Audio Recording Companion for JVC GY-HM700 & GY-HM100? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 7th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #1
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Audio Recording Companion for JVC GY-HM700 & GY-HM100? (Samson Zoom R-16)

I have a background in classical music. One thing I'd like to do more of, at least from a hobbyist perspective, is make good quality high-def recordings of concert performances ... think soloists, small groups in a non-live but field setting.

Doing this well requires a multiple microphone setup, and some kind of mixer and multi-track recorder for subsequent mixdown.

From a paid-gig perspective, it would also be handy to have such a setup to cover conferences and other small-group live events.

So I've been looking for a low cost, portable multi-track recorder which would be a good companion for my HM-700, as well as a good stand-alone device.

I think I have found such a device, but it's brand new to the market and there aren't any formal reviews yet:

Samson - Zoom - R16

What I really like about this one is that it records to SDHC cards -- the same cards used by the JVC cameras, as well as my Canon still camera, so I wouldn't have to invest in yet another media type.

It costs about $400, and in addition to the SDHC card feature:

* It has 8 full XLR inputs, no need for conversion plugs.
* Two of those XLR inputs have switchable +48v phantom power.
* It can run on batteries if needed.
* It's very compact -- it actually would fit in an equipment briefcase I already own.
* It can act as a control surface / input module for Logic
* It has a bit of future-proofing in that two can be daisy-chained to make a 16-channel mixer/recorder.

So, for my purposes (amateur music performance capture, pro small conference/event capture), is there any reason I should avoid this piece of gear? What's Zoom's quality (durability and audio quality) historically like? Is there something better in that price range?

Other units I have looked at share some combination of shortcomings: Few or no XLR inputs, no phantom power, something other than SDHC cards, or no battery capability.

Is this unit a game changer, or just an attempt to have an impressive spec sheet for something with is actually so cheaply made it isn't practical for serious use?

Last edited by Bob Richardson; August 7th, 2009 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Title changed to indicate specific gear: Zoom R16
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Old August 7th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #2
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These recorders are discussed regularly and extensively in the audio section here at DvInfo.net. Perhaps Chris will move the thread.

There are a number of users who have used the whole series of Samson recorders, and no doubt they have their thoughts on the newest.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #3
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Thanks... I don't mind it being moved to another category, but I posted it here because I thought the SDHC and Logic control surface would be of particular interest to people with an HM700/Apple Pro Apps workflow.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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All is fine with me, though the people with info and opinions on the recorder are more likely to be in the audio section.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Richardson View Post
I don't mind it being moved to another category, but I posted it here because I thought the SDHC and Logic control surface would be of particular interest to people with an HM700/Apple Pro Apps workflow.
Sure, it's definitely of interest to people with an HM700/Apple Pro Apps workflow, but we're asking those folks -- everyone here, actually -- to please use the *entire* site and get the full benefit of DV Info Net. Camera questions belong in the camera forum, but the camera owners should also make full usage of all the other message boards here, including Audio, Camera Support, NLE / Mac, etc. Thanks in advance.

Thread moved to All Things Audio.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #6
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From what I read here and on other forums, the R16 is pretty nice . One drawback for some, it can only record a maximum of eight (8) tracks simultaneously. And of course at that price, there's no genlock or TC.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #7
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I use it a lot and it is great for recording live music or anything else where you need multiple inputs. Video cameras work at 48 KHz and this is 44.1 but that isn't too big of a deal.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #8
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What editing software do you use?

I'm curious to know if tracks from the Zoom R16 at 44.1KHz are dragged onto the same timeline as video/audio from the JVC GY-HM700 (or any camera) with 48KHz audio, do the tracks stay in sync for their full duration as long as you line up a specific point properly? Or is there a gradual drift that needs to be corrected?
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Old August 7th, 2009, 09:38 PM   #9
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For classical music recording, 44.1 is not enough. I would say Edirol R44, Tascam HD-P2 is the lower limit for this purpose. Better go to Sound Devices. A simple ORTF or AB 2 track on Sound Devices will sound much better than multi-track low price recorder.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 11:05 PM   #10
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I use Logic Pro and it works great. There doesn't seem to be any sync issues. I have gone about 45 minutes and it stayed in sync the whole time.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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An update --

I found some end-user reviews of the R16 on another forum site:

zoom r16? any experience or opinions?

Zoom's Japanese site has the user manuals for the device:

Zoom Product Manuals (Scroll Down)

There are currently two manuals listed:

* R16 Recorder: Interface: Controller 32,904kByte
* R16 Audio Interface Manual 7,201kByte

The first is the primary manual which describes stand-alone operation, while the second describes using the device with the bundled Windows software and as a USB audio interface.
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