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Whitewatermini disc recorder
by on Apr 5, 2005 at 5:40:04 pm

Looking to get a mini disc recorder to capture some back up audio at some shoots from this point forward. Wondering if anybody had a recommendation, or any other great ideas for capturing the back up audio.



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David Chandler-GickRe: mini disc recorder
by on Apr 5, 2005 at 6:35:21 pm

iRiver recorders...

check iriver.com and look at the 800 series of Ultra Portable Players to start with. I just picked up an 895 and so far I've been very impressed.

-DJ
David Chandler-Gick
Dynamic Media Group (http://www.dynamicmediagroup.com)
a deveraux film (http://www.adeverauxfilm.com)
Event Video COW Moderator
Contributing Editor eventDV magazine (http://www.eventdv.net)


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velmaRe: mini disc recorder
by on Apr 5, 2005 at 9:23:36 pm

I totally second the iriver. It is 100% easier to use and practical than mini disc. I got my two from B&H.

velma


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David RennieRe: mini disc recorder
by on Apr 6, 2005 at 3:04:38 am

Another vote for iRiver. I have three of them, much easier to use than MD.


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ThaxWhat about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 6, 2005 at 12:02:15 pm

Whoa there, I can't just let all of this go by without some further technical explaination.

These units record with VERY lossy mp3 compression (from what I have read elsewhere, they are limited to 96 kB in the analog record mode.)

In the past, audio professionals have complained loudly that even MD's ATRAC compression is "too lossy" for serious use.
Whether you agree with the whether MD is "too limited" or not, the iRiver units (and all mp3-type recorders) audio is much MORE compressed and frequency-limited.

I'm assuming that a principle use for additional recorders is to actually place ON a participant for, say, recording the vows or a "special reading" but, unless you use a miniature mic preamp (costing about as much as the iRiver itself) to raise the levels enough to plug into the LINE input, you must ONLY use the iRiver's built-in MIC. This means you need to mount it nearly IN VIEW on a tux or gown so as to allow proper mic pick up without too much clothing noise.

Even with all of this, the iRiver audio sounds good... and is "better" and more versatile than MD?




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David Chandler-GickRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 6, 2005 at 2:25:01 pm

MP3 CAN be low quality... It can also be high quality. It all depends on the compression scheme you use to encode. (JPEG format images would be a good analogy here)

I'm not an expert with the iRiver having experience of less than a week, but as I understand it you can set it to 44.1 kHz and up to 225kbps.

-DJ
David Chandler-Gick
Dynamic Media Group (http://www.dynamicmediagroup.com)
a deveraux film (http://www.adeverauxfilm.com)
Event Video COW Moderator
Contributing Editor eventDV magazine (http://www.eventdv.net)


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David Chandler-GickRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 6, 2005 at 2:42:20 pm

P.S.

The Line In is switchable Line / Mic, so that's a non issue there. (They were thinking ahead when they built these things.)

Transfer is via USB 2.0, so transfer for hours of audio takes minutes, not hours, making it instantly preferrable to MD, IMO.

The 895 (mine) also has a built in EQ, recording level adjustment, file management... Too many people are using these successfully, and my own limited experience has been nothing but positive... I think it would be foolish to dismiss these too quickly. Try one out for yourself and I think you'll see what the excitement is about.

-DJ
David Chandler-Gick
Dynamic Media Group (http://www.dynamicmediagroup.com)
a deveraux film (http://www.adeverauxfilm.com)
Event Video COW Moderator
Contributing Editor eventDV magazine (http://www.eventdv.net)


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David RennieRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 7, 2005 at 5:02:08 am

I have been using the iRiver products for about a year now. I liked them so much I gave away my MD recorders....

I find the audio to be very good. More than adequate for vows, readings, recording vocalist and the like. I use a Azden EX-503 lav mic for actual pickup. These are like $20 at B & H and work very well. These two together produce audio that is difficult to distinguish between the iRiver and my MUCH more expensive wireless mic.


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Pat KingRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 8, 2005 at 3:35:26 am

what is the advantage of using an iriver for recording over an MD? Is it just the longer record time? The only complaint I have with the MD is no meters. Does the iriver have meters?


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David RennieRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 8, 2005 at 5:44:21 am

the advantages... cost for one. a few models are less than most MD recorders never mind that you don't have to buy any disk. Ease of use. Transfering the recorded audio takes only a few minutes. The iRiver does not have a graphic disply for recording, only playback. This is easy to work around via a quick sound check prior to use.


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Peter RalphRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 8, 2005 at 4:25:56 pm

iriver or MD are both fine for voice. But the lack of meters make both difficult for music. It is very difficult to set levels accurately for loud music without high isolation head phones. Especially when you anticipate a wide dynamic range in the music.


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David RennieRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 10, 2005 at 9:53:53 pm

For my application, weddings, I have not had a real problem. Most often I am using them as mics for readers or a vocalist. In these applications they have not let me down.


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KlausRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 14, 2005 at 11:13:30 am

I'm confused. Perhaps I've misunderstood. Does this mean you are recording your audio separately and syncing it in the edit? If so, sounds time consuming. Why not just use a radio mic and record directly to camera?


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ThaxRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 14, 2005 at 11:59:13 am

[Klaus] "Why not just use a radio mic and record directly to camera? "

I can answer in general for this one (at least from my angle.)

There are many times that one needs more sources than can be recorded directly to one or two camcorders.

Those sources can be sent to a "live" mixer and the resultant mix sent to the camcorder.
But this method to be "reliable" really requires the employment of an additional crew-member whose full attention can be dedicated to the audio mix.

And even with THAT scenario, the cost of a buying several additional RELIABLE wireless mic systems can be in the thousands of dollars.
And there are also the "headaches" associated with any non-wired technique (extra RF noise, interference, and even loss-of-signal.)

So, for many operators, a good solution is to buy several reliable, (comparatively) low-cost self-contained recording devices to use for those "extra" sources that might be needed but that are not being fed to to "main" channels on the camcorder(s).

And, another benefit of stand-alone sources... if the "unthinkable" happened and the main audio track was "flawed" in some way, the stand-alone sources MIGHT even help "save" a really bad situation.

Yes, it may take a bit of "sliding" to get those sources synced to the video in post, but the cost-savings and other benefits can more than make up for this inconvenience.





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David RennieRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 16, 2005 at 12:49:02 am

wish I had read this prior to replying.... said exactly what I was trying to... only much better.


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David RennieRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 16, 2005 at 12:47:21 am

Yes I use the iRiver and sync in post, but I do this when my recording needs exceed the number of wireless systems I have (which is two). I have had events were I needed to mic 5 people and none of them were going to the same location (such as a podium). Most often the iRiver is used to mic a specific location and is primarily a backup to my shotgun mic, or wireless depending on the circumstances or venue restrictions.


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KlausRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 16, 2005 at 1:02:10 am

Thanks guys, that makes total sense. You've inspire me to take my audio production quality to the next level. Could you substitute an ipod for an iriver?


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ThaxRe: What about the LOW-QUALITY audio compression?
by on Apr 16, 2005 at 3:41:14 am

[Klaus] "Could you substitute an ipod for an iriver? "

iPods don't come with mic inputs.
There are extra-cost adapters that will let you use a mic and record on the iPod, but the expense of an iPod PLUS the adapter would be much more costly than an iRiver unit (and be much more bulky.)


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cdolan369How long can you record w/512mb?
by on May 10, 2005 at 7:32:25 pm

David,

I noticed the iRiver iFP 899 has 1gig of memory, whereas the 895 is 512mb.

What is the maximum recording time for the 895, assuming it is set for max quality?

-Chris


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David Chandler-GickRe: How long can you record w/512mb?
by on May 10, 2005 at 9:03:45 pm

I dunno... I haven't reached it yet.

I've recorded about 4 hours of audio so far just in playing with it, and I haven't come anywhere near maxing it out.

According to my calculations, about 5 hours at 44.1 / 225 / Stereo settings.

BUT, recording in stereo is redundant unless you are feeding two, discreet mics into it. Mostly you'll only need mono recordings. (Just double-up and stereo separate in post.)

So figure upwards of 10 hours? I'd comfortably say 8 for sure.

-DJ
David Chandler-Gick
Dynamic Media Group (http://www.dynamicmediagroup.com)
a deveraux film (http://www.adeverauxfilm.com)
Event Video COW Moderator
Contributing Editor eventDV magazine (http://www.eventdv.net)


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cdolan369Re: How long can you record w/512mb?
by on May 11, 2005 at 12:08:01 am

Excellent. Thank you.


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cdolan369Re: How long can you record w/512mb?
by on May 12, 2005 at 7:44:59 pm

David,

I bought two of the iFP 895 models for backup audio and have been playing with one to acclimate myself to it.

I've found that the recorded audio sounds really canned during playback, with a very 'digital' sound, if you know what I mean. It sounds like a slight echo. Have you noticed this? Am I missing something in the setup for equalization or recording level? I tried playing w/a few of the settings but it still comes out sounding very canned.

I'm using the Azden EX-503 lapel mic recommended elswhere in this thread. It doesn't sound any different than the 895's integral mic.

Thoughts/ Suggestions?


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