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Old August 15th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Gray
How did M-Audio's microtrack 24/96 ever pan out? The ~$350 flash recorder? Might make for a nice little backup recorder if it is half decent.

Tim
Nice recorder with some problems - my biggest caveats are limited battery life and the batts can't be changed in the field - internal fixed batt only in other words. And the mic phantom power is only 30 volts, eliminating your abilty to use some of the better condenser mics that require the full 48v power.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #17
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The best recorder would probably be the Deva- http://www.zaxcom.com/audio/devas.shtml

He did ask what would be the best...
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Old August 15th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #18
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Thanks Lonnie. The fact that the recording mode defaults depending on input was confusing. I have always found the 670 to be clean on the input. I know the smaller Marantz (650?) has a reputation for noisey pre's.

Have you ever has a CF card lock up during record? I have. Not fun.

Thanks for you info.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #19
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hey Glenn,
no lock up yet - knock's on head - and no problem... yeah i discovered the default quite by accident, did some reading of others reporting hiss, and figured it out...

as clean as the xl2 is at audio, my 670 from a boom is cleaner...

good luck!
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Old August 16th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Nice recorder with some problems - my biggest caveats are limited battery life and the batts can't be changed in the field - internal fixed batt only in other words.
Boo. That really sucks. I wonder why they hamstrung such a potentially good recorder with that?
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Old August 16th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #21
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I record audio to my laptop thru an Edirol UA-1X USB interface. It has L+R RCA inputs from the mixer/amp, and then record onto the laptop using TotalRecorder. One leaves it running for the full duration of the event, and the files are in wav format and can be sliced and editted in Sound Forge later and brought into Vegas as needed.

I have thought of MD/flash but since I'd rather get a better camera (or 2), recording digital audio onto laptop is simple and can be "almost" forgotten. Just got to make sure laptop is not "grabbed" by persons unknown!
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Old August 16th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #22
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I have a bunch of voice over interviews to do for a documentary, and I bought a Marantz PMD660 from B&H. It was delivered Monday, and yesterday I brought it in to check it out in our audio booth.

It was a big disappointment. Major mic level input noise. I went back and found Lonnie's post about how he managed to reduce noise level in his 670, and I tried that. It did, indeed, reduce the noise level quite a bit.

Unfortunately, it didn't reduce the noise enough and it was still too high for me to use. I'm not one of those professional audio guys who needs totally clean pristine sound on everything. For my current project, I just need it to be as good as what I record with a DSR500 and a DSR250. The PMD660, unfortunately, didn't make it.

It was really annoying, because the recorder itself is perfect for what I need to do. Perfect except that the mic input noise makes it unusable for me. I'm not doubting Lonnie at all--I think the extra 5 db S/N ratio on the 670 must be what makes the difference between it and the 660.

B&H is very good about returns. I sent it back today and after they get it on Friday they'll send me a Tascam HD-P2. I went ahead and popped for the extra 500 bucks. I figure with the time code feature and XLR mic and line inputs, that will make it pretty easy to sell after this project is over if I don't need it anymore.

If anybody is in the market for a small handheld type CF recorder, I strongly advise waiting, if you can, until the end of the year. Fostex has one coming out in December, and Zaxcom has one that should be out soon too. It's a good guess that both of those would be perfect for my needs.

Unfortunately, I can't wait. I was supposed to start recording interviews this weekend, and I can't push it beyong another week. So the Tascam it is.

I considered the M-audio also, but it had too many weaknesses, which have been discussed already (internal battery, lack of 48v phantom power, etc.) The other similar units only have mini jack inputs, which I can't use with any confidence.

I would gladly have paid a little more money for a better quality hand held recorder. I'm not too thrilled with having to go with a bigger one, but the quality tradeout wasn't do-able. And, now that I think about it, everything is going into an old canvas briefcase anyway--the recorder, extra batteries, the mic (an older wired Sennheiser lav) which lives in a box about a foot long, with all its attachments, extra audio cables, notepad, second 2 gig CF card in its box, etc.--so as long as the recorder fits into the bag, I guess it doesn't make much difference that it is bigger.

In considering a recorder, I surfed all the boards and got some positive as well as seriously negative feedback on the 660. I don't doubt that some people find it acceptable for their use, but in my case it wouldn't work. The negative feedback was useful in that, although I had to try it out for myself, it made me wary enough so that I unpacked everything very carefully and was able to return the package in perfect shape. If you rip up your packing materials and the item comes back looking used, then B&H isn't quite so friendly about the return.

I guess the moral of this story is that you really do need to check out things for yourself. If you have to buy something sight unseen, then always go with a reputable dealer like B&H or the other appropriate ones who are sponsors on this board. And, be sure to look at their return policy. On professional audio gear, for example, you only have 7 days with B&H.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 03:10 AM   #23
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I would not over look using a dv camcorder as a field audio recorder.
Consider you get 48khz 16bit WITH TIMECODE and the ability to transfer via firewire a digital file. For years we have used a back up camcorder for field audio recording and at the prices these days it is hard to beat. A G DV300 for instance with the Beachtek 10 preamps/phantom power to line box makes an excellent alternative. A camcorder, again with the Beachtek in VCR MODE, give you recording, timecode and allows you to have line level in , by pass the usually poor on board mic preamps.

Just a thought

Sharyn
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharyn Ferrick
I would not over look using a dv camcorder as a field audio recorder.
Consider you get 48khz 16bit WITH TIMECODE and the ability to transfer via firewire a digital file. ...
The Tascam recorder does all that with better preamps than most camcorders, plus you don't accumuilate headwear time on your camera if you're only recording sound.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:38 AM   #25
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I would probably do this if I had a small camera, but the only ones I have are full size.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #26
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My suggestion was to get a small dedicated camera for the audio. I think the whole issue of heads wearing out is overblown. I would be interested to see how many people on this forum have had to get rid of a camcorder based on heads wearing out. The advantage of using the camcorder is that it is recorded in the same format as your dv recording, it has firewire for transfer, it has time code and since you use it in vcr mode you can use it with any mic preamps you want. Again just a suggetion, but from a size, weight and cost stand point, there is some attraction. IMO it is certainly a better quality suggestion than mini disk. Dat's at the low end have proven to be pretty unreliable, memory card storage is great, but not cheap.

SHARYN
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #27
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The Marantz CD recorder sounds interesting, and costs just under $700. It is only 2 channel, but has phantom powered XLR jacks. Even has a 4Pin DC power connection for gel pack batteries. http://www.zzounds.com/item--MARCDR300
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Sharyn Ferrick
..The advantage of using the camcorder is that it is recorded in the same format as your dv recording, it has firewire for transfer, it has time code and since you use it in vcr mode you can use it with any mic preamps you want. ...
True, but the Tascam has all that and more.
File Format: BWF Broadcast Wave File
Sample Rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz
Sample Clock refs: S/PDIF, Video (NTSC or PAL), LTC, WORD
Quantization: 16/24 bit
Pre-record buffer: Up to 10 seconds
Time code types: 23.976,24,25,29,29.97 DF/NDF, 30 DF/NDF
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #29
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The mic level S/N on that CD recorder is 60db, so it would be in the same category as the 660 which I found lacking.

One thing that was awesome about the 660 was that everytime you stop and start it starts a new file. You plug it into a usb port and just drag and drop the folder, which contains all the individual files and even an Avid edit list. I'm assuming the Tascam will also do the individual file thing.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:51 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
It was a big disappointment. Major mic level input noise.

What, specifically, was the problem noise
with the 660? Hiss?
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