purchase and I would recommend it to all in the film-making and music industries.

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                                        Batteries & Power

                                        Always keep spare batteries handy and you won't get caught without power.

                                        Olympus - Li-50B Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery (3.7V, 925 mAh)
                                        • You Pay: $34.89
                                         
                                        Watson - LI-50B / VW-VBX090 / D-Li92 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (3.7V, 800mAh)
                                        • You Pay: $17.95
                                         

                                        Cables

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                                        Add interconnectivity options for your equipment.

                                        Kopul - Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable - 6' (1.8 m), Black
                                        • You Pay: $16.99
                                         

                                        Wind Protection

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                                        Protect your audio from wind noise with a windscreen.

                                        Olympus - WJ-4 Windjammer for LS-100 Recorder
                                        • You Pay: $49.00
                                         
                                        Auray - WRW-D50 Custom Windbuster for Tascam, Sony and Olympus Digital Recorders
                                        • You Pay: $32.00
                                         

                                        Store and read data with the proper media.

                                        SanDisk - 4GB SDHC Memory Card Class 4
                                        • You Pay: $4.95
                                         

                                        Shock Mounts

                                        WindTech - CM-70 Digital Recorder Camera Mount
                                        • You Pay: $37.99
                                         

                                        Headphones

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                                        Headphones are essential for real-time monitoring and mixing.

                                        Senal - SMH-1000 Professional Field and Studio Monitor Headphones
                                        • You Pay: $89.99
                                         
                                        Polsen - HPC-A30 Closed-Back Studio Monitor Headphones
                                        • You Pay: $29.99
                                         

                                        Remote Controls

                                        Have control at your fingertips with a remote.

                                        Olympus - RS-30W Remote Control for LS-10 / LS-11 / LS-100
                                        • You Pay: $41.18
                                         

                                        Cases & Protection

                                        See more

                                        Carry, store and protect your equipment in a bag or case.

                                        Gator Cases - Micro Recorder Pack
                                         
                                        View all Accessories
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