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Old November 29th, 2003, 08:30 PM   #16
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I have actually used a diva, which was time coded matched to aaton code on a super 16mm job.

They really are fantastic, but useless to own, you would never see a return unless you rented it out.

Yes we rented all the equipment.

I really don't understand the need to own certain pieces of equipment, if a production needs such high production quality as that.. you would be shooting with expensive equipment anyways, and renting everything.

I think a good mixer and a decent camera, like any of the prosumer cameras, especially say the dvx100 as it's audio is quite good, is enough for most productions.

I have always been tempted to lug down my old reel-2-reel and record sound on that, i recall it having fantastic quality.

Zac
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Old November 30th, 2003, 02:10 AM   #17
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My humble apologies. The Cantar-X is $15,000, not $24,000. I must have been given a pre-production estimate, or my memory failed me. Probably the latter.

Best,
Helen
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Old November 30th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #18
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If you can wait a little, Fostex announced a new field recorder that will have time code option for under $2000 including the time code option.

http://www.fostex.com/support/pdf/fo...relim_info.pdf
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Old December 1st, 2003, 12:40 PM   #19
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Re: Alternative to MD for field recording

<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Tauger : I use MD for wild audio capture, but have always been bothered that I can't move the digital audio to the computer and can only do an analogue transfer using my sound card. -->>>

Folks, folks! What is the problem with analog audio going into your computer?

Has your reasoning become so digital that you can't see it's only a means to an end?

MD is a very accurate system for sync dialogue, perhaps losing only to DAT as a proven system.

Many new medias are coming along, most of them based on very expensive recorders and/or very uncomfortable media, particularly HDs. Downloadable medias are really a pain, particularly when built in as on the Nomad, as you have to empty them every day and pray that it doesn't fill up during a shooting day.

Those based on CD or DVD are reliable as long as you are static, and in spite of what they claim I still have to try one to believe they can work well on the move. MD is in this category too, but it seems to work better than the portable CD players I tried.

Those are the prices we are paying to part with head-wearing tapes.

An instantly renewable media, like MD, should be the budget way to go for now, until flash memory and HDs become large and very very cheap.

The iFP-590T records MP3, if I read the specs well. Which is alright for walkman music on your free time, but not a quality system for quality audio. Stay away from MP3.

The PD Audio has some potential and it's competitively priced. I haven't yet tried it so I can't say too much about it. But it looks promising. And very competitively priced. I am waiting for a time-code version to get one.

So go for MD, transfer to your computer via the analog outputs and forget it. One thing you should have, if possible, is a quality sound card on your PC. I use the MIA and love it.


Carlos E. Martinez
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Old December 1st, 2003, 12:55 PM   #20
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Yeah, it is a little anal. From what I've read, you only raise the noise floor by about 3 dbs with the analog transfer. Still, who wants to give that up? I agree, though that the minidisc still seems like the best poor man's way to go for now. The ease of archiving the things is one of its best features. In the stereo, highest quality mode, you get about an hour of recording time. This works perfectly for mini-DV, because you can match one mini-disc to one tape. I would think that every time you clear off your hard disk, it would be one heart stopping moment. How do you know the transfer worked without actually listening to every file? It would take only one failure to seriously ruin your year and reputation.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 06:02 PM   #21
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Paul, how about using a set-top MD player to transfer the audio optically?

Carlos, my understanding, though I may be wrong, is that the iriver's 328Kbps mp3 is equal in quality to MD.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 08:47 PM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent :
Carlos, my understanding, though I may be wrong, is that the iriver's 328Kbps mp3 is equal in quality to MD. -->>>

MP3s I and other people I trust have tried were very bad, much inferior to MD. The problem is in the compression, as you probably guess, which is a little bit lossy for MP3.

MD was also bad sounding at first, so maybe things get there sometime with MP3 too.

What I don't like is the fact that manufacturers are selling to us systems that behave worst instead of better. Instead of going for higher bits and higher oversampling to get where we were when digital replaced analogic, they try to convince us of accepting something which is practical but "just a little bit worst". Little by little they are getting us to a place which is not where we should be quality wise.

Carlos
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Old December 1st, 2003, 11:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Folks, folks! What is the problem with analog audio going into your computer?

Has your reasoning become so digital that you can't see it's only a means to an end?
0010110100 . . um . . . I mean, yeah, you're right. I've gotten very good results with capturing from my MD recorder. The only thing I don't like is that it has to be done real-time; it would be so much faster if I could just pull over the file. Also, MD is limited to 1-hour. The idea of dozens of available hours is appealing.


Quote:
Paul, how about using a set-top MD player to transfer the audio optically?
Hey, you tell my wife why I need YAPOEG (yet another piece of electronics gear). ;) I've kept my eye out for a low-priced set-top box, but have yet to find one. That would be the ideal solution.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 02:42 AM   #24
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Marco,
I was about convinced on the iriver 590 till I read your "heart stopping moment" comment. The iriver transfers at a rate of 6.4Mb/s. Could anyone tell me how much faster that is than real time? Like you said, what *if* there were a problem with the transfer? Do you have to listen to each transfer to make sure it worked okay before clearing the flash?
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 08:01 AM   #25
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"Do you have to listen to each transfer to make sure it worked okay before clearing the flash?"

Yeah, I kind of think this makes the real time transfer on the MD a little easier to bear. I actually don't find this so bad, since we only capture the tracks that we use for the final cut. That's only like every fifth take anyway.

"I've kept my eye out for a low-priced set-top box, but have yet to find one."

The Sony MXD-D400 is the cheapest you're going to find new. It's listed at $359.99, but if you ask for a better price they'll go down to $285. It includes a CD player too.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?ci=1&sb=ps&pn=1&sq=desc&InitialSearch=yes&O=SearchBar&A=search&Q=*&shs=MXD-D400

Ebay might be a good alternative. Minidisc.org has a listing of what products have optical out. Kenwood seems to be the cheapest brand.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 07:17 PM   #26
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If the software that does the transfer is well designed then it should validate that each file has reached its destination correctly and completely. This is true no matter how the transfer is done.

This can be accomplished using a bit for bit comparison but this doubles the transfer time because transfered file must be reread. The most common method is some kind of checksum such as CRC16 or CRC32.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 09:40 AM   #27
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Great tip.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 11:02 AM   #28
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<<<-- Originally posted by Marco Leavitt :
The Sony MXD-D400 is the cheapest you're going to find new. It's listed at $359.99, but if you ask for a better price they'll go down to $285. It includes a CD player too.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?ci=1&sb=ps&pn=1&sq=desc&InitialSearch=yes&O=SearchBar&A=search&Q=*&shs=MXD-D400
-->>>

Allow me to suggest a better unit, the one I would go today if I were you: a Sony MDS-E10 from B&H.

It's more expensive ($459) but you will have coaxial & optical input/outputs and it's almost exactly like the pro version (E12), which has balanced analog input/outputs. In fact I'd say it's the same less the balanced thing.

Have a look at it here:

http://www.minidisco.com/minidisco-store/mds-e10.html

It also has varispeed, not that it may interest you, but it shows that the machine was done as it should.

In fact I probably will get one, because yesterday I had the chance to make a live music recording in my portable Sharp, using AKG quality mics as a single pair, and renewed my enthusiasm for MD. I better get a full deck before they stop making them.

Today I listened to the disk on my living room and it sounds as if the group is there. They were all acoustic instruments, which are not that easy to reproduce. If this a poor man's way to get things, this is no incentive to get richer!

MD has gone a long way, and I think we should stick with it and take advantage of the present situation.


Carlos E. Martinez
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 12:06 PM   #29
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Carlos,
Do you think you'd really notice much difference between going analog-out versus digital?
And which Sharp do you have? I've been looking at the Sharps
MD-DR7 and MD-DR480. Do you know anything about those
models? My main concern is that they're with Japanese
warranty (i.e. must be returned to Japan for service).
You know what I think is odd. Sharp lists three models of portable MD on their USA site. Two have mic-in. Neither of those
two are available *anywhere* in the US that I can find. If
someone knows of a US distributor, please pass it along.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 12:10 PM   #30
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I've been looking at some of these stand-alone MD units (I have a portable Sharp MT-15 which I use for field recording). The problem is, none of them have true digital output. There are coax and optical digital outs, but you'd have to find some kind of card for a PC that would except these (perhaps some sound card?) and software to convert the input into a WAV file.
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