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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 15th, 2006, 02:09 AM   #1
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Other MP3 recorders

Iriver 700 and 800 series mp3 players/recorders can still be had easily this will change in the future. Someone should mass produce a unit just for our market but till they do I would like to start this thread for information and experiences with other inexpensiv mp3 player/rocorders that will support line in microphone recording. I have emailed a couple of mp3 makers to get specifics on their player/recorders capibilites and will be posting here when I hear back. Please post any information you have in this regard.

Mike
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Old February 15th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #2
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I thought the 7/800 series iRivers were already exstinct. It's a real bummer they removed mic level from the input. That's the only thing that made these one time obscure MP3 players any worth.

If you find any online retailers that are still selling *new* i-Rivers, let me know. I'd like to hord a dozen or so.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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Glenn,

Plenty of refurbished 795s and 790s online, just do a search, 895s too. So far I got back this information from creative who makes the Zen Nano Plus. It would require a powers supply for the mic. Giant Squid has the power supplies for $60. It's another piece of equipment which I don't really like, but acording to the Giant Squid website it may have advantages.


"Michael,

As long as the microphone is powered or preamplified you can plug it
into the line-in on the Zen Nano Plus."

Mike
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Old February 15th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #4
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babysitting ebay...

Yeah, 795's can still be had...I spent some time babysitting ebay over the past few weeks and found a couple at what I deemed to be acceptable pricing. One was 'new' and still in its factory seal - and another I picked up was used but in excellent condition and packaged with all of the accessories that ship with the new one (headphones, software, armband, protective case).

I also saw several 895's, but I didn't want to deal with the sidemount mic plug, so I stuck with 795's. I bought 2 Giant Squids and they really sound incredible. Sure, there are higher end systems that sound better - but the iRiver & Giant Squid combo really seems to be the best bang for the buck....its a real shame that you have to search around to find the discontinued models, but right now, the gettin' can still be done.

Of course, low-cost flash players are becoming so prevalent that sooner or later there should be something easy to find that also records and compares to what the older iRivers do.....I hope.
-Jon
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Old February 15th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #5
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After reading the manual for the 900 series Irivers at Irivers website it looks like they too will do the job, so we have not been abandoned yet. I repeat LOOKS LIKE, I don't have one so I can't say for absolute sure. It does have a line in and a external microphone setting. The 900 series uses a rechargeable battery. That makes me a feel a little squirley. I like the confidence of droping in a new battery before every shoot but I could live with that. I can't imagine a replacement battery could be all that much. It is one more thing for Murphy to get his hands on though.

Mike
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Old February 27th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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I just got an IFP-899 (1GB) on eBay for $99. Should be delivered this week. I'm eager to see/hear the quality. Should make for a great, low-cost solution for capturing audio.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #7
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HDD Recorders?

Why not use the Hard Disk Recorders like the iRiver iHP-120 (as it's known in the UK anyway). I think this may be an older model but once again, still to be had on ebay. I know battery life is shorter, but surely still enough for most of the day, plus since it has a much higher capacity of 20Gb there is the option to record in WAV format.
One other thing, do most of you use these things just for backup audio? Has anyone found synchronisation to be an issue if you've needed to use backup audio i.e. drifting in and out. Also, since it seems a good idea to use a powered mic would something like a Rode NT4 stereo condenser or AUDIO TECHNICA AT803BS1 clip o*n lavalier mic do the job, say under a bouquet etc?
Sorry for going off topic slightly...just while the thought was there y'know ;-)
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Old February 28th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #8
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Hi Damien,
I think your suggestions are quite viable....such a hard disk recorder would likely be an option to consider when I am no longer using my Sony MD recorder (which I primarily use in discreet stationary locations), but I am not sure if I would use something like that in a body plant situation (such as a coat pocket or the like). I use a Senn G2 lav system for primary spoken word audio, and since it is the cleanest lav mic I have, I use it on the primary target, ie the person who will be doing the most speaking - usually the minister at the wedding -

For me, the attraction of the iRivers, other than price and sound quality, is the size and weight of the units. They are so small and light that it is very easy to conceal them in an inner jacket pocket or somewhere in the clothing without noticably affecting the clothing bulk or disrbution of the shoulder symmetry - they are basically comfortable and discreet. It can conveniently be hidden in an eyeglass case for discreet placement in some podium setups - fitting naturally into the word presentation environment without garnering the attention of someone who is anxious about the placement of 'extras' in the podium/ambo area.

OTOH, I pretty much wouldn't bother using it as my mp3 playback device - nothing beats the iPod for that, but the iRiver picks up clean strong audio (especially with the GS mics) and doesn't require the a third party add on to enable audio input.

Now, I admit, although I have played around with mine alot lately, and run it through simulation tests to see how it will hold up in a wedding situation and how it will sound in post, I haven't yet used my iRivers for real paying work (that comes in a couple of weeks), but I don't anticipate real problems with drift or sync issues - since I plan to basically use the units for backup for things like vows, etc, the brevity of the clips I intend to use them for shouldn't really present much of a problem in terms of sync (I think), but that is also a reason why I will use the Senn G2 system for the heavy lifting - no sync problems there.
-Jon
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