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Analogue v digital for Feature Film


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#1 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:10 AM

I was thinking of a Fostex FR2/MAudio vs reel-t-reel. What can ya'll suggest? If analogue, which analogue is best quality for that smooth organic sound as you say....? And how does a digi hold up against analogue quality-wise?
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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:17 AM

I was thinking of a Fostex FR2/MAudio vs reel-t-reel. What can ya'll suggest? If analogue, which analogue is best quality for that smooth organic sound as you say....? And how does a digi hold up against analogue quality-wise?

When it comes to recording live instruments, analogue does have its proponents. However, if you're talking about recording dialogue for film in the field, it might not be worth the hassle.
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#3 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:24 AM

Are there any compact analogue field recorders though? Sony TC-880-2 Reel to Reel...is it any good? Better ones?
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#4 Peter Duggan

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 07:57 PM

Are there any compact analogue field recorders though? Sony TC-880-2 Reel to Reel...is it any good? Better ones?


The Nagra IV is spectaculat. Are you specifically looking for a multitrack recorder, or will any rtr work?
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 01:01 AM

I was planning on going digital until I asked a question about why Nagras that are 20 and 30 years old still costing so much. I discovered that MANY pros prefer the "warm quaility" that a analog has. I chose to keep my Nagra IV-L and the only change I would make is to a better Nagra w/ the extra head for time code. Sometimes newer isn't nessesarilly better.
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#6 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 11:16 AM

I was looking at a portable field recorder to make a 2-hour motion picture beginning at the end of next year. I'd need to travel to several countries. I am more concerned with quality than anything else. Richness, fullness, **proven-reliablility** and a recorder that I could actually find stock for. We need to be able to carry it and obviously the better spec. = better! Whaddaya think?
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#7 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:18 PM

Oh boy!

I see the NAGRA II NAGRA III NAGRA IV-D NAGRA 4.2 NAGRA E NAGRA SN -- which would be best and are they sync?
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#8 Dan Goulder

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:27 PM

Oh boy!

I see the NAGRA II NAGRA III NAGRA IV-D NAGRA 4.2 NAGRA E NAGRA SN -- which would be best and are they sync?

Which specific camera are you syncing them up with?
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#9 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 10:40 AM

probably an Arri BL-2
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#10 John King

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 01:48 PM

LondonFilmMan,

If you can get it, the Nagra 4.2 is probably your best option. As I understand it the Nagra 4.2 provides the best of both worlds, good analogue movement combined with (optional?) timecode reader. Anyway from what I've read about them, the Nagra 4.2s are really well favoured. I own a Nagra III which uses the older Pilotone 60Hz cycle sync pulse generator. Many argue this is not as accurate and maybe that's so, but I have'nt had any problems so far. I think with what you're trying to do though you'll be well pleased with the Nagra 4.2.

Good Luck with your project!

J.M. King
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#11 Michael Collier

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 04:50 PM

I have always prefered digital for feild recording. Its so much more robust than anyformat, the sound is worth it. True its a bit more mechanical, but you will find thats because of its amazing clarity (there is no noise induced by the recording method, only by the preamp and A-D converter) if you want the analog sound in post (Which I feel strongly that is only the hiss and pop that magnetic tape introduces that people find comforting) you can always put out to tape and then put that back to digi.

For my next film I am getting a fostex solid state recorder. 1200 bucks new I think is cheaper than a Nagra (havent really checked) and there are a lot of user features that can help you fly through production. You can hook up a keyboard to the recorder and type your scene and camera number, and it will automatically incriment the number at the end for take one, take two etc. That would help in post. They record to solid state Compact Flash, so you never have to worry about transport flaws during recording or playback and you can archive an entire movies worth of audio onto a couple DVDs.
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#12 John King

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 08:37 PM

Mr. Collier,

Where are you buying this Fostex recorder from? It sounds really nice. Originally I was thinking of saving up for a Nagra 4.2 myself, but this recorder you mention sounds really great.

Thanks in advance!

J.M. King
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#13 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 09:18 PM

Oh boy!

I see the NAGRA II NAGRA III NAGRA IV-D NAGRA 4.2 NAGRA E NAGRA SN -- which would be best and are they sync?


Nagra made an exterior sync box and Tobin camera systems makes an internal board you must eather soider or have soidered in place and their own exterior sync box (their board in a box with a pigtail) that's battery powered and syncs the Nagras at 24fps. you have to be careful,especially with the Nagra III's, that the recorder has a pilot port. One of the Nagras has a timecode head but I'm not sure what the designation is, 4.2ST I think but honestly I'm not sure. Of course they are the most expensive. A good used Nagra goes generally between $300 to $1200 with an average of about $700 to $800. There are a variety of options, external power supply, slating box, mixers, ect. but not all accessories work with all machines so again do some research before you buy. They come up on Ebay all the time so unless your pressed for time, put aside some cash and wait for the deal. One will eventurally come along.
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#14 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:28 AM

thanks.
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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 12:38 AM

TE NADA, AMEGO. Any time :D
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Visual Products

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks