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All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

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Old December 14th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Calgary, Canada
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The Ideal Setup

I've read through quite a bit of information over the past year in an attempt to educate myself on what the best method is for recording audio for a dramatic movie. At this point, I know a basic amount of what different mics are used for, but without any real experience working with them, I am still at a loss of how to actually record effectively with them and get recordings into a sitation where I could edit them.

I began a project this summer that didn't end ideally, but this is the setup I had. I had a Sennheiser shotgun mic that I had rented, I am unsure of the model number, no one really knew for some reason, plugged into a Marantz MiniDisc recorder, which was portable, that I also rented. I used these to record the audio track. The project ended quite abruptly for reasons outside my control, but I attempted to edit the scenes I had shot anyway, for a learning experience.

My first problem was simply getting the audio off the MiniDisc and onto my computer, as the recorder had nothing but XLR and RCA ports, so eventually I borrowed a friends Sony MiniDisc player, plugged in a male to male mini stereo jack, and captured it manually, which was a huge hassle, and I doubt it did much for the quality.

So, what did I do wrong, how could I do it otherwise for my next upcoming project? What equipment should I look at that might work better for recording, and what would a better method be for actually getting it off the minidisc, if I used that again, or should I go another route?

This time, I would likely have access to a recording studio which could capture off the minidisc, or something. You should be able to tell by now I am really unsure of exactly what I am doing, so any help would be fantastic.

Neal Moignard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2004, 05:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 136
Hi Neal,

I'm probably not the best person to answer your questions, but I am in a similar position you - I did my first narrative short using Mini-disc, so thought I'd share my thoughts.

First thing is, I think everyone prefers single-system, that is, recording straight onto your camera for location stuff, it saves the sync hassle later on.

If you are doing double system, mini-disc is ok. I know a lot of people like mini-disc because the media is quite affordable compared some other formats, BUT I personally don't like it. Firstly, I have an old Sony mini-disc recorder that is horrible - its noisy and 'putts' like an engine, and only has line-out (analog). One thing though - your sound card SHOULD have at least RCA ins and outs (no?). This is what I used to output the audio from the mini-disc straight into computer.

However, because of how unreliable and annoying these consumer models are, you may as well either stay with the Marantz mini-disc recorder OR get one of those solid state recorders that record onto flash memory cards - the Marantz PMD670 is the one I am getting. The cost of media for that is a lot higher than mini-disc, but this is just a personal choice you have to make. One thing is that mini-disc records onto ATRAC instead of MP3 or WAV which is easier to deal with. Both of them probably have the right connections (in/out), all you need now is a good soundcard with the right connections - I have the M-Audio 24/96, it's worked well for me so far. I think the Marantz PMD670 also has another feature that lets you connect it via USB to your computer meaning you'd be able to drag and drop files over vey quickly - in whatever format you record in (MP2, MP3, WAV).

As for 'capturing' the audio, I use Sony Vegas so I just record straight onto a new audio track in the program (if using the RCA's) or alternatively just add the audio files to the Media Pool of any project and you should be fine.

Hope this helps,
Dennis Liu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2004, 03:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Holland, Europe
Posts: 214
MInidisks are just fine and cheap solutions. YOu can easily transfer the audio to wav through your pc. Just plug in the lin-in of your souncard and record it in cubase sx, sonar, logic or soundforge etc etc.

Marantz are a bit more expensive and I think better build for field recording.YOu can check your volumes easily and they have more and better outputs and inputs , so you can connect 2 mics.

I can come by with a minidisk. wonderfull digital tool!
Jose di Cani is offline   Reply

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