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-   -   looking for a iriver replacement (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/508244-looking-iriver-replacement.html)

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 01:26 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement

You did come here for advice, right?
Ehm, I came here to ask for a good iriver replacement, not for advice about me using MP3 as a recording format.

Remember that I"m not recording the philharmonic orchestra, then I would use the best recording format available but I"m sure a yamaha pocket recorder would not be used for this type of recording.

I do weddings solo where I have 2 minutes set-up time to place 3 external recorders and where they are placed is decided the moment I enter the church (we don't do rehearsals here)

My recorders are sometimes placed in locations which are far from optimal (to far from the persons) but they still record sound much better then what you can hear coming out of the soundspeakers.

I did a mp3/wav test with the Yamaha and both produced the same amount of noise in the background when it was quiet, this is what the waveform in Vegas showed me and what I could hear through my headphones, only wav had a bit richer tone to it.

Take all the garbage that's been recorded as well, like screaming kids, echo from the church, a airconditioner blowing or whatever unwanted background noise you can have in these public locations you won't hear the difference between mp3/wav, trust me, that bit richer tone wav produces gets lost in all that noise, for me clarity of the voice is what counts and there I at least can't hear the difference between both formats in such recording surroundings.

I always work with the included card in such recorders and if mp3 produces a quality where my client will never notice the difference, I"m more then happy to leave it there so I can record all day to it if required.

About disagreeing with advice from established pros, if they tell me a mp3 recorder can hold sync for just 5 minutes and if the "amateur" proves then it can hold sync for more then an hour? And I will do the same for the zoom h1 recorder if the pro would like to disagree on that too and I will show them the deviation will be equally small, unless, you regard 0,008sec a deviation, then ofcourse they are right.

I never disagreed on the fact that mp3 is a lesser format then wav, when you need the most from a recording, like in a controlled room, where you can place your mikes in the best possible way, of course you'd select the best possible recording format. But if you are a solo weddingshooter like me, your very happy about the quality difference just mp3 recordings can produce in these battlefield conditions we often have to work in with no prep time at all. It's actually the same with videocamera's, I know weddingvideographers that use a few gopro's as additional camera's, they can produce "pretty good and clear" footage as well in church but they are not in the same league as a professional videocamera, a "real" pro might say, "don't use those, the image quality is not the same!" but for what they cost they deliver added value to a wedding where the client will be more then happy when they see their wedding covered from different angles, even if those tiny camera might not have the exact same sharpness, low noise, latitude or whatever compared to the big cams..

I mean, do you shoot weddings solo Greg and do you have years of experience in "the field"? I know what the big picture looks like my friend, happy clients are my first concern and I provide them with a experience they won't forget for years to come, I consider audio as an important part of a wedding and they can hear themselves talk much clearer during those important moments then what their family and friends could ever hear at the time of recording. The only comment I get is "wow, that's clear" and I"m still waiting for my first client that will tell me "uhm, that sounds like a mp3 recording, doesn't it?"

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the advice I get here about mp3/wav, even if that was not what I asked for and I do respect the people that have expertise in those fields, but I also expect people to step back and look at it from my point of view as well considering the circumstances and clients I work for, only then they would see the bigger picture :)

Stewart Hemley June 11th, 2012 03:15 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
Good reply, Noa. I admire your patience and restraint. It's clear you were not disregarding the advice offered and it's equally clear you have tested your claims and proved them to yourself. I don't see how anyone could feel a need to criticise you for that.

Steve House June 11th, 2012 04:00 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1737610)
Ok, had the xh-a1 run for 1hour and 15min and the yamaharecorder the same time, I recorded in mp3, 192kbs, made a clapping sound in the beginning and at the end, placed both recordings on the timeline in Sony Vegas Pro 10, synced both with the first clap in the beginning and after 1hour 15min there was a deviation of about 0.008 sec.(I don't know how to read these timeunits in Vegas as I couldn't see a scale but I enlarged that much that 1 frame filled my lcd screen, measured the length of one frame and then the length of the deviation which was 20% of one frame and that should be 0.008sec, if I"m wrong math wizards should correct me. :) )

So 0.008 sec over a time period of 1 hour and 15 minutes, still not convinced Steve? I am :)

In Vegas you should be able to set the units for the timeline to your preferred units by right-mouse clicking on the timeline and choosing from the pop-up menu. If you select SMPTE EBU 25FPS (appropriate for PAL video) the timeline scale numbers read in hours:minutes:seconds:frames.

I'm still not convinced your test is valid and you haven't accidentally introduced an error. If a $100 recorder can hold sync to less than a single frame deviation over an hour length take, why would the producers running TV network remote crews and the like - people notoriously tight with every penny - spend thousands of dollars on master clocks and Lockit boxes to insure their multi-tens-of-thousand broadcast cameras and multi-thousand dollar audio recorders maintain acceptable sync? Or consider why the producer of a reality TV show who wants to plant recorders on the cast instead of using wireless would spend $1000 on something like a Zaxcom ZFR200 to get an accurate clock with timecode when the $100 Yamaha pocket recorder would do as good a job?

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 04:00 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement

I admire your patience and restraint.
At last someone that understands where I am coming from :) I also understand where some other are coming from and it's clear they are involved in productions where audio is considered critical and where a bit less then excellent is not an option. But I'm also almost sure they don't work in environments like I do where I charge "only" 1400 dollar for a full wedding day including all the editing afterwards, using 2 dslr's and 2 videocamera's, a steadicam, a slider and 3 to 4 separate audio recorders and that all by myself. You often have to make decisions that will involve less then excellent results but still more then what you client had hoped for and for what they pay, they get a lot. For those who are doing weddings alone and not being able to charge big time know what I am talking about.

I don't mind being criticized, I expect people who are expert in certain fields to question why I work the way I do, I only don't like that lecturing tone some have without even trying to see it from my point of view.

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 04:12 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
Thx Steve for the Vegas tip, I do edit in Edius 5.51 but that is quite limited in the audio section so I sometimes do some basic cleaning up of my audio in vegas.


Originally Posted by Steve House (Post 1737697)
I'm still not convinced your test is valid and you haven't accidentally introduced an error.

What error could that be, you record, clap twice and sync it up at the beginning clap peak and look at the end clap peak in your NLE and see how much it deviates, it's not rocket-science. No offence Steve, but I don't feel like going into endless discussion that leed nowhere. It works for me, I don't hear any deviations with my zoom h1, yamaha recorder and previously my iriver when in mp3 format for 1 hour recordings. Lets just say that you are right and I"m lucky and leave it at that.

Steve House June 11th, 2012 08:29 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
I'm thinking you may not have zoomed your Vegas timeline in to the point where you could see individual frames. At less detailed zoom levels a single frame thumbnail on the screen represents a group of actual frames. When zoomed all the way out a full 15 seconds of video might be represented by only 2 thumbnails on the timeline. What happens when you zoom in to the point where each frame in the clip is represented by an individual thumbnail, the timeline numbers increment by single frames, and the unlabeled tick marks between the numbers represent, say, 1/4 frame? Do your visual and audible tail claps still fall on the same frame?

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 11:53 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
You are really on a mission to prove me wrong :) I zoomed in on framelevel (not a group of frames) and the deviation occurred within that one (1) frame. like 25 frames meaning 1 second and 1 frame 1/25th of a second and within that 1 frame or 1/25th of a second there was a 20% deviation.

Steve House June 11th, 2012 02:05 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
I'm not trying to prove you wrong, far from it. It's just what you say you're observing is so far off from what most people's experiences are. The common experience is for two consumer-grade devices to drift apart by an unacceptable amount over the course of about 10 minutes, sometimes faster. For two such to maintain frame-level sync over a 1-hour duration continuous single take is virtually unheard of. You're either incredibly lucky or there's something else going on.

As far as recording to mp3, I truly don't understand why you would accept the compromise when it doesn't have any real apparent benefit. Memory cards are cheaper than dirt, no need to conserve there.

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 02:18 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
Ok, I"ll do another test, not with letting it run and clap again but I"ll take a recording from a wedding I did a few weeks ago with my xh-a1 and a recording from my zoom h1 which recorded a 320kbs mp3 file, I will use a continuous church recording of at least an hour and synch the audio from the zoom in the beginning when people start to speak at the lectern (the zoom h1 was placed there and had a clipon mike attached to it's line in) and check at the end of the recording when someone reads to first listen if I hear a deviation and then see if there is a deviation if I can find a certain obvious peak sound for reference in both files.
Both files are the original unaltered files as they came out of the camera and zoom h1.

If I have to believe you there should be a really obvious out of sync recording after already 10 minutes, I can be incredibly lucky once but not twice, right? So I"ll check and report back.

Greg Miller June 11th, 2012 02:42 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
Noa, I do understand where you're coming from. I don't shoot weddings but I've been caught in some run'n'gun situations where I still had the recorder in my hand when the audio started. It's not always fun out there in the trenches.

Be that as it may, I can pretty much summarize my thoughts as follows.

First: given everything you say about shooting conditions, schedules, etc., there is still no advantage to using MP3 format over WAV. You still have to record the same people in the same situation in the same room. WAV will not make any of that impossible. Everything will be the same: same mic, same recorder, same talent, same room. There is no reason NOT to use WAV.

Second: some very experienced people have stated that WAV sounds better, and even you agree that with some tests WAV sounds better to you. So, since WAV sometimes sounds better, and never sounds worse, there is no reason NOT to use WAV.

Perhaps some day you will be listening on a different system, or using different hardware, and the difference will be more apparent to you than it is now. So, given the above two points, I still conclude that you're better off in the long run to use WAV.

And, by the way, I'm not sure how much this has been clarified before: if you open an MP3 file and do any editing whatsoever, then save it as an MP3 again; then re-open and re-edit and re-save... each time the quality will deteriorate somewhat. So even if you start with an MP3 file, you should immediately convert to WAV before doing any editing (or cleaning, equalizing, etc.) and then always save as a WAV as you go along. Given that you will end up working with a WAV file in the studio, that just seems like one more reason to start with a WAV file.

Anyway, glad to hear that you're happy with the new recorder. I think it will be much better than your iRiver was. And perhaps as you get accustomed to hearing the new recorder, your ear will become more discerning and you will start to notice things that you didn't notice before. A win-win situation.

Richard Crowley June 11th, 2012 02:47 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
Mr. Put appears to be incredibly lucky to hold sync for those time periods. The typical experience of most of us is that we are lucky to go for 10 minutes without slipping several frames. Note that the codec used (MP3 vs WAV, etc.) is not necessarily a factor here. It is the accuracy of the 42-cent crystal that clocks the operation of the camera or recorder or whatever. The law of averages says that SOME of these will be spot-on, but don't bet your money on it.

While this is very fortunate for Mr. Put, but it should be noted by others reading this thread that THIS IS NOT TYPICAL RESULTS. This is exactly why that phrase has its own internet abbreviation: YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 02:51 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1737791)
So I"ll check and report back.

That was an easy one, the church recording had a very noticeable click sound from my camera sliding into the tripods head in the beginning and that peak was well visible in both recordings, after 57 minutes I managed to find another clicking sound with a noticeable peak, the deviation from my zoom recorder at that point was exactly1 frame, and no, I didn't make an error or think 20 frames where one, it was exactly one frame off. So this one is not almost dead on like the Yamaha but just one frame on a mp3 recording, that small deviation on a second mp3 recorder should be impossible? I can't be that lucky,right? :)

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 03:02 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
So another one wise guys, I added my iriver with a 320kbs mp3 recording from that same wedding, (when it still was working) and lo and behold! there was a 2 frame deviation after 54 minutes, 2 frames, imagine that. The reason why I never noticed that is because the iriver was only used to capture the vows and that's just a few minutes. I really must have miracle tools.

Noa Put June 11th, 2012 03:04 PM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement

Originally Posted by Richard Crowley (Post 1737797)
Mr. Put appears to be incredibly lucky

Yes, I seem to be, Mr Crowley, three mp3 recorders within a 2 frame margin on a one hour recording, I must be destined to win the lottery soon and then I will be able to finally hire a sound guy to handle all my audio recordings so I don't have to waist my time any more on dead end discussions that I didn't ask for. :D
I even might put my mp3 recorders up for sale, they must be worth a fortune.

Ok guys, I'm really done talking here as this thread is going into a direction I don't like and never asked for in the beginning, I did the test 3 times and proved what some think is impossible, if you don't believe me, well, whatever. I"m going to watch a nice movie now, that I was planning to watch an hour ago and if you like to continue discussing here, be my guest, but I won't anymore since I proved my point well enough.

Bill Grant June 12th, 2012 07:32 AM

Re: looking for a iriver replacement
You know fellas. I've had the same experience. I've about 200 weddings under my belt with Irivers and now Zoom H1s, H2s, H4N, and the Tascam DR40 and never experienced enough drift to notice and all clips are usually 45 mins to an hour if not longer. I think if he has to work this hard to break it, it doesn't seem to be broke. I appreciate all of the scientific knowledge and mathmatical accuracy, but it just doesn't matter in what we do.

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