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Old February 12th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #1
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Digital Audio Recorder Questions

I am looking for an inexpensive way to capture audio off of a sound board so that I can merge with my video later on in post.
I would liek a hard disk based unit but can nto justify it and it will probably be over kill. I was looking at the Fostex MR-8 but it seems to have issues with various CF cards, although it looks liek a nice unit. I am leaning towad a Mini Disc recorder as it looks liek it woudl be great for the ocassional use it may get. I am leaning toward the Sony MZ-NF810CK and figure I will be able to use the Line in to conenct from a sound board. sine I am a newbie at this stuff, will this cover my expectations? I am really only thinking in most cases I will only need Mono fo the 150+ minutes of record time is ideal. does anyoen have expieriences with uses a MD for this purpose? Does it work well? Any Pros or cons would be appreciated.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #2
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You didn't state whether you require CD audio quality (44.1khz PCM) or just doing vocals (maximum 8Khz frequency).

Why don't use your existing digital video camera and strip off the video - double up as an audio (if it is capable of recording at 44.1khz).

For MD - it uses adaptive sounds manipulation (remove the "inaudible" portions) and compresses the sounds.

Think of it this way (if you are familiar with images data) - CD audio is like TIFF (huge file, no compression of data). MD - is like JPEG (loosey compression). Audio data compressed into MD format is lost forever (something like MP3 representation).

Whether MD is suitable media for you - only you can tell - you didn't state your application (voice only, instruments, bird calls, or whatever).

TS
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Old February 13th, 2004, 06:32 AM   #3
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Sorry, I should have provided more detail. The initial use is to patch into the sound board for a gig I have to do at a school talent show. Using the cam is not really an option as the distance will be to far, I need to have somehting in the sound booth that can get patched into their feed that I can sync back up to the video later, also there will be cameras, so having one master sound track and syncing the 2 video feeds is my plan. After initial use I suspect I want something that does more than just vocals. I don't think I am worried about the lossy compression as lng as it sounds good, don't want somehting that is over compressed. Most of my gigs will be weddings of these type of school kids events where the quailty I am getting is not going to be better than my equipment anyway. I ordered the Sony and I guess I'll see, either way I suspect it will be better than just using the AT897 shotgun. It will also be easier to provide a seamless sooudn track as one cam will have the AT897 the other an ATR55 and with different camera angles and mic it will proably be very obvious that the sound is changing from cut to cut.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 06:41 AM   #4
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MD devices have NO timecodes. Unless you don't have problems with lip sync, it is okay to use them. Otherwise, trying to patch an audio that is recorded on a non-timecode platform with one using timecodes is an exercise of frustration.

As for quality of audio, for your kind of application, I suppose the MD will do just fine. Just don't ask the recorder to try to catch bells, triangles and the kind with high harmonics and very high frequencies.

TS
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Old February 13th, 2004, 07:57 AM   #5
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Re: Digital Audio Recorder Questions

<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Luken : I am looking for an inexpensive way to capture audio off of a sound board so that I can merge with my video later on in post.
I would liek a hard disk based unit but can nto justify it and it will probably be over kill. I was looking at the Fostex MR-8 but it seems to have issues with various CF cards, although it looks liek a nice unit. -->>>

Keith,

I don't know how much you're willing to spend, but the Boss BR-864 may meet your needs very well. I currently use the 4-track version, the BR-532. I'm llimited to mono recording with the BR-532, however, because it uses SmartMedia for storage, and the biggest cards only go up to 128MB (124.7MB after formatting). The BR-864, on the other hand, uses CompactFlash and has no compatibility issues that I know of. Both units are great for tapping into PA systems because they have analog RCA stereo Line In jacks. (Most PA mixers have RCA Aux outs or Line Out.) For weddings, I'm recording the PA system (mainly just for the clergy dialog) in mono on my BR-532, which can capture 96 minutes of CD-quality audio to a single track. Another great thing about these two Boss units is their compact size (smaller than a notebook PC) and the fact that they can run off AC or AA batteries (7 hours on 6 x AA batteries).

Good luck!

Tim Borek
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Old February 13th, 2004, 08:25 AM   #6
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Tim-
Thanks for mentioning the boss recorders. I am NOT a fan of flash cards, but these recorders appear like they may be what I have been looking for. I liked the zip drive 8 track... I have a bunch of 100 meg zip disks. Another feature that caught my eye, was the balanced XLR input. Very nice touch.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 09:40 AM   #7
 
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Even at high compression, the MD recorders these days do capture the high end very well, you just tend to hear slight zipper noise over the speaks when you fade them down due to the lower resolution.
Boss unit is quite good, Fostex will work fine too. A laptop with Windows Media Recorder will do better than all three if you have a decent external sound card.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #8
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I also notice that the latest Iriver units have optical ins and outs. Biggest bummer for minidisc is the analog transfer unless you're planning to buy a separate (and more expensive) deck.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 10:39 AM   #9
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I ruled out the Fostex MR-8 because it seems to be too picky with different CF brands, the Boss unit looks good I may give that a try. I do have a Sony coming on Monday so I may gett he Boss and compare them. The WMA apprach sounds decnt, but I don't know if I want to trust Windows in that arena, not the software, too easy for something to happen and the recordingt o stop.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 10:59 AM   #10
 
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Windows Media Recorder can record wavs. Point is, any audio software on a laptop will work, regardless of brand, even freebies. PCM/wav files are best to work with regardless...wav 64's are also great formats.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 12:04 PM   #11
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The iriver is working very well for me for recording vows or the officiant in weddings for me. They are wav files, really great quality, I can cut and paste the files in when I'm done. No sync issues so far. The 44k wav and 48k dv audio is matching up fine there are no input level adjustments on the iriver so you would have to adjust the output of the board.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 01:11 PM   #12
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Does it at least have a meter? Also, do you have any idea if it's compatible with Macs, or would I be stuck (yet again) with another real time transfer?
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Old February 14th, 2004, 05:21 AM   #13
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Douglas Spotted Eagle wrote:

"A laptop with Windows Media Recorder will do better than all three if you have a decent external sound card."

I am looking into this option as I recently picked up an older laptop. What are recommendations for "decent external sound card". I have looked at some usb devices from M-Audio and Edirol and read some reviews that swayed me a little.

Do these sound cards come with better sounding preamps as well?
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Old February 14th, 2004, 07:22 AM   #14
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Anybody taken a look at the Marantz recorder? Link is here -

http://www.zzounds.com/cat--Removable-Media-Recorders--3644

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Old February 14th, 2004, 10:29 AM   #15
 
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Both the M-Audio and Edirol boxes are very nice. The M-Audio 410 is a very nice little firewire box with 2 good pre's in it. I've only worked with the Edirol tools at a trade show, never real world use, but it seemed pretty good. We just finished a 15 hour shoot where all the audio was caught at 24/48k, using the M-Audio. I also LOVE the Echo Mona, with 4 awesome pre's and 6 outputs. It was recently discontinued, but a lot of people are still finding them around.
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