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starting with audio interview recording: what gears to buy?

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Anonymous
September 24, 2005 7:57:27 AM

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

hello. i'm going to start a podcasting business (or sort of ...) and
i'm now wondering what do i need to start. the first assignment would
be a set of interview in the field (open air and standard rooms), and
after few days of browsing the web and some googling, i believe i may
need a microphone, a portable digital recorder, a mixer (?) if i'm
going to use two mics when sitting with the guest around a table. i'll
then use the pc to do the edits of the sound recorded. finally the
question for you experts: what king of gear to buy, given a budget of
$750-1000? many thanks in advance for your advice and apologize for
such a newbie question.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 9:27:38 AM

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

adriatic wrote:
> i'm going to start a podcasting business (or sort of ...) and
> i'm now wondering what do i need to start.

Start simple. Since you know very little at this point, don't get
bogged down with equipment and technology that you'll have to learn
about.

> the first assignment would
> be a set of interview in the field (open air and standard rooms), and
> after few days of browsing the web and some googling, i believe i may
> need a microphone, a portable digital recorder, a mixer (?)

How about a portable cassette recorder, a microphone, your computer, a
sound card, editing software of your choice, and a cable to connect the
recorder to the computer? This is for a PODCAST, ferchrissake! The much
sought-after "sound quality" will be plenty good for the application.

No, you won't be able to push a button or plug in a flash memory card
and zap your recording into the computer ready for broadcast, you'll
have to play it into the computer in real time, but this is a good
thing if you take advantage of it. You can sit in front of your
speakers with a stopwatch and a notepad, and take notes on what you'll
want to edit. If you think it's a waste of time, your listeners
probably will, too.

> question for you experts: what king of gear to buy, given a budget of
> $750-1000?

You have too much money. Try half of that, or less. The only specific
recommendation I can make is an EV 635 microphone. You may need to get
a special cable to connect it to whatever recorder you buy. This will
cost you $100 or so, less if you buy used. The Marantz PMD201 has been
a standard field recorder for broadcast for many years. I think you can
still buy a new one, but you might want to look for a used one if
you're confident that you can get one that isn't beat up or worn out.

Get good at interviewing. It's as important a skill as recording.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 9:45:22 AM

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

thank you, mike, for your advice, especially the last one about
interviewing. about the PMD201, i found it will cost (new) about $330.
at that price point shouldn't i go for a digital one, for example
something like the edirol r-1 or the m-audio microtrack?
Related resources
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 10:21:11 AM

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

adriatic wrote:
> about the PMD201, i found it will cost (new) about $330.
> at that price point shouldn't i go for a digital one, for example
> something like the edirol r-1 or the m-audio microtrack?

Sure, if you want something that's more complicated to operate than
just pushing the Record button, and that you can't do any maintenance
on, and that has media that costs you a minimum of $50 a pop instead of
$2 a pop, more if you want more recording time. Both are reusable, of
course, so some people choose to ignore that point. I don't.

Learn the craft first, then play with toys. It's really hard to screw
up with a cassette recorder, particularly a pretty sturdy one like the
Marantz. It has a real VU meter that you can watch, it has a real
record level control that you can adjust, and although I haven't looked
at the specs, I wouldn't be surprised if you get more time on a set of
batteries (or a charge) with the cassette than with the digital
recorder.

I'm pretty pleased with my Nomad Jukebox 3, but I still have to do
several operations in order to record, and turning down the record
level if it's too high is ineffective. I don't know how the Edirol R-1
deals with that situation.

If you don't feel like blowing $300 on a cassette recorder, look for a
less expensive one.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 2:36:10 PM

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

If you do decide to go digital, I have a Marantz PMD670 I'm thinking of
selling.

Fran
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 6:25:55 PM

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

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:1127568071.666674.237590@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
> adriatic wrote:
>> about the PMD201, i found it will cost (new) about $330.
>> at that price point shouldn't i go for a digital one, for example
>> something like the edirol r-1 or the m-audio microtrack?
>
> Sure, if you want something that's more complicated to operate than
> just pushing the Record button, and that you can't do any maintenance
> on, and that has media that costs you a minimum of $50 a pop instead of
> $2 a pop, more if you want more recording time. Both are reusable, of
> course, so some people choose to ignore that point. I don't.
>
> Learn the craft first, then play with toys. It's really hard to screw
> up with a cassette recorder, particularly a pretty sturdy one like the
> Marantz. It has a real VU meter that you can watch, it has a real
> record level control that you can adjust, and although I haven't looked
> at the specs, I wouldn't be surprised if you get more time on a set of
> batteries (or a charge) with the cassette than with the digital
> recorder.
>
> I'm pretty pleased with my Nomad Jukebox 3, but I still have to do
> several operations in order to record, and turning down the record
> level if it's too high is ineffective. I don't know how the Edirol R-1
> deals with that situation.
>
> If you don't feel like blowing $300 on a cassette recorder, look for a
> less expensive one.

I do a lot of what you're planning to do. Some interviews I record in
person. Most I record using a telephone recording interface into the
computer. I'm with Mike. A cassette recorder designed for broadcast is
rugged and capable of quality plenty good enough for what you want to do.
First I used a portable DAT recorder for field interviews. Later I wanted
something a little smaller so I went with a Sony Pro-Walkman cassette
recorder. I'm currently using mini-disk for portable interview recording,
but that's because my Sony Pro-Walkman died a couple of years ago after hard
use and abuse. There has been no substantive difference to the listeners of
my interviews through each of these technologies. Depends how much time you
want to spend playing with the tools (Geek Index). Keep it simple.

Steve King
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 10:22:13 PM

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

"adriatic" <maurizio@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127559447.656481.129100@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> hello. i'm going to start a podcasting business (or sort of ...) and
> i'm now wondering what do i need to start. the first assignment would
> be a set of interview in the field (open air and standard rooms), and
> after few days of browsing the web and some googling, i believe i may
> need a microphone, a portable digital recorder, a mixer (?) if i'm
> going to use two mics when sitting with the guest around a table. i'll
> then use the pc to do the edits of the sound recorded. finally the
> question for you experts: what king of gear to buy, given a budget of
> $750-1000? many thanks in advance for your advice and apologize for
> such a newbie question.
>

Don't know what it costs but you might look at this.
http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/global/brochures/Flashmic.pdf

Good for interviews no real-time transfers into the laptop required to
start editing. No messy wires and can power headphones as well.
Neat.... can even encode directly into MP3.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 11:51:48 PM

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

you are very lucky because there is an array of new portable recorders
that record at 24bit, have phantom power for the mics as well as mic
preamps, and use different types of ram. this makes it small and
responsive rather than having to deal with clunky dat tapes or laptops.
think of them kind of like palm pilot audio recorders. for example,
go to the m-audio site and look at the one that they have.

if it is always you and one person being interviewed, look into simply
getting a pair of clip on mics and an extra one for a spare. those are
good because they stay out of the way and are meant to pick up the
speaker and reject stray sounds from further away.
September 25, 2005 2:04:31 AM

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

try http://www.lucinl.com/

Andre


adriatic wrote:
> hello. i'm going to start a podcasting business (or sort of ...)
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 10:26:50 AM

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

Arny Krueger wrote:

> The DRM85 price - over $1k list, is working its way off the
> top of the scale, as well. ;-)

It really does look pretty cool, but obviously targeted to broadcast.
No 44.1 kHz sample rate, omni mic (a smart choice for interviews,
usually) and 3 hours should be enough interview time for anyone in that
business. If it's hot news, you'll want to get back to your computer to
take a dump in less than 4 hours.

I didn't see an estimated battery life on the poop sheet. I realize
that it's a function of the type of battery, whether the pre-record
buffer is turned on (and how much time), and possibly what kind of file
is recorded, but it would be comforting to know the battery life under
some condition. I assume that the audio and setup memory is
non-volatile so you can change batteries before you unload it, but
that's another question.

I'll put this on my list of things to fondle at the AES show.
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 4:38:02 PM

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

"Courtney Goodin" <cgoodin@primenet.com> wrote in news:LpqdnamIkZNYZqjeRVn-
qA@comcast.com:

> Don't know what it costs but you might look at this.
> http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/global/brochures/Flashmic.pdf

That goes off the scale on the cool toys index. A handheld microphone with
built-in flash recorder. "Did you bring your kit?" "What kit?"
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 4:38:03 PM

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

"Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns96DC57E31277Bgulfjoehotmailcom@140.99.99.130
> "Courtney Goodin" <cgoodin@primenet.com> wrote in
> news:LpqdnamIkZNYZqjeRVn- qA@comcast.com:
>
>> Don't know what it costs but you might look at this.
>> http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/global/brochures/Flashmic.pdf
>
> That goes off the scale on the cool toys index. A
> handheld microphone with built-in flash recorder. "Did
> you bring your kit?" "What kit?"

The DRM85 price - over $1k list, is working its way off the
top of the scale, as well. ;-)
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 4:38:04 PM

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

Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>"Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:Xns96DC57E31277Bgulfjoehotmailcom@140.99.99.130
>> "Courtney Goodin" <cgoodin@primenet.com> wrote in
>> news:LpqdnamIkZNYZqjeRVn- qA@comcast.com:
>>
>>> Don't know what it costs but you might look at this.
>>> http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/global/brochures/Flashmic.pdf
>>
>> That goes off the scale on the cool toys index. A
>> handheld microphone with built-in flash recorder. "Did
>> you bring your kit?" "What kit?"
>
>The DRM85 price - over $1k list, is working its way off the
>top of the scale, as well. ;-)

It's a lot less expensive than the Nagra handheld flash recorder
that started the whole idea.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 12:41:15 PM

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

<genericaudioperson@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> look into simply getting a pair of clip on mics and an extra one for
> a spare. those are good because they stay out of the way and are
> meant to pick up the speaker and reject stray sounds from further
> away.



Attention well-meaning amateurs and semi-pros: This isn't a game show.
If you don't know, don't buzz in. Don't guess. There are no prizes for
being wrong less often than the other contestants. There's nothing to
be gained by giving people erroneous information (even if you were
really trying to help) and it just makes life more difficult for those
who then have to unteach bad habits when we work with the people who
"learned all about it on the internet."

Clip-on mics (typically referred to with the misnomer "lav mic") do NOT
"reject stray sounds" unless somebody repealed the laws of physics while
I was away.

There are a lot of good reasons for using a lav mic (they're convenient,
unobtrusive on camera, tolerant of moving subjects) but please, don't
confuse those with little experience by disseminating misinformation.
Lavs are no more or less sensitive to "unintended" sound than any other
mic.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 12:41:16 PM

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

"Lorin David Schultz" wrote ...
> Clip-on mics (typically referred to with the misnomer "lav mic") do
> NOT "reject stray sounds" unless somebody repealed the laws of physics
> while I was away.

There was a recent (2 weeks ago) discussion over on
news:rec.arts.movies.produciton.sound named...
"efficacy of cardioid lav mics?" Interesting discussion.
Stories from the Michael Jackson trial and some of
your favorite infomercials, etc.
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 4:22:01 PM

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

we've had many customers go wiht the edirol r-1 for podcasting although
the M-Audio Microtrack could be a good option as well.

http://www.cascademedia.net/products.asp?catid=94&prodi...

email me off list and we can talk about options and packages.

Cascade Media, LLC
For All Your Digital Recording Needs
Portland, Oregon USA
(888)336-4643
(503)353-6860
(503)353 6864 -fax
www.cascademedia.net
frank@cascademedia.net
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 6:23:51 PM

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

Hi Hank....

Actually, we have been submitting bug reports to M/Audio based upon our
client reports as well as those on taperssection.com

Here is what we received back today:

BUGS:
-no 24bit S/PDIF
- M/L/H switch is reversed
- annoying glitch/pop in headphones when saving recordings, and
sometimes also when beginning recordings

ANSWER:
All three of these items - along with a bunch of other things they
didn't catch - are fixed in v1.5, which will probably be out
tomorrow.

The L/M/H switch reversal was just dumb. Apparently, the silkscreening
was reversed from the T1 prototype to the T2 and mass production. The
engineers, of course, had T1 units. That has been fixed... and the
engineers are now working from mass production units.


BUG:
- some sort of problem with the "first file"

ANSWER:
This was just recently identified, and will be fixed in the next
release.

BUG:

- no D/A during digital in (for monitoring)
- no level monitoring on pause/stop

ANSWER:

Both of these are really one thing - we don't have input monitor
mode at the moment. That is slated for a later release.

BUG:
- unit freezing up at random

ANSWER:
It sounds like they were using SPDIF, which is where we discovered
several problems.

BUG:
- battery life seems to be falling well short of advertised life

ANSWER:
The battery life depends greatly on how the unit is used. Higher
resolution requires more power for processing. Different mics drain
the phantom power in varied amounts. Also, some people have thought
the unit was fully powered when it wasn't. I'm not just trying to
confuse the matter, I'm just saying there are many variables.

BUG:
- 30v max on Phantom on stead of advertised 48v

ANSWER:

I believe our marketing mentions "Phantom Power", but never states
48v. We took a prototype down to an equipment rental store, and they
let us go through their mic closet. The MicroTrack provided enough
power for everything we tried, from the U87 to Sennheiser shotgun mics
and some esoterics. So, is this a complaint that a mic didn't work,
or is it a complaint that the Volt-Ohm meter needle didn't go where
they wanted?

BUG:
- 2GB file limit

ANSWER:
This is not an issue that is likely to change. We are planning to put
some safeguards in place to prevent this from causing problems. (For
instance, auto-stopping at 2GB and saving the file and offering the
time remaining countdown from the lesser of the space available or
2GB.)


My take- All of this seems acceptable and its nice to see that they are
stepping up quickly. That said, I am mainly concerned with the phantom
power issue and answer. The current draw is the issue that needs to
be addressed as well, but I can't see this unit powering many mics with
30volt phantom. I would like to hear some people who have tested this
give some feedback.

2GB limit is not a dead issue either, we have expressed a need for an
auto-split feature which could happen as well.

I will continue to keep you all updated and pass along feedback.

Frank
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 7:31:15 PM

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

hank alrich wrote:

> Are you keeping up with the bug reports for the Microtrack? Because
> unless a lot of folks are lying, it ain't ready for primetime.

What are you seeing other than Len's reports? More silly bugs?
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 1:03:20 AM

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

<fronk1 wrote:

> we've had many customers go wiht the edirol r-1 for podcasting although
> the M-Audio Microtrack could be a good option as well.

Frank,

Are you keeping up with the bug reports for the Microtrack? Because
unless a lot of folks are lying, it ain't ready for primetime.

--
ha
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 11:13:17 PM

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

Frank wrote:

> My take- All of this seems acceptable and its nice to see that they are
> stepping up quickly.

Thanks for the info, Frank.

The phantom power issue is not acceptable, at least not to me. Phantom
power supply design should be determined by following accepted
standards, instead of going to the local music shop and messing with
microphones.

That a mic will power up under less than optimum phantom powering says
little about its sensitivity, headroom and noisefloor. I take it that
the people who designed this thing have little understanding of how mics
actually work and what factors influence their performance.

--
ha
!