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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #16
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Now, back to digital voice recorders! Can anyone recommend one with the quality of the H2 without the bulk? I've accepted I will have to chop the audio up when I use it to keep it synced.
m-Audio Microtrack II might do it. Not much smaller than it or the H2 on the market that's not a toy.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #17
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well I think the point is, if you get a good wireless, you don't need the pocket size voice recorder. the AT or lectro body pack is much smaller. the zaxcom is amazingly small for its features.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 01:43 AM   #18
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Really appreciate the generous feedback.

First I think I will use a digital voice recorder as backup whenever I can, which I currently do not do. It is not always easy, and placement of the backup unit will be awkward if not impossible at times, but I will try. I have had many opportunities to use it and didn't out of sheer laziness. I've had it for almost a year and used it twice.

If I read the specs at the B&H website correctly, the microtrack II is twice the size, though probably better quality than the Zoom. And it weighs much more, over a pound compared to the 3.8 ounces of the Zoom. It's obviously a really nice recorder for the money however. I spent a long time researching devices before selecting the Zoom, and I see why now. I have a fine device for the money. I didn't understand the difficulty in obtaining audio in syncing up with video at the time. I must live with it not being perfect if I'm using a inexpensive recorder. And as Steve said even with an expensive unit there is no guarantee.

The Zaxcom you recommend, Steve, appears to be an amazing device, but way out of my price range.

The AT1800 is highly recommended by Don, and if Don says it's five-star for the money, it's five stars.

Lastly, I'm going to invest in a better shotgun for my rear cam. The Sony PD series comes with horrible shotguns, and the audio is useless to me, I use it only for syncing video footage. I run a Rode Videomic on my primary cam for the ceremony and it has saved me on the two occasions when my wireless failed.

I've said it before and I'll says it again, I don't know of anyplace where so much attention is lavished on an individual member in need of assistance as these forums. I literally can't imagine what I would do without DVinfonet. Thanks everyone.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; April 21st, 2008 at 02:16 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:23 AM   #19
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Know just what you mean Jeff as I too have an H2 but was greatly disappointed to find it lost sync pretty quickly. Excellent in all other respects though and for the price the audio quality even from the inbuilt mics is a-a-mazing.

Thing is I 'upgraded' to the Zoom2 from Minidisc, and I have had three of those - one Sharp and two Sony machines. And all three of them have kept accurate sync with whatever camcorder I'm using at the time. Better still, the machines are so tiny there's no problem with slipping it into a groom's pocket, and the other machines can be dotted around the church.

You can never have too much audio backup. With Minidisc being so mechanical yet accurate sync-wise, how come the Zoom H2 (electronic and silent) can't manage better?

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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:31 AM   #20
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Tom, now that you have both mini-disc and the Zoom, which do you use for the groom? I had originally wanted a Sony mini-disc but for reasons I forget now I went with the Zoom.

The mini-disc recorders aren't produced any longer, are they?
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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:54 AM   #21
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Minidisc every time. 1) it stays in perfect sync. 2) It's really tiny - the recorder is the size of 3 MDs stacked up. 3) hard-wired - never any chance of interference 4) has lock button to disable all controls. 5) picks up the vows from the couple and priest as well when they wander off to the alter.

Downer is it must be loaded into my pc real-time, analogue in. I bought my last two second hand. This Saturday though I'll go with my Sony diversity radio, but it's far more intrusive fitting a belt clip transmitter than slipping the MD recorder into a nervous stranger's inside pocket.

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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:58 AM   #22
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Tom, I want one! Which models do you recommend?
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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:18 AM   #23
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I can't do other than recommend the model I have - the Sony MZ-R900. It has a slim flat-pak NiMh cell. But I'm sure there are countless other models out there - all going cheap because it's not MP3.

Here's a snap of my MD audio recorder in action - this one shown with the Sharp MD recorder that was 'lifted' from the top table at a wedding. Huh!

http://www.fortvir.net/gallery2/tom-...tudio.jpg.html

tom.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:37 AM   #24
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Nice little setup Tom! Thanks for the model #. Jeff
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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:54 AM   #25
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Bid on one in e-bay, they are inexpensive. Should be a decent backup audio source, especially if it stays in sync!
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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
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Lastly, I'm going to invest in a better shotgun for my rear cam. The Sony PD series comes with horrible shotguns, and the audio is useless to me, I use it only for syncing video footage. I run a Rode Videomic on my primary cam for the ceremony and it has saved me on the two occasions when my wireless failed.

....
Don't make the mistake of thinking the poor performance you're getting on the audio from your rear camera is due to the poor quality of the mics. They may well be c**p and due for replacement but that's not the source of the problem with your sound - distance and the physics of acoustics is. Shotgun mics are NOT the acoustic equivalent of a telephoto lens - such a device is phyiscally impossible - and even the most expensive of the breed needs to be close to the sound source to do a proper job recording dialog. A $250 Videomic at 3 feet from the talent will sound better than a $2500 Schoeps CMIT 15 feet from the talent. You'll get sound, maybe even be able to understand what they're saying if they're projecting, but it will sound like the ceremony is being held in the bottom of a well.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 04:03 AM   #27
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Spot on Steve, and it's why the cheap lapel mic feeding the MD sounds so good - it's up close and personal. In fact so up close that it sounds 'too good' and has to be mixed with church ambience from my far-away shotgun to souund more real.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 04:07 AM   #28
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I understand what you're saying Steve. As I said, as it is now the mic on the rear cam is useless for the church, and often cannot hear anything from the back of the church. It is great for environments where clipping is an issue, such as the dj's music at the reception, but in quieter places it's no good.

While the audio from the rear cam won't be useful for final recording, $200 isn't a lot for an added layer of better audio.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 04:10 AM   #29
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Bid on one in e-bay, they are inexpensive. Should be a decent backup audio source, especially if it stays in sync!

There's no quarantee it will. Tom has had a good experience with his, others have not. The same issues apply to mnidisc as to mp3 players - they both have sample clocks that need to be 'on-spec' as does the camera. All products have certain tolerances - consumer gear is usually manufactured to a looser tolerance than is professional gear, purely due to the economics of the consumer market place. If the luck of the draw is that your camera and your recorder are right on the money or are both slightly off-spec but by the same amount and in the same direction, you'll be able to hold sync over longish shots - 10 or 15 minutes. But if the Force was disturbed the day your particular camera or recorder came off their assembly lines and they're slightly off nominal but in opposite directions - perhaps the camera is a tad fast while the recorder is a skosh slow - your shots will drift out of sync fairly quickly. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

I notice he is transferring the recording in real time from the minidisc to the computer via analog. That can help with the sync issues because now you're playing back with the same sample clock that recorded it and what was recorded in 10 minutes will play in 10 minutes.Then it's being re-digitized with a clock that is probably closer to specthan the one in the recorer. The same technique could help an mp3 recording as well. But bear in mind that a digital->analogue->digital conversion chain can cause loss of quality.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 04:12 AM   #30
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I understand what you're saying Steve. As I said, as it is now the mic on the rear cam is useless for the church, and often cannot hear anything from the back of the church. It is great for environments where clipping is an issue, such as the dj's music at the reception, but in quieter places it's no good.

While the audio from the rear cam won't be useful for final recording, $200 isn't a lot for an added layer of better audio.
That's just it - I would expect it to be no better because I think the problem at hand is due to the distance rather than the mic and replacing the mic doesn't change that.
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