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Old February 22nd, 2011, 08:41 AM   #1
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3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

So after 3 days of researching my head is exploding ;). Due to time constraints i should be ordering one of those setups either today or tomorrow.

Those are the mixer/ recorder setups i came up with. Feel free to point out problems….any input is greatly appreciated.
One thing to add is, that i am not really a sound person, but more of a one man crew videographer/soundperson. Still I plan to do several things with this setup: short films, interviews, sound effects recording.

Thanks again for the help, this forum has been a great resource!


Audio Setups:


SETUP1:
Sound Devices MixPre: 665 $
Tascam DR-07 Audio Recorder: 99 $

Total Cost:
764 $

Advantage: Recorder is pretty cheap.
Disadvantage: I don´t know if going line in through the 3.5mm Line Input is a good idea. (Interferences, durability)


SETUP2:
Sound Devices MixPre: 665 $
Zoom H4n or Tascam DR-100: about 300 $

Advantage/Disadvantage: I can go line in from the MixPre to the recorder bypassing the mic preamps of the recorder and get a better signal, or when there is too much interference, i could use the XLR inputs. But then i will use the cheaper preamps of the recorders.

Total Cost:
965 $


SETUP3:
Sound Devices MixPre: 665 $
Marantz PMD661: 600$

Total Cost:
1265 $

Advantage: Maranzt has XLR Line in and it sounds pretty good even without the MixPre, so when i need more inputs i could use the MixPre with a camcorder and the Maranzt on its own.
Disadvantage: The Marantz is pretty big and uses 4 Batteries


The only thing i am also thinking about is replacing the MixPre with an 302, because the mixer will probably outlive the recorders. But 302 is a bit expensive for me.

thanks,
Marcus
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

If you're a one man crew why not record audio straight to camera? If you do that, you can get the 302 and forget about an external recorder. If you need double system recording, the PMD661 on its own is an excellent recorder and wouldn't benefit that much from the MixPre.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

I don´t record to camera because the "camera" is a gh2.
Also when recording sound effects i would always have to take the camera with me and would only get compressed AVCHD files.
The PMD661 on its own, doesn´t have limiters, which is a must!
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:45 PM   #4
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

if your going to get into the $1k range -

Tascam DR-680 6 track + stereo mix down recorder. very clean preamps, hold sync for at least 12 mins
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

I use the Sign Eng44 mixer plus the Tascam DR-07. I use a very short cable and actually velcro the recorder to the mixer, for a very compact recorder unit. I look at this as we did in the 70's and 80's when everyone was going component stereo gear. The mixer does its job, and recorder does its. If one does not, the one goes, the other doesnt.

Recently, I bought the Zoom H1 to backup the DR07. It actually has better mics for stand alone use, in my opinion, but the line recording capability seems to be equal to the DR-07.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 04:37 AM   #6
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

Hi Marcus,
Setup 3 gets my vote.I have used a similar setup ( SQN mixer and Marantz PMD661) to record dialogue for picture on location.I was happy with the results. The PMD661 is a bit big and I had to improvise a bit in order to get the best position for it in my Portabrace bag.Check out this link for an option on bags: Kortwich: Taschenanfertigung
One thing to look out for. Once I had set recording levels I put a piece of tape over the level control knobs on the PMD661.Depending on the position of the recorder in the bag it is possible to touch the controls and change the level settings without realising it!!
The fact that it uses four batteries was not a major issue for me. Overall I found this setup to be very reliable.Good Luck! Neil
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

I did setup 1. Very good combination. Since the recorder is so cheap, you can replace it with any better one easily.
If I'm going to buy now, I would go for Sound Devices USBPre 2 with Sony D50 via toslink.
You can power USBPre 2 with a battery USB power supplier.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 04:05 PM   #8
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

I think my option would be so skip the MixPre and spend the money on a better 2-track recorder. Something like the TASCAM HD-P2. I think it's around $750. The preamps might not be quite as good as the MixPre, but I think it would give you a better result overall. (better converters etc., better I/O options)
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

In that price range, take a look at the Fostex FR-2 LE. It's quiet and has nice ergonomics. Treat it nicely though, as it has many plastic parts.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

I went with a Sign Video ENG44 and a Marantz PMD-671.
I wanted the ability to mix up to four mics into a good stereo recorder.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Hurley View Post
Hi Marcus,
Setup 3 gets my vote.I have used a similar setup ( SQN mixer and Marantz PMD661) to record dialogue for picture on location.I was happy with the results. The PMD661 is a bit big and I had to improvise a bit in order to get the best position for it in my Portabrace bag.Check out this link for an option on bags: Kortwich: Taschenanfertigung
One thing to look out for. Once I had set recording levels I put a piece of tape over the level control knobs on the PMD661.Depending on the position of the recorder in the bag it is possible to touch the controls and change the level settings without realising it!!
The fact that it uses four batteries was not a major issue for me. Overall I found this setup to be very reliable.Good Luck! Neil
Option 3 is also my set up but I have the SD302. Well worth the money. I do record into camera via line input/output through the SD302. Limiters on the SD302 work well, result is great quality. I also record though the SC302 line out and line2input on the PMD661 as backup. Many options to fit flexible needs. All of my recordings get praise regarding clarity of audio. I have to use lithium aa batteries to get recording times of 5 hours with this setup. I also use the Petrol PSDMB(302) bag which fits both the 302 and 661. Above problems with volume knobs noted but tape works. The 661 does have a control lock but volume can still be accidently bumped and tape solves that issue.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 04:46 AM   #12
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Re: 3 Mixer/Recorder Setups for your consideration :)

Thanks a lot guys, will hopefully make a decision soon.

Marcus
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