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Old March 22nd, 2003, 02:56 PM   #1
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Off-board multi-track recording advice

I'm wanting to get into DV videography. I come from a pro-sound background.

Being of a sound-guy bent, I'd rather not be forced to mix down to a single stereo mix (or a stereo mix + the onboard stereo mic.)

I'd rather mix down to 4 (or 6, or 8) tracks, and then reemix down in post-production.

What kind of 4, 6, or 8 channel recorders do people use, if at all? And if such are used, what about timecodes and synching, etc etc?

FWIW, I have a Mackie 1202 left over, and am thinking of getting a GL2.

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Old March 23rd, 2003, 09:12 PM   #2
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No one took a bite on this... Am I in the wrong place, do people just not use off-baord recorders, is it my breath.... ???
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Old March 23rd, 2003, 09:47 PM   #3
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Hi Lance,

Jay Rose moderates a video sound forum at DV.COM - Audio Solutions Forum at DV.COM

You might also find some answers here at harmony-central.com Recording Forum at Harmony-Central.com

FWIW, I was researching battery powered multi-track digital recorders (amateur keyboard player here). Here's the list I've been looking at. I'm leaning towards the Fostex 8 track but haven't made any final decisions. Still they seem un-wieldy to take out when shooting video.

Tascam Pocket Studio 5
Korg ToneWorks Recording Studio
Boss BR-532 Multi-Track Recorder
Fostex 8 track digital recorder

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Old March 23rd, 2003, 10:10 PM   #4
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The multi-track recorders are sort of over kill for most peoples work. There are many people using external recorders (MD, DAT) but only need one or two tracks. The one or two tracks are used to record dialog and ambient sounds. Any additional tracks are added in post.
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Old March 23rd, 2003, 10:33 PM   #5
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I've noted that even with off-board recorders, most people seem to stick with stereo. Thanks for the posts. Michael, thanks for the pointers, I'll follow up on those.
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Old March 23rd, 2003, 10:47 PM   #6
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Oh, and by the way Michael, read the specs closely... (former blues band guitarist here, that's how I got into sound...)

For example, I have a BR532. It's a nice little "closet studio" rig for what's it's designed for, however (and here's the gotcha...)

Although it is 4 channels, I believe one can only record two at a time. And at any rate, two of them do not have XLR/TRS inputs, being designed explicitly for instrument inputs.

I too have looked at some of the 4-8 channel digital home studio style recorders (and even some entry level HD multi-tracks), but they really are designed pretty much for rack-mount home studio use, they have a lot of fluff for a location recorder, and they seem a little klunky.

Oh well, it couldn't hurt to get the camera, the ubiquitous wireless lav and ME66, the XLR adaptor, and go with that while researching this....

Sigghhhhh....
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Old March 24th, 2003, 06:05 AM   #7
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Lance- I used the Korg D12 for most of my audio. And, as Jeff mentioned, I usually only used 1 or 2 channels. Of course, when recording a group, I would try to get lead vocals on one channel, back ups on a second, etc. With 4 inputs, I was limited to how much I could spread them out. I could mix the levels though, and make it sound better.

It could record up to 18 hrs of cd quality on one channel, but it didn't have it's own power source. If a breaker flipped, I lost everything that didn't get saved.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 06:43 AM   #8
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Mike- I looked at those multi trac recorders you mentioned. They all seem to use flash cards. Even if you use a 128 mb card, it couldn't possibly hold more than maybe 30 minutes. Any other suggestions that might hold a couple of hours?
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Old March 24th, 2003, 11:35 AM   #9
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A laptop and a firewire MOTU box or an Echo box on a PCMCIA card.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #10
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I go along with the laptop for field use


nice big display with waveform monitoring and SMPTE counters!

try the Emagic 8/2 USB audio input device and run Logic Audio or SEK'D Samplitude for the multitrack stuff or even Cubase Audio

also a patchway since the 8/2 is a little on the dinky side and probably would not like rough handling

if PC laptop use NTFS and there will be no limit to record time.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #11
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Not a bad idea...just not the answer I was hoping for. The korg d-12 was great- plenty of in/out jacks, 4 gig HD, 12 channels. It just wasn't overly portable, mostly due to the fact it needed to be plugged in to an outlet. It cost $1,000. A laptop would be a bit more expensive, but it would have the ability to edit, and much more portable than the D-12.

I was hoping to find the good features of the D-12, only more portable and much cheaper.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 11:50 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Forman : Mike use flash cards. Any other suggestions that might hold a couple of hours? -->>>

Not that I'm aware of, I'm waiting for an upgraded recorder that supports a 1-3 GB microdrive ... but that will probably be a long wait ...
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Old July 12th, 2003, 08:19 PM   #13
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I haven't used it for a video shoot, yet... but I have a multitrack recorder (two tracks at a time) that will give you lots of functionality... including burning CD's... for under a grand.

check it out:

http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=162&brandID=4
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Old July 12th, 2003, 09:27 PM   #14
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It's only a start, but Sound edvices have 2 channel mixer pre amp with USB and S/PDIF outputs. this unit is based on the popular mixPre / ShureFP24 package. This unit plugged into a laptop would be smurfy. Knowing SD, they will expand on this concept. ($550 at Markertek)

Link to data sheet and manual

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/usbpremaster.htm

I'm agonizing over this and a mix pre or a 302 . Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!
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