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Super 8 Tape Decks


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 03:11 PM

Hello. :)

I'm making a trip to Paris this summer with a Super 8 six pack from Spectra, and I'd like to record sound as I go. I know of cassette recorders that can sync up to a Super 8 camera. How good are they?

Best Regards - Matthew Buick :)
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:37 PM

Hello. :)

I'm making a trip to Paris this summer with a Super 8 six pack from Spectra, and I'd like to record sound as I go. I know of cassette recorders that can sync up to a Super 8 camera. How good are they?

Best Regards - Matthew Buick :)


I apologize to anyone who still does Double Super-8 sound by syncing up a cassette recorder, but I would not recommend that method, especially if you are traveling, and especially if we are talking using a cable between the two units.

Are you doing a sync dialogue style of film, or a travelogue style of film. It actually matters when deciding what type of audio recording system to use. If you are doing a scene with actors and are pretty much going it alone, then a wireless lavalier may be the way to go. If you are doing travelog style and just want ambience, then you probably have more flexibility in what type of microphone you use.

What you may discover is that it will cost you more to have a decent audio recording system than your filmmaking set-up cost you. The reason for this is XLR audio inputs are far above superior to any other audio input interface, but generally speaking, XLR audio inputs usually mean the audio recording system costs much more than a high end consumer audio recording system.
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#3 Matthew Buick

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:47 PM

The film I am doing is basically a travelogue. It will document a trip through the Louvre Gallery, over the River Siene, and off to Notre Dame. The sound recording is generally for a bit of audio ambience, I just want a high quality, reliable system.
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#4 Bill Totolo

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:10 AM

Take a look at the Zoom H4.
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#5 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 11:28 AM

A mini disc would be the best way to collect sounds. They are cheap, and user friendly for PC use with NLE. Why worry about sync?
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#6 Matthew Buick

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 03:55 PM

I would also need to factor in the cost of a decent microphone. I'm not really sure which kind is best for recrding general ambience.

Thanks for the help, guys. :)
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:58 PM

I would also need to factor in the cost of a decent microphone. I'm not really sure which kind is best for recrding general ambience.

Thanks for the help, guys. :)


If you choose a mini-disc, the built in microphone might be all that you need. (I'm assuming the mini-disc's have a built in microphone).

I haven't used a mini-disc but it may be the most logical method for your application since you don't have to worry about picking up the sound of the recorder as you do with many consumer digital video cameras. Try to find a mini-disc with manual audio override, actual VU meters (either LED or analog) and hopefully actual audio dials that you can manually adjust or set to auto, time of day stamp if that is offered, and you MUST use it at least twice before taking it on your trip. What would be really cool is if you could actually use the mini-disc as a visual slate so you can sort of match up similar time of day between your audio and your film.

If you purchase your mini-disc well in advance of your trip, you may be able to figure out a way to keep the mini-disc on your hip or backside so you can actually activate it whenever you are filming. Just do a verbal audio slate after you start recording on the mini-disc and then start your super-8 camera running. The idea is hopefully your hip or backside is far enough away from your camera and provide just enough sound insulation so you don't hear the camera, that much.

If you get this technique to work to your satisfaction, remember to always pre-roll and post roll more audio than what you are filming because you can always slow down your film footage in edit but you probably won't be slowing down your ambient audio recording.
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#8 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:30 AM

A mini disc would be the best way to collect sounds. They are cheap, and user friendly for PC use with NLE. Why worry about sync?



I would suggest a digital flash recorder of some type, M-Audio has a nice cheap compact solid state recorder and there are other options too like the marantz, etc. I think Minidisc is kinda dying out and may be hard to find media, etc. If you have a flash recorder you can dump all the sound onto a laptop.

-Rob-
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#9 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 04:29 AM

I would suggest a digital flash recorder of some type,

Yep me too.

Most of them have simetric inputs and phantom power, so you can use regular condenser-miks. The small ones are m-audio, edirol, zoom. Marantz is a little bigger, tascam and fostex a bit more expensiv...

If you don't own already a minidisc or can use one for free, I wouldn't go for it...

cheers, Bernhard
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 11:28 AM

Yep me too.

Most of them have simetric inputs and phantom power, so you can use regular condenser-miks. The small ones are m-audio, edirol, zoom. Marantz is a little bigger, tascam and fostex a bit more expensiv...

If you don't own already a minidisc or can use one for free, I wouldn't go for it...

cheers, Bernhard


Do either the mini-disc or the flash recorders have built in microphones? What is the average run time capacity for
the flash recorders as opposed to the mini-discs? All of my location audio recording is still done to videotape so this area is new to me as well.
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#11 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:01 PM

Do either the mini-disc or the flash recorders have built in microphones? What is the average run time capacity for
the flash recorders as opposed to the mini-discs? All of my location audio recording is still done to videotape so this area is new to me as well.


the zoom and the edirol have built in miks, the zoom looks better to me, but never tried it, don't know...I've been reading a review on those recorders lately and the zoom had better rating...

Time on the flash recorder depends on samplingrate and bitdepth you choose and the flashcard you put in it. With a 2gig CF-card you can record over 2hours of 24bit 48khz stereo, for mono twice the time. With 16bit 44.1khz (CD-quality) it's even longer. And the good news is that CF-cards are getting cheaper and cheaper...
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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:50 PM

the zoom and the edirol have built in miks, the zoom looks better to me, but never tried it, don't know...I've been reading a review on those recorders lately and the zoom had better rating...

Time on the flash recorder depends on samplingrate and bitdepth you choose and the flashcard you put in it. With a 2gig CF-card you can record over 2hours of 24bit 48khz stereo, for mono twice the time. With 16bit 44.1khz (CD-quality) it's even longer. And the good news is that CF-cards are getting cheaper and cheaper...


Where can one actually visually see a unit before purchasing it? Are these items considered consumer, prosumer, semi-professional?
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#13 Bjarne Eldhuset

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:58 PM

I too need to get some recording equipment, and found this site helpfull:

http://www.transom.org/tools/

(OT-btw Alessandro, that's some very cool super 8 photography you have got on your site!)
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