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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:12 AM   #121
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I do have a technical question regarding the output.

The Edirol R-09 has both 1/8" Stereo Mini Headphone/SPDIF Optical Out.

The Zoom H4 only has the 1/8 mini out.

How much of a technical, read quality, advantage is it to have SPDIF Optical Out as opposed to 1/8 mini???

I'm planning to buy the Edirol FA-66 Firewire interface that has an S/PDIF optical input.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armand Sonneville
Just checked the features on the B&H website and I quote:

"Four-Track Recording
Record Multiple Tracks, such as Vocal, Guitar, and Bass, Simultaneously"

So, it should do it but even without that feature its still a steal, it even comes inluded with a 128Mb SD card, all that for $299......
It won't do true 4 track recording.
You can select either stero recording to record to 2 tracks, or select 4 track recording to record to 2 tracks, and then record again to 2 tracks for mixdown. So you could record guitar. drums on 2 tracks, and then lay down the vocal to go along with it. Not a true 4 track recorder.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #123
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Michael L: has your unit arrived yet, and have you had a chance to put it through its paces..? Of interest to me are the unit's mic pre-amps' quality, the quality of the built-in mics themselves, and how much flexibility there is in adjusting the recording level (variable, or stepped..)?
Many thx,Rgds, Ross.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #124
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I'd also love to know how reliable the phantom power is...

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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Leverich
Update on the Micro Track battery life - just ran it in record mode, battery only, with headphones monitoring at full volume, after messing around with gains/wireless stuff, etc - mess-around time plus recording time totaled about 3-1/4 hours (all in record mode with phones driven at full volume) - according to the battery indicator there was still a small amount of life left.

I'm thinking that with phones NOT connected it should meet the claims of M Audio (but I'm still taking an extension cord :=)

Other thing I found was that even a Rode video mic (mono one) doesn't really drive this thing very strong thru the mini input - I ended up cutting back on output from my Senn G2 a bit and using the TRS inputs (only way to use the +27 dB gain up feature) - worked fine; (Left/Lav, Right/Rode) still quite clean on playback(didn't listen on monitors, only phones) -

Using a 4 gig CF card @ 24/48 stereo, total record time reported is 3:55, with max per file of 1:55 (without doing the math, I'm assuming this is the fat32 size kicking in.)

One problem I had with this unit (aside from those already mentioned) is no way to mount it to anything - all that comes with it is a dumb little drawstring bag.

Being somewhat of a "mad scientist" type, I found a piece of scrap stainless steel plate (14 gauge), cut it into an "L" shape, drilled a hole in the narrow part of the "L", and bolted it to the unused handle rosette of my Bogen 501 tripod head - I then used a couple of 1/2" wide strips of industrial strength velchro to hold the Micro track to this bracket - this puts the unit right in front of me when I'm behind the camera. I made the mounting plate nice and smooth so there's no need to even remove it from the Microtrack, I just loosen the wing nut and slip it off the tripod.

Gig's day after tomorrow, hoping for a broken leg :=) ... Steve

Check out http://taperssection.com/index.php . There are lots of posts and links on how to add portable external power to the MT2496. As far as phantom power I plan on getting a Rode NTG-2 which allows you to put 2 aa batteries in it. Mainly for my HD100, but can be used with my MT2496 also.
The included stereo mic is pretty good for close up interviews. Surprised me at least.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Jones
Michael L: has your unit arrived yet, and have you had a chance to put it through its paces..? Of interest to me are the unit's mic pre-amps' quality, the quality of the built-in mics themselves, and how much flexibility there is in adjusting the recording level (variable, or stepped..)?
Many thx,Rgds, Ross.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I did receive my H4 yesterday, I did get a chance to play with it a little bit last night and this morning, not much as I would like as I had company come in from out of town.

Here's a quick synopsis:
1. The huild seems very sturdy. It's larger but more substantial than the Edirol R-09, and about the same size as the M-Audio Microtrack.

2. I like the quick push recording format buttons on the front of the unit. Makes for quick format selections. Once you start recording you can't change recording format, without stopping the recording process. (which is a good thing).

3. Recording is the same as the other units (R-09/Microtrack), push once to go into standby (button lights up and blinks) and once more to record (button stays lit). To stop recording you just push record again, and the file writes to the card. There is a slight 2 second delay to stop the recording after the button is pushed.

4. The menu, is more confusing than the R-09, but no more than the Microtrack.
You push the menu button to enter various modes. Here you can redo your recording format (default MP3 is 44/128), but you can change your bitrate in the menu to go up to 320 or VBR. It doesn't seem to allow you to select 48hz MP3. Also in the menu you can rename/delete files (easy to do), as well as setup your recording format (Stereo or 4 Track).

5. Press down on the menu button to enter your input menu.
Here you can:
a. Select, mic source (onboard, Dual channel (2 XLR inputs)),
b. Recording levels
c. Phantom power
d. Monitor (This is good. You can either have this set to OFF and you can only monitor the unit while it's recording, or select ON and be able to monitor your recording levels all the time, as well as setup your recording levels without having to put the unit in standby), Auto Gain (which I wouldn't use myself),
e. Mic Model (can only be set using the onboard mics. Select from 5 different manufactured mic characteristics)
f. Compressor/Limiter (As far as I can tell you can only use the built in limiters using the onboard mic).

6. Onboard mics:
I like the onboard mics better than the R-09, as they seem to be less sensative (more directional) and produce less noise than the R-09.
I also really like that you have the ability to set the Gain with a flip of a switch (L/M/H) depending on your recording situation.
L (Low, is for loud situations of line in recodring), M (Medium, is for moderate recoding situations, and H (High, is for very quiet situations, and produces the most white noise). I would most often use L or M settings using the onboard for reception live music recording. The L setting is very quiet and the M setting is pretty quiet as well. I would normally use an external mic on a mic stand and attach the recorder to the mic stand as well.

7. The level meters seemed a bit sluggish, and maybe that can be fixed in a firmware patch.

As I said I haven't really had a chance to see how it handles very loud reception situations. But from my quick tests, it seems that it would handles them with flying colors. Especially since the unit has auto onboard gain, where you can do a quick scan of your environment (Live band sound test), and the unit will use the onbaord limiters to prevent clipping, (Very nice).

I hope to get a chance to try out the oboard compared to the XLR inputs using my AT822, and my matched pair of Rode NT5's (With 48v phantom).
You can't adjust independant L/R channels using the onboard mic, but you can when you use external mics.

I am also going to see if I can do passthrough (like the Microtrack) to my wireless using the line output 1/8 port.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:17 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carney
Check out http://taperssection.com/index.php . There are lots of posts and links on how to add portable external power to the MT2496. As far as phantom power I plan on getting a Rode NTG-2 which allows you to put 2 aa batteries in it. Mainly for my HD100, but can be used with my MT2496 also.
The included stereo mic is pretty good for close up interviews. Surprised me at least.
There are ways to get external power to the microtrack via YSB battery box, but it's generally a pain to do, as you have to account for another way to attach or mount your battery box to the unit.
This was one flaw with the MT recorders. I will be selling mine if anyone is intersted. Along with many custom built cables from Soundprofessionals.com.
It records and works great, but I already have an Edirol R-09 and now a Zoom H4 which I like better, and don't need 3 recorders.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
There are ways to get external power to the microtrack via YSB battery box, but it's generally a pain to do, as you have to account for another way to attach or mount your battery box to the unit.
This was one flaw with the MT recorders. I will be selling mine if anyone is intersted. Along with many custom built cables from Soundprofessionals.com.
It records and works great, but I already have an Edirol R-09 and now a Zoom H4 which I like better, and don't need 3 recorders.
I just ordered this...
http://www.bixnet.com/5v7libapa.html

from bixnet.
If it works, it will not add much to the size or weight. For 69.99 it's worth checking out. I wouldn't get one of those big battery sleds, sort of defeats the purpose.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 03:50 AM   #129
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Joe, I saw the battery sleds, etc - ended up just using the internal battery since the gig got shorter before it started, ended up about 1:45 or so instead of 3 hours.

On the other hand, I had a really strange problem I've STILL to find time to chase down - the MT recorded the first hour fine, I hit record to stop it - changed both DV tapes and restarted, the MT STOPPED recording about 20 minutes into second hour. I hit record again, thinking I'd bumped it accidentally - the unit did NOTHING. Tried 2 more times, then became glad I had audio coming into both cams...

The unit STILL won't record, it looks like it is but no change in track time readout, it just increments file #'s, period. Oh, BTW the battery indicator showed about half power when this happened, it was 'way lower than that on my other test with no prob.

Tomorrow I'm gonna try a different flash card, maybe this low priced 4 gig card has a problem - at least, the two files I got were good - as for the rest of the sound, Samplitude's gonna get several of its goodies dusted off before I'm even close to happy (background noise, + pumping of camera's AGC mainly)

Soon as I find out why the little bugger quit I'll be back... Steve
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Old October 12th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #130
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OK, quick update on the "on strike" syndrome - I tried a different CF card, records OK. Tried the "bad" card (Sandisk standard type1, 4 gb), and STILL no record - unit would "pretend" to record, but no time increment and when I pushed the record button again, it would claim to be "writing file", then would revert to showing just the two files already ON the card. Checked this card in a different reader/computer, and it showed less than half full.

I then reformatted that card (in the MT2496) and tried to record - IT WORKED.

Wierd thing is, I had recorded nearly TWICE as much info on this SAME CARD the night before the gig, with no problems. I then erased those files (did NOT reformat, wonder if there is a bug in the OS (v1.0 firmware at that time) that required you to FORMAT the card after erasing large files??!?

If there's time tonite, I'm going to re-record that card nearly full with large files (or until it quits) then delete them and try to record again - if that doesn't work, I'll FORMAT the card again - hopefully this will point to a solution (like, ALWAYS use a freshly formatted card??!?)

Man, I really WANT to like this little guy, but... Steve

BTW, firmware is now the current 1.4.3 as it was during the gig, so may reinstall 1.0 to see if the problem still exists.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 12:51 AM   #131
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Michael thanks for the info.
I had a chance to take a quick look at H4, at one of the video shows on Long Island and it seemed very nice, in general.
I might actually end up buying H4, instead of renting some high-end recorder for my short...
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #132
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Quick question for everyone (regarding audio recorders) :

Do any of these digital recorders allow you to plug in TWO mics (one vocal, one for guitar etc) and then mix the levels ?

In other words, do any of these recorders have the ability to be a simple mixing desk as well as a digital recorder? R-09 - can it do that?

I have an iRiver IHP-120 which works great for taping bands from the mixing desk, but i'd like a recorder that will allow me to connect two inputs (mic in / line in) and mix the levels as for travelling having to transport a small mixing desk has weight & bulk issues.

Any advice on this is GREATLY appreciated.

Failing a suitable compact "mixer/recorder" device, if someone could suggest to me a SMALL mixer (not too expensive!) that i could use instead that would be great.

thanks
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #133
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Behringer has some small mixers in the $100 US range that might do, including a couple of battery operated models as I recall.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #134
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Behringer has some small mixers in the $100 US range that might do, including a couple of battery operated models as I recall.
thanks for the recommendation Steve. I'll check them out.
But you don't know of a small digital recorder that can take two Line or Mic inputs and adjust the levels of those two inputs separately prior to writing it to a WAV or MP3 file? an all-in-one unit would be great.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Quick question for everyone (regarding audio recorders) :

Do any of these digital recorders allow you to plug in TWO mics (one vocal, one for guitar etc) and then mix the levels ?

In other words, do any of these recorders have the ability to be a simple mixing desk as well as a digital recorder? R-09 - can it do that?

I have an iRiver IHP-120 which works great for taping bands from the mixing desk, but i'd like a recorder that will allow me to connect two inputs (mic in / line in) and mix the levels as for travelling having to transport a small mixing desk has weight & bulk issues.

Any advice on this is GREATLY appreciated.

Failing a suitable compact "mixer/recorder" device, if someone could suggest to me a SMALL mixer (not too expensive!) that i could use instead that would be great.

thanks
The new Zoom H4 has seperate dual 1/4/XLR inputs that can be independantly controlled. The microtrack also enables you to plug in 2 devices using the 1/4 trs inputs, and also allow for independant L/R control.

Both of these units have phantom power capability, but only the H4 allows for true 48v phantom.

The R-09 only allows for 1 input and does not have independant L/R level control.

Now keep in mind, that these are very small audio recorders. For something more substantial look at the Edirol R-4, Fostex FR-2, Marantz PMD670 and such.
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