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Old June 22nd, 2003, 08:02 AM   #1
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Re: minidisc recorders

Forgive this newbie question. It's based solely on reading, no hands on yet. I'm wanting to provide additional audio tracks at weddings for better editing options and backup purposes. At first md's seemed a great solution, but then was confused when I read that it still takes real time, analog input to get it into the comp. That would really be retro-techno :-( . I'd assumed that you could merely insert the mini cd into comp.'s CD player and transfer file into NLE or at least onto hard drive - then NLE. Would someone please enlighten me re: this and / or discuss alternatives? I've begun researching into mixers with hard drives (expensive), and Jukeboxes (though they seem to have problems with recording analog input), and have not yet learned much about DAT's. Thanks.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 08:24 AM   #2
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Sam- I don't have any experience with md's, but I did use a Korg D12 HD recorder/mixer for a while. It did have the option of a CDR drive, but I never got one for it. I loved it. The audio was great, it held hours and hours of great audio... It also needed to be plugged in. If there was an interruption to the power, you lost anything that wasn't saved.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 08:35 AM   #3
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re: korg d12

I read your post re: that somewhere else and had searched for info on it online. Am I to understand that you can input multiple sources onto their own distinct tracks to edit as you wish later? Also, you'd have to run cables or have a wireless receiver connected from each mic, right? That was one benefit I thought with the MD's is that they could be close to the mic and independently recording. Someone had even posted that the md they were using was so small, they had it on the groom!
Thanks for your input. :-)
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 09:08 AM   #4
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The Korg I had, had 4 inputs, 3 of which were 1/4 / XLR combos. You had 12 channels that you could record to, splitting up channels and inputs anyway you wanted. I have used it with my Azden wireless lav and reciever. I miked the sources, and then ran the reciever into one of the inputs, and split the incoming stereo onto 2 seperate channels, one left, one right. Set this up in a corner somewhere out of the way and do my thing.

I could have plugged in three more mics or other sources easily.

I have also used it at a concert, plugging it into the house mixer. With some (Little) help from the mix operator, I set up the main mic on it's own center channel, guitars on two other channels, back up's and so forth.

At a smaller event, I plugged into the event's PA system, and recorded clean from there. At that one, I plugged one of the lavs into the headphone out of the Korg, set the reciever on my cam, and plugged the headphones into that. Then I could monitor the Korgs recording.

If only it ran on batteries too, so that it was truly portable!
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 11:07 AM   #5
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Sam, unfortunately md is a proprietary format which Sony has designed, through firmware, to be basically impossible for use as digital transfer. Sony is the biggest name in entertainment/music and people were using early generation md's to make perfect digital copies of live shows performed by "Sony owned" bands. Then the resulting perfect digital recording ended up as a bootleg which reduced album sales. As this began happening by the thousands Sony redesigned md's so that we lost the beloved digital transfer which makes md so valuable for dv producers in the first place.

A md is very unlike a cd and cannot be played in a computer. It's a bummer that md could have been the best thing ever, but protection has almost ruined it. Like many great ideas I think md will come and go whereas it should have become the next format.

I have two older Sony md's and I like 'em a lot. For your purposes an md is a great idea. Even with analog transfer md will be WAY MORE then adequate to capture wedding audio. Most md's, even with analog transfer, beat the crap out of the audio you'll get from your dv cam. The other thing is that you can get about 80 minutes of straight audio from a unit as small as any wireless bodypack... so the md will perform the duties that a PERFECT wireless system would... for 80 minutes anyway.

The other benefit is that you can record EXTRA sound rather then running audio into a mixer/cam. Even with the best wireless you still have to record that sound somewhere. An md is an independent recording which you can augment your other captured audio with later, in post. Also you could have two md's in the same room and pick the best audio from either. If you were running two mics into the same input w/o a mixer (and actively mixing the audio) you'd have all sorts of echo and phasing problems.

If I were buying a new unit I'd be tempted to go with a Nomad unit for the money, but if you get an md I think you'll still find it very usefull.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 03:39 AM   #6
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Hi all.

In fact you can do a digital transfer from MiniDisc to your PC.
You'l need a MD deck/portable with optic out and a sound card with optic in (Sound Blaster or Audigy with front bay will do).

Regards
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Old June 24th, 2003, 08:13 AM   #7
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Arnaldo... please list me a portable md (besides a $1K pro model) with an optical out that I can use with my Audigy2 and I'll buy it today.

The closest I can do is with usb transfer from the md I have now... mzr37... I was originally led to believe that I could do a digital transfer with this unit, but I have yet to see if the usb is actually doing that. It uses an adapter thingy so I think it's basically the same as analog transfer anyway.

The gist is that as stated above Sony locked down on the ability to do digital transfers.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 09:14 AM   #8
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Hi Matt.

Regarding portables you'l have to check on their website as they are allways releasing new models.

For you, the best option would be to by the cheapest MD deck. They all have optical in and optical out and some times are cheaper then most portables.

I'v done it and works great.

Regards.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 09:38 AM   #9
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Arnaldo- What MDs are you using for example?
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Old June 24th, 2003, 11:01 AM   #10
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Keith.

I'm not near my equipment now. Will tell you that tomorrow since I don't recall the models. Anyway, it works with any sondcard that has a toslink/spdif optical input and any MD portable/deck that has a toslink/spdif optical output.

Regards
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Old June 24th, 2003, 11:13 PM   #11
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Arnaldo... I've been subtle about trying to let you find out an answer for yourself, but since this is getting elusive and I like more immediate gratification I need to just come right out and say it... what you have been describing does NOT exist.

There, prove me wrong.

Not including an HHB or Marantz pro model over $1k of course. Sony provides the firmware that all other PORTABLE md makers use and they have LOCKED OUT the ability to do digital transfers. You will not find an optical OUT on any portable minidisk player. I have an interesting commentary on this frustrating subject hidden near the top of this page... I'd love to eat my words and buy the product you described.
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Old June 25th, 2003, 03:44 AM   #12
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Hi Matt.

I stand corrected regarding PORTABLE MD recorders. On that your are right. But the main point stands, you can do a digital transfer from MD to your PC (and that was the issue that started this post). I use a Sony MDS303 (elchepo) and a MDS3S (topliner) MD deck connected to a Sound Blaster 5.1.

And, please remember my post:
" For you, the best option would be to buy the cheapest MD DECK. They all have optical in and optical out and some times are cheaper then most portables."

I accept all corrections you care to make on my statments, in fact I welcome it, but no sarcasm please, that does not help. That said, I will be more than happy to help and share my experience on this subject.

Best regards.
Arnaldo Paix„o
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Old June 25th, 2003, 06:00 AM   #13
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re: optical xfer

A follow up newbie quest. While that would solve 1/2 my issue re: minidisc download into the comp., would optical still require real time xfer?

Thank you all for your thorough, informed explanations and options.

Sony's corporate motto seems to be, "Mine, mine, mine!"
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Old June 25th, 2003, 06:08 AM   #14
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Hi Sam.

Yes, it requires real time transfer.

Regards
Arnaldo
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Old June 26th, 2003, 09:58 PM   #15
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Sorry Arnaldo... I didn't mean to be a smart*ss... but I've been ALL OVER the net for months about this subject and several people mislead me into beleiving a Sony mzr37 was the last md to have optical out... I bought one and it doesn't.

If you want digital out you have to get a deck.
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