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Old September 4th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #1
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Using Olympus digital voice recorder as lav mic.

Anyone tried anything similar to this.

Olympus is selling digital voice recorders that hook up to your computer and you can download the file as .wmv. The unit hooks directly into the a USB slot like a key drive.

Anyway, there are Tie clip microphone attachments that you could use the unit (i am thinking) as a lav mic worn on the groom (or anyone). -wondering if this would be a cheap sollution or alternative to a wireless mic or maybe an additonal mic to a wireless system.

My only concern is if the audio quality would be good enough. Here is the link:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...anscribers.asp
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Old September 4th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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Tyson, I don't think those voice recorders are going to do the job. The reason is their frequency response. If you look at the specs, most of them record from around 300Hz - 5,000Hz. That is not a full frequency range (20-20,000Hz), and your voices will end up sounding as if the person were talking on a telephone (~300-3,400Hz). If you want to hear what this sounds like, just import a voice clip into your editor and apply a high and low pass filter at those frequencies.

It's too bad these voice recorders are designed that way. It would be ideal if they could do full frequencies. I'm not a fan of iRivers simply because you have to use their software to transfer. Does anyone know of a flash-based device, with mic-level input, that records mp3 or wav, and will show up as a drive letter on the PC for file transfer? Oh...and under $50 would be nice!
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Old September 4th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #3
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Hey Eric,
I have 2 Irivers 795 and I installed the latest firmware and they appear as a drive device. I use it easily like a flash memory. No need to use their software at all. I did though at first to install the firmware but after that it's been going very smooth using them.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 07:31 PM   #4
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Hi Monday, thanks for that info. It's good to know. You've got me looking on eBay for some old iRivers now.

Question - I'm looking through the manual and it says the voice recordings are stored as VOICE000.REC file format. How do you guys convert that into .mp3 or .wav?

Can anybody compare the quality of iRiver versus minidisc for this type of application? I can't believe I'm looking at minidisc technology...feels like I'm back in 1997. I'm just looking for some cheap (<$50) backup audio solutions.

Thanks.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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I have used an Olympus digital recorder at work for dictation and I agree with Eric -- it does really well for dictation, but the sound wouldn't be a very good substitute for a decent lav.

The recorders come with a software applet for recording and managing the files; that software can convert the proprietary files to standard wav.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #6
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Hey Eric,
Prior to installing the firmware update the iriver recorded in a format known to the iriver and I had to play the sound through the iriver and capture it in the computer. That really sucked and I was pissed with it. I knew people here didn't have that problem and so I did some research and got the firmware and it records in mp3 format and I can just place that right on the timeline. If it could do it prior to the new firmware I have no idea but with the firmware it's a cool toy to have.

Tyson I have not used the olympus digital recorder. Sorry for swaying off topic here.

Monday
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Old September 5th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #7
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Hi Eric -

I am NOT a profressional videographer - wedding or anything else - but I do like to video and edit stuff. A friend asked me to videotape his wedding (they had a video budget of $0 so my price was right).

Anyway, I used an Olympus voice recorder (I think it's the 9600???) to record the vocals of the bride & groom. I taped the whole thing on my cheapie Sony HC40 (my only camera). When I went to place the audio from the voice recorder over the audio from the video, I found that they were not in sync - in that they were out of phase by about one second per minute - This may not sound (no pun inteded) like a lot but it required me to do a lot of cutting of the audio into three-five second segments so it didn't look like an old kung-fu flick!

Next time, I think I will use a wireless mic and plug it into the camera!

Just MHO.

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Old September 5th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Paul
Hi Eric -

I am NOT a profressional videographer - wedding or anything else - but I do like to video and edit stuff. A friend asked me to videotape his wedding (they had a video budget of $0 so my price was right).

Anyway, I used an Olympus voice recorder (I think it's the 9600???) to record the vocals of the bride & groom. I taped the whole thing on my cheapie Sony HC40 (my only camera). When I went to place the audio from the voice recorder over the audio from the video, I found that they were not in sync - in that they were out of phase by about one second per minute - This may not sound (no pun inteded) like a lot but it required me to do a lot of cutting of the audio into three-five second segments so it didn't look like an old kung-fu flick!

Next time, I think I will use a wireless mic and plug it into the camera!

Just MHO.

Bruce
Bruce:

In a simple sound editor and with a little practice, you can stretch or compress the time of the clip to match the film closer. Question is how does it sound.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monday Isa
Hey Eric,
Prior to installing the firmware update the iriver recorded in a format known to the iriver and I had to play the sound through the iriver and capture it in the computer. That really sucked and I was pissed with it. I knew people here didn't have that problem and so I did some research and got the firmware and it records in mp3 format and I can just place that right on the timeline. If it could do it prior to the new firmware I have no idea but with the firmware it's a cool toy to have.

Tyson I have not used the olympus digital recorder. Sorry for swaying off topic here.

Monday
Is it true with the new iRiver firmware you can only record at 90kbs max bitrate though? Can't recall the exact number but I don't think it's the 160 you get without the update. If it is only 90 I won't be upgrading.

Could be wrong... just wanting to confirm this. Heard it "somewhere".

- RT
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
Is it true with the new iRiver firmware you can only record at 90kbs max bitrate though? Can't recall the exact number but I don't think it's the 160 you get without the update. If it is only 90 I won't be upgrading.

Could be wrong... just wanting to confirm this. Heard it "somewhere".

- RT

It is sadly true. :( nothing over 96kbs it sucks but it's still better than nothing for me currently.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #11
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Doh! Why would they do that??? Are there any "unofficial" firmware floating around to fix this?

So, for all those using iRivers are you...

a) using the older firmware and recording at >96kbps, but you have to do another digital-analog-digital capture? i.e. connecting the iriver to the line-in of your sound card. Is the quality acceptable after this process?

b) using the newer firmware, and only recording at 96kbps max. You can drag and drop the mp3 files directly from the iriver "drive".

Is that the workflow/limitations we have to deal with? Rick, thanks for bringing this up. I was about to bid on an iriver on ebay, but now I'm not sure if I want to put up with this.

Tyson: sorry if we've hijacked your thread. But I think it's relevant since we're all looking for a portable audio recording solution.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #12
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I actually just tried this last weekend for a wedding. I have yet to try to edit, but I downloaded the vocals, and it honestly didn't sound too bad. I used a Senn Wireless Lav Mic on the Groom and recorded to the Olympus recorded. I guess I'm not helping too much, but I will let you know when I get to the editing of the ceremony more feedback. I didnt' have a choice but to do it this say because my camera doesn't have a mic jack on it to bring in the wireless. I do like the recorder so far, and for $120-something, I think its a good quality.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #13
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IRiver 795

I use IRiver 795 for back up of wedding vows and any other speech. That is usually a narrow range and has provided me with excellent audio. The difference between 795 recording and my sennhieser wireless is almost nothing.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Gan
a) using the older firmware and recording at >96kbps, but you have to do another digital-analog-digital capture? i.e. connecting the iriver to the line-in of your sound card. Is the quality acceptable after this process?
I actually just use the iRiver music manager software and record at 160kbps. No analog capture required. I won't be upgrading the firmware if 96kbps is the max now.

And don't hold be to this but I would think the 800 series of iRivers on ebay most likely would still have the old firmware. (at least the 895's).
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Old September 7th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Rankin
I use IRiver 795 for back up of wedding vows and any other speech. That is usually a narrow range and has provided me with excellent audio. The difference between 795 recording and my sennhieser wireless is almost nothing.
I can tell if only slightly. The iRivers have that "bottom of the barrel" echo sound. But your right in saying the difference in sound isn't worth an extra $450. (But the ability to monitor the audio on cam is though IMO).
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