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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #1
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Audio backup device ... not iRiver

Hi,

I read a lot about backing up the audio. Most folks recommended discontinued iRivers. I found great solution iAudio U3 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...table_MP3.html

I have 2gb unit. This unit can record from outside mic or line in. I've recorded voice 1h45min and it took 100mb in wma format. This same unit I use everyday to listen to the podcast. Battery life (rechargeable build in) is approx 20hrs.
I highly recommend it.

Tom

Last edited by Tomasz Kalinowski; September 4th, 2007 at 10:00 AM.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #2
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The reason the iRivers are so popular is to mic up somebody with a lav for dialog. Not sure how well that unit does with an external mic as it most likely has no preamp circuitry designed for this like the older iRivers do.

The new Zoom H2 is out for a few bucks more and does much much more (reportedly).
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Old September 4th, 2007, 06:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rick Steele View Post
The reason the iRivers are so popular is to mic up somebody with a lav for dialog. .

Not to mention the fact that one can find an iRiver on ebay AND buy a Giant Squid mic to go with it all for a considerably lower price point than the U3 sells for. It looks like a pretty snappy little gadget though.


-Jon
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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I just bought an iRiver 899 (1GB version) for $46 on ebay. You can't beat that deal. You just can't. Granted the quality is a smidge below what you might get from a professional recording device but it's still really good and generally sufficient for dialog.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #5
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I'd have to agree, Adam. Also, we run around so much and the groom is all over the place getting hugged and whatnot. It's so easy to forget one of these things behind taped to a podium, or have the groom drop it. Whatever.

I'd be much happier losing one of my $50 irivers than a $200 H2.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
I'd have to agree, Adam. Also, we run around so much and the groom is all over the place getting hugged and whatnot. It's so easy to forget one of these things behind taped to a podium, or have the groom drop it. Whatever.

I'd be much happier losing one of my $50 irivers than a $200 H2.
Vito, you'd be supprised how your thought process changes when you start using more expensive equiptment. Now I have never left equiptment behind (too anal for that), except for a XLR cable while packing up.

But since I use more expensive recorders (R09, H4, H2, R4: 4 track recorder), I always know where my stuff is at all times. Also, I need the audio, so how could I forget about it.

There are going to be some who are going to rip me for this, but, the iRivers, Ipods and MP3 recorders are crap for ritical audio.
They're great and convenient for capturing dialouge when needed (as backup on groom and such). But for anything else forget it.
Weak pre amps and (compressed) MP3 audio capture only make it weak for line in or critical musical capture (yes even for a wedding).

The Ipod and such have turned many listeners ears to mush. And as such can't discern what good sounding audio sounds like.

I'm not a snob, as a lot of my video and audio equiptment are middle of the road (I like the best value for what I can afford). But I am very critcal when it comes to my audio, as I got my start as an audio engineer. And as such hate the fact that compressed audio such as MP3's are looked at as high quality by professionals. Consumers, I cut a break, but not those who would call themselves professionals.

Yes, I used to use iIRivers (for convenience), until they started to fail me, and finally smaller uncompressed solid state SD card recorders were finally available.
Then I bid bye bye to my IRivers.
I also do own an Ipod, but use it for listening to music for pleasure while out and about or working out. But I would never use it for any professional purpose.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #7
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Michael - I somewhat agree. The iRivers are great for speech/dialog but when it comes to music or anything with a wider freq range they don't sound so hot. I use the iRivers primarily for dialog, and also to help at the reception to know what songs where played for certain things or to help know what songs people were really gettin into while dancing. The iRivers are not the end-all in recording but are great for the purpose i use them for.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #8
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Hey Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
Vito, you'd be supprised how your thought process changes when you start using more expensive equiptment.
I HAVE more expensive equipment. I have a $1000 Telex wireless, and a wired Sony 77B. I used to use the wireless, but found I don't have time to switch from my camera mic to attaching the unit, micing the groom, etc, as I do mostly full day one camera shoots and I'm running like a chicken with his head cut off. Not by choice, believe me. I dont' have time to check for interference, etc.

The Sony I use all the time for interviews with great results.

Quote:
Now I have never left equiptment behind (too anal for that), except for a XLR cable while packing up.
Lucky you. I too, so far, have not left stuff behind, but I've worked with many who have. It's always an issue. As is theft.

Quote:
There are going to be some who are going to rip me for this, but, the iRivers, Ipods and MP3 recorders are crap for critical audio.
I completely agree with you.

Quote:
They're great and convenient for capturing dialogue when needed (as backup on groom and such). But for anything else forget it.
That's the only thing I use them for. Recording audio from the groom and the podium.

Quote:
And as such hate the fact that compressed audio such as MP3's are looked at as high quality by professionals. Consumers, I cut a break, but not those who would call themselves professionals.
Can't argue with that. But you have to look at some shooters' (such as my own) situations. I do a lot of freelance weddings for companies who don't even care if I mic the groom or the podium. It was a big struggle for me to convince them that perhaps the on camera mic wasn't good enough. There's no way they are going to buy me three edirols or H2s. These are not high end clients. So I picked up some irivers on my own. Yes, it's a hack, yes, it's substandard, and yes, it works great for the purpose.

And as far as 'professional', the real professionals would laugh just as hard at your H2 as they would at an iriver. So, though I consider myself a professional, I am doing what I can at the moment for what I need to do.

I'm not trying to attack you, Michael. I've read many of your posts with interest, and have always respected your opinion. But I resent the implication that because I choose a particular solution that you once used, but are now too good for, I am somehow not a professional.

All the best,
Vito
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Old September 5th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
...the iRivers, Ipods and MP3 recorders are crap for ritical audio.
Emphasis added.

Michael, you must have recorded your post on an iRiver. The word "critical" got clipped. See how bad the quality is, everybody?
;)
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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Wozniak View Post
Emphasis added.

Michael, you must have recorded your post on an iRiver. The word "critical" got clipped. See how bad the quality is, everybody?
;)
=)

Yeah, me not the bst typr.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:15 PM   #11
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Michael, two things:

1. Your post sounds to me like you know alot about audio but don't have much actual experience in weddings. We as professionals have to be practical and your line of thinking (ruling our iRivers as recording devices for weddings) is not practical, even though you are right that you can get better audio quality with more expensive equipment.

2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
They're great and convenient for capturing dialouge when needed
Exactly. And that's exactly what we were discussing using them for.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #12
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"Can't argue with that. But you have to look at some shooters' (such as my own) situations. I do a lot of freelance weddings for companies who don't even care if I mic the groom or the podium. It was a big struggle for me to convince them that perhaps the on camera mic wasn't good enough. There's no way they are going to buy me three edirols or H2s. These are not high end clients. So I picked up some irivers on my own. Yes, it's a hack, yes, it's substandard, and yes, it works great for the purpose."

I hear you on that one.
I do some freelance shooting for wedding companies but mainly my own packages. If I do freelance shooting, then I am there for just that, to shoot, and use their equiptment to do so. If they want to hire me to be an audio engineer, then that's fine, and I use own audio equiptment.

For my own packages though, I generally use my additional recorders for backup or additional audio. I use a wireless on the groom, as well as mic the minister with an Edirol R09 recoder, place a R09 (or not H2) unit on the podium for readers, and a H4 on a mic stand to record musicians (if needed).
For me the on camera mic is useless except for ambiant audio. I try to use my recorders for most of my audio throughout the night, and mainly use the camera audio for backup syncable audio. The only exception to this might be the grooms wireless to my camera.

Weather high end or low end, I always use the same setup, but I roll my equiptment costs (even audio) into my pricing.


"And as far as 'professional', the real professionals would laugh just as hard at your H2 as they would at an iriver. So, though I consider myself a professional, I am doing what I can at the moment for what I need to do."

You are right on the H2 count.
But my main point on the professional comment, was meant towards using inferior audio (such as MP3 and iRivers) for professional use. Not the units themselves.

While there are different grades of small compact recorders on the market, Microtrack, FR2, R09, H4, H2, and others, that all have their strongs and weak points. They at least can record at higher bit rates 24/96 WAV or even 16/48 WAV (same as video tape).

I have higher end recorders like the Edirol R4, but only use it for certain jobs (not generally weddings, as it's too large to use in most cases), such as live stage and recital work where I can run cable in a set environment.

So, while this wasn't meant to sound like a personal attack on you Vito, I probably could have worded my thoughts a bit better.

I have this nasty ability to spout out things without thinking it through entirely.

It's just that I am a little sick of hearing people ask info on the iRivers, when in essense they haven't made these units in a couple years and are obsolete.

I just love audio (and video) with a passion, and wish that the majority of people out there would take the audio end as serious as they do the video.

BTW, my wife says that I am missing part of my common sense filter. =)
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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have this nasty ability to spout out things without thinking it through entirely.
Oh yeah, that's me too. There should be a support group for us folks. :)
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Old September 5th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
So, while this wasn't meant to sound like a personal attack on you Vito, I probably could have worded my thoughts a bit better.
No worries.

Quote:
It's just that I am a little sick of hearing people ask info on the iRivers, when in essense they haven't made these units in a couple years and are obsolete.
I disagree that they are obsolete. They are still being used to very good effect by a large number of wedding videographers, myself included. People ask for info on them because they are very convenient, inexpensive, small, easy to use, and they do a pretty good job at recording voice with a lapel mic. No wonder they are in demand, even though there are new recorders (as you noted) that record better quality audio.

Quote:
I just love audio (and video) with a passion, and wish that the majority of people out there would take the audio end as serious as they do the video.
I feel the same, and completely agree with you. I strive to always get a better product, either with the tools I have, can find, or can upgrade to eventually.

But I think you miss the point that the most 'professional' tool may not always be best for the situation. Just as I wouldn't rent a Varicam to bring home to do home video. I use my Z1 for that, and even that's almost overkill...

But I must say, I'm looking hard at the H2 as my next audio tool. Perhaps you can start a new thread with your thoughts on it. I think I read a quick post you did on it, but you might have more detailed thoughts on it by now.

Cheers,
Vito
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Old September 5th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #15
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Oh yeah, that's me too. There should be a support group for us folks. :)
I hear you Adam. There's a videographer here who's still afraid to talk to me after a few times of me trashing his work (work he was doing nominally under my supervision, so I am somewhat responsible for the product).
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