Almost 2 years ago, Juicedlink (maker of high quality low noise audio preamps) announced a prototype at NAB2014 show for a body mount portable audio recorder. The Little DARling (DAR = Distributed Audio Recorder) is an alternative audio capture device that can be used instead of your traditional wireless TX/RX setup.
[Prototype DARling recorder shown at NAB2014]
There are many benefits to working with a portable audio recorder mounted directly on your subject(s). No wireless interference or drop outs, and also no issues with distance. Recording directly into a portable recorder can often sound better than audio being transmitted wirelessly.
While many of us have been using the Zoom H1 recorder for this type of workflow, the Zoom H1 has a weird form factor to place in the pocket. The lav mic is not locking (potential for disconnects), and the the connection for lav mic and headphones come off each side.
The new Juicedlink Little DARling is designed in a smaller more comfortable form factor, uses locking connections for the LAV mic, and both headphone and lav mic connections come off the top. Better than the Zoom H1, the DARling can also record a second attenuated (lower volume) backup track in case of peaking. The base model DARling (without wireless controls) starts at just $199.
[JuicedLink Little DARling Release Video]
To aid in your post audio sync workflow, the Juicedlink Little DARling has an optional DX124RX01 version that adds a wireless tone slate and wireless stop / start recording. Remember, this is not a wireless audio transmitter and receiver. The idea here with the wireless options on the DARling is to be able to initiate start and stop recording on several DARlings placed on several subjects and to initiate a Tone Slate as a reference point to line up your audio recordings in post.
While a Zoom H1 can be a good portable recorder at half the price, the base model Juicedlink DAR123 for just $199 is enclosed in an aluminum casing, offers up locking TRS Lav mic connections, is designed with a more comfortable body pack form factor (or pocketable), and positions the headphone out and audio input off the top (not the sides), and even offers up an attenuated (lower volume) backup Audio Track recording.
I can see so many huge benefits to having these devices. The new Juicedlink Little DARling body pack portable audio recorders are certainly on the top of my audio tool list for 2016, and after two years i'm excited to see they are finally available for purchase at the Juicedlink website (here).