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Old March 8th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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olympus voice recorders and freq. response

I'm looking at getting some voice recorders for a wedding and I don't have alot of cash to dispense so I'm looking at some of the olympus recorders that are in the $50-79.99 price range.

My questions are:

1) any ones that you think work well (other than the ds-30)

2) Is it the freq response that dictates how good it'll record? If so what is the min. that is acceptable? like, the ds-30 go up to 19,000 I think. Is 12 or 13,000 acceptable or will it sound really bad?

Thanks guys.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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I have the WS-321 and a WS-311. Both work quite well. Do a search for the DS-30 thread that was here a few months ago, there were several recorders mentioned there.

Frequency response is one factor in audio quality, but there are many others. I'm sure the audio gurus here will chime in. Just don't get one of the very low end recorders, regardless of the frequency response.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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I also use the WS 311 for the past few weddings that I shot and have had little to no problems with them. Before I bought one I was able to compare this one with the DS30 from the Olympus website and they had the exact frequency response - so I picked up the WS 311 for cheap and double the memory. I use it with the Giant Squid omni lav and paid about $80 for the whole setup. Clip on the lav, press record, switch to hold, tuck in grooms pocket and walk away. I usually pick it up sometime during the post ceremony photos. I'll be picking up another setup before this wedding season starts.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #4
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Inexpensive audio recorders for weddings

The frequency response is not the big issue here as most of the program material you will be recording during the ceremony will be voice. The problem with the inexpensive recorders is that they use inexpensive crystals for the clock that controls the speed of the recording.
If you check more than likely the less expesive units will drift enough over 25 minutes to throw the audio out of sync with the video.

Its the old story you get what you pay for.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wilson View Post
The frequency response is not the big issue here as most of the program material you will be recording during the ceremony will be voice. The problem with the inexpensive recorders is that they use inexpensive crystals for the clock that controls the speed of the recording.
If you check more than likely the less expesive units will drift enough over 25 minutes to throw the audio out of sync with the video.

Its the old story you get what you pay for.
You are correct, don't go too cheap, but the drift can be compensated for and the same issue sometimes exists for the Zoom H2 and more expensive recorders when syncing them to a video recording. The good thing is that the drift is almost always linear with digital recorders, so for a given device it will be regularly out of sync, enabling us to establish the percentage of difference and accurately correct for it. When you start using two devices like this together, you should always do a one time test recording of about an hour, with both the video camera that you will be using and the voice recorders, clapping at the beginning and the end to create a waveform spike that you can sync to. Then you put them both on the timeline and time stretch the audio so that both spikes are synced. Then note the amount that you had to time stretch to sync them up, and whenever you use these devices together you now know the exact amount that you must time stretch the audio.

I tested both my Zoom H2 and my WS-311 against my HV30. They were both about 4/100th of a second off over 1 hour, which was not noticeable so I do not need to adjust for it. I still have to run the test against the HMC150.

There are other concerns also, such as recording format (I would get one that at least records to WMA or MP3). I know that they are highly compressed but they still give good audio for voice recording. Some of the less expensive ones record to low quality dictation formats which you must convert. I would avoid those. And obviously, you want one with an external mic input for a decent quality lav mic (like the Giant Squid).
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Old March 12th, 2009, 02:17 AM   #6
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thanks you guys for the insight. When you say time stretch....do you mean speed up the file? I use FCP, do I just apple+J and adjust it until it's accurate? and will the result be the proper pitch of their voice or will it be higher? I don't quite understand the process there.

On that note, I think I'll go with the 311 as it seems to be well liked and still being made unlike the ds-30.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schuurman View Post
thanks you guys for the insight. When you say time stretch....do you mean speed up the file? I use FCP, do I just apple+J and adjust it until it's accurate? and will the result be the proper pitch of their voice or will it be higher? I don't quite understand the process there.

On that note, I think I'll go with the 311 as it seems to be well liked and still being made unlike the ds-30.
Yes, time stretching is essentially just lengthening or shortening the duration of the clip without changing its pitch. When you put the audio clips from each device on separate tracks on a timeline, one on top of the other, you just adjust the length of the clip from the audio recorder so that it matches the length of the audio clip from the video camera. Anyway, most audio editors will display a percentage of how much you changed the length of the clip, and you can use that number each time you have to do it in the future. You can do it in most all audio editors such as Audition and Audacity (free), and many NLE's (I know Vegas and Premiere can) I'm not familiar with FCP, it may be able to do it as well. If not, FCP comes with Soundtrack Pro, correct? It should be able to do it.

To be honest, I think more is being thought about this than is necessary though. This is only if you are really having sync issues because of the devices not matching up. I don't think you will have an issue with the WS311 (or the WS321, same thing just more memory). Its always matched up so close that I've never had to do anything to get them to sync up.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #8
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DS-61 Olympus

Just tested my DS-61 which came in the mail last week. It has awesome sound recording for audio. Downfall is I had to purchase a seperate lapel mic (high end) to get the quality vocal recordings I'm looking for. The DS-61 has long recording capabilities and wide variety of options for the serious videographer. It only weighs 2.8 ounces so it's easy to conceal.

I do not recommend the DS-61 for loud rock bands or heavily amplified live bands. Tested the DS-61 on that last night and find the DS-61 is best left to the audio field.
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