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Author Topic: Mini Disc recorder advice?
Snaggy

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Icon 5 posted July 31, 2004 13:13      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm looking for an MD recorder, (for field recordings, mostly ambiant stuff). I used to use my old WalkMan Pro cassette tape recorder for this kind of thing, ... figure it's time I went digital. [Razz]

My main requirements are adjustable recording levels, microphone input, and Mac compatable. [Geek]

Wondering if anyone has any model advice, or suggestions?

OK, thanks in advance. [Big Grin]

Posts: 8111 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 5 posted July 31, 2004 15:56      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry to be so stupid but what does MD stand for?

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Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bibo
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted July 31, 2004 16:19      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Do you have an iPod? If so would this work or is it too low quality for what you want to do?


Callipygous,MD stands for MiniDisc a Sony only product (I think).

Posts: 1641 | From: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
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Icon 3 posted July 31, 2004 16:56      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hi Bibo, yeah i'm looking for extremely high quality stereo recording, so the iPod won't do that unfortunately. [Mad] I think MiniDisc is the cheapest solution for that.

....though I'd rather have one of these. [Smile]

edit:
ouch, on further Sony Mini Disc research, it looks likes there's issues with transferring the digital recording file to a Mac. [Frown]

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GMx

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
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Icon 4 posted July 31, 2004 19:46      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What about a portable DAT recorder? As long as you have auidio inputs you're good to go. I don't know what kind of sound quality reduction you'd get using analog inputs though.

Edit: Those digital 4-Tracks are getting pretty cheap too.

Posts: 5848 | From: S-4, Area 51 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

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Icon 1 posted July 31, 2004 21:15      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hi GMx.. yeah I looked at portable DAT recorders, they are quite a bit more expensive, and then I also have the issue of having to transfer audio from digital to analogue to digital again too.

The new four tracks are tempting too.... that Tascam PocketStudio looks nice...
oooo fun!

Oooo ... it can also act as a hardrive, so i can just drag files to computer, or get them directly from the compact flash card.

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Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
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Icon 11 posted July 31, 2004 22:52      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
doh! just released I can probably rig something up via my Pismo and record directly to it... not the most portable solution, but worth a try. [Smile]
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GMx

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Icon 1 posted August 01, 2004 06:32      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
doh! just released I can probably rig something up via my Pismo and record directly to it... not the most portable solution, but worth a try. [Smile]

Cheaper too. [Wink]
Posts: 5848 | From: S-4, Area 51 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
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Icon 1 posted August 01, 2004 16:33      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Definitely cheaper, but as I'm finding out, a rig-a-ma-roll to use, since I have to go into a pre-amp (my WalkMan Pro) with my mic, then from line out of there into the line in of the PowerBook, which of course has to be open and not sleeping. [crazy]
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dunjamon
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Icon 1 posted August 01, 2004 20:26      Profile for dunjamon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd recommend the Sony Net MD MZN505, but as I found out when I bought my iBook that and ALL Sony MD products are Windoze only. Olympus are doing some cheap MP3 dictaphones nowadays which use SD cards though.

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Posts: 77 | From: Manchester England | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Number 2608
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Icon 1 posted August 02, 2004 01:11      Profile for Number 2608     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are you wanting to be able to transfer your recordings from the MD to your computer via USB? If so, be absolutely certain that the recorder you buy will allow you to do this - at work I have a couple of Sony MD recorders (can't remember the model, but they are quite old so have probably been obseleted) with USB ports which only allow music etc to be transfered to the player via USB and not the other way - which is very stupid as they were bought as recorders so that they could be used to record stuff via microphone and then transfer it to computer.
Posts: 82 | From: Leeds, UK | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
nekomatic
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Icon 3 posted August 02, 2004 05:15      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Field recordings, eh? Have you heard this?

I'm not a total expert in this, but some thoughts:

Minidisc isn't "extremely high quality" - it's pretty good, but not as good as uncompressed CD-quality audio. Whether the difference is important is something you'll have to decide. If it is important, then you'll need to look at going direct to the Powerbook or something like DAT which records without digital compression.

The universal interface for digital audio is S/PDIF, which comes in electrical and optical flavours. Most portable Minidisc recorders seem to have an optical S/PDIF input, but no output - most people want to copy their CD's on to MD for portable listening, but not make their own recordings. S/PDIF outputs seem to be more widespread on non-portable Minidisc decks.

You can get relatively cheap (and also very expensive!) Mac-compatible audio interfaces that connect via USB or Firewire and give you analogue and/or S/PDIF inputs and outputs. Edirol are one maker of low-end stuff e.g. this but there are probably others.

Your cheapest option for recording on Minidisc and transferring to the Mac without going back to analogue would probably be any portable MD recorder with mic input and manual level control, plus a non-portable (I keep wanting to type "desktop" [Wink] ) deck with S/PDIF outputs, and a USB interface like the Edirol one linked above.

I think the reason the Sony USB MD's may not let you transfer stuff on to the PC is a pointless copyright thing so you can't copy someone else's music on to your PC - cos there aren't any other ways you can do that, are there? [Roll Eyes]

Posts: 822 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted August 02, 2004 08:54      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I toured as a standup comic I had many of the same requirements as you, Snaggy, plus a few others -- namely I didn't want to carry any more equipment than I had to. I had a mini-DV camera, and I had my laptop.

Here are a couple of things I bought, and like.

Beachtek XLR-to-miniDV microphone adapter/preamp. It allows balanced XLR connections to any miniDV camera with a 1/8" sony minijack. It also allows for a wireless microphone connection. With standard mounting hardware top and bottom, the compact box mounts between your camera and your tripod. It can really extend the usefulness of your mini-DV camera by giving you more sound/microphone options, Not a bad audio interface for a recorder you may already own. Cost between $200 and $250.

Digigram PocketVX2 PCMCIA card for the Pismo. For a Pismo owner (And really there are only two kinds of people in the world, aren't there?) this device is so Geek-O-Riffic I rate it five pairs of taped glassess out of five. This is a super-geek must-have for the technically astute individual who has say, upgraded his or her Pismo with say memory, G4 processor, screen and battery. Includes breakout cable for dual balanced inputs through pro XLR connections. Adustable gain from +30 to +50 dBs. Line or Mic level monitoring. Find them on the internet for around $450 and up.

With a fast hard drive sitting in the Media Bay of a Pismo, you have an excellent recording studio, and instant access to your audio tracks when you're woking with other digital applications.

For pure sex appeal, I'm here to testify it elevated this humble feature act up to headliner status with the Techno Talking Babes. "You're funny, and you're a geek? Mmmmmmm, any chance I could come back to the condo and help you download your hard drive?"

Why buy another box you gotta drag along, when either of these two devices work well? In fact, they are so compact and work so well, I packed both and have not regretted either purchase.

Colonel Panic

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Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
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Icon 14 posted August 02, 2004 09:35      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Colonel Panic! [Big Grin]

Your most-excellent post set off several Drool Alarms! Gorgeous stuff... *sigh*... all of which are beyond my humble means. [cry baby]

nekomatic:
I actually have a DAT machine... an old desktop Tascam unit, but for this purpose I'm looking for portabiltity. I'm thinking MD quality would suffice, probably even if I have to transfer it via analogue into the Mac. I need to actually try out one of the MD players, to see if Sony's manual recording level controls and such will actually be usable IRL.

In the meantime I will test out my Pismo/WalkmanPro Combo to see how un-clumsy it is. [Geek]

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Steven
Maximum Newbie
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Icon 1 posted August 23, 2004 19:16      Profile for Steven   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From experence, I do not suggest a MD recorder.

The USB interface that it has is one way.

I bought one to record live concerts with my band and discovered Sony's little secret about this device.

If you want to digitally upload, don't get a MD recorder.

God Bless,
Steven

Posts: 16 | From: Tennessee, USA | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged


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