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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #31
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There are mods available that improve the Marantz 660 hiss problem.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #32
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Yep. It sounded like the air conditioner blower was on in the audio booth. I followed Lonnie's advice from his experience with the 670 and switched to stereo input mode in the menu, even though I was recording mono, and that did reduce the noise, but it wasn't enough.

The major difference (other than size) between the 660 and the 670 is that the 670 has an extra 5db in S/N over the 660. That 5db is quite a bit. I probably would have been happy with the 670, but since I had to go with a larger unit, I decided to go all the way and get the Tascam.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:11 PM   #33
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True, but I didn't want to buy a new recorder and then have to have a modification made that also voids the warranty. Better, in my opinion, to just return it and buy something else.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
True, but I didn't want to buy a new recorder and then have to have a modification made that also voids the warranty. Better, in my opinion, to just return it and buy something else.
Yea, I agree. I was thinking about others who have had theirs for awhile. I am happy with my Marantz 670, but that Tascam looks sweet.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Davidson
There are mods available that improve the Marantz 660 hiss problem.

I just think it's not acceptable to pay that much
money for a digital recorder and end up with
it having a lot of hiss.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
I sent it back today and after they get it on Friday they'll send me a Tascam HD-P2.
You should let us know what you find about
mic-in hiss with the Tascam.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #37
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I'll be checking out thoroughly. B&H should get my package tomorrow. I'd guess they won't send out the Tascam till probably Tuesday. I'm hoping to get it before the end of the week.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #38
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FWIW I've been doing research on what field recorder to buy for about a year. I'm thinking about buying a multi-track recorder for work with a band that I record. What I've found is that the models being offered change faster than I can keep up. The bottom line is you can get hard drive based, simultaneous multi-track recorder for not a lot of money that will burn CD's and transfer to a computer via USB or firewire.

At first the Roland / Boss line was probably the best because they were the only ones offering true simultaneous multi-track recording in a stand alone unit. But that has changed.

Now there are several models from different companies that will record multi-tracks. Tascam is a big player in this field. So are Korg and Foxtex with Edirol and Marantz offering more portable units.

At this point it all boils down to exactly what you're looking for in a recorder. There are models that have time code as a feature. There are models that are smaller and more suitable for stealth recording (a popular option BTW - recording concerts isn't exactly kosher so there is a big niche that wants a recorder than can be hidden easily).

The times they are a changing for sure when it comes to portable recorders and it's all for the best. The only thing I worry about is a Ipod type phenomenon where mp3 recorders become tres popular and companies start making trendy models instead of quality models.

Personally being on a tight budget I'm looking at anything that is a real bargain. That means Hi-MD IMO. They record at very high quality (uncompressed and digital transfers to a computer) especially if you get a quality pre-amp for your mic. Battery life is excellent and most models can run on AA batteries if needed. And since they are being phased out by newer technologies the price is dropping. That means great deals on equipment that records great quality. Yes they are limited to two channels and they have other limitations too but if you're looking for a great deal on great quality you probably won't do any better. I see Hi-MD recorders sell on eBay for around $100 all the time. That's just very hard to beat.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #39
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I've got a non-Hi minidisc recorder that isn't bad for
hiss on the mic in.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #40
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Jeff- unless you have a lot of cash to play with, pretty much all of the good multi tracks are AC powered only. Not very portable, and you had better have a very reliable power source.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 11:47 PM   #41
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Steve brings up some interesting points re the Tascam

I understand that it has timecode via the smpte input, but how well will this work in a dv environment where you don't typically have a source of timecode from the dv camera.

broadcast wave files have tc in them but which of the nle's support the import and display of the timecode?

In addition on capture of the audio, which of DV the nle's have the ability to do a capture based on SMPTE timecode that is being presented on a tc feed.

I think the TASCAM is a great unit certainly drops the price for the typical tc dat market. The issue that I see is that most of the dv orientated nle's don't really support audio import with external timecord AFAIK, don't have an easy way to display it, so I wonder if many of the attractive features really have been designed out from dv nle systems based on their lack on practical products for so long.

Granted vegas 6 supports broadcast wave files, but a lot of the automatic lineup functions are dependant on having the timecodes of the video and the audio in sync. In addition if you are in HDV world, as mentioned on other threads the whole issue of even bringing in tc to the nle's is problematic based on the non standard way that tc is imbedded into the various hd formats.

If we had a simpy way say to get the tc out of the typical dv camera, and into the tascam, if the nle had an autoconform which supported capture with external time code, if most of the nle's had the ability to display the tc in the broadcast wave file it would certainly be attractive.

$999 for a high quality recorder with tc is really abreak through. I just wish the rest of the parts of the solution would support it

Sharyn
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Old August 18th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Jeff- unless you have a lot of cash to play with, pretty much all of the good multi tracks are AC powered only. Not very portable, and you had better have a very reliable power source.
That's true Keith. As I pointed out before it's a matter of what you're really looking for in a recorder right now. The market is in a heavy state of flux as exemplified by the lack of ability on the part of NLE's to import tc's from anything but video at present. I think these things will all work themselves out at some point or at least I hope they do. Again my big fear is that we will see a big push to make something along the lowest common denominator way of thinking ie the Ipod. Things could be great or they could all become the "SUV's" of the audio world where they look sorta like audio recorders but don't expect them to actually take you to the top of Kilimanjaro in climate controlled luxury.

There are truly portable recorders around and there are semi-portable recorders with lots of functions. Let's just hope both markets mature well and the NLE's keep up with the technology.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharyn Ferrick
...

I understand that it has timecode via the smpte input, but how well will this work in a dv environment where you don't typically have a source of timecode from the dv camera.

broadcast wave files have tc in them but which of the nle's support the import and display of the timecode?

In addition on capture of the audio, which of DV the nle's have the ability to do a capture based on SMPTE timecode that is being presented on a tc feed.

...

If we had a simpy way say to get the tc out of the typical dv camera, and into the tascam, if the nle had an autoconform which supported capture with external time code, if most of the nle's had the ability to display the tc in the broadcast wave file it would certainly be attractive.
BWF files have a TC-based timestamp in the header rather than imbedded TC. When you import them into an NLE that supports them, the software lines up the start of file with the same timecode point on the timeline.

Getting that furshluginner code OUT of the camera to jam to the rcorder on set is a definite hangup, whether we're talking about the Tascam, or other records like the Sound Devices 744T or 702T, etc. I've heard there are devices that can read the code present on the LANC terminal but they're hard to locate and very expensive. The Canon XLH1 is the only prosumer camera I'm aware of that actually has TC in and out and genlock - got to move up into the >10-25 kilobuck ENG cameras to get it otherwise. A practical workflow for the Tascam with the cameras most DV Info users have is to get a TC-aware smartslate such as a Denke and jam-sync the recorder's TC to the slate's master. Meanwhile run video from the camera to the video in on the recorder so the recorders sample clock is slaved to the camera's -that doesn't sync timecode but it does sync the camera and recorder's so the files are at the exact same speed and won't drift out of alignment.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #44
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A couple of questions about the Tascam have come up:
1. Does it make a new file each time you press the record button?
Yes unless it is in the retake mode in which case it rewinds to the begining of the last file recorded and over writes it or it is in the append mode in which case it keeps going at the end of the last file recorded.
2. How does one get the time code out of the file and into the NLE? As has been pointed out there is a time code stamp in the header. One can open the file with almost any text editor and locate the stamp pretty quickly. It is in samples from 00:00:00:00, the data are in hex and are byte reversed so there is a little labor to turn them into samples, then seconds, then frames. One then opens the file in FCP and adds a timecode track with the given starting time. Or one obtains a copy of the Sebsky Tools which does all this automatically.
3. How are the preamps? I don't have the full story here but if one records in 16 bit width with the preamp inputs terminated (by the 20 dB pads) the resulting file is all zeros. Thus the preamp noise floor is well below the quantizing noise in 16 bit mode. I can't see what goes on in 24 bit mode because I can't figure out how to open 24 bit sound files in the application I use without truncating them to 16. Maybe I'll figure that out eventually.
4.Where can you get timecode? All the high end Canon cameras (don't know about the consumer models) put time code out on the LANC port (and since LANC is a Sony thing I assume Sony cameras do too) but a format conversion is required to get SMPTE from this. It's a simple conversion (I think the LANC is serial data which only needs to be modulated on a carrier) and there used to be a small, portable gadget (Sweet Pea LTO) which did it but it isn't made anymore. One can buy a relatively inexpensive device to convert LANC timecode to MMC timecode and there are lots of boxes that generate SMPTE time from MIDI timecode but at this point the kit is getting cumbersome. I'm hoping that with the migration of timecode to the prosumer world the LANC to SMPTE converter box will be resurrected.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. J. deLange
...One can buy a relatively inexpensive device to convert LANC timecode to MMC timecode and there are lots of boxes that generate SMPTE time from MIDI timecode but at this point the kit is getting cumbersome. I'm hoping that with the migration of timecode to the prosumer world the LANC to SMPTE converter box will be resurrected.
One would think a sub-$100 LANC to SMPTE converter about the size and shape of an inline mic pad or impedance transformer or perhaps something like a Beachtech's form factor with cables to plug into the LANC on one side and output SMPTE via BNC on the other would be easy to do and a big seller. Any manufacturers out there listening - hello, is this thing on? <grin>
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