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Old July 25th, 2004, 02:33 AM   #1
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Need help with portable audio recording

I need a portable audio recorder with mic inputs that records digital audio that can easily be transferred to my computer for editing. So far, I've found two solutions and both have drawbacks:



The PMD-670: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=283850&is=REG

Drawbacks: It's large size and it's large price

Benefits: It's professional and high quality with xlr and rca inputs. I could use this in the future for documentary films. They make CF cards that are 4gb now and that's a lot of audio. The CF card can easily transfer either WAV or MP3 files to Vegas for editing.



The Sony ICDMS515: http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...lVoiceRecorder

Drawbacks: I don't know how high quality this puppy is. I don't know what file format it encodes the audio to. The only thing the Sony site says is: "High Quality Sound "New LPEC™ Codec" 16khz Sampling Rate"... that doesn't tell us what format it is or whether or not I can import it into Vegas. Also, it's only compatible with memory sticks up to 256mb and it's obviously not professional enough for real film making.

Benefits: It's super cheap and if it encodes MP3's or WAV files, I can import it into Vegas. It can also "phantom" power sony lav mics, so I can use it as a pocket sized lav recorder. IF it records in a usable format, it would be perfect for what I need to use it for right now.



Which one should I buy... also, do you know of something comparable or better? Do you know what format the Sony records in?
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Old July 25th, 2004, 08:44 AM   #2
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The iRiver H120/140 may also be an option. I have not used one or seen anyone using one, but the manual says it will record WAV in 44/16/stereo and 48/16/stereo with optical. It is not very clear if it will or will not record 48kHz with an analog input.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #3
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the ihp120 works, but you need an external source to get better volume and eq control if you use the optical input. Combined with a portable field mixer with either stereo tape or optical outputs, its a handy light weight combo. And remember, if you are only recording one voice, record in mono and save some disk space.

it supports up to 16/48khz stereo wav files, or up to 320kbs if you record in mp3 format (it has a built in mp3 encoder).

here is the link
http:www.iriveramerica.com select wither the ihp120 or 140. Thanks to Apple, there has been a 70.00 dollar price drop.

You can download the user manual in pdf format to get more info.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #4
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Another choice would be a MD recorder with an outboard XLR adapter. You can get many versions of the adaptor including those with phantom power and microphone preamps. All in a very small package.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 03:35 AM   #5
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Thanks for the good suggestions, but MD has to be transferred through the analog outputs and digitized which is a little more complicated that I'm looking for. The Iriver doesn't have a mic input does it? I'd like something with a mic jack.

I did find out that the Sony records files in the .msv format which isn't supported by vegas. However, the recorder comes with a program for converting those files to MP3's or WAV's which is pretty cool I guess.

I'm still leaning towards the Marantz... I just wish one would go up for sale on Ebay!
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Old July 26th, 2004, 06:36 AM   #6
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The iRiver ships with an external mic, but I cannot find specs on it (not that you want it.) I just sent a note to their support and will let you know what I hear back.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:06 AM   #7
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Well, I have no way of knowing if it will work well with my mic. Oh well, for that price I might as well spend a little extra and get the Marantz. If anyone has the iriver, let me know how it works.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:01 AM   #8
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Tony,

Search Private Classifieds to Marantz. Someone is selling a Marantz PMD650 with a Sony PD150 and maybe he'll just sell the Marantz.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #9
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Thanks... I don't want the pmd650 because that's MD with no computer connection... she is selling a CDR300 that records straight to CD, so I'm going to see how much that one is.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 09:49 AM   #10
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Tony:

Please let us know what you end up with, as I am in the same kinda boat as you.

I'm wanting to purchase a portable field recorder for sound effects recording.

I am just beginning my research, so I'm very interested to hear about your experiences.

Regards,

Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #11
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Kyle, after everything that I've seen, there's basically two recorders that allow you to recorded uncompressed audio and transfer easily to your computer without any analog audio capturing. One is the Marantz CDR300 and that lets you record your audio straight to CD. CD's are cheap and hold a lot of data so that is a good choice... however, it takes a rechargable battery that is over $150. The other, and better choice for me, is the Marantz PMD670 and it records onto CF cards. What's cool about this is that it can be powered with 8 AA batteries (rechargeable one's too), it is basically shock resistant because there are no moving parts in the CF writing process, I already have some CF cards for my digital camera, and if you ever needed to record a large amound of audio without access to a computer CF cards come in up to 4GB. These devices are also capable of providing phantom power to your microphones through the XLR jack.

The PMD670 is 700 at B&H... more expensive than an MP3 player, but way, way better.

I'm kinda strapped for cash for the moment, so I might just go ahead and get the Sony voice recorder as a cheap solution. It may turn out to be just fine... I'll report back after using it. When I get the money, I'm going to get the Marantz though.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #12
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The iRiver can record uncompressed. You will need an external A/D converter with SPDIF digital out to get good electronics onto it. I believe that combination puts the recorder in roughly the same price range as the Marantz recorder.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 05:15 PM   #13
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<<<-- I believe that combination puts the recorder in roughly the same price range as the Marantz recorder. -->>>

Yeah, then I think I'd rather have the PMD670... I'm kinda new to audio and I'm really surprised at how few options there are for what I want to do.
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