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Old November 18th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #1
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High-End Audio Field Recorder

I would like to purchase a field recorder that has 4-8 channels of input & output.

It must be able to record timecode. It looks like the cheapest (but very good) options are approx $7,000-$9,000US.

Does anyone happen to know a more cost effective option or do I have to bite the bullet?
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Old November 18th, 2009, 07:55 AM   #2
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Have you looked at the Edirol R-4 Pro?
http://www.edirol.com/index.php?opti...=30&Itemid=385

(If 4 tracks is your bare minimum)
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Old November 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Field recorder

Take a look at the Sound Devices 788T. $6000 USD or about $6500 AUD.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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The 788T is a dream, love that piece of gear.

If you are working off of a cart, you could think outside the box and buy a ProTools system w a laptop for less. We have used an MBP and a Pro Tools Digi 02 for years for 6-8 channel shoots and it works very well. No good for run and gun or ENG but for talk show, panel discussions or even narrative, it works pretty well and is cheaper than a 788T.

Others have used just a regular laptop and software (I can't recall the name of the software but it is made specifically for this and is not that expensive). Of course, you still need the laptop (a pretty fast one), drives and a good set of mic preamps.

Update, just checked, Vosgames has discontinued Boom Recorder software because of Snow Leopard. That is a real loss, it was unique software and there was a market for it VOSGAMES

Okay, so go with Pro Tools, it will be significantly less. Unless you are run and gunning, in which case you need a hardware solution. Sound Devices are really top of the line pro gear, well worth the cost.

Dan
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Old November 18th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions, they are all good solutions.

Bruce, i had looked at the Roland previously but I had misread its capabilities. I was under the impression that although it had 4 xlr inputs, it would mix down to only 2 tracks.

Thanks for that. Just as a point of reference, from B&H it would cost me approx about $2700AU inc. delivery and tax. That's less than half the price of everything else.

I will check this unit out this week and probably pick one up if it checks out. Thanks!

I think that the biggest thing lacking in live event video production is good quality audio. Although I already use a Fostex field recorder and Zoom H4n with good mics, they lack the ability to automatically sync up to the footage on the timeline. It's very time consuming, especially if you wish to stop and start the camera(s). If I had it my way, I would never record audio directly into the camera. The difference of using an field recorder is extremely apparent.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 06:00 AM   #6
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Take a look at the Roland R44.

Good performance at a reasonable price. 4 independent tracks. Phantom power. Limiters. Easy to adjust gain and gain trim for each channel.

The Oade Bros. makes a modification which makes the preamps quieter. I don't have a need for that but some do.

Ordering for Oade Brothers Audio: Edirol R44 Concert
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phivo Christodoulou View Post
I would like to purchase a field recorder that has 4-8 channels of input & output.

It must be able to record timecode. It looks like the cheapest (but very good) options are approx $7,000-$9,000US.

Does anyone happen to know a more cost effective option or do I have to bite the bullet?
Bite the bullet.

The best of the lot is the NAGRA VI.

It beat everyone else to the TEC Award for the best recorder at the New York AES this year.

Has the best mic. pre-amps and the best A/D and D/A converters of any portable.

Ergonomic and easy to use with a fast and simple to use menu when you need to change things. Has the most accurate timecode clock on the market.

In Europe it's a little cheaper than the SD 788T and is better. Quality wise it's NAGRA VI in 1st place, SD 788T in second place, with everything else a long way behind.

I have had my own NAGRA VI for over a year now and am absolutely delighted with it - I took the high capacity battery option which gives 12-15 hours uninterrupted recording.

I do high quality music recording where I cannot compromise on quality at all - hence the NAGRA.

Don't compare recorders like the NAGRA VI and 788T with the like of the R-44. Although the R-44 is excellent value for money, it's like comparing a BMW with a push-bike!
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:44 AM   #8
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Thanks John that is definitely some food for thought.

From your experiences though, is the Nagra overkill when it comes to recording people speaking in a live event environment? What i mean to say is, for the extra few grand am I actually going to notice a difference that is worth the money?

I have never used either and it is hard to get my hands on one to test so I would value your feedback.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #9
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Personally I don't like to compromise on quality whatever it is.

If you want to try the Nagra VI, talk to the local agent (and they are only round the corner from you):-
Broadcast Workshop Pty. Ltd.
474-476 Victoria Street
P.O. Box 32
North Melbourne
Victoria 3051
Australia
tel: +61 3 9329 7655
fax: +61 3 9328 3866
info@broadcastworkshop.com
broadcastworkshop.com

But be aware that with an excellent recorder you will also need microphones that are up to the job.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
The 788T is a dream, love that piece of gear.

If you are working off of a cart, you could think outside the box and buy a ProTools system w a laptop for less. We have used an MBP and a Pro Tools Digi 02 for years for 6-8 channel shoots and it works very well. No good for run and gun or ENG but for talk show, panel discussions or even narrative, it works pretty well and is cheaper than a 788T.

Others have used just a regular laptop and software (I can't recall the name of the software but it is made specifically for this and is not that expensive). Of course, you still need the laptop (a pretty fast one), drives and a good set of mic preamps.

Update, just checked, Vosgames has discontinued Boom Recorder software because of Snow Leopard. That is a real loss, it was unique software and there was a market for it VOSGAMES

Okay, so go with Pro Tools, it will be significantly less. Unless you are run and gunning, in which case you need a hardware solution. Sound Devices are really top of the line pro gear, well worth the cost.

Dan
Just borrow a SD 788 for a concert recording a week ago. Absolutely gorgeous master piece. Post working now, and I am totally satisfied with the sound quality. Wish I can afford one ASAP.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:17 AM   #11
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I highly recommend the SD 744T, I would actually recommend a 702T over an R-4 Pro as well. Yes, I would give up 2 tracks for an excellent high quality TC generator.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 12:02 PM   #12
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Dude, with your budget you shouldn't even be looking at Edirol or any other budget recorders.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Bite the bullet.

The best of the lot is the NAGRA VI.
I recently shot a show were the production sound mixer used a couple of Nagra VI's (and a very loaded cart full of other equipment) where the sound was so clean, it required almost no post work. Of course, having a really great production sound mixer (Peter Meiselmann) was the most important part of that equation, but having great hardware doesn't hurt either.

I now have a Nagra VI / SD 442 combo for "sit down" work (and a Sony PCM-D50 / SD 302 combo for "run 'n gun" work) because of that experience.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #14
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Any one tried Sonosax MINIR82, SX-R4? Curious on the performance compared with Nagra, Sound Devices.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
The 788T is a dream, love that piece of gear.

If you are working off of a cart, you could think outside the box and buy a ProTools system w a laptop for less. We have used an MBP and a Pro Tools Digi 02 for years for 6-8 channel shoots and it works very well. No good for run and gun or ENG but for talk show, panel discussions or even narrative, it works pretty well and is cheaper than a 788T.
The 788T has much better sounding mic preamps and A/D converters than the Digi 02 by a long margin.

You get what you pay for.
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