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Recommended portable analogue audio recorder?

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February 4, 2005 1:25:46 AM

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

Hello

I would like to record some live flute and piano music. Some of the
flute music is solo and some is accompanied by the piano. I am looking
for a portable recorder rather than a computer laptop solution due to
cost issues and some portability issues.

I have considered purchasing one of the new Hi-MD minidisc recorders,
the MZ-NH1. It records non-compressed 16bits/44.1khz - just like a CD.
Although this is a good sample rate, I am concerned that the sample rate
isn't high enough for my editing purposed (DAT can records at 48khz. as
opposed to just 44.1khz)

Then I began considering an analogue solution after I read a research
paper [1] about the "warmth" of analogue recordings.

The analogue recorder used in this research paper was a Nagra 4S, a
large tape reel recorder. I could look for a used one on ebay but surely
there must be some manufacturer who makes newer analogue recorders,
isn't there?

I am aware that analogue recorders may not have the dynamic range of
digital technology but I am looking for a solution that considers both
"warmth" as well as dynamic range. Therefore an analogue recording would
be acceptable even though this decision may lead to a small sacrifice in
dynamic range.

Now here is where my situation is a little unique:
What I find useful about the Nagra 4S is the 60 Hz pilotone signal it
can record onto the tape which is useful for synchronizing to film (for
double system sound) because the tape medium never advances at perfectly
consistant rates. Its used for speed correction in post production. This
is a more technical detail, however for some purposes this would be a
useful feature for me.

Which portable analogue recorders could be recommended under $500?

Here are my considered options:
A new portable cassette-tape recorder (analogue)? Are these still
produced? Which are considered the most advanced today?
An old used Nagra 4S (its analogue).
MZ-NH1 Hi-MD minidisc (its digital)

wait until DVD digital audio recorders arrive - but I am sure they, like
minidiscs, will also be "less warm" than an analogue solution. (I have
heard DVD digital audio recorders might have a very high sample rate -
more than 48khz maybe)

I must also consider the availability of recording media and parts and
so I would prefer a recorder that is more modern rather than something
that is no longer made and difficult to find recording media and parts
for. Also, maintaining an old used analogue recorder (cleaning the heads
and demagnetizing) might prove to be difficult and expensive.

Eventually (within a year), I would later digitize the analogue
recording into my computer desktop station which is at another location.
For certain applications I might also have to adjust the sound track and
so I am looking for a solution that can withstand some editing
adjustments and resampling. (i.e. for NTSC video applications I will
have to lengthen the entire sound track length 0.1%). Therefore if a
digital recording solution is used it will have to be the highest
possible sampling rate (i.e. a 48khz. recording would be better than a
44.1khz .recording)

(I am not much interested in DAT because for film work I read that DAT
doesn't "resolve" in sync as easily or as well as a Nagra 4S due to the
inconsistency of DAT tape speed)

I might end up just going with the Hi-MD minidisc solution as it is the
simplest solution but I thought I would first consider seriously an
analogue recording solution, but I need some advice which analogue
recorders could be used today.

Any suggestions?


Thank you kindly.

--
Mike
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 1:25:47 AM

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

Mike <designbase10@REMOVETHISshaw.ca> wrote:
>
>The analogue recorder used in this research paper was a Nagra 4S, a
>large tape reel recorder. I could look for a used one on ebay but surely
>there must be some manufacturer who makes newer analogue recorders,
>isn't there?

Nagra does. You can order a brand new 4S from the factory in Switzerland.
I don't know how much it costs but I would guess somewhere in the $5k to $6k
range if you just want the S and don't need any fancy extras like timecode.

>I am aware that analogue recorders may not have the dynamic range of
>digital technology but I am looking for a solution that considers both
>"warmth" as well as dynamic range. Therefore an analogue recording would
>be acceptable even though this decision may lead to a small sacrifice in
>dynamic range.

So, rent a Nagra. Most film rental places will rent you a Nagra and a pair
of Schoeps mikes for a surprisingly reasonable price. They might even have
tape for it (which is where the real rub is today).

>Now here is where my situation is a little unique:
>What I find useful about the Nagra 4S is the 60 Hz pilotone signal it
>can record onto the tape which is useful for synchronizing to film (for
>double system sound) because the tape medium never advances at perfectly
>consistant rates. Its used for speed correction in post production. This
>is a more technical detail, however for some purposes this would be a
>useful feature for me.

I don't think the S has pilot tone, does it? I think the S is the one
with the stripped down stereo output, no pilot no timecode.

Pilot is basically not useful today. Cameras with umbilical cables
hardly even exist any more, and everyone uses crystal synch. Speed
correction in post is pretty much a non-issue for anything other than
film work today. This is part of why the S is so inexpensive.

>Which portable analogue recorders could be recommended under $500?

They don't exist new. You won't find a used Nagra for that. You might
find a Uher 4000 or Stellavox but you'll spend as much getting the thing
cleaned up.

>Here are my considered options:
>A new portable cassette-tape recorder (analogue)? Are these still
>produced? Which are considered the most advanced today?

I don't think so, and none of them were any good anyway.

>An old used Nagra 4S (its analogue).
>MZ-NH1 Hi-MD minidisc (its digital)
>
>wait until DVD digital audio recorders arrive - but I am sure they, like
>minidiscs, will also be "less warm" than an analogue solution. (I have
>heard DVD digital audio recorders might have a very high sample rate -
>more than 48khz maybe)

What's wrong with DAT?

What's wrong with renting anyway?

>I must also consider the availability of recording media and parts and
>so I would prefer a recorder that is more modern rather than something
>that is no longer made and difficult to find recording media and parts
>for. Also, maintaining an old used analogue recorder (cleaning the heads
>and demagnetizing) might prove to be difficult and expensive.

Yes, but the analogue recorder can be maintained. The Minidisc, you just
throw it away and replace it every year or two. Total cost of ownership
calculations are left to you.

>Eventually (within a year), I would later digitize the analogue
>recording into my computer desktop station which is at another location.
>For certain applications I might also have to adjust the sound track and
>so I am looking for a solution that can withstand some editing
>adjustments and resampling. (i.e. for NTSC video applications I will
>have to lengthen the entire sound track length 0.1%). Therefore if a
>digital recording solution is used it will have to be the highest
>possible sampling rate (i.e. a 48khz. recording would be better than a
>44.1khz .recording)

Does this need to be in synch?

>(I am not much interested in DAT because for film work I read that DAT
>doesn't "resolve" in sync as easily or as well as a Nagra 4S due to the
>inconsistency of DAT tape speed)

You are joking. DAT is so much more accurate for synch than analogue
tape that it's not even worth thinking about. But, if you want to synch
to film or video, you will want a DAT deck or a Nagra with timecode,
honestly.

Why do you need to synch to film or video?

>I might end up just going with the Hi-MD minidisc solution as it is the
>simplest solution but I thought I would first consider seriously an
>analogue recording solution, but I need some advice which analogue
>recorders could be used today.

Well, what are you trying to do, and what are you trying to synch to,
and what's wrong with renting? And what is your budget for microphones?
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 1:25:47 AM

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

There is no appreciable difference (sound quality-wise) between
recording at 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz. It translates to only about 2 kHz
worth of audio information which in the 20 kHz range is only about a
tenth of an octave, so it's basically like one or two extra notes way up
there that you can't really probably hear anyway.

The main fact is that all CDs are at 44.1 kHz so it's a lot easier to
record and edit audio at 44.1 kHz and burn a CD than deal with 48kHz
audio. Otherwise, you have to sample rate covert which will potentially
degrade your audio much more than any benefit you got from the extra
2kHz of fidelity anyway.

Almost all the film people use DATs now. A lot of the film students use
the MiniDisc stuff which seems to work OK. A clock running at 44.1 kHz
has a lot less drift than something running at 60 Hz. Also, I can't
think of any classical engineers still using analog, which doesn't mean
there aren't any, but digital is much preferred for music with dynamic
range because you don't have the annoying hiss during the quiet parts.

Any "warmth" that analog is going to impart to your recording is going
to make much less of a difference than the warmth (or coldness) that the
actual recording techniques and recording environment you are in impart
to the recording.

The world is digital now. They don't even make professional analog tape
anymore. Unless you are heavily invested in an analog medium already,
don't fight more windmills than you need to.

Cheers,
Trevor de Clercq

Mike wrote:
> Hello
>
> I would like to record some live flute and piano music. Some of the
> flute music is solo and some is accompanied by the piano. I am looking
> for a portable recorder rather than a computer laptop solution due to
> cost issues and some portability issues.
>
> I have considered purchasing one of the new Hi-MD minidisc recorders,
> the MZ-NH1. It records non-compressed 16bits/44.1khz - just like a CD.
> Although this is a good sample rate, I am concerned that the sample rate
> isn't high enough for my editing purposed (DAT can records at 48khz. as
> opposed to just 44.1khz)
>
> Then I began considering an analogue solution after I read a research
> paper [1] about the "warmth" of analogue recordings.
>
> The analogue recorder used in this research paper was a Nagra 4S, a
> large tape reel recorder. I could look for a used one on ebay but surely
> there must be some manufacturer who makes newer analogue recorders,
> isn't there?
>
> I am aware that analogue recorders may not have the dynamic range of
> digital technology but I am looking for a solution that considers both
> "warmth" as well as dynamic range. Therefore an analogue recording would
> be acceptable even though this decision may lead to a small sacrifice in
> dynamic range.
>
> Now here is where my situation is a little unique:
> What I find useful about the Nagra 4S is the 60 Hz pilotone signal it
> can record onto the tape which is useful for synchronizing to film (for
> double system sound) because the tape medium never advances at perfectly
> consistant rates. Its used for speed correction in post production. This
> is a more technical detail, however for some purposes this would be a
> useful feature for me.
>
> Which portable analogue recorders could be recommended under $500?
>
> Here are my considered options:
> A new portable cassette-tape recorder (analogue)? Are these still
> produced? Which are considered the most advanced today?
> An old used Nagra 4S (its analogue).
> MZ-NH1 Hi-MD minidisc (its digital)
>
> wait until DVD digital audio recorders arrive - but I am sure they, like
> minidiscs, will also be "less warm" than an analogue solution. (I have
> heard DVD digital audio recorders might have a very high sample rate -
> more than 48khz maybe)
>
> I must also consider the availability of recording media and parts and
> so I would prefer a recorder that is more modern rather than something
> that is no longer made and difficult to find recording media and parts
> for. Also, maintaining an old used analogue recorder (cleaning the heads
> and demagnetizing) might prove to be difficult and expensive.
>
> Eventually (within a year), I would later digitize the analogue
> recording into my computer desktop station which is at another location.
> For certain applications I might also have to adjust the sound track and
> so I am looking for a solution that can withstand some editing
> adjustments and resampling. (i.e. for NTSC video applications I will
> have to lengthen the entire sound track length 0.1%). Therefore if a
> digital recording solution is used it will have to be the highest
> possible sampling rate (i.e. a 48khz. recording would be better than a
> 44.1khz .recording)
>
> (I am not much interested in DAT because for film work I read that DAT
> doesn't "resolve" in sync as easily or as well as a Nagra 4S due to the
> inconsistency of DAT tape speed)
>
> I might end up just going with the Hi-MD minidisc solution as it is the
> simplest solution but I thought I would first consider seriously an
> analogue recording solution, but I need some advice which analogue
> recorders could be used today.
>
> Any suggestions?
>
>
> Thank you kindly.
>
Related resources
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 6:42:09 AM

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

>Anything like this in
>the price range of a Minidisc?

mike

nothing we are talking about is in the price range of a minidisc.
a decent dat or R/R is not at that price point,

do you know that some digital audio softwware have time stretch!
of course they are not at the same price point as a mini disc.

and what do you have for mics and mic pre's???

everything you are after is not cheap.
or if it is the audio is too.

dale
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 7:03:01 AM

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

"Mike" <designbase10@REMOVETHISshaw.ca> wrote in message
news:CJxMd.263849$6l.215436@pd7tw2no...
> I forgot to include this link in reference to the warmth of analogue.
>
>
> Philipp Potz essay on audio recording:
>
> [1]
>
http://216.239.63.104/search?q=cache:IgbBz1dhDzAJ:www.s...
z.pdf+%22sound+recording%22+%2B%22analogue+versus+digital%22+%2Bnagra+%2Bdat
&hl=en&ie=UTF-8


Thank you for the link , I enjoy reading the essay . I may have miss this
point if so I'm sorry _but why does he compare _ one machine that
cost over $10,000.00 ( Nagra V) to a $1700 DAT (DAP-1) I would think
a person would a/b to machines in the same ball park.$$ He said Tascam's
DAP-1 could not live up to expectations well at $8,00000 less what do a
person want . he he


Thank you
Ed Bridge
Brooklyn N.Y.
http://www.bridgeclassicalguitars.com/
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 8:38:18 AM

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

Trevor de Clercq wrote:

> There is no appreciable difference (sound quality-wise) between
> recording at 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz.

To expand on this -- wasn't the main reason for introducing 48 k
recording to screw up copying of CDs in the first place?

--
Jonathan Roberts * guitar, keyboards, vocals * North River Preservation
----------------------------------------------
To reach me reverse: moc(dot)xobop(at)ggestran
February 4, 2005 9:46:15 AM

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

Thanks Ed and Scott for your helpful comments.


Scott Dorsey wrote:
> Mike <designbase10@REMOVETHISshaw.ca> wrote:
>
>>The analogue recorder used in this research paper was a Nagra 4S, a
>>large tape reel recorder. I could look for a used one on ebay but surely
>>there must be some manufacturer who makes newer analogue recorders,
>>isn't there?
>
>
> Nagra does. You can order a brand new 4S from the factory in Switzerland.
> I don't know how much it costs but I would guess somewhere in the $5k to $6k
> range if you just want the S and don't need any fancy extras like timecode.
>

I am not an expert on this but it would appear that I don't need time
code. Its nice but not necessary. Time code is more useful for major
video productions. I have read you can get by without timecode.
example:
http://www.equipmentemporium.com/timecode.htm

>
>>I am aware that analogue recorders may not have the dynamic range of
>>digital technology but I am looking for a solution that considers both
>>"warmth" as well as dynamic range. Therefore an analogue recording would
>>be acceptable even though this decision may lead to a small sacrifice in
>>dynamic range.
>
>
> So, rent a Nagra. Most film rental places will rent you a Nagra and a pair
> of Schoeps mikes for a surprisingly reasonable price. They might even have
> tape for it (which is where the real rub is today).

Good idea. What do you mean about the tape? Is it hard to find tape for it?

>
>>Now here is where my situation is a little unique:
>>What I find useful about the Nagra 4S is the 60 Hz pilotone signal it
>>can record onto the tape which is useful for synchronizing to film (for
>>double system sound) because the tape medium never advances at perfectly
>>consistant rates. Its used for speed correction in post production. This
>>is a more technical detail, however for some purposes this would be a
>>useful feature for me.
>
>
> I don't think the S has pilot tone, does it? I think the S is the one
> with the stripped down stereo output, no pilot no timecode.


I am pretty sure it does. Check out page 40 in that original pdf essay I
quoted. Here it is again for convenience:
Philipp Potz essay on audio recording:
http://216.239.63.104/search?q=cache:IgbBz1dhDzAJ:www.s...

>
> Pilot is basically not useful today.

I think you might mean "pilot is not used very often today" - I agree.
However, the technology is still there and it still works. I guess you
just have to be able to resolve the sync signal. I hope there are still
sound labs that can do this.

Cameras with umbilical cables
> hardly even exist any more, and everyone uses crystal synch. Speed
> correction in post is pretty much a non-issue for anything other than
> film work today.


Any audio recorder with the mechanical drive of a tape never is perfect
in speed consistently and always needs correction to be perfect for any
sync work - thats my understanding - I could be wrong however.

This is part of why the S is so inexpensive.
>
>
>>Which portable analogue recorders could be recommended under $500?
>
>
> They don't exist new. You won't find a used Nagra for that. You might
> find a Uher 4000 or Stellavox but you'll spend as much getting the thing
> cleaned up.

Thanks for these suggestions.


> What's wrong with DAT?


I read somewhere that DAT is good and precise to a certain degree but
because it is digital if you change its duration (if you have to alter
the length of an audio segment by 0.1% to fit telecine transfer rates
for example) it forces it to resample and you loose quality. On the
other hand analogue tape is always smooth. That is why some DAT
recorders have that special sample rate option to use 48.48 KHz (I
guessed the decimal) instead of the regular 48 KHz. That sampling rate
is for the 0.1% length adjustment for video transfers.

I just thought of a possible solution: What I could do is buy two DAT
recorders and have one set to sample at 48 KHz (for film) and one set to
sample at the special 48.48Hz setting (for video). Then I would have the
best of both worlds without having to resample the audio.


> Yes, but the analogue recorder can be maintained. The Minidisc, you just
> throw it away and replace it every year or two. Total cost of ownership
> calculations are left to you.
>

Very true. But can you still find the tape for a Nagra 4?

>
>>Eventually (within a year), I would later digitize the analogue
>>recording into my computer desktop station which is at another location.
>>For certain applications I might also have to adjust the sound track and
>>so I am looking for a solution that can withstand some editing
>>adjustments and resampling. (i.e. for NTSC video applications I will
>>have to lengthen the entire sound track length 0.1%). Therefore if a
>>digital recording solution is used it will have to be the highest
>>possible sampling rate (i.e. a 48khz. recording would be better than a
>>44.1khz .recording)
>
>
> Does this need to be in synch?

Yes.

>>(I am not much interested in DAT because for film work I read that DAT
>>doesn't "resolve" in sync as easily or as well as a Nagra 4S due to the
>>inconsistency of DAT tape speed)
>
>
> You are joking. DAT is so much more accurate for synch than analogue
> tape that it's not even worth thinking about. But, if you want to synch
> to film or video, you will want a DAT deck or a Nagra with timecode,
> honestly.

Youre right. Analogue tape is not consistent in speed. However, I don't
think I need timecode. If I am using analogue tape such as a Nagra I
would need some sort of sync signal. It is often noted on film groups
that it is important to know that a DAT (or minidisc) cannot accept an
external sinc reference. Minidisc doesn't need it because it is
electronically perfect but I am not sure about DAT because DAT is driven
by a mechanical drive mechanism. I suppose the speed consistency of the
drive might be good enough but I just am not sure if it is wise to
resample DAT data simply because it is digital. Somewhere in that sound
essay by Philipp Potz he writes something to this effect.
>
> Why do you need to synch to film or video?

Explained below.

> Well, what are you trying to do, and what are you trying to synch to,
> and what's wrong with renting? And what is your budget for microphones?
> --scott
>

Its just a hobby of mine and I would have a hard time justifying
spending much money on all this. I'm a musician and my wife is a
musician too. I also am interested in film making as a hobby. I have
made two super 8 films so far - don't laugh - I'm a real super 8
advocate. Yes, if I one day am able to raise my budget I will go to 16mm
but for now its 8 mm. Anyways, just to expand my creative tool kit I
thought it would be helpful to be able to do sync sound with super 8.
I've read all the info about lip-sync sound technology and believe me
there is more to it than I can even touch upon in this post.

Here is some basic info if anyone is interested:
http://members.aol.com/fmgp/faq.htm

Your idea to rent is a good one - I'll check out the cost. But of
course, ideally it is more convenient to have the equipment at hand - or
at least some basic audio recording tool but I see your point - good
point. Thanks.

I wanted to record a piano/flute playing session with super 8 film in
sync with the sound. Then, as an additional requirement (which I must
stress isn't as important but would be useful) I would like to be able
to edit parts of it and transfer it to video. Because the video is not
as important to me as the film, I don't mind if the sound on the video
is not as "first generation" as the original because I am aware I will
have to stretch the sound track by 0.1% to compensate for the fact that
a telecine transfer fps rate is 23.976 rather than the 24fps that I will
be shooting the film at. I have two options: to crystal-sync the camera
motor (no wires between camera and audio recorder necessary) or to use
the 60Hz pilotone technology with the wire connection between the camera
and the audio recorder. I'd rather crystal-sinc the camera to avoid the
wire connection. Then I just need to find a consistent audio recorder.







-- Mike
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 9:46:16 AM

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

Mike wrote:
>
> I read somewhere that DAT is good and precise to a certain degree but
> because it is digital if you change its duration (if you have to alter
> the length of an audio segment by 0.1% to fit telecine transfer rates
> for example) it forces it to resample and you loose quality.

Current state-of-the-art SRC is pretty good. Mind you, most of what is used day-to-day is not all that great, and the case you present is one of the tougher conversions to get right. Unless you're dealing with very long single camera shots with very tight sync, the 0.1% is pretty easy to ignore and a decent editor will slip and slide parts around to keep them in sync.



> That is why some DAT
> recorders have that special sample rate option to use 48.48 KHz (I
> guessed the decimal) instead of the regular 48 KHz. That sampling rate
> is for the 0.1% length adjustment for video transfers.

Close--it's 48k048.




> I just thought of a possible solution: What I could do is buy two DAT
> recorders and have one set to sample at 48 KHz (for film) and one set to
> sample at the special 48.48Hz setting (for video). Then I would have the
> best of both worlds without having to resample the audio.

I find it hard to imagine exactly where this would arise, since you can usually tell a film camera from a video camera at a pretty good distance. Assuming you need to record for both formats at the same time, pick a higher samplerate (like 88k2 or 96k) and downconvert as needed. This type of SRC can be quite good nowadays.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 9:57:40 AM

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

Oh, and while we're at it...it is *extremely* unlikely that you will ever
hear the difference between 48kHz and 44.1kHz recordings, just listening to
them straight. If your product is going to be a CD, then 44.1kHz will almost
certainly sound better because it won't need to be sample-rate-converted
from 48kHz. Only if your final product is going to be video of some sort
should you be recording at 48kHz.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 10:00:18 AM

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

"Jonathan Roberts" <NotMe@NotMe.complex> wrote in message
news:eTDMd.432$Sd.112610@newshog.newsread.com...
>
> Trevor de Clercq wrote:
>
> > There is no appreciable difference (sound quality-wise) between
> > recording at 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz.
>
> To expand on this -- wasn't the main reason for introducing 48 k
> recording to screw up copying of CDs in the first place?

And to make home recording and production of CDs harder. The major labels
remembered what happened in the 1950s when anybody with an Ampex and a
couple of U-47s could start a label, and there was an explosion of little
labels that put a serious dent in the majors' sales. They wanted to prevent
that happening again. Didn't work, but they tried.

Peace,
Paul
February 4, 2005 10:06:22 AM

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

Thanks Trevor and Dale for your suggestions. One question for Dale:

dale wrote:
> go 96 / 24 digital,

Is there such a device that is portable and that can record 96 KHz / 24
bit digital? I don't think Minidisc can do that. Anything like this in
the price range of a Minidisc?


One general question:

Which of these two process might have better results in terms of quality:

1. Digital to Analogue to Digital:
Record a segment of music on DAT at 48 KHz / 16 bit digital,
transfer it to analogue
adjust its length (in the analogue environment using a resolver of some
sort) by 0.1% (no resampling because it is analogue)
re-digitize it to 44.1KHz / 16 bit for CD.

2. Digital to Digital:
Record a segment of music on DAT at 48 KHz / 16 bit digital,
adjust its length (in the digital environment) by 0.1% (a resampling
would be necessary)
and copy it to a CD (44.1KHz / 16 bit)


Process 1 doesn't require resampling but process 2 is all digital. I am
not sure which is the best quality solution.

Any opinions?

Thanks,



--
Mike
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 10:19:10 AM

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

"Mike" wrote ...
> What do you mean about the tape? Is it hard to find tape for it?

A significant understatement. Use Google Groups to search this
newsgroup (and rec.arts.movies.production.sound) for "Quantegy"

> I read somewhere that DAT is good and precise to a certain
> degree but because it is digital if you change its duration
> (if you have to alter the length of an audio segment by 0.1%
> to fit telecine transfer rates for example) it forces it to resample
> and you loose quality.

You may be tilting at windmills. The majority of what you hear
on TV and in theatres was recorded on DAT (or more recently
digitally, directly to hard drive). In the specific example you
cited, we commonly edit the picture to fit the sound without
having to alter the speed of the audio track.

> I just thought of a possible solution: What I could do is buy
> two DAT recorders and have one set to sample at 48 KHz
> (for film) and one set to sample at the special 48.48Hz setting
> (for video). Then I would have the best of both worlds without
> having to resample the audio.

Hollywood productions with milion-dollar budgets don't find
it economically viable, but if it works for you, go for it.

> I wanted to record a piano/flute playing session with
> super 8 film in sync with the sound.

What camera are you using? Consult your camera vendor
for advice on sync-sound solutions. There is no generic
solution. Do you have a source of super-8 film (and processing
and transfer, etc, etc.) that you are planning on using? You
may be coming in at the tail-end of the analog world. Those
old analog methods are becoming more expensive, tedious
to maintain, and difficult to find media for. (Not to mention
frequently visibly/audibly inferior to modern digital
technology.)
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 10:55:28 AM

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

FWIW, I recommend that the league retires your number.
Bravo.

If you really want a Uher 4200, figure a way for me to get
it to you without hassle. It's pretty, free, and ancient.
No way to run a railroad.

Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 12:11:20 PM

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

Jonathan Roberts <NotMe@NotMe.complex> wrote:
> Trevor de Clercq wrote:
>
>> There is no appreciable difference (sound quality-wise) between
>> recording at 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz.
>
>To expand on this -- wasn't the main reason for introducing 48 k
>recording to screw up copying of CDs in the first place?

Yes, but since then it has got us to the point where the film and video
guys are mostly standardized on 48 ksamp/sec rates internally and they
want everything delivered at that rate, while the record industry is
standardized on 44.1. You can just imagine the arguments this creates.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 12:21:30 PM

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

Mike <designbase10@REMOVETHISshaw.ca> wrote:
>
>I am not an expert on this but it would appear that I don't need time
>code. Its nice but not necessary. Time code is more useful for major
>video productions. I have read you can get by without timecode.
>example:
>http://www.equipmentemporium.com/timecode.htm

If you are shooting video in synch, you either need timecode or a lot
of very patient people in post who are willing to put up with the weird
stuff you're bringing in.

>>>I am aware that analogue recorders may not have the dynamic range of
>>>digital technology but I am looking for a solution that considers both
>>>"warmth" as well as dynamic range. Therefore an analogue recording would
>>>be acceptable even though this decision may lead to a small sacrifice in
>>>dynamic range.
>>
>> So, rent a Nagra. Most film rental places will rent you a Nagra and a pair
>> of Schoeps mikes for a surprisingly reasonable price. They might even have
>> tape for it (which is where the real rub is today).
>
>Good idea. What do you mean about the tape? Is it hard to find tape for it?

Emtec went under two years ago, and they were the last company making
decent quality 1/4" tape with slitting good enough for the Nagra.
Quantegy is maybe in business and maybe not, depending on who you talk
to. They make tape that will work, but isn't anything to write home
about. There are a couple folks ramping up for tape production who
might have something better in a year or so.

>>>Now here is where my situation is a little unique:
>>>What I find useful about the Nagra 4S is the 60 Hz pilotone signal it
>>>can record onto the tape which is useful for synchronizing to film (for
>>>double system sound) because the tape medium never advances at perfectly
>>>consistant rates. Its used for speed correction in post production. This
>>>is a more technical detail, however for some purposes this would be a
>>>useful feature for me.
>>
>>
>> I don't think the S has pilot tone, does it? I think the S is the one
>> with the stripped down stereo output, no pilot no timecode.
>
>I am pretty sure it does. Check out page 40 in that original pdf essay I
>quoted. Here it is again for convenience:
>Philipp Potz essay on audio recording:
>http://216.239.63.104/search?q=cache:IgbBz1dhDzAJ:www.s...

Sorry, I don't have web access here. Perhaps I am thinking of the L
as not having pilot.

>> Pilot is basically not useful today.
>
>I think you might mean "pilot is not used very often today" - I agree.
>However, the technology is still there and it still works. I guess you
>just have to be able to resolve the sync signal. I hope there are still
>sound labs that can do this.

I still have a deck with a resolver but I haven't had a tape come in
that way in a decade now. If you are shooting video, pilot is not useful
at all. If you are shooting film, pilot means either using a camera
umbilical (and they haven't made motors that way in years) or using
a crystal oscillator on the recorder and a crystal synch camera and
resolving to that.

Why do you care about synch anyway?

>Cameras with umbilical cables
>> hardly even exist any more, and everyone uses crystal synch. Speed
>> correction in post is pretty much a non-issue for anything other than
>> film work today.
>
>Any audio recorder with the mechanical drive of a tape never is perfect
>in speed consistently and always needs correction to be perfect for any
>sync work - thats my understanding - I could be wrong however.

Why do you care about synch?

>I read somewhere that DAT is good and precise to a certain degree but
>because it is digital if you change its duration (if you have to alter
>the length of an audio segment by 0.1% to fit telecine transfer rates
>for example) it forces it to resample and you loose quality. On the
>other hand analogue tape is always smooth. That is why some DAT
>recorders have that special sample rate option to use 48.48 KHz (I
>guessed the decimal) instead of the regular 48 KHz. That sampling rate
>is for the 0.1% length adjustment for video transfers.

So, don't DO that. As long as you aren't shifting rates back and forth
all over the place, you don't have any problem.

>I just thought of a possible solution: What I could do is buy two DAT
>recorders and have one set to sample at 48 KHz (for film) and one set to
>sample at the special 48.48Hz setting (for video). Then I would have the
>best of both worlds without having to resample the audio.

Sure, but how are you going to explain this to the post house? And
why do you even care?

>> Yes, but the analogue recorder can be maintained. The Minidisc, you just
>> throw it away and replace it every year or two. Total cost of ownership
>> calculations are left to you.
>
>Very true. But can you still find the tape for a Nagra 4?

If you look around there are still stocks of 468 in closets here and
there.

>Youre right. Analogue tape is not consistent in speed. However, I don't
>think I need timecode. If I am using analogue tape such as a Nagra I
>would need some sort of sync signal. It is often noted on film groups
>that it is important to know that a DAT (or minidisc) cannot accept an
>external sinc reference. Minidisc doesn't need it because it is
>electronically perfect but I am not sure about DAT because DAT is driven
>by a mechanical drive mechanism. I suppose the speed consistency of the
>drive might be good enough but I just am not sure if it is wise to
>resample DAT data simply because it is digital. Somewhere in that sound
>essay by Philipp Potz he writes something to this effect.

Minidisc is electronically perfect? You are joking. I cannot imagine
a much flakier format.

>Its just a hobby of mine and I would have a hard time justifying
>spending much money on all this. I'm a musician and my wife is a
>musician too. I also am interested in film making as a hobby. I have
>made two super 8 films so far - don't laugh - I'm a real super 8
>advocate. Yes, if I one day am able to raise my budget I will go to 16mm
>but for now its 8 mm. Anyways, just to expand my creative tool kit I
>thought it would be helpful to be able to do sync sound with super 8.
>I've read all the info about lip-sync sound technology and believe me
>there is more to it than I can even touch upon in this post.

Well, if that is the case, why are you doing ANY of this? Call the guys
at Super-8 Sound and look at an 8mm fullcoat recorder. There were a
bunch of them in the seventies and most of them were based on modified
Uher 4000 transports. You're going to need to have the sound on fullcoat
for you to be able to edit it on a flatbed or on an editing bench anyway.

If you were to record it on a Nagra, you'd play it back on a Nagra-T
machine with the pilot tone output of the T driving the motor on the
fullcoat recorder, giving you an additional generation of loss when you
made the dub. If you were to record it on a DAT deck, you'd play it
back into the dubber with the dubber locked to crystal.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 12:54:54 PM

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

>
>>Eventually (within a year), I would later digitize the analogue
>>recording into my computer desktop station which is at another location.
>>For certain applications I might also have to adjust the sound track and
>>so I am looking for a solution that can withstand some editing
>>adjustments and resampling. (i.e. for NTSC video applications I will
>>have to lengthen the entire sound track length 0.1%). Therefore if a
>>digital recording solution is used it will have to be the highest
>>possible sampling rate (i.e. a 48khz. recording would be better than a
>>44.1khz .recording)

You intend to digitize the "warm" analogue recording; well there goes the
warmth! You might as well have recorded it in digital form originally.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:15:19 PM

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

In article <eTDMd.432$Sd.112610@newshog.newsread.com> NotMe@NotMe.complex writes:

> To expand on this -- wasn't the main reason for introducing 48 k
> recording to screw up copying of CDs in the first place?

No, it was to make it easier to get "full" audio band frequency
response with the filters that they had in that day. The Soundstream
digital recorder, the first really practical one, ran at 50 kHz and
they figured that was the optimum frequency.

48 kHz was (and maybe still is) the accepted industry standard for
audio-for-video. SCMS was introduced to screw up copying of CDs.

--
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
February 4, 2005 6:12:41 PM

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

Mike wrote:
>
> I would like to record some live flute and piano music.

<all the stuff re: film/video/sync, etc. snipped>

I've read through the responses to this point, and your
replies, and I think you're trying to be too smart, here.
Not that you haven't done a decent job of looking into the
possibilities. I went through a similar process back in 1972
when I was seriously into Super-8 (and film-making in
general). In those days, though, the format wasn't perceived
as becoming rapidly obsolete.

As I read through the thread (and before Scott Dorsey
mentioned it), my thoughts were that you should just contact
Super-8 Sound or try to find a Uher full-coat conversion.
You can actually find them occasionally on eBay (as well as
the Super-8 Sound editing bench, 3- or 4-gang to suit your
fancy). If you really understand the process of film-making
with sync sound, and the practical aspects of
post-production, you'll realize that _bypassing_ all the
falderal you've described and queried about is the short
path to your final objective. You don't have to be reminded
that you're dealing with technology that is rapidly
dissolving into museum dust.

The issues of fullcoat and even 1/4" tape are going to be
similar to the issues with Super-8 film. It's going away.
Not gone, but harder to get. Translate that as: expensive.

I think you might find some useful information at:

http://www.super8filmmaking.com/

Mike has has this info going for a number of years, and has
quite a good list of resources that should help.

BTW, would you be interested in a nearly perfect Beaulieu
4008ZMII with Schneider glass, batteries, charger, and other
goodies? I've also got a gorgeous Bolez H-8 Rex with goodies
that I'd let go to a good home. I was going to have it
converted to Super-8 by J-K Audio way back when, but way
back when was when I couldn't afford it. I think somebody
still converts them.

Good luck, but try to find the easiest and most cost
efficient path - not the hardest and most expensive.



TM
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 7:53:12 PM

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

"Jonathan Roberts" <NotMe@NotMe.complex> wrote in message
news:eTDMd.432$Sd.112610@newshog.newsread.com...
>.-- wasn't the main reason for introducing 48 k
> recording to screw up copying of CDs in the first place?

Not at all!

48kHz. was the lowest sample rate that could be easily syncronized with all
flavors of video and film and didn't arguably compromise sound quality. The
state of the art was 50kHz. at the time with the compact disk rate being
viewed as strictly good enough for music distribution but not for
production. The first digital video recorders used 48kHz. x 20 bits.
--
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com
!