Sound recorder recommendation wanted - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 30th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #31
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 19
Even thought you have already decided on the Fostex, I'll give you my take on the 702T.

I have a Sound Devices 702T. It has pre-recording - 10 seconds at 48khz and 5 seconds at 92khz. It is very easy to operate for a novice like myself. I don't have experiences working on different machines. I did a lot of research on recorders before I bought it and splurged for the Sound Devices because the recordings I use it to capture are very important to me and I wanted the best quality and reliability. It's difficult to image a better recording device than the 702T. If you don't need timecode the 702 is substantially cheaper. If you got a Sound Devices 702 you would probably never need to upgrade unless you wanted to record more than 2 channels.
David Marker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2010, 04:13 AM   #32
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Posts: 734
The pre-recording makes this an attractive proposition, however, it is still five times the cost of the Fostex, and I really can't justify that at present. But thanks for your input.
__________________
Canon XH A1; Canon XF100; Nikon D800
Annie Haycock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2010, 12:33 AM   #33
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Broadwood New Zealand
Posts: 31
Is ther a simple and economic way through digital mics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
If you want a small pro. portable recorder, then it's really only the SD 700 series and the Nagra LB (a lot smaller than the Nagra VI).
John, I appreciate and have been encouraged by your advice on being professional, ie: having reliable equipment.

However, I also want to direct my comments and questions to the topic of this thread, which was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
What I think I need is: (a) reasonably priced and not too fancy (ie suitable for a beginner) machine with XLR input, delivering phantom power, digital (preferably to CF card) recording with a 10 or 15 second cache. These might be standard but I don't know. Oh, and a reasonably light weight too.

Virtually all of my recording is done outdoors, and is wildlife oriented - so anything from birdsong to rustling in the grass.
I also am working out in nature: in rainforest conditions: at night too. When it's wet my telephone crashes. when it's hot my laptop freezes. It might be obvious that (contrary to some comments in another recent thread) a laptop isn't a reliable field recorder; and that humidity will be an issue. The SD 788T makers aren't confident of their recorder being reliable above 80% relative humidity. The Nagra LB makers state theirs will work in 99%.
I will take on board John's suggestion (elsewhere) of using RF condenser mics for top quality audio in humid conditions. I also understand that the digital versions are more idiot-proof. The price of cameras keeps coming down a lot faster than does the price of mics. So, if I forgo the Canon XH-A1, and instead get a Kodak zi8, I might be able to afford an MKH 8000 series mic. The top end recorders don't yet match my needs. The closest is the Nagra LB coupled with an AES 42 connection kit: how well would this work? Otherwise I wait for the recorder makers to catch up and in the mean time use something like an Hn4 with a connection kit: how well would that work?
Shem
Shem Kerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shem Kerr View Post
I will take on board John's suggestion (elsewhere) of using RF condenser mics for top quality audio in humid conditions. I also understand that the digital versions are more idiot-proof. The price of cameras keeps coming down a lot faster than does the price of mics. So, if I forgo the Canon XH-A1, and instead get a Kodak zi8, I might be able to afford an MKH 8000 series mic. The top end recorders don't yet match my needs. The closest is the Nagra LB coupled with an AES 42 connection kit: how well would this work? Otherwise I wait for the recorder makers to catch up and in the mean time use something like an Hn4 with a connection kit: how well would that work?
Good mics don't really come down in price - it's a mature technology.

But - a good mic. will last forever. An MKH 416 bought in 1976 (when it came out) will be just as good today (but would cost a lot lot more today). A camera will need replacing about every 3 years and the new one will be half the price and twice as good. A good mic. will last you 20 / 30 years or more.

If money is really tight, then I would go for a Fostex FR-2LE or Tascam HD-P2 rather than a pocket machine - both these have XLRs and phantom.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #35
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 391
and another feature that I really like of the Tascam HD-P2 is the video input which lets me connect the composite out from the camera to an input on the tascam, and it then syncs the clock rate of the recorder to the sync signal in the video stream.

This means that for long recordings (e.g. 1 hour +), my audio stays in frame sync with my video. of course this can be dealt with in other ways too, but it makes things that much easier (note this is not time code / time clock in).

In the cases where I've had long recordings without using that feature, I've found the clock rate on the recorder (tascam) to match very very closely (if not exact) to the canon A1 (not that the camera is that accurate, but they two stay on sync with little drift)

I think on the less expensive recorders, one area where the component cost is reduced is on the clock chip, resulting in more drift (for correction later) on the audio.
Dave Stern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2010, 07:05 AM   #36
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stern View Post
and another feature that I really like of the Tascam HD-P2 is the video input which lets me connect the composite out from the camera to an input on the tascam, and it then syncs the clock rate of the recorder to the sync signal in the video stream. ..... etc .....
I think that the HD-P2 is the cheapest recorder with timecode for video sync'ing.

The next up is the Fostex FR-2 with timecode board (NB: *not* LE)

Then the next is the Sound Devices 702T and 722T.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:28 AM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Posts: 734
I'm back, and with a bit of cash to spare to actually purchase something before the end of the month.

My half-hour lunch break has stretched to two hours already as I've gone through this thread again, checked out all sorts of things, both on this forum and elsewhere on the net (including U-tube videos), and I find myself wondering.

Fostex FR2LE or Marantz PMD661?

The Fostex gets 8 mixed reviews on the B&H site, while the Marantz has 21 positive reviews. There is a comment on the end of a video review of the Marantz that says its only competition in the price range is the Fostex which is slightly better quality recording, but bigger and bulkier. I was surprised to see 800g for the Fostex and only 410g for the Marantz.

In favour of the Fostex are the use of CF cards instead of those fiddly SD cards (but it seems most things are going the way of SD cards anyway) and the option of a rechargeable battery (although I have so many different batteries and chargers that I'm not sure I want yet another one - I use lots of rechargeable AAs).

Has anyone here used both machines and can add any comments?

Thanks
__________________
Canon XH A1; Canon XF100; Nikon D800
Annie Haycock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2010, 10:00 AM   #38
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Singapore, Rep of SINGAPORE
Posts: 749
Pardon me for jumping in.

I have Sound Devices 722 recorder. (not the 722T). I use Sennheiser MKH461 condenser mics in tropical rainforests (Malaysia). Average humidity is about as close to 100% as you can get. Paired that with Panasonic HPX172 HD video camera for wildlife and nature videos inside Malaysian National Parks.

All passed the litmus test. I record the audio to CF (not to internal hard-disk of the 722). Save battery power - which is a premium when you can't find mains socket to charge for miles around. (722 uses the Sony LiOn battery - which lasts "forever"). The 722 mic preamp is pretty good - very quiet - so, if the ambient noise is not too high, I can increase the recording level a fair bit to get the animal sounds from a distance.

I post process the audio using Sony Sound Forge and BIAS Soundsoap Pro software to get rid of the recorded noises. Soundsoap has adaptive noise filtering which dynamically adjusts the noise level as the clip moves along.
TingSern Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 09:48 AM   #39
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
The Fostex gets 8 mixed reviews on the B&H site, while the Marantz has 21 positive reviews. T
I don't know anything about the Marantz.

Having now read the reviews of the FR2 LE on the B and H site it would appear to me that they are overwhelmingly positive.

The negative ones come from one reviewer who seems to be easily confused by the menu and doesn't seem to have heard about card readers (it's a lot easier to take the card out and slap it into a card reader than it is to fiddle around hooking the recorder up to a computer via a USB).

The other reviewer is complaining about the plastic body. Well, that's why it's cheap. I have found it robust but if it is going to have to take abuse then a more expensive recorder might be a better buy.

The other main gripe is the hissy monitoring via headphones. Which I agree with. But that's just the monitoring. The recording is superb.

The controls are simple and easy to access too, once you get used to them.

BTW I think that most of the weight in the Fostex is the battery. It's bulky but light. Don't get it if you want a recorder that you can slip into your pocket. But if you want controls and a display that are easy to access this may be a better configuration than a miniature recorder.

Having watched this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnpodTVG70 it seems that the recording quality of the Marantz is not as good but the form factor my be more convenient if you need to keep it in a coat pocket. The other issue is the battery life. 3 hours (using phantom) is probably fine for many. I think that I am getting nearer 8 with the Fostex and a model car battery. I'm a bit vague about that. It's a long time since I make the test. The main thing is that I didn't want to have to worry about the battery running out when I am filming. There are so many things to have to monitor that I like to eliminate possible errors wherever I can. I have never come near to running out of battery power with the Fostex. BTW I use an 8 gb card too, so it never comes close to filling up and another possible error is eliminated.

They both have the same pre-record buffer (two seconds) and the menus seem to be about the same in terms of ease of use. The Fostex has a limiter. The Marantz doesn't.
__________________
http://www.gooderick.com
Richard Gooderick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 02:06 PM   #40
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 186
Re the Marantz

I upgraded to the Marantz 661 from the H4N and love it for my needs, events, supplementing it with a couple of smaller units - Olympus LS11. I think you need to try these things out and decide if they are good enough quality for what you're doing. For me the SDs and Nagras would be way overkill. The Marantz really kicks the Zoom out of the park for not a lot of money more, and just feels much better. Also the Zoom goes through AAs like nothing Ive ever used, obv more if using Phantom, and the menus are just annoying. btw the little Olympus LS11 is ridiculously good value and batteries last forever.
Gary Barr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:00 PM   #41
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bellevue, WA USA
Posts: 10
PMD661 with Oade Brothers Super Mod

Annie,

I've been looking at recorders for a while. As an external recorder for my Video camera (just a Canon DV30 now, but I'm upgrading), I think the PMD661 with Oade Brothers Super Mod is the best option for me. Here's a link: Ordering for Oade Brothers Audio: Marantz PMD 661 Super.

From their description:

"The Marantz PMD 661 Super MOD upgrade rebuilds the XLR inputs using very high speed, very low noise and super low distortion op amps that dramatically improve low level detail and clarity. Components are selected by ear to optimize detail and low level resolution. Super low THD+N op amps allow for a very wide SFDR even with signal levels down 50dB. This preserves the signal quality of the highest grade microphones when recording soft signals, like voice, un amplified music, nature sounds and FX."

The cost of the recorder WITH the upgrade is $679.

FYI... I found this about the PMD661 prerecord feature:

"When using auto-record mode I set the Marantz up so that it hears a sound above a predetermined trigger level, meanwhile has buffered the 2 seconds of sound before the autorecord trigger level is reached, starts recording including the two second pre-recorded bit in the buffer and records until the sound stops for 3 seconds or longer. The recorder then automatically goes back into pause mode until it hears another sound above the auto-start preset trigger level which starts it recording again with another 2 second pre-recorded bit in the buffer."

Note that I found this comment on: Recorder advice - BirdForum.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Dan.
Dan Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:47 PM   #42
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Posts: 734
Dan - that is a very interesting feature that I didn't know existed. And reading more of that comment - he goes on to say:

And Auto-track is a great and very useful feature. You set some convenient length in time you want files to be to make them a size that is easy to manage, say 30 minutes, and every time the record clock gets to 30 minutes, the recorder aromatically starts a new file... It is a vast improvement over dealing with files of several hours of recording time in one huge 2Gb lump. That's the equivalent (but more versatile) to recording video with the Sony MRC-1K which splits a couple of hours recording into 4GB (20minute) segments.

Richard - I thought you'd jump in about the Fostex. I agree the negative reviews seemed to by by people who didn't know what they were talking about. However, your comment about hissy sound through headphones has me worried, especially as I think you are the sort of person who would have tried different headphones to confirm that. I don't like wearing headphones, but I understand the value of them for the purposes of recording, so, yes, I do use them. But hisses or hums . . . . . . . . . .

Now I'm going to show my ignorance. I assume that a limiter cuts the signal when it gets too loud, but how important is it to have one?

Thanks
__________________
Canon XH A1; Canon XF100; Nikon D800
Annie Haycock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 07:36 PM   #43
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 792
Maybe the word 'hissing' overstates it.
There is slight background noise which you might think came from the mic.
As long as you realise that it works fine for monitoring ie to check if it is distorting.
__________________
http://www.gooderick.com
Richard Gooderick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 07:40 PM   #44
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Hi Annie, the idea of limiters in a record circuit is to reduce loud peaks in the incoming audio to stop distortion but for wildlife recording work you don't need one, in fact a limiter could wreck your particular audio eg: by the time you establish the record level the loud bird might have flown. Just lower one of the record channels as fast as possible to cater for the peaks.

But it's necessary to have good audio limiters available in the gear and be able to recognise when you need them in the recording chain.

I agree with the others, the Sony D50 is a superb recorder for the price, it has a pre-record cache and its mics are hard to beat. One feature is it has very quickly adjustable 90 and 120 degree settings. 120 is wide stereo and after you get used to using that, you'd quickly get to recognise when to use 120 and it would greatly enhance some of your wildlife work. (and it has switchable on/off limiters)

The battery life is amazing and it's lightweight very compact and the windproofing accessory works as advertised. Most important .. as a solo shooter it's extremely easy to move around, quick to set up and start recording.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.

Last edited by Allan Black; September 23rd, 2010 at 07:50 PM. Reason: typo
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 07:43 PM   #45
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arcata, Ca
Posts: 750
Has anyone mentioned the Edirol R-44? 4 channels. Pre-record. You can get a modified one for about the same price as a stock model. It's simple, and it's awesome.

Edirol / Roland R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable R-44 -
__________________
My Work: http://www.youtube.com/ChadWork1
Sony FS5 :: Panasonic GH4 :: Sony PMW-EX1 :: FCPx :: AT4053b :: Rode NTG-3,
Chad Johnson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network