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Old September 29th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #1
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Digital Field Recorder Recommendation

I asked about the PMD 660/670 the other day, and they got mixed reviews. Please allow me to ask my question in a results oriented way...

I am a lawyer (ducking for cover now ;^). I've been using a PMD221 cassette unit for 7-8 years to record client interviews, depositions, telephone calls. The other day, a client kinda joked about the ancient technology. I also have an increasing need to make a digital copy of portions of recorded sessions, which are e-mailed or burned to CD. I have been doing this with my iMac and the PMD 221. A really nice feature of the 221 is the telephone RJ-11 connector for taping telephone calls.

Anyway, here is my question...

What is the short list of digital recorders that would suit my need? Let me add that I place a high value on good (read: excellent) audio quality. The ultimate purpose of these tapes, really, is evidentiary. I have seen too many listeners craning their necks at the sound of crappy cassette recordings. I am looking for a solution that "wows" the listener, because I believe clear and intelligible recordings are far more convincing.

Thanks for your time and attention.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #2
 
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Dan,
The solution to clean recordings lies very little with the device, and weighs heavily on the side of the microphone, which needs to be:
a. A good quality, sensitive mic with a good intelligibility score
b. probably omni directional in your situation

HD MD, the Edirol R1, even an iRiver would probably work for you. I've been working with the HDMD in PCM mode recently,and very impressed with what I'm getting in the small package and ease of use, plus the ability to hide it.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 07:51 AM   #3
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Douglas,
What is the HDMD, does it perchance have a longer recording time per battery set than the Edirol?
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Old September 30th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #4
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Since I expect depositions, client interviews and the like to usually take place across a conference table, what about a boundary layer mic in the middle of the table?
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Old September 30th, 2005, 08:17 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Retread
Douglas,
What is the HDMD, does it perchance have a longer recording time per battery set than the Edirol?
HDMD=HiDensity Mini Disk

has GREAT battery life with interchangeable external batteries, as well as an internal (replaceable) battery pack. Can record ATRACS, MP3, or PCM.
About 4"x4" but only has 3.5mm input, and obviously no phantom or anything like that. So cable lengths are limited unless using a balancing adaptor.

A boundary mic would work great in most of those situations, I'm a huge fan of boundary mics for fixed installs and low profile.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for your thoughts Douglas. I had settled on the boundary mics, because these sessions are almost always over a conference table or desk. In addition, I'll add and ENG handheld mic for occassinal use.

Douglas, any brands or model numbers that you could recommend?
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Old September 30th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #7
 
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My only serious/consistent experience with boundaries is the AT 851 and Pro 44. The 851 would likely be very good for what you need. The ATPro 44 is good for very close miking, but for any distance...it's not my first choice.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 09:38 AM   #8
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Thanks Douglas. I was looking at both those AT boundaries, and the Pro42. Uhm, how do you add phantom power?
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brown
Thanks Douglas. I was looking at both those AT boundaries, and the Pro42. Uhm, how do you add phantom power?
Phantom power is added by turning on "phantom power" on the recording device (not always available), or inserting a battery in the mic itself (if it is equipped for this; not all are).
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #10
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Yes, second that, the 851s are really nice mics.

BTW, have you checked out this thread on digital recorders? More fodder there:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=66951
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