Want to record interviews with WWII Vets


New Member
Dec 9, 2014
Gear owned
Greetings, I have a desire to record the stories of WWII vets and civilians who are still with us. In another 10 years I am sure they will be all gone. And while there have been many stories written about their experiences, the seasoning of time and maturity will bring new perspectives and help us to remember their "old perspectives" as well. Our world is very different today than it was 70 years ago, yet there is much we should not forget.
I have purchased the DR-22WL. I hope to put these stories on radio someday.
Is there anyone who could help me with the settings for such a interview? It will be done in their homes, using the internal microphones. I purchases the 22WL because of its default interview settings, but I am not really impressed with what I've recorded so far.

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I like the sound of your interview ideas Don. I am planning on using my
DR-22WL for similar purposes. I have been doing various tests with my unit, what exactly is the problem you have been getting?
To reduce any unwanted noise I have found using a tripod is far better as any movement when in hand is easily recorded.
Best Wishes
I did my first interview the Saturday before last. He was a 96 year old survivor of the Bataaan Death march and 2 years in a POW camp. He was at the camp that was featured in the book "Ghost Soldiers" and the movie "The Great Raid"(2005). It was an honor to have talked to him and share a little bit of his life with me. He said this would be his last interview as he is getting too tired.
I used my DR-22 WL on a tripod as you suggested, with it standing between us, each of us about 1-2 feet away. The room wasn't too big and had lots of cushions, a couch and fabric chairs, and carpet, so they absorbed alot of the potential echo. Getting him to a studio was out of the question. Overall the sound quality was good, not great, but acceptable enough for radio. I used the default setting for interviews on the DR. I wish I knew enough of the intricacies of the settings, but for out of the box, the defaults were good.
His memory was excellent and he shared some stories that will never make it into a presentation (ie imagine getting stung by a giant wasp while in the latrine!)
While he didn't know Louie Zamparini (movie Unbroken opens 12/25/14), he did comment on Louie's experience in light of his own, and felt that if you didn't fall down after being struck by the Japanese guards, you would be struck again, and again. Better to lie down and you'd be left alone.
I have one more interview lined up, but it was postponed. Hopefully I will get it done early next month. It's a lady who was a German teenager during NAZI government. She's 83 now, and still sharp as can be. While many of us focus on the War, NAZI society before the war is a fascinating sociological study as well.
Thanks again for the advice,
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Great project, good luck with it!
Hi Don, and Happy Christmas to you and yours. The interviewees stories sound really fascinating, horrific & compelling. Be sure to let us know when/where we can hear them. As for the DR-22WL, sounds like you are doing everything right. I guess if you get more practice on "manual" mode you may be able to tweak the recorder to achieve the exact sound you are looking for. However as long as the audio is good enough to be aired, the content will carry it over the finish line.
All The Best

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