Olympus LS-14 Linear PCM Recorder

Finally, there’s a professional recording device that doesn’t require a degree in engineering to operate.

I’ve been evaluating Olympus recorders for the last decade. I’ve had the pleasure of performing extensive testing on every digital recorder Olympus has ever produced.  It seems like only yesterday when Olympus made their debut in the digital market with the D-1000 digital voice recorder.  Fast forward 15 years to the recently released DS-7000, one can certainly see how Olympus became one of the market leaders in professional voice recording.

In addition to my work as a Product Specialist, I’m also musician and music enthusiast so, needless to say; I was extremely excited in January of 2008 when Olympus introduced their first Linear PCM Recorder, the LS-10.  I quickly fell in the love with the LS-10 due to its superior studio-grade recording quality.  Although a great device, the LS-10 did require an intermediate skill set to truly take advantage of the available features and functionality.

Since the introduction in 2008, Olympus continued to perfect their line-up of Linear PCM Recorders with the releases of the LS-11/3/5/7/20m & 100 models.  All of which, were all designed to capture better than CD quality recording.  Essentially, each model offered unique features, which continued to capture my attention and late night jam sessions in my garage.

With so many models to choose from, my personal favorite was the LS-20m, which I used as my “go-to” device until an LS-14 came across my desk.  The Olympus LS-14 Linear PCM Recorder immediately captured my attention because it had 3 microphones as opposed to its successors, which only had 2.  After a little reading, I discovered that the third microphone was an omnidirectional microphone located between to the two 90-degree directional stereo condenser microphones.  This new “Tresmic” design improved the recording capabilities while increasing the frequency response range.

Although impressive, adding a third microphone wasn’t even the best thing, in my opinion, about this new model.  The incredibly easy to operate Mode Select Dial feature is what really got me excited.  Having a professional, hand-held Linear PCM Recorder, small enough to fit in my guitar case is great but making that device easy enough for a child to operate is Bad Ass.  The Mode Select Dial, located on the front allows users to automatically adjust the device to the optimum recording levels with the flip of a switch.  The days of going through the menu to set various levels and recording modes are over for this guy.

My first experience with the LS-14 was great.  I picked up one of my guitars, switched the Mode Select Dial to Turner, the 1 ¾ inch LCD displayed a Chromatic Tuner and allowed me to quickly get in tune.  I thought the Metronome was a cool feature, especially; if you need a little assistance with timing every now & then.  I then attached the recorder to my microphone stand, using the included Clip Stand, switched the dial to Smart Mode, after 30 seconds, the LS-14 automatically adjusted the recording settings and I was recording like a pro.  Now if only my guitar skills could be a good as this recorder.

The internal 4GB of memory allowed me to record for a few hours.  If I needed more time, no worries, the LS-14 also has an SD card slot, which will accommodate up to a 32GB SD/HC card.  Another feature, I absolutely love is overdubbing, which gave me the ability to record over a previous recording while simultaneously monitoring it through the Playback Synchro Recording feature.  And don’t even get me started on the fact that that I was able to control recording using the RS-30W remote, man, I LOVE remotes.

The Olympus LS-14 Linear PCM Recorder is now available to the public. I recommend you contact your Certified Olympus dealer for pricing & availability.  Your ears will thank you.