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Best recording device for sync sound on a low budget


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#1 davidhughens

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 11:08 AM

[I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules, but I posted this in General Discussion also]

I'm looking for a low cost -- under $500.00 -- recording device to record sound for my short films. Can anyone make a suggestion? I'll be filming with either a Canon 1014XL-S or Nizo 6080. Thanks! Dave
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:04 PM

Got a laptop with sound recording software?
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#3 davidhughens

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:12 PM

Got a laptop with sound recording software?


Yes I do and I've thought about a USB mic preamp, but the problem is my laptop battery only last about two hours tops. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Dave
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#4 Antonio Bunt

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:30 PM

A friend recommended me to get a Zoom H-4 SD recorder and it's distributed in the States by Samson. I found it too good to be true. Check it on www.samsontech.com
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#5 Bart Smith

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:34 PM

What about the Marantz PMD 660?
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#6 Antonio Bunt

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:42 PM

Well, the Marantz is 579.95 bucks on B&H and the H4 is 299 (I guess) on amazon.com. That same friend who recommended the H4 told me Compact Flash cards are unreliable. I don't know if it's true but I wouldn't want to risk my sound and I think the H4 is a good deal. The Marantz looks amazing though.
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#7 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 06:07 AM

Compact Flash cards are unreliable.

I have a different experience. I forgot a card in the pocket of my shirt, it got washed in the washing-machine. An after-noon drying in the sun and the card worked again and even the data was still on it.

try this with a hard-drive or a DAT :D

Edited by Bernhard Zitz, 15 December 2006 - 06:09 AM.

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#8 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 12:55 AM

I have a marantz pmd 201 which i really like. It's two head cassette that I hook up to a shure sm58, all old band equip, and it works like a dream. I then play back the tape into a DV cam and then up to FCP. I should buy a better audio card for my mac, but this way seems to work pretty steady. I like the cassette and you can get them for under $100 on ebay I think. plus I haven't had a cassette tape yet that became corrupt while i've have two CF cards die.
just my two cents.
kirk
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#9 davidhughens

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 09:21 AM

I have a marantz pmd 201 which i really like. It's two head cassette that I hook up to a shure sm58, all old band equip, and it works like a dream. I then play back the tape into a DV cam and then up to FCP. I should buy a better audio card for my mac, but this way seems to work pretty steady. I like the cassette and you can get them for under $100 on ebay I think. plus I haven't had a cassette tape yet that became corrupt while i've have two CF cards die.
just my two cents.
kirk


Thanks to everyone for their replies!

Kirk,

I'm in agreement on the tape vs. CF, but I would rather have a recorder with XLR inputs. The mini-jack inputs just seem flimsy and unreliable. What has been your experience?

Thanks, Dave
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#10 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 09:49 PM

Kirk,

I'm in agreement on the tape vs. CF, but I would rather have a recorder with XLR inputs. The mini-jack inputs just seem flimsy and unreliable. What has been your experience?

Thanks, Dave
[/quote]

yeah honestly my setup doesn't look extremely professional but no one has ever ripped the final product. I took a shure sm58 through a converter from XLR to 1/4 jack into another converter from 1/4->1/8 jack into the mic input. I then electrical taped the converters as to disguise my setup. I like it alot, I'm just hoping for a boom mic for christmas.
kirk
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#11 gary szunyog

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 10:48 PM

We now have the Samson H2, something neat from Sony and a new piece from M-audio that should be out now. Otherwise you still have the mini-disc format.
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#12 Jim Carlile

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 04:24 AM

If you can find a good Sony TC-D5 Pro II you're in luck-- it has XLR jacks. Otherwise-- since cassettes are fine, but still just cassettes-- a rigged up approach works well. The Sony WMD6C is also nice, and a little more available than the Marantzes.
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#13 Fernando Morales

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 07:25 AM

If you need perfect sync like shooting live music or for example you don't want to mess with post lip sync you can build a pilot tone generator plugged into the Canon's flash socket and send the signal to one channel of a minidisc recorder. This is what I've done so far and I'm pleased with the results. The only bug is to carry around all those cables while using a DIY steadycam as I did. Next time I would try a stereo recording with at least a 4 track cassette portastudio. Sometimes digital sound seems too "clean" for super 8 purposes.

Hope this helps,

Morales.
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#14 gary szunyog

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 08:46 AM

Fernando

Would you post a wiring diagram or explain the wiring to the minidisc and how it works?

thank you, gary

If you need perfect sync like shooting live music or for example you don't want to mess with post lip sync you can build a pilot tone generator plugged into the Canon's flash socket and send the signal to one channel of a minidisc recorder. This is what I've done so far and I'm pleased with the results. The only bug is to carry around all those cables while using a DIY steadycam as I did. Next time I would try a stereo recording with at least a 4 track cassette portastudio. Sometimes digital sound seems too "clean" for super 8 purposes.

Hope this helps,

Morales.


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#15 gary szunyog

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 10:00 AM

A report with audio samples on various portable hand held recorders:

http://www.bradlinde...-fr2-le_06.html
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#16 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 05:37 PM

A friend recommended me to get a Zoom H-4 SD recorder and it's distributed in the States by Samson. I found it too good to be true. Check it on www.samsontech.com


Somebody I know also recommended the "Zoom". Be careful of some of the computer set-ups, they can be noisy.
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#17 Fernando Morales

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 08:33 PM

Fernando

Would you post a wiring diagram or explain the wiring to the minidisc and how it works?

thank you, gary


Hi, Gary. Sorry if I'm late. Yes, I will post the wiring. Here's the circuit, it's pretty easy to put together. I'm not sure if it's copyrighted or not, so my apologies in advance to the author:

Posted Image

There also some pictures fo the finished device:

http://argellafilms.blogspot.com/

This is a blog I have that need serious update and an english version. On next post I will diagram conections and put more pictures. Hope to get some examples when I finish my DIY telecine.

Matt has written a plugin to use it in post, but I haven't tried yet although I made some recordings. If you are interested, ask him kindly if you can have a copy and I'm sure he'll send it to you.

Hope this helps,

Fernando.
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#18 Matt Pacini

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:34 PM

I use a Sony MHRZ-1 MiniDisc recorder, and I love it.
It's tiny, full bandwidth UNCOMPRESSED stereo audio, and physical media (discs) so it's not flakey like a lot of the MP3 recorders (which sound like crap too).


Matt Pacini
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#19 James Stubbs

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:22 AM

I use a Denon DTR 80P DAT. Very rare and hard to come by, but can be had for that price or less. If you can get one w/ the battery pack it will eat thought 6AA's in 4-8 hours depending on start/stop and battery type. Otherwise the beauty of these is you can use virtuallly any type of battery near 9V and plug it into the side. MD's are also excellent and will run a lot longer than a DAT on batteries. Both work extreamly well as they run at rock steady speeds. They have to or they wont work. Best part of course is using a sync tone circuit as above to caputure flash pulses for absolutley perfect sync in post. Another way super wild way to caputre sound is to simply use a Mini DV cam. If you're NLE dump them side by side and use the vid/sound from the DV to sync to your film. I haven't tried it, yet, but I will. I've been told that this method also works excellently. A good DV cam w/ a remote mic input that records sound in 16bits can easily be had for that price.
Cheers,
James
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#20 James Stubbs

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:42 AM

I use a Sony MHRZ-1 MiniDisc recorder, and I love it.
It's tiny, full bandwidth UNCOMPRESSED stereo audio, and physical media (discs) so it's not flakey like a lot of the MP3 recorders (which sound like crap too).


Matt Pacini


I'd hardly call an MD uncompressed. ATRAC compression on MD's is what started the entire compressed music format craze. MP3 etc. I agree that MP3's are total poop. WMA is a much better sounding CODEC. ATRAC is also an excellent CODEC as it tends to compress out things you don't want to hear anyway. eg: tape hiss. If you have one of the newer MD's they record uncompressed .WAV files to a newer disc format allowing hight quality recording times equal to a CD. I'm not sure of the prices of newer MD's but as far as the technical specs and abilites I would use one now. The older versions are why I own a DAT. Hummm.... Time for an equipment upgrade? Anyone ever hear of crystal sync for MD? Or Cable sync?
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