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Old September 17th, 2003, 07:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
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HD10U audio issues - MBOX w/ Powerbook instead of DAT?

Hello everyone,

I've got a Powerbook with Digidesign's MBOX (comes with Protools 6.1). I'm wondering if anyone here uses that instead of a portable DAT machine?

I've heard a lot of bad things about the HD10U's audio - and I'm thinking of avoiding it all together and using my MBOX. Is there a benefit to using a DAT instead of an MBOX?

If anyone has a suggestion on a portable DAT recorder in the ballpark of $400-$600 - please let me know.

Also, while I'm at it...any suggestions on a wireless shotgun for $300-$600?

Thank you!

Chris Murphy
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Old September 17th, 2003, 12:03 PM   #2
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Well, bringing a powerbook + a MBOX + what is needed for sound input does not look very portable to me. A simple Dat will be easier to operate, but if you have two people for sound recording, might as well bring a mixer and put all this on some sort of wheeled table for the technician to work, than you might have a good sound recording system, still not very portable.
Eric Bilodeau
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Old September 17th, 2003, 01:01 PM   #3
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Location: Boston, MA
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Favorite films, 16:9 influence and the HD10U

I guess that everyone needs to look at their shooting needs. I've had my fill (8 years!) of "run and gun". I'm interested in using the HD10U for dramatic shoots...not action oriented.

That's something to be discussed...the actual applications of this camera. I shot some beautiful morning footage behind my house of a meadow that had mist hovering over it. It had cinematic quailites...yes, defiantely cinematic. It gives me goosebumps to think of the stuff I'll be able to shoot.

I know this new camera isn't perfect, but I swear that I've dreamt of the 16:9 aspect ratio for years.....ever since seeing Stars Wars, Jaws, Superman and all those great 1970's films when I was a kid. Would any of those films be any less great with less actual color detail? Not really to the average filmgoer. However, if you take away the actual real estate....the horizontal space....it's a lousy television show! There is something about widescreen that is sexy...my girlfriend says that when I talk about it I seem to get horny! I'm not kidding...since getting this camera last week the excited has boiled over everywhere! ;)

Anyone care to share their favorite films? However, to keep it on topic....tell us how the 16:9 ratio of the HD10U will influence your shooting.

Chris Murphy
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Old September 17th, 2003, 02:05 PM   #4
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Location: Los Angeles
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Went on ebay, saw a portable walkman DAT...

Sony TCD-D8 DAT Recorder

... for 400 dollars. Is this good for filming? Basically a two character film, set 3/5 ths of it in a cabin, 2/5ths in the snow.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 11:56 AM   #5
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I use Professional Mini-disc recorder MDP-500 by HHB. It is a bit on the expensive side, but quality is good.


- Portable. Hangs on boom op's neck. Has phone output for monitoring.
- Long recording times on cheap MiniDiscs (I use original HHB's 80s).
- 2 separate XLR channels, both independently with switchable Phantom Power, Limiter, AGC (probably good for ENG), even 2-level pad.
- Stores a number of User Profiles. So if you are sharing the device or if you use it in different distinctive situations, just call the memory-stored profile accordingly.
- Good sound quality with latest AFTRAC compression.
- Very low noise/distortion levels.
- If you are in the studio, don't even record to minidiscs - simply use HHB as an external sound card (with all advantages as lited above) and connect it to your PC via its USB connection for UNCOMPRESSED sound. Feed HHB's USB output directly into your favorite sound editor for PC-based recording in 48K 16bit. Just configure your system to see PORTADISC as a recording input device. This ensures no signal conversions after HHB, sound is great!
- Good customer support by manufacturer directly.

Low points:

- Expensive.
- Short battery life (but comes with extra cradle and one can use regular AA batteries instead of the original rechargeable ones).
- Has moving parts, thus affected by vibrations (but so is DAT).
- Reported to lock up intermittently (it runs its own OS), which stops the device from accepting any button commands, but it usually keeps recording so the sound will still be captured. I haven't run into this issue personally.
- Motor sound leaks into the headphones (but somehow NOT into the recording!)
- No timecode whatsoever, you'll have to use clapper to sync sound with video. (But low-end camcorders we use do not output their timecode anyway... so there'd be no way to synchronize even if HHB had timecode sync input...)
- I think AFTRAC records in 44.1K max (but hey... it a CD quality! Hey #2: see studio setup above, record at any resolution you want without internal compression.)

All in all, thumbs up - it allows movie makers at *our* level to record near-theatrical quality sound both in the field and in the studio.
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