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Old March 19th, 2005, 11:40 AM   #1
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Need advice on digital portable capture device

I am looking at several portable options, including using a laptop. I was wonder if Spot or others could give me some guidance. I need a portable capture device with clean sound, input/output options, and balanced (if possible) for $550 or less. So far I have seen the Edirol r-1 (impressive but I think not balanced), a few dats but the good ones such as tascam are mucho expensive, and the marantz are digital but again mucho expensive, and some people use the iriver but I know little about this option. I also want a usb or better yet the firewire option (again if possible).
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #2
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Ok, let me ask this another way. For the price range can someone suggest a better option than the edirol r-1 or is that the best under $600 game in town?
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Old March 20th, 2005, 07:47 AM   #3
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do you have laptop? or you have to buy this as well?

there are few firewire adaptors that can give you good sound directly to computer
there is nothing wrong to go unbalance if you have good transformers in the midle
check the core audio - they have some smart cards for audio capturing
ediroll is an exellent choice - but can run 2 g cards only , so you have not more then 6 hours track for one pass
the maranz 660 cf recorder ( about 500) would be equip with balance mike inputs , line unbalance only
the cheapest way - is to find nomad jb-3 , add good a to d befor ( edirol ) - thats about 350 for 20 g set up - check the ebay for nomad , the 40 g models are more expencive about 100$ more for used - 48/16 or 441/16 only
i use this for aditional tracks( i used , now running 744 )
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Old March 20th, 2005, 07:57 AM   #4
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I am getting a laptop but sometimes that is not practical. Oleg, do you use any particular software with the nomad to get professional sound or is it the native software (I'm asking because it sound like the ipod and that is not set-up to record professional sound on its own)
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Old March 20th, 2005, 08:26 AM   #5
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you dont need any particullar softwear with the jb, it can take analog -10dbv sigmal or spdif the hd record wav 441 04 40 khz /16 bit , the only thing is to add metering sodftwer - avalible on thir site
for what perpes you need the recording - if thats music ill sudgest going in digitalli , if its dyalog , the analog inputs good enouth
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Old March 20th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #6
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the jb doent avalible new any more - very sad since that was exellent product for it price
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Old March 20th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #7
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If you go the Nomad route, you should also consider getting an AD converter. We use the AD20, and I've been very impressed with the results. It gives you balanced XLR inputs, and greatly improves the signal to noise ratio.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 10:19 PM   #8
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Has anyone used the Marantz pmd660 or the pmd670, if so I would like to feedback (they seem to be better than the edirol r-1 and the creative route though 100 to 300 dollars more expensive)
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Old March 21st, 2005, 03:43 AM   #9
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I've used the PMD670, and it's a really very impressive device. Reliable, excellent quality...wonderful little toy.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 05:00 AM   #10
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Being frugal I have to ask if you know of anything like it (options wise) that around 500 bucks (probably not but I have to ask)
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Old March 21st, 2005, 02:41 PM   #11
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If you have a laptop handy, and need a portable recording device that can feed into the laptop, your best option (assuming that the laptop has firewire, or you can get some sort of a PCMCIA FW card for it) is the MOTU 828. These can be had on eBay for around $300 (there is the MKi and the MKII version - not exactly sure of the difference).

It has 8 ins & outs. Can record up to 24/48 resolution. Has at least 2 XLR inputs with 48volt phantom power. GREAT sound!

barring FW ports, you could get the M-Audio OminStudio USB. It has many of the same specs, but uses USB. M-Audio has made a few USB audio interfaces, but the OmniStudio USB (now discontinued, but you can get them for around $200 on eBay, and possibly some online stores since it was not discontinued that long ago, also for around $200).

As far as other options, for get an iPod.

Something like the Samsom Mixpad (a small, battery powered mixer that even has phantom power) running out and into possibly a MiniDisc recorder. This may nto be the BEST solution, but it is cheap ($100 for the mixpad, and $100-$200 max for the MiniDisc recorder), and will sound a LOT better than going into an iPod!!!!

If you ever go to a concert where they allow people to record the shows, you will see a decent amount of people recording using just this setup.

Another option is the new Marantz PMD660 Professional Solid State Recorder. It runs $499, is smaller than the other Marantzs mentioned (and $200 cheaper the 670 is around $699) and still has 2 XLR inputs w/ 48v Phantom power!. The Edirol will only record at 44.1, not 48. Don't know if it has XLR & Phantom power.

Just some thoughts...

Alex F
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Old March 28th, 2005, 04:53 PM   #12
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Alex, I just got a Mixpad and Hi-MD minidisc recorder based on your recommendations, and am happy with it so far...This may be a dumb question, but if you're going into the Mixpad with a mic, do you go out to the minidisc into its line in or mic port? Seems like Line in sounds better, the mic in is too hot and have to use the minidisc recorder's low sensitivity setting.

Thanks!

Arne
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Old April 14th, 2005, 12:15 PM   #13
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This is a really a question - not an answer. MOTU has a relatively new device called the Traveller which has 4 XLR inputs with preamps plus a bunch of line inputs etc. It's smallish and light and is powered off the firewire and so I thought this was the answer to disk recording until I tried to figure out how to sync the box to the video. I can buy various boxes that take in composite video and produce the necessary word clock but none that does only that function and none that is battery operated. It seems to me this function requires a sync separator and a PLL and should be doable for a couple of hundred bucks at most in something half the size of a pack of cigarettes but I can't find such a device. Anybody know of one?
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Old April 14th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #14
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Nope, I have come across some cards that can be used in a palm device but they have no xlrs and the memory is very limited. The edirol fa-101 or even smaller the fa-66 has many nice features for around $400, and if you want to get rid of the computer all together the marantz pmd671 is a nice unit.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 11:02 AM   #15
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I would go for the Marantz "walkman". I actually drool for one of those. XLR, Phantom Power, built-in stereo mic, no moving parts, even plays and records mp3 in real time if you want... doubles as an iPod of sorts. I want one. I have never tried it personally but the specs are good and the price is right. It would also be cool if it could be used as an AD when you have a computer handy but I don't know if it has that capability. I also don't know if it includes media and at what size.
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