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


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Old August 23rd, 2009, 05:08 PM   #1
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Yamaha Pocketrak 2G

Just wanted to pass along that I found what I think is going to be a really, really cool recorder/lav combo. I just picked up a Yamaha Pocketrak 2G, which records PCM, MP3, or WMA files in stereo from a stereo mic on the unit, or through a stereo mic input. I'm going to get a stereo lav mic from Giant Squid and that will be a great combo for the groom. It is really small and really slick. I love it already. 2 GB onboard memory (plenty for even the longest wedding!) and rechargeable through USB or it takes 1 AAA battery. Sweet. Battery life is around 4 hrs. I got this one for $195 - seems to be the going price.

I'll let you know how this works out when I take it for a spin in a couple weeks.

bv
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Bill, Nice looking unit. I noticed that the LPCM sampling rate is apparently limited to 44.1 kHz. The DVD spec calls for 48 kHz. which means the audio sampling rate would need to be converted to 48 kHz. if the audio is used for a DVD. Not a show stopper but it would be better to not have to convert the sampling rate. The Zoom H2 and H4 allow the sampling rate to be selected from a choice of rates including 48 kHz. They also use removable SD memory modules which is handy. The problem with the Zoom recorders is that they are WAY too big to "hang" onto someone.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 06:40 PM   #3
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Hi Jim,

It does appear that audio is set to 44.1 Khz - although FCP automatically accepts audio sources at different rates on a 48K timeline, so it's all good. CDs come in like that all the time. Definitely not a show stopper. I do wish they had SD cards, but 2GB is plenty for most purposes. You'll probably run out of battery power before you run out of audio space with a clean unit.

I looked at the Zoom H2, and for sitting on the floor near the B&G would be fine - but yeah, carrying one in a pocket wouldn't be too cool. These are sooo thin and slick - no bigger than a cell phone - and offer a great backup solution. I'm also running a wireless Senn lav to my camera as well. I think I'll also use this for myself at conferences too - I can probably get a full conference day on this easily depending on whether I want to use compression or not.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 06:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tip. I am definitely going to consider one of these. I am looking for a small recorder for using with a lav mic. I have an H2 but if you try to use it on someone, it looks terrible. Can the built-in mic be removed if using it with a lav mic?

B&H has it for sale here http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...specifications
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 07:08 PM   #5
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Has anyone tried the Olympus WS-500 (about 70 bucks)? Since my only requirement is audio recording, and it is supposed to record in STXQ mode (like DS-30 discussed earlier) for over 34hrs, it would be nice addition. Matched up with Giant Squid it should work nicely.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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The on-board mic doesn't come off, but it is turned off internally when you record using an external mic. I'll let you know how things go when I get my Giant Squid mic. There may be a 9-volt battery pack required for the mic I need - I've got a request in at Giant Squid to let me know which one I need, the one with or the one without the battery pack. The added battery pack would be a drag considering how sleek the entire thing is otherwise.

Ramesh, I haven't tried the Olympus - they didn't have one where I went today - I asked. Overall these little mini-recorders with the lav mics from Giant Squid are changing the way audio is recorded. VERY cool. I *almost* talked myself out of wireless, although I'm too paranoid and have to hear what's going down or I get nervous. Having both is the best of both worlds.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 11:22 PM   #7
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I have been using the 2G for awhile now. It's an amazing little recorder IMO. I can't believe that it hasn't been used more often really. The 44.1 hasn't hindered me at all yet, and it still sounds crystal clear. I would say that it's not exactly the best when using the onboard mics, but it's way better than par. It's super easy to use once you get to the file structure...which to me was a little odd at first, but then made sense. I will use the mic-in for the ceremony, where this thing shines. It's so super slim that it's never an issue for the groom.

I was using the cheap $20 Azden omni, but switching to a Sennheiser ME2 (if you guys think the GS mics are better for the buck, please tell me!). For the reception/tapping into the board I will switch to line-in and highest quality MP3 mode to just let it run and run for the longest of receptions. If you are running full PCM and happen to be at a Catholic ceremony and a looong reception, I don't think this thing will last all that time. You will run out of memory. Trust me, I know. Being a one man show (at this point) I have to have the groom mic'ed up and recording plenty ahead of time so I can focus on being where I need to be. Thus eating up precious recording time.

I just sold my Zoom H4n, and am purchasing a second 2G this week.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 01:48 AM   #8
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I am paranoid about audio too. Lavaliere on Groom, tap into Church audio, and boom mic on B-roll Camera. GS (the iriver one) mono works great with Olympus recorder. I use it mainly from Groom.

How is the line-in on 2G? I have been using my laptop for church/DJ system, small line-in recorder would be much more convenient.
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