Sound recording using the Flash XDR vs. dedicated sound recorder at DVinfo.net

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Old April 18th, 2009, 11:31 PM   #1
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Sound recording using the Flash XDR vs. dedicated sound recorder

Hi all,
I own the Flash XDR as well as the TASCAM HD P2 portable sound recorder which records to CF cards.
Can I expect the Flash XDR to deliver the same quality as the dedicated sound recorder when used with a Sennhieser 416 shotgun Microphone ?

Thanks,

Ofer
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Old April 24th, 2009, 03:49 AM   #2
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Hi guys,

Is it such a silly question or simply no one knows the answer...)-: Maybe I should add that I use the Sony PMW EX3 as my main camera.
Any input is greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Ofer

Last edited by Ofer Levy; April 24th, 2009 at 07:29 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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Hi Ofer, The XDR recs 24 bit audio which is better than the EX3 which only records 16 bit, and yes it should be the same quality as your tascam (as long as that is 24 bit also). The quality of the mic preamps is the other big unknown, I would think they are at least as good as the ones in the EX3 though. The main problem with plugging a mic directly into the XDR is there is no real way to control the levels on the fly, it is more designed to be fed by a mixer or used in auto level mode. Not sure if that feature is enabled in the current firmware, someone will no doubt confirm or deny this shortly...

regards,

Chris.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 11:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris Hiles View Post
Hi Ofer, The XDR recs 24 bit audio which is better than the EX3 which only records 16 bit, and yes it should be the same quality as your tascam (as long as that is 24 bit also). The quality of the mic preamps is the other big unknown, I would think they are at least as good as the ones in the EX3 though. The main problem with plugging a mic directly into the XDR is there is no real way to control the levels on the fly, it is more designed to be fed by a mixer or used in auto level mode. Not sure if that feature is enabled in the current firmware, someone will no doubt confirm or deny this shortly...

regards,

Chris.
Hi Chris, thanks for your input! I hope there will be some more discussion on this.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #5
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Dear Chris and Ofer,

The Flash XDR offers a way to control the audio levels on the fly.

During recording, the F1 key toggles an little up-down arrow Icon on the left side of the screen. When the up-down arrow is present, then the Up key increases the audio gain level, and the Down Key decreases it.

The F4 Key key toggles the up-down arrow icon on the right side.

The F1/Left Side is for Channel 1 audio, and the F4/Right Side is for Channel 2 audio.

It is easy to adjust one or both channels, by first setting the icons, then using the Up and Down keys.

This is harder to descibe than actually using it. The Up/Down Keys are programmed to allow small adjustments as well as large adjustments quickly.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #6
 
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Hi Dan...

For grins, I tried recording to the analog audio inputs with no HD-SDI input. Flash XDR would not enter the RECORD mode because it said I was not connected. Was I doing something wrong, or does the analog audio input work only when there's an SDI input?
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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Dear Bill,

Yes, we need an HD-SDI input for recording.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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Hello Ofer,

I think this is an area you would need to do a side by side test of the same material, process the clips and play them back in a controlled environment.

As stated, the mic preamps are going to be the only difference between the units.

My guess is that you will need a lab coat to tell the difference!

BTW, the "TASCAM HD P2" just needs to add "EX" to its title and will have covered all of the new lingo for video devices.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 04:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Yes, we need an HD-SDI input for recording.
Might I add the request for a future firmware to also allow the use of the nanoFlash as a dedicated sound recorder when no video input is available? It would greatly expand its usefulness.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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Hi Adam, I've suggested the same thing. More than a couple of times, I've needed an audio recorder but the XDR won't do it. It would, if I had an SDI pattern generator but it seems just as easy to enable audio only recording.

I too have the Tascam recorder and I find it MUCH better for audio recording. Not only can it do 192khz at 24bit, but it has good metering, the ability to drop markers on the fly, independent (or ganged) limiters and a bunch of other stuff.

I only bought the tascam because I could not record audio with my XDR but now I'm glad I did anyway.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 05:52 PM   #11
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Do you really want such big audio files?

Hi Adam,
I'm not sure I'd want such large files for just audio. In one post I vaguely remember something about a future 'Bars' or other test pattern option, which would presumably give you the ability to record audio with no external video input.
Fine as an ememgency fallback, but do you really want to record such large files at the Nanoflash record bit rates?
I've started keeping a Sony PCM-M10 recorder (small and very inexpensive, but with great sound at up to 96k/24bit, as well as decent built-in mics) in my camera kit for whenever I just need a little (or a little more) audio. On occasion I've even used it to record a couple of extra tracks (concert soundboard feed, or mounted in audience) to provide additional audio coverage when shooting with my EX1. I just throw it on audio time line in Vegas and slide it into sync!
Now I may change my tune when the Nano goes up to 8-channel audio recording, but unless I get a fancy HD-SDI audio embedder, I'll be keeping the M10 close by.
Best,
Dave S.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 06:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dave Sperling View Post
I'm not sure I'd want such large files for just audio.
If they were just audio, they should be .wav files or similar, which would not be large.

I agree that Tascam and such are better sound recorders. But if you are out somewhere with your nanoFlash and unexpectedly find yourself in the need of recording some sound, it would be great to have that ability. The hardware can do it. Whether there is enough room for the software I cannot know, but if there is, it would be very nice to have it available.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 12:48 AM   #13
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Well, for a few days they made a .m2v mpeg video only recording mode. It was quickly pulled from firmware though.

If they can do video only recording, I think they should be able to enable audio only recording mode.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 03:51 AM   #14
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Hey Dan,Mike & Tommy great job on the new firmware, I agree with others audio only recording for both Flash XDR / Nanoflash.

OMG I will have to buy another Nanoflash if they give us audio only recording.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 04:14 AM   #15
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Dear Friends,

We pulled the M2V format because we were afraid the someone would accidently select this format, not realizing that this format does not include audio.

Personally, I do not know the engineering challenges of recording audio only.

I do know that we are busy adding other features to the Flash XDR and nanoFlash.

I will report back later.
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