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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:50 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Brooks Harrington View Post
If you read the Oade website, mods and parts are chosen "by ear".... Whos Ear? I would like to have documentation to go along with any modification, wouldn't you??
Doug Oade will never say what he is using. When he replaces ICs, he makes sure that you cannot make out what part he is substituting. That's just they way he is. He doesn't want to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, about what he is doing to the unit.

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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #152
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I am wondering, when comparing recording in 16bit 44.1KHz, has anyone noticed a big quality difference between the Edirol-R09, a minidisc recorder like the MZRH1, or something cheap like the XtremeMac MicroMemo?

I'd love to save $300-$400 and not have to buy an Edirol or MZRH1 if I can get the same kind of quality out of a MicroMemo.

I have high quality mics, so I guess what I'm wondering is how comparable the pre-amp quality is across these products. Anyone have any advice?
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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
My immediate budget is more in the $300 - $400 range
That limits your choices quite a bit.

I bought a Zoom H4 last year, and despite a few limitations, it's a pretty good unit for the price.

I built an 6 C-cell external battery pack for it for $10, which runs the H4 and powers one 48v phantom mic for 28 hours.

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Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
For a little more than some of these mods you could get the Marantz PMD-670, which has 5dB better Signal-to-Noise Ratio.
I owned a PMD-670 for 2 years, and just sold it last month. I would not recommend this unit for any type of ENG/EFP work because of it's noisy pre-amps, and fairly awkward control system.

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Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
the mods don't specify what the end result Signal-to-Noise Ratio is... whould you fathom a guess?
There are lots of recording samples using these units on the taperssection.com website. My guess is that you would probably be looking at a true SN ratio of 70+ dB from one of these modded units.

My Marantz PMD-670 had a true SN ratio of 50 dB using it's pre-amps powering a 48v mic, and 65 db using the pre-amp from a Sound Devices MM-1 unit. ( the Zoom H4 does slightly better in the same situation )

Right now I get by with the Zoom H4, while I save to buy a Sound Devices 702 recorder. ( true SN ratio 100+ dB )

Originally I was looking at getting a Tascam HD-P2, which has a true SN ratio of 90+ dB, but I also want something small, so I am waiting until I can afford the SD 702. ( I might even go for the 702T model, so I can connect a digital slate to it )
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Old September 20th, 2007, 04:11 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Guy McLoughlin View Post

Right now I get by with the Zoom H4, while I save to buy a Sound Devices 702 recorder. ( true SN ratio 100+ dB )

Originally I was looking at getting a Tascam HD-P2, which has a true SN ratio of 90+ dB, but I also want something small, so I am waiting until I can afford the SD 702. ( I might even go for the 702T model, so I can connect a digital slate to it )
Hello again Guy,

Well you have been extremely helpful as has everyone else.

I think I am going to wait for the next gig and then go for the HD-P2. From everything that I have read, it provides a great value and quiet preamps.

In the short term (today or tomarrow) I think that I'll get a portable, battery operated mic preamp to boost my line level.

Correct me if I am wrong (I am no audio engineer) if I use a good mic preamp to boost my line input, I can lower the gain on my camera to below the "Hiss Floor" and this should provide for a very clean recording and maybe a fatter sound.

A preamp should be a lot quieter... True?

Any recommendations?

Thanks again!!!!!
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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:19 AM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
Correct me if I am wrong (I am no audio engineer) if I use a good mic preamp to boost my line input, I can lower the gain on my camera to below the "Hiss Floor" and this should provide for a very clean recording and maybe a fatter sound.

A preamp should be a lot quieter... True?
Anthony: You are correct. If you place a pre-amp in the circuit that has a low SNR (signal-to-noise-ratio), You can raise the sound of the microphone and lower the amplification on the camera. However, just be aware that every device has noise, the noise is an additive quantity. If you have a noisy signal going into the pre-amp (high self-noise on the microphone), that noise along with the desired audio are both increased in the pre-amp. If the pre-amp has a high noise level, then that noise is added to the signal. What you end up with before you put it into your camera is noisy, then add in the camera noise... anyhow, you get the picture.

But generally as a rule, you want to run the hottest signal you can into the camera without going over 0 dB. One of the advantages of the older analog mixers/pre-amps was that you could go over 0 dB and not destroy your signal. In the digital realm this isn't true. You go over 0 dB and you get those nasty digital pops that are nearly impossible (if not totally impossible) to get rid of in post.

Good luck!

Wayne
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Old September 20th, 2007, 11:07 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
I think I am going to wait for the next gig and then go for the HD-P2. From everything that I have read, it provides a great value and quiet preamps.
I've rented it a few times, and was amazed how much better it was than my Marantz PMD-670.
( I've heard that the PMD-671 has fixed many of the problems of the PMD-670 )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
In the short term (today or tomarrow) I think that I'll get a portable, battery operated mic preamp to boost my line level.
This is what I bought a Sound Devices MM-1 pre-amp for. ( it's also a good boom-op pre-amp )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
if I use a good mic preamp to boost my line input, I can lower the gain on my camera to below the "Hiss Floor" and this should provide for a very clean recording and maybe a fatter sound.
Yes. Try to work at line-levels if you can, provided your camera can accept a line-in signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
Any recommendations?
The Sound Devices MM-1 pre-amp I mentioned above would be my first pick if you need to keep to a limited budget. At some point I plan on buying a Sound Devices 302 mixer, but right now I can't afford the extra expense.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #157
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I bought a Marantz 660 because I wanted a small flash recorder, but it was way too noisy and I sent it back and got the M-Audio Microtrak, which is fine for my purposes, though it has 1/4" phono jacks instead of XLR (at least it's not 1/8" mini). I also checked out the Tascam HD P2 and really like it but didn't need that much deck. I don't think you can go wrong with that one.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #158
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Ar great risk of beating this thread to death, I will mention I used the new ZOOM h2 for the first time last weekend as a backup to the camera audio while filming a jazz quartet in a club.
Just using the built in mic with the 90 degree spread at approx. 10 feet from the stage, the audio was fantastic. The sound man, and two of the musicians (discriminating ears) were impressed. Very easy to operate and at an affordable price point.

jon
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Old September 21st, 2007, 12:15 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Anthony Marotti View Post
Thanks for the reply David. What small recording unit are you looking at? [...]
I'm currently considering the Zoom H4 as a replacement for my dead as a doornail Microtrack, however, I'm really liking this recording straight to the laptop business I've been doing as an alternative, but alas, I'm going to need something small and portable. The H4 is a strong contender, I like the XLR inputs. And unlike the Microtrack, it runs on two AA batteries, much better design choice than the *&^%^$ Lithium-Ion battery built into the Microtrack.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 11:24 AM   #160
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Hey Guys, Thanks Again!!

You have been so helpful to me. I really appreciate being able to access your great knowledge and practical experience!

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Old December 1st, 2007, 11:54 AM   #161
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I'm currently considering the Zoom H4 as a replacement for my dead as a doornail Microtrack [...]
As a follow up, I was able to resurrect my MicroTrack (it was a combination of a bad USB/charge cable and the battery getting so low the MicroTrack would not start-up without a charge, but the USB cable was bad). Once again the culprit turns out to be a cable, and I know to check cables, so silly me.

Now that the MicroTrack is once again working, I still hate the idea of an internal LiIon battery that requires a $75 replacement after reaching the limit of charge-recharge cycles that a LiIon battery is good for, but in the end the new MicroTrack II is a strong contender, they might not have resolved the battery issue, but they added a good limiter to the device and true 48V phantom power, so two out of the three of the "problems" in the design have been eliminated. So in spite of the LiIon battery issue, I have to say that for size, price/performance, and versatility, the MicroTrack is a strong contender in the small digital recorder category. Especially since I'm often close to a source of power, so I most often use it powered by AC or a USB port (pretty handy, since that allows all sorts of external powering options).
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:41 PM   #162
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Cool, I'm happy it's working for you!
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 08:18 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Jon R. Haskell View Post
Ar great risk of beating this thread to death, I will mention I used the new ZOOM h2 for the first time last weekend as a backup to the camera audio while filming a jazz quartet in a club.
Just using the built in mic with the 90 degree spread at approx. 10 feet from the stage, the audio was fantastic. The sound man, and two of the musicians (discriminating ears) were impressed. Very easy to operate and at an affordable price point.

jon
I returned my H2. It is a useful device as a back up but for me the sound wore thin rather quickly. The built in mic's have a poor high end and sound rather processed, almost metallic. Got some good recordings with it while I had it but none that I would call Hi-Fi. Sounded too boxey to me for anything serious though. The line in was too noisey for me as well.

Sometimes with these cheapo things the first impression can be overly favourable, but given time the truth emerges.

Did for me.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:19 PM   #164
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Jimmy, what do you plan to purchase in place of the H2? i.e. what do you consider to be next in line. The H4?

Also, anybody know about the Microtrack II release date yet? Or are they out and just not listing at B&H?
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:30 PM   #165
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According to some UK websites the Microtrack II will be in stock 5th Dec...not sure about US etc.

As it happens I've just ordered a Zoom H2 thanks to (mostly) positive comments on this site, also it's very keen price point and primarily because it seems to suit my particular "prosumer" needs well.

I thought very hard about the Microtrack II but the deal killer for me was that I wanted something that did not have a built in battery (the H2 takes std. AA's) ...experience tells me built in battery devices are "always flat when needed in a hurry" and the batteries very expensive to replace when they (inevitably) die after 2-3 years. That said, the specs on the M-Audio device look really good...but at the end of the day it was going to be 200 quid area compared to the 138 quid I just paid for the H2 on Amazon.
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