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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
Dan:

What are some pointers for me? Specifically, is using CF sound recorders the way to go?
Yes, using a Compact Flash (CF) recorder is a good way to go. However, there are other options that I like better.

For example, I like the Sound Devices 7 series recorders that have both Compact Flash and a Hard Drive. The Hard Drive on these recorders are extemely quiet, you can only hear them if you have an ear to the unit.

The advantage of having a Hard Drive is that you can record for a very long time, or have multiple recordings on your disk at one time. With Compact Flash, you are limited in the length that you can have on any one CF, but of course, you can switch to another CF, if you have a break in what you are recording.

The beauty of the Sound Devices 7 series, is that they have excellent mike preamps, overall they are very noise free, both in what they record and in the sense of making audible noise when they are operating, and you can have the luxury of recording simulaneously to both a Hard Drive and the CF (and also to a third, a DVD!).

If you use one of these recorders, also record the sound (ambient will usually work using the on-camera microphone) in the camera. This helps you line up the audio in post.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 10:34 AM   #17
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Digital recorder

Thanks for the response Dan!

I didn't think about the need for 24 bit but the unit I considered is 16/24.

Please advise what you think about this M-Audio entry level recorder. Its very cheap at $339, so I can afford several to keep wireless to a minimum.

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_u...496-focus.html

Any obvious deal breakers on an inexpensive unit like this?
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Old March 1st, 2007, 11:17 AM   #18
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I have not use the M-Audio recorder you mentioned.

Hopefully, others who have will respond with their experience.

The one thing that I noticed is that it does not have XLR connectors, but does have phantom power. It uses 1/4" TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) type connectors. And it does have balanced inputs, which is good.

I would be concerned about the battery run time.

I assume that you will want to use this for weddings. I feel that it will probably work well.

The important thing to me would be the quality of the microphone preamps. If actual users of the device are happy, then I would consider it.

Find out what the return policy is before you purchase it.

I did a search on "M-Audio Microtrack" and this came up:

Richard, I have used the IRivers, M-Audio Microtrack, and currently use a Zoom H4 and Edirol R09. The model of IRivers that you would need (mic in) are the IFP700/800 series units. But they no longer make them and the ones they are hard to come by now. The Microtrack had too many issue, most of all being battery run times, as they use a built in lithium battery that sucks.

I suggest you do a search and then check out the Zoom H4 and Edirol R09 units.

A built-in lithium battery is a deal killer for me. I want replaceable batteries in all of my gear. For example, if you have a long shoot or wedding, and the battery runs out, I would want to be able to put a fresh battery in. With a built-in battery, the only option is to recharge it, or substitute another complete unit.

Other posters had an issue with the Edirol R09 not supplying proper phantom power. A thorough search appears in order.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 11:34 AM   #19
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Another issue with the Microtrack is it's phantom power is not up to 48v - I think it's 24-32 volts - and many mics that require full phantom ont work with it.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 11:46 AM   #20
 
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Actually, there are not a lot of microphones that are *not* compatible with the Microtrack's lower phantom power, most mics *are* compatible.
M-Audio has a list of known mics that have issues, mics that have potential issues, and mics that are known to work.
The list of properly supported mics is quite lengthy. However, the mics that do not work/should not be used with the Microtrack are typically fairly high end mics, so you definitely wouldn't want to mess up.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 11:54 AM   #21
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'Of course, if both the boom op and the mixer have cans you can both do your own parts of the team effort. The mixer listens for levels, etc, while the boom op monitors to help judge mic aiming. With a shotgun, for example, there might be some extranuous noise from a source that is sitting in a lobe of the pattern that a slight adjustment of aim could put into one of the nulls while still keeping the talent on-mic. Being able to hear that makes the boom op's job easier'

I never have or will agree that a boom op should have to wear cans to judge mic placement, he should know the pattern of the mic he is using (and remember we are talking your basic drama/film work here), he should be looking at the actors, judging what is being said and how, judging the mic placement in all respects by eye and what he can hear naturally, I see boom ops repeatedly miles away from where they should be as they get sucked into believing they are doing ok and having no idea what the shot actually is, awareness of the camera dept is as vital to a boom op as the mic placement and it's something that is sadly lacking at times today and it seems to be on the increase at the same time location boom ops more than often wear cans, it's something a boom op will never understand unless he tries it, as for extraneous noises well #1 is if it's a noise on set caused by the crew then you tell them to damn well be quiet next time (noise on set is also on the increase and it's unacceptable), #2 if it's external noise then it's either seen by camera in which case it's valid to hear it, if it's to the back of the mic it's exactly that, if it's still heard then it would be whatever you do, if we are talking about a noise from say a generator then it should already be apparent there is a problem in rehearsals and should be dealt with before a take in whatever way is suitable, there is nothing worse than a boom op constantly hunting around creating problems for the mixer but hey, some boom ops love to hear what they are doing and if it works for them then great, shame I repeatedly see ruined shots due to the total lack of awareness on set, it's like they are insulated from what is actually going on and a mono feed of your surroundings when you could be trying to work out what is going around you in Stereo is actually rather silly when you think about it, you do have to keep in mind that location boom ops rarely wore headphones, I grew up on set watching boom ops NOT wear headphones, that's just me of course and I'm hardly going to change how I work as I head for 40 but there did use to be and there is another way to work, I guess that is all I am pointing out.

That of course is from the point of view of a boom op, the point of view of a Mixer (who happens to be sat next to me) is that the mixer is paid twice as much as the boom op for a good reason and one of them is decision making, it's the job of the mixer to do that, it's HIS call NOT the boom ops, the boom op should discuss what is required with the mixer through each scene but then hey maybe we are just old fashioned and as the mixer has worked in the industry for 40 years and himself was a boom op who didn't wear cans and worked for mixers who didn't want them to wear them maybe it's just passing into folklore than people can actually do this work this way even though I know others who do just, funny how all the ones I know are older than me though.


Key thing is to capture the best audio, ,to aim for the best and to be angry when you don't and that is something I don't hear enough on set or online.


Sorry for having taken the thread off tack btw folks, it was meant to point out that people hiring gear to do a job can actually get away without hiring an IEM system, better to spend the money on a good mixer ;-)
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Old March 1st, 2007, 12:41 PM   #22
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Thanks all!

I learned a lot today.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 04:22 PM   #23
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Thanks Dan that post was very helpful to me as well.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 04:26 PM   #24
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Thanks for the kind words!
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