I work for Michigan State University as the audio digitisation
specialist for the computational humanities department. I'm also an
Electrical Engineering student. My department is moving to a bigger,
better building, and we have been given more grant money to expand and
take on more projects. I have been given the assignment of putting
together our new audio room. It will consist of multiple workstations,
each of which can be used to digitise from analog sources, edit, burn
cds, encode to streaming media, upload to internet.
Students will be using these workstations as part of classes
(linguistics, speech sciences, audiology, and sociology students), so
they should be well suited to that (that is, fairly easy to use after
an introductory lesson).
I have already done a few weeks of research on this, but I would gladly
First, I was to find the best way for students to do field recording.
For that, I have found:
-M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 - meets our 24-bit 96kHz standards set by the
library of congress, accepts compactflash, and looks user friendly and
sturdy enough for non-audio-nerd students. Out of all the flash
recorders I looked at (the Marantz line, Edirol R1), this was both the
least expensive and the closest to our requirements.
-Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording interviews, also to be used
for the video documentaries and interviews which we also do here.
-Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the wireless mics
but the professors really wanted them "so that elderly people don't
trip over the wires". whatever.
-some PZM's... Is there a hugely noticable difference between the 30D
or 6D and the cheapy $70 one? These will largely be used as backup
mics, in case a lav fails, and also to pick up the interviewers'
questions, ambient sounds, etc.
-For both our video and audio interviews, Rode NTG-2's
Now for preamps...
After looking at nearly every preamp on the market, I think our best
bet is the Grace Design 101. The preamp needs to be small and
portable, accurate, low coloration, low self noise, and under $2k. The
101 seems to have all of these attributes, with 2 channels just over a
grand. The preamps are to be taken with the student to interviews, in
a pack with the flash recorder and mics, or by our video team to
Others that I looked at: Langevin DVC (a bit too expensive), Sytek
MPX4aii, FMR RNP.
I am having trouble with this one. In our current audio workstation we
have a Behringer Eurorack 2004A 16-channel. I was told that on the
mini-stations only 8-12 channels are necessary. But I have
reservations about every 8-10 channel analog mixer I look at. I'm
really just not as knowledgable/comfortable with mixers as other parts
of the chain.
Right now I'm leaning to the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002 10-channel,
just because of its similarities to the 2004A.
The mixer will just need to accept balanced line inputs from the tape
decks (for ex, tascam br-20 into ch 1&2, tascam 122 into ch 3&4, etc),
send to compressor and ADC, and to output the audio from computer to
We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.
We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?
In addition each station will have a cassette deck and cd duplicator
(thinking microboards QD-123), and a set of monitors and headphones.
These stations will not be sonically separated from each other which is
why the headphones are necessary, but we need also some decent but
inexpensive small monitors.
For monitors I'm looking at Edirol MA-20D, Event Tuned Reference 6, and
Roland Ds-7. As the material will be solely speech, the only important
thing with the monitors is accuracy, and bass response is not pertinent
as we roll off everything below about 300 anyway.
For headphones we'll probably get some more sennheiser eh2270 which is
what we currently have.
I apologize for the ultra-long post. My object is to get some ideas
and opinions from others, who if you're like me, think doing this is
really fun. So, opine away.
> On 9/20/05 11:50 AM, in article
> email@example.com, "Kayte"
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > oops. i hit that twice. anyway.
> S'ok... Happens to the best of us.
> Listen, this is a pretty decent project, what sort of consultant rates are
> we talking for this gig?
John O wrote:
> > warm fuzzies.
> Tickets to the UofM game????
> (btw, in East Lansing digitize is spelled with a z)
Hmm, sorry, not a football fan, but you're right- i just looked at my
title on the webpage. eh, i like the s better. They call me
"digitization specialist" but i'm really not a video person so i like
to qualify it, and give a distinguished air: "audio digitisation
> On 9/20/05 12:20 PM, in article
> email@example.com, "Kayte"
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > SSJVCmag wrote:
> >> On 9/20/05 11:50 AM, in article
> >> email@example.com, "Kayte"
> >> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >>> oops. i hit that twice. anyway.
> >> S'ok... Happens to the best of us.
> >> Listen, this is a pretty decent project, what sort of consultant rates are
> >> we talking for this gig?
> > warm fuzzies.
> The Univ is paying you in warm fuzzies?
Practically. (I'm a student). Great experience though, resume booster.
On 9/20/05 12:20 PM, in article
> SSJVCmag wrote:
>> On 9/20/05 11:50 AM, in article
>> email@example.com, "Kayte"
>> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> oops. i hit that twice. anyway.
>> S'ok... Happens to the best of us.
>> Listen, this is a pretty decent project, what sort of consultant rates are
>> we talking for this gig?
> warm fuzzies.