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Old May 9th, 2004, 09:02 PM   #1
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MD Performance

I have been considering this as a recording medium in the upcoming production of a film I am making. I am using an XLR shotgun mic, and would be using a female XLR to 1/8" male jack adapter, to record onto the MiniDisc. However, I have not been able to fid a clear answer to how well this captures the audio, and the quality of the capture, could any of you enlighten me to how well this works in comparison to other methods?

Thanks.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #2
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There's a fair bit been written on www.dv.com on the audio forum.

Many of the tapers boards will have some info as well.

http://www.taperssection.com/yabbse/index.php
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Old May 9th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #3
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I'm a big believer in minidisc, and have had good success with it. I have a Sony MZ-N10 that makes pretty good recordings -- much better than the audio from my GL1, which admittedly has pretty miserable sound. Being anal, I've slowly added a pre-amp, AD converter and a deck with optical outputs, but even without the extra stuff you can get pretty good results. HiMD looks real promising, but it's still unclear how restricted the recordings are going to be, and who knows how good the preamps will be on those units, since Sony seems more interested in pushing SonicStage. If I had a VX2000, I'd look seriously into the mod that Mr. Beasleigh had done to his camera before investing in minidisc. Of course you would need to buy a good preamp to go with it, but that's a good longterm investment anyway.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #4
 
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If it's just dialog and ambience, MD is just fine, and very good. For serious music capture, it's generally not good enough. After having heard some of the HiMD stuff recently, it sounds great, and should sound wonderful, but as Marco pointed out, it's an unknown right now.
MD is a terrific alternative for many shooters, and generally better than on-camera recordings.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 10:59 PM   #5
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Thats very good to hear. The recordings would be completely dialouge and ambiance, and its funny you mention the MZN10, as it would be the model I would use.

Also, I apologize for my ignorance, but what is a preamp?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 06:49 AM   #6
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Iīve used my old sharp MD for a lot of works, lately a lot of stand up comedy, and a some fiction shorts.

Quality is very good. I donīt know much abot frecuencies or compression terms, but for what Iīve done, itīs been perfect.

But just a bit of advice..
a normal MD recorder is not a professional tool. In my experience Itīs reliability is not the best.
Iīve had a lot UTOC errors, TOCa errors, and a few other weird thing, screw up otherwise very good shots.

Maybe it was just me... but It happened to me a few times with my "OLD" Sharp MD and one other time with a Sony (donīt know the mddel)..

So Iīd do some test on the equipment, and If possible try to have a the Cam audio as a backup or something.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 11:35 AM   #7
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We've just completed a short that had nearly 20 shooting days using minidisc, and it worked flawlessly, so I'm of the opinion that it's fairly reliable. The media is very sturdy as well. I've never had something "go wrong" with a disc.

"Also, I apologize for my ignorance, but what is a preamp?"

Simplest explanation I can give is that a preamp boosts your signal to a useable level. I'll let more knowledgeable folks give a more scientific explanation. A clean preamp will give you a strong enough signal that the background hiss (noise floor) is quiet enough in relation to your dialog that you get a useable track. With a preamp, you can turn down the gain on a camcorder or a minidisc to greatly lower the noise floor. Many preamps also feature a limiter which helps prevent the signal from overloading. You have to carefully match your signal to the recording device. I've had very good results by connecting a SoundDevices MM-1 to the line-in jack of the Sony MZ-N10 using 20 dBs of attenuation. The biggest benefit is from the limiter. It's not really necessary though. You can get really nice (and more natural sounding) dialog by connecting a hot mic like the ME-66 straight into the mic input. There's a little more noise, but it's still miles better than most camcorders seem to be capable of, even with an analog transfer (you can't do a digital transfer with a portable minidisc). You should really get yourself a copy of Jay Rose's book if you want to incorporate a preamp into your setup. He has a whole section on connecting various pieces of gear.
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