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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #1
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iRiver and mics - distance more than 3 feet

I just bought an iRiver 795 and a Giant Squid mic and have been playing around with them. The results are impressive - I can see how they would be very effective if you use them to mic an individual, such as a groom.

However, I am hoping to use it to replace my mini-disc recorder when I tape plays. I normally leave my MD player hidden somewhere on the stage with a stereo mic. I know that a lavillier-type mic is not designed for this purpose, so I have be experimenting with some of my other mics, including a Rode VideoMic. Unfortunately, I get the same results - great close up, but useless after about 3 feet.

Are there settings on the iRiver that I need to change when I use a shotgun mic and am going for distances up to 10 feet?

Does anyone have any experience with this or any ideas?

Thanks, Jack
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Old October 21st, 2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Sugrue
I just bought an iRiver 795 and a Giant Squid mic and have been playing around with them. The results are impressive - I can see how they would be very effective if you use them to mic an individual, such as a groom.

However, I am hoping to use it to replace my mini-disc recorder when I tape plays. I normally leave my MD player hidden somewhere on the stage with a stereo mic. I know that a lavillier-type mic is not designed for this purpose, so I have be experimenting with some of my other mics, including a Rode VideoMic. Unfortunately, I get the same results - great close up, but useless after about 3 feet.

Are there settings on the iRiver that I need to change when I use a shotgun mic and am going for distances up to 10 feet?

Does anyone have any experience with this or any ideas?

Thanks, Jack
It's not a matter of settings on the recorder as such but the distance to the mic. Some mics are more sensitive than others and you can increase the recording gain a bit but esentailly all types of mics are designed for relatively close working distances and there's really no such thing as a "telephoto" mic that reaches out to grab sound. (A possible exception might be the parabolic mic used for surveilance and wildlife photography but that's not really a practical solution for your situation.) Shotgun and hypercardoid mics don't magnify sound at a distance in the same sense that zoom lenses magnify pictures. Although they may be a little more sensitive than other mics and so let you turn up the gain a bit, they work by rejecting off-axis sounds to help isolate a desired sound from the background noise. Even with those highly directional mics, the only way to get good sound is to get it close and 10 feet is really pushing it.

A stage is a pretty reflective environment. It's a characterisitic of most shotguns that the off-axis rejection is quite frequency dependent with highs being reduced but lows not rejected nearly as much. As a result, a shotgun used indoors sounds hollow and bassy. The acoustic reflections coming off the stage floor is going to make that even worse than in a regular room.

Can you suspend mics in the flyers over the stage? Or perhaps use hidden wireless mics on the talent with speaking roles?
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Old October 30th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #3
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use hidden wireless mics on the talent with speaking roles?

That was my first thought too. Something else you may want to think about, position three or four mics on the stage hidden in props and set dressings. Most plays are choreographed so you know who's where when they speak. This way you'll get three or four tracks of individually recorded voice. Find the best one and match it up in post (somewhat of a pain I would imagine).
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Old October 30th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #4
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I think you may be missing my point. I have a Sony Walkman MZ-N10 MiniDisc recorder. I put it offstage, and using a 25-foot cable, I hide a mic above the stage. It works well whether I use my Rode VideoMic or even a cheap little stereo mic from Radio Shack. I am able to pick up most voices, even those up to 15 feet away.

However, with my iRiver 795, I can't pick up anything more than 2 feet away. The only thing that the iRiver picks up is what is spoken directly into the mic, regardless of which mic (Giant Squid lav, Rode VideoMic, or Radio Shack special). The iRiver is great for picking up someone who is wearing the lav mic, but I cannot get it to pick up anyone else.

Shouldn't the iRiver have the same ability to record as a MiniDisc recorder?

Jack
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Old October 31st, 2005, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Sugrue
I think you may be missing my point. I have a Sony Walkman MZ-N10 MiniDisc recorder. I put it offstage, and using a 25-foot cable, I hide a mic above the stage. It works well whether I use my Rode VideoMic or even a cheap little stereo mic from Radio Shack. I am able to pick up most voices, even those up to 15 feet away.

However, with my iRiver 795, I can't pick up anything more than 2 feet away. The only thing that the iRiver picks up is what is spoken directly into the mic, regardless of which mic (Giant Squid lav, Rode VideoMic, or Radio Shack special). The iRiver is great for picking up someone who is wearing the lav mic, but I cannot get it to pick up anyone else.

Shouldn't the iRiver have the same ability to record as a MiniDisc recorder?

Jack
What you're asking has nothing to do with the recorder...but a mic issue. Unless, however, you have the wrong input seleted and you're recording from the internal mic and not the external mic
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:26 AM   #6
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I don’t agree: it has everything to do with the recorder. For the same mics, you’ll get lower recording levels with the iRiver. At least that is what I found when I tried the IFP795 (yes, I had the right settings) and then a HiMD minidisc recorder. You can increase the recording level on the iRiver, but you will also increase the hiss considerably. You may, however, find a level that suits you, as this is very subjective.

HTH,
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:41 AM   #7
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I guess if the audio is getting lost in the hiss generated by the pre-amp I can see your point....

Although the iriver is a nice little recorder for capturing vocals with a lav mic, for what the original poster is trying to capture, a more professional recorder maybe in order....
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Old November 1st, 2005, 01:56 AM   #8
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iRiver as a recording device

I've been reading a lot about the iRiver as a recording device. I am going to be shooting a wedding soon, and I have plans to mic the preacher, the groom and have a mic on stand for the readers. There will be a 4 string quartet that I was interested in having a mic for as well. I would like to have a constant audio recording option so I don't have to worry about which of the three cameras are recording. To explain further, I will have the groom wired(audio fed) to camera A and the preacher and readers to camera B. I was hoping to have the readers audio fed into camera C but one of my transmitters isn't working. At the very least I'd like to get information that would help me decide if an iRiver would suit my needs. What would be recommended for a mic/input for recording the string quartet. Thanks for the knoweldege.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:46 PM   #9
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iRiver 795

I have a (or two) quick question(s) for those of you who own the iRiver 795. I have heard that this recorder is NOT compatable with Windows PCs. Is this true? Also does this one have a jack for a mic, or is it built in?
Thanks
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 05:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Sawyers
I have a (or two) quick question(s) for those of you who own the iRiver 795. I have heard that this recorder is NOT compatable with Windows PCs. Is this true? Also does this one have a jack for a mic, or is it built in?
Thanks
That is UN true...the 700 series iRivers are compatible with windows PCs. Both the 700 & 800 series iRivers have ext. mic capability
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 05:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Sawyers
I have a (or two) quick question(s) for those of you who own the iRiver 795. I have heard that this recorder is NOT compatable with Windows PCs. Is this true? Also does this one have a jack for a mic, or is it built in?
Thanks
That is UN true...the 700 series iRivers are compatible with windows PCs. Both the 700 & 800 series iRivers have ext. mic capability
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 05:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Sawyers
I have a (or two) quick question(s) for those of you who own the iRiver 795. I have heard that this recorder is NOT compatable with Windows PCs. Is this true? Also does this one have a jack for a mic, or is it built in?
Thanks
That is UN true...the 700 series iRivers are compatible with windows PCs. Both the 700 & 800 series iRivers have ext. mic capability
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