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Seeking a portable digital stereo recorder

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  • Pro Audio
  • Philips
  • Audio
Last response: in Home Audio
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July 25, 2004 2:48:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

My old Philips portable DAT is on its last legs. I'd really like to
replace it with something with no moving parts. Are there any
portable stereo decks with mic inputs for under $500? I just need
something better than analog cassette for amateur portable field work.

More about : seeking portable digital stereo recorder

Anonymous
July 25, 2004 10:01:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I'd really like to
replace it with something with no moving parts. Are there any
portable stereo decks with mic inputs for under $500? >>

For a bit more than $500 Marantz has a memory card recorder/reader. No moving
parts, records .wav or MP3 format.


Scott Fraser
July 25, 2004 11:04:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mark <pnorthswallowr_atyahoodotcom> wrote in message news:<1i76g05r40sf6u9ep5h8u9lhs1vvp7bo4t@4ax.com>...
> My old Philips portable DAT is on its last legs. I'd really like to
> replace it with something with no moving parts. Are there any
> portable stereo decks with mic inputs for under $500? I just need
> something better than analog cassette for amateur portable field work.


Check out a MiniDisc (MD) recorder.

It has moving parts but you can probably by two, (one for backup) for
under $500.

Uses ATRAC (similar to MP3 at a high bitrate) compression but most
people are very happy with the sound quality. Much Much better than
an analog cassette.

Mark
Related resources
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 11:28:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1i76g05r40sf6u9ep5h8u9lhs1vvp7bo4t@4ax.com> Mark <pnorthswallowr_atyahoodotcom> writes:

> My old Philips portable DAT is on its last legs. I'd really like to
> replace it with something with no moving parts. Are there any
> portable stereo decks with mic inputs for under $500? I just need
> something better than analog cassette for amateur portable field work.

If you truly want no moving parts (like disk drives) then you'll have
to look at devices that record on a flash memory card or some other
solid state device. Marantz makes one that looks pretty decent but
it's around $700, and media cost, unless you use it as a fixed-media
recorder and unload it when it gets full, will take all of your lunch
money.

A "portable DAT replacement" is something that many of us have been
seeking for a few years now and it's not here yet, at least not at the
price point we expect. Considering that I paid over $1,000 for my last
portable DAT close to ten years ago (which no longer works and has
been declared unfixable by TEAC), I shouldn't squwak at paying $1500
for something like a Fostex, or $2,000 for a Sound Devices, or even
$700 plus a couple hundred bucks worth of memory, but like you, I've
balked at it because I just don't have that much need.

My Nomad Jukebox 3 is a fine portable recorder but it has no mic
preamps to speak of. When I want to carry two lumps (three including
the power supply) that's what I use. It's easy to transport but it's
not what I'd like to use in a rowboat collecting sounds of duck
hunters.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 11:39:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sony was supposed to release a mini-disk that recorded without compression, but
it's been held up -- porobably because the recording division Sony is not happy.

The iRiver hard-disk jukeboxes can record from a stereo mic directly to disk for
several hours, either 16/44.1 uncompressed, or MP3. It all fits in your pocket.
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 2:26:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

William Sommerwerck wrote:

> Sony was supposed to release a mini-disk that recorded without compression, but
> it's been held up -- porobably because the recording division Sony is not happy.

I'm sorta hoping against hope that it's the other way
around. That, finally, the product division has enough
commentary on its hands to prove to the entertainment
division that not only are those hands tied by the
publicized restrictions such that success will be minimal
but that doing it right won't impact entertainment in the
way that they fear.

Hey, a guy can dream, right? It's my one day a month set
aside for optimism. One solid reason for hope is that to
remove the restrictions that make Hi-MD not much of an
improvement for recording is only a host software issue. No
changes need be made to the device itself this time around.


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 6:37:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Uses ATRAC (similar to MP3 at a high bitrate) compression but most
people are very happy with the sound quality. >>

ATRAC is in a pretty different league than MP3. ATRAC can, if you bypass the
crummy convertors in most MD machines, be basically indistinguishable from 16
bit PCM on most material.


Scott Fraser
July 28, 2004 12:04:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 19:39:25 -0700, "William Sommerwerck"
<williams@nwlink.com> wrote:

>Sony was supposed to release a mini-disk that recorded without compression, but
>it's been held up -- porobably because the recording division Sony is not happy.
>
>The iRiver hard-disk jukeboxes can record from a stereo mic directly to disk for
>several hours, either 16/44.1 uncompressed, or MP3. It all fits in your pocket.

WS,

I didn't know that. At one point I had mused to myself that an I-Pod
with mic inputs would be a sweet product. Their own damn website
makes no mention that this machine can record in stereo from external
microphones. It's a bit more than I normally would pay for a
consumer-grade solution but at least I can justify the expense for the
extra usefulness. Plus I like i-River. I have one of their MP3
pendant-style players I wear when mowing the lawn and one of their
SlimX multi-format CD players. Decent goods, fairly priced.

Do you have any hands-on with this unit? I'm sure the record quality
will be very limited by the mic preamps & lack of phantom power but
should be no problem with my basic needs.

Mark
Anonymous
July 28, 2004 12:04:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Do you have any hands-on with this unit? I'm sure the record quality
> will be very limited by the mic preamps & lack of phantom power but
> should be no problem with my basic needs.

I've made experimental recordings around my condo with a Sony stereo mic, simply
to see if it worked.

There are two issues...

>> The iRiver has variable gain, but can you set it to get full-scale for the
mic you're using and the source you're recording?

>> Does it sound good?

I can't answer these.
July 29, 2004 1:19:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Care to comment on your first impressions? Did the combination you
tried at least yield listenable results with low noise?

I know that many hobby-level recordists are using MD recorders and
claim acceptable results. At half the cost of the iRiver. For twice
the iRiver I could get the Marantz flash-RAM recorder that would
definitely do a good job. I'm just poor & used to 'making do'.

On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:42:06 -0700, "William Sommerwerck"
<williams@nwlink.com> wrote:

>> Do you have any hands-on with this unit? I'm sure the record quality
>> will be very limited by the mic preamps & lack of phantom power but
>> should be no problem with my basic needs.
>
>I've made experimental recordings around my condo with a Sony stereo mic, simply
>to see if it worked.
>
>There are two issues...
>
>>> The iRiver has variable gain, but can you set it to get full-scale for the
>mic you're using and the source you're recording?
>
>>> Does it sound good?
>
>I can't answer these.
Anonymous
July 29, 2004 9:34:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Care to comment on your first impressions? Did the combination
> you tried at least yield listenable results with low noise?

I was listening over headphones. I have not done any critical recording or
listening, and will not be doing so in the near future.

I'll say this... I would never, ever do live recording using any kind of lossy
compression. Period. And I would not select equipment for live recording on the
basis of price.

Please don't play the game of asking me to recommend something cheap, then tell
you you made a wise choice and saved a lot of money. Unless you can find someone
whose opinion you trust, you need to borrow the equipment you intend to use and
see whether it meets your needs.
August 12, 2004 10:54:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:

>I'll say this... I would never, ever do live recording using any kind of lossy
>compression. Period. And I would not select equipment for live recording on the
>basis of price.

I find this viewpoint at odds with a professional audio outlook.

First, the purchase of every piece of gear is constrained by price,
unless you (or your client) are fortunate enough to have an infinite
supply of money. This has never been the case in my history on this
planet. Which is likely why I do not own a Nagra.

Second, the sound compression artifacts of the latest generation ATRAC
are perfectly within the limits of tolerability for most sound
sources. Sometimes it's impossible to hear the difference; other times
the difference is minimal enough for location recording.

We're obviously not talking about taking a MD into the studio to
record the next great Chopin interpretation! Select a tool appropriate
to its domain of use.

A MD is reliable-enough and sounds good enough for most location
recordings. Plus, it's dead easy to use after half an hour of
tutorial.

In one case I equipped a radio station with minidisc recorders.
Subsequently producers as young as 13 years of age were doing
interviews and editing together their own features.

-- robin

:: we were kids and ran like interpol ::
Anonymous
August 12, 2004 10:54:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> William Sommerwerck wrote:

>> I'll say this... I would never, ever do live recording using any kind of
lossy
>> compression. Period. And I would not select equipment for live recording
>> on the basis of price.

> I find this viewpoint at odds with a professional audio outlook.

> First, the purchase of every piece of gear is constrained by price,
> unless you (or your client) are fortunate enough to have an infinite
> supply of money. This has never been the case in my history on
> this planet. Which is likely why I do not own a Nagra.

> Second, the sound compression artifacts of the latest generation
> ATRAC are perfectly within the limits of tolerability for most sound
> sources. Sometimes it's impossible to hear the difference; other
> times the difference is minimal enough for location recording.

I don't understand why anyone would make a live recording with lossy
compression, when there is so little difference in price between a "consumer"
recorder and even a budget "pro" machine. What is the point of saving a couple
of hundred dollars to make a compromised recording?

As for price... There are too many people out there who have no money to spend
who want to be told they can buy something cheap, yet still get pro quality.
Assuming there's a strong correlation between price and quality (not always
true) -- If you want something good, you should be willing to pay for it. If you
can't afford it, don't try to convince yourself that the less-expensive item is
"just as good" when it isn't.

This is what I meant about "not select[ing] equipment for live recording on the
basis of price."

By the way, you can get used Nagra analog recorders for a song.
Anonymous
August 12, 2004 10:54:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in message
news:10hndig7k8a4e56@corp.supernews.com...
> > William Sommerwerck wrote:
>
> >> I'll say this... I would never, ever do live recording using any kind
of
> lossy
> >> compression. Period. And I would not select equipment for live
recording
> >> on the basis of price.
>
> > I find this viewpoint at odds with a professional audio outlook.
>
> > First, the purchase of every piece of gear is constrained by price,
> > unless you (or your client) are fortunate enough to have an infinite
> > supply of money. This has never been the case in my history on
> > this planet. Which is likely why I do not own a Nagra.
>
> > Second, the sound compression artifacts of the latest generation
> > ATRAC are perfectly within the limits of tolerability for most sound
> > sources. Sometimes it's impossible to hear the difference; other
> > times the difference is minimal enough for location recording.
>
> I don't understand why anyone would make a live recording with lossy
> compression, when there is so little difference in price between a
"consumer"
> recorder and even a budget "pro" machine. What is the point of saving a
couple
> of hundred dollars to make a compromised recording?
>
> As for price... There are too many people out there who have no money to
spend
> who want to be told they can buy something cheap, yet still get pro
quality.
> Assuming there's a strong correlation between price and quality (not
always
> true) --


If you want something good, you should be willing to pay for it. If you
> can't afford it, don't try to convince yourself that the less-expensive
item is
> "just as good" when it isn't.
>
> This is what I meant about "not select[ing] equipment for live recording
on the
> basis of price."

I agree with you in an ideal world. However, let's put what you said in
terms of the real-world situation for many of us. Where you say, "If you
want ....... you should be willing.... don't try to convince yourself." All
well and good, except it is the client we are speaking of. THEY may not be
willing or able to pay what YOU think they should. THEY may or may not
expect 'pro quality', whatever that is, since it encompasses the audio
recorded on location by news reporters, as well as the audio recorded at
Symphony Center in NY for commercial release and everything in between.
And, since many of us here run our own businesses, many in markets that have
few to none high end clients, we have to choose whether to do work based on
what the client is willing to pay. And, to choose our tools accordingly. I
wish we all were in the position to turn away all the jobs that don't meet
our highest ideals, as you seem to be.

> By the way, you can get used Nagra analog recorders for a song.
>


Steve King
Anonymous
August 12, 2004 10:54:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> And, since many of us here run our own businesses, many in markets that have
> few to none high end clients, we have to choose whether to do work based on
> what the client is willing to pay. And, to choose our tools accordingly. I
> wish we all were in the position to turn away all the jobs that don't meet
> our highest ideals, as you seem to be.

I don't understand. You don't buy a new recorder for each client, do you?
Furthermore, the cost of equipment is amortized over period of years.

If I'm using a $3000 recorder instead of a $1000 recorder, how much effect is
that going to have on the cost of any given recording assignment?

In comparing a "big" recording company or studio with a "small" one, I'd expect
the small one to have less equipment and fewer facilities -- but not of
significantly lower quality than those of the big one.
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 6:17:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mark <pnorthswallowr_atyahoodotcom> wrote:

>My old Philips portable DAT is on its last legs. I'd really like to
>replace it with something with no moving parts. Are there any
>portable stereo decks with mic inputs for under $500? I just need
>something better than analog cassette for amateur portable field work.

If you can stretch your budget to a bit under $1000 and want to do 24/96
instead of 16/44.1 or 16/48, you might have a look at our PDAudio
system.

We'll post a comparison of PDAudio to the Marantz PMD670 and Fostex FR-2
to our Web site over the next few days.

--
Len Moskowitz PDAudio, Binaural Mics, Cables, DPA, M-Audio
Core Sound http://www.stealthmicrophones.com
Teaneck, New Jersey USA http://www.core-sound.com
moskowit@core-sound.com Tel: 201-801-0812, FAX: 201-801-0912
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 6:19:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I <moskowit@panix.com> wrote:

>If you can stretch your budget to a bit under $1000 and want to do 24/96
>instead of 16/44.1 or 16/48, you might have a look at our PDAudio
>system.
>
>We'll post a comparison of PDAudio to the Marantz PMD670 and Fostex FR-2
>to our Web site over the next few days.

Bruce Bartlett's PDAudio review is in the latest Pro Audio Review.

Thanks Bruce!

--
Len Moskowitz PDAudio, Binaural Mics, Cables, DPA, M-Audio
Core Sound http://www.stealthmicrophones.com
Teaneck, New Jersey USA http://www.core-sound.com
moskowit@core-sound.com Tel: 201-801-0812, FAX: 201-801-0912
!