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Old June 24th, 2003, 11:26 PM   #1
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Ripflash alternative to minidisc?

Does anyone have any comments on Pogoproducts "Ripflash Plus" as an alternative to a minidisc? It seems to have the same prob. as other devices in that it has line in rather than mic input, so that's no worse than minidisc, but it uses smartmedia in addition to its onboard 128 MB memory. If I've researched correctly, CD quality @ 128 kbps gets you 2 hrs record time / 128MB memory, with no moving parts. Then the files could be retained digitally and downloaded (not real time) into comp. and NLE. I've yet to talk to a tech rep live with Pogo, but was wondering if anyone has considered this option before. The sound professionals even have a preamp / mic combo case for it called sp-pasm-3. The function would be to record live (uncopywrited stuff) for compiling later on computer. What do you think?
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Old June 25th, 2003, 01:50 AM   #2
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Check these two solid state CF recorders from Marantz:
http://www.marantzpro.com/Products/PMD680.html
http://www.marantzpro.com/Products/PMD690.html

Pretty cool and under $1000 I believe.

And, from Denon:
http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pho...20R%2Ejpg&c=47
http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pdfs/DNF20RLIT.pdf

Nice.

- don
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Old June 25th, 2003, 05:29 AM   #3
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I have the basic 128Meg ripflash but I'm yet to use it in anger. For the price($100) it certainly works ok as a player and recorder using the built in mic. I have plugged in my ME66 mic and it will record audio direct using an XLR to phono plug adaptor but havent really checked the quality to any extent.

My only concern(apart from quality) would be how well it handles holding sync over a period of time compared to a camera.

cheers

Jon
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Old June 25th, 2003, 08:04 AM   #4
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thanks for the comments so far...

>>"I have plugged in my ME66 mic and it will record audio direct using an XLR to phono plug adaptor..." >>
that's outputting line level, right, not mic?

Don- wow, those are some awesome products! Very pro-level, very pro-priced. Bigger than the Ripflash I think too, unfortunately. I love the mic level input, and the xlr connections. Compact flash is holding more & more, and is more affordable every month. The recorders are so expensive though. It's probably worth it, I'd just have to squeeze a little more blood from the turnip ;-)
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Old June 26th, 2003, 05:39 AM   #5
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Actually the mic was plugged in directly into the 'line' socket. I think its because the K6 is quite a hot mic - I was suprised also!

Nothing using a dynamic mic - as expected....... ;)
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Old June 26th, 2003, 06:24 AM   #6
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Sync issue

<<<--My only concern(apart from quality) would be how well it handles holding sync over a period of time compared to a camera.-->>>

Forgive the newbie question, but I thought that solid state digital would have to be true real time. Of course, under my understanding, the camera could change pace since it's on tape requiring mechanical motion. Maybe you weren't assigning blame on the Ripflash, but merely comparing any two devices where one relies on mechanical motion. But now I'm wondering how even 2 vx2000's can stay in sync 100%. Am I touching the tip of an iceberg here that I've neglected? If there is an issue, even MD's are susceptible, right?
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Old June 26th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #7
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You have opened pandoras box with that question Sam! ;).

Pretty well everything 'digital' requires a clock signal to measure time. The accuracy of this 'clock' determines how well the device will keep sync with the rest of the world. As an example most digital watches keep time using a quartz crystal, the accuracy of the crystal in terms of frequency is what separates a $2 watch with a $500 one(apart from the gold content and number of buttons etc :). The $2 watch may be accurate to 1 second a day while the expensive watch might keep to a within a second per month. Each will indicate 1 hour has passed in its own little world while in reality 1.0001 hours (or .99999 hours) might have passed when compared to other clocks (atomic, GPS etc etc)....

I'm pretty sure(some others might have a better idea as I dont own one) that minidisc recorders are pretty good at keeping sync but this is probably because you have to transfer via analogue into your NLE so any differences in clocks are smoothed out by the AD/DA process. In fact the same method could be used with the ripflash but sort of bypasses the benefits of transferring an MP3 file via USB!

Eventually 2 VX2000's would slip out of sync with each other but since they can only record for 1hr(90min LP) its probably not a big deal in the real world - now with my DSR250 I can tape for over 4 hours and I dont think the same thing could be said if I compared it to another one......

Importing long (2hr) continuous tapes into my PC via firewire have caused the audio to slip slightly (1/2 sec??) even though its fine on the camera playback. I can only assume its due to slight differences between the audio and video clocks when transferred over firewire. I think DVCAM which has locked audio might get around this.

Oh dear its late Sam so will end on this :). If it wasnt for accurate clocks then a lot of things today would'nt work to well!
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Old June 26th, 2003, 09:41 AM   #8
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Re: thanks for the comments so far...

<<<-- Originally posted by Sam Houchins II : >>"Don- wow, those are some awesome products! Very pro-level, very pro-priced. Bigger than the Ripflash I think too, unfortunately. I love the mic level input, and the xlr connections. Compact flash is holding more & more, and is more affordable every month. The recorders are so expensive though. It's probably worth it, I'd just have to squeeze a little more blood from the turnip ;-) -->>>

I simply do not recommend the Pogo RipFlash for use as a field dialogue recorder. It's too cheaply made. How could anyone expect to get robust and warm sounding dialogue from a $100 recorder - the bottom line being that the mic preamps built in to the unit probably cost about 10 cents to manufacture? There is no way those tiny preamps are going to handle the type of chaotic transient peaks that you can expect to experience with field dialogue recording.

$800-900 for a professional-grade digital recorder (with built-in balanced XLR switchable mic/ line inputs and limiter/ AGC) from a seasoned audio recorder manufacturer such as Marantz is NOT expensive, it's pretty cheap considering the features and the end result! My SONY TCD-D10 PRO II R-DAT recorder cost me close to $5000 (with Absolute TC modification). These $800-900 Marantz PMD digital CF audio recorders outperform my TCD-D10 PRO II in many ways.

I still prefer the sound of a trusty ol' NAGRA IV-S or IV-STC though! None of these under-$10,000 portable digital audio recorders have mic preamps that can match the warm, analog sound of a Nagra mic preamp.

- don
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Old June 28th, 2003, 08:00 AM   #9
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A follow up consideration...

<<<-- I simply do not recommend the Pogo RipFlash for use as a field dialogue recorder. It's too cheaply made. How could anyone expect to get robust and warm sounding dialogue from a $100 recorder - the bottom line being that the mic preamps built in to the unit probably cost about 10 cents to manufacture? There is no way those tiny preamps are going to handle the type of chaotic transient peaks that you can expect to experience with field dialogue recording.-->>>

You're totally right that the Ripflash's built in mic is undoubtedly substandard for the usage we're considering. What I'm really wondering is if the Ripflash would be a viable mp3 CONVERTER and STORAGE device if accessorized with a good mic (GATHERER)and whatever else it would take (I haven't figured this out yet - a preamp?) to plug into its line in. For instance, the Sound Professionals have a kit specifically for the Ripflash called an SP-PASM-3 that provides a preamp and a mic input for $249. It's in the form of a wrap-around case. It's at:
http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/category.cgi?category=search&item=SP-PASM-3&type=store
The part I hate about minidiscs is the realtime transfer, though they're affordable. I also totally agree with you on the quality and usefulness of the marantz devices. If I could drop $800 as easily as I can drop $400, I'd do it with clean conscience, but as it is, I'm driven to think outside the box :-)
If you've already answered this and I misunderstood, please reiterate.
Thanks for considering the issue from all angles and applying your valued experience, sharing it with the rest of us.
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Old June 28th, 2003, 12:50 PM   #10
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@ 128 kbps ....

i wouldnt bother recording anythign or encoding anythign at this low bitrate.. especially if somene is paying you for a service which warrants a dialogue or audio recording...

a bitrate this low usually washes out the high end peaks (dso ur crips vocal attenuations are mushed with distortion as they compressed) and your low end rumbles become a mash of fluttering low end grumbles...

totally useless for a professional recording....

As for synchronisation, anythign with a motor WILL go out of sync with another unit... BUT, what you can do is hook up a minidisc to your cams earfone/monitor then monitor thru the minidisc...

that might be another way, unless im totally off the mark here...
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Old June 28th, 2003, 02:18 PM   #11
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low bit rate

<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Jefferson : @ 128 kbps ....

i wouldnt bother recording anythign or encoding anythign at this low bitrate.. especially if somene is paying you for a service which warrants a dialogue or audio recording...

a bitrate this low usually washes out the high end peaks (dso ur crips vocal attenuations are mushed with distortion as they compressed) and your low end rumbles become a mash of fluttering low end grumbles...

totally useless for a professional recording....-->>>

Thanks for the tip, I'd taken at face value what I've read that 128kbps mp3 was cd quality. What minimum rate do you recommend? Do you know what rate the mini disc converts at for its format? Or is that comparing apples to oranges?
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Old June 29th, 2003, 02:31 AM   #12
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the reason its classed as cd quality is due to the khz range, being 44.1.. which is standard cd format... being teh actual Bit range...
You can have an mp3, at 44.1kz 80bps and still call it cd quality.... its still 16bit... which is standards cd...
but the resulting audio will sound like a dogs fart after a bad curry...

dvd 's 48khz standard same as minidv, which is a clever way to advertise if your into video production...
DVDs have a standard 48khz bitrate of 448bits per second (Dolby Standards i mean) high storage requirements yes... but the quality..?
well... just watch a dvd and theres your answer :)

Minidisc run different compression algorithms, and when i frst started lookin into them, i wasnt too impressed, but now, u can get some really REALLY good results.. like i said, i dont know much about compression used within Minidisc, but suffice to say, any lossey format is exactly that..
A lossey format... expect to lose quality if you choose to go this way...
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Old June 29th, 2003, 02:32 AM   #13
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forgot to mention.. anything above 160bps is usually ok for vocal.. audio id say 240 due to constant freq fluctuations...
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Old July 24th, 2003, 02:05 PM   #14
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the 670 is available for $700 everywhere, and it's better than the 680/690 according to marantz, because it's newer.


however, this should only cost $300 max retail, all high quality components
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