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UER Forum > Private Boards Index > A/V Club > on-site audio recording (Viewed 3892 times)
MacGyver 


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on-site audio recording
< on 9/13/2004 12:48 AM >
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How about some brainstorming for ways to do high quality (digital is nice...) audio recordings in harsh environments and on battery power. Do there exist compact and rugged recorders that will accept external microphones, preferably via XLR?

I've always wanted to make longish recordings of environments like drippy cellars beneath a brewery or water trickling (or roaring) through a drain, hissing surging steam in a tunnel, etc. I can record A/V with my canon A70, but both the microphone and the recording quality are nowhere near the quality I want to reproduce.

Thoughts?




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EatsTooMuchJam 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 1 on 9/13/2004 7:36 PM >
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The audio on Mini-DV is not too bad and higher-end camcorders will take an XLR input. Melody's will, for instance.

Otherwise they do make DAT walkmans. An acquaintance of mine had one. I don't know if it had an XLR input, but a minijack is probably good enough for a lot of UE-type stuff.

One last possibility would be to use a Minidisc recorder. Mine doesn't have XLR, obviously, and MiniDisc compression is lossy, but they're very portable.




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Professor Chaos 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 2 on 9/13/2004 8:52 PM >
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Well what kind of microphone will you be using? If it's an el-cheapo mic, a DAT isin't the solution. If it's a nice high end AKG or Beaver Dynamic, you might want to consider a few things.

Yup, the best solution is to use a DAT machine. I know Tascam has a nice portable unit. It has XLR inputs with Phantom power which is great if you use condenser mics.

You could also use a laptop with an external sound card. I did that a few times to record some of my dj gigs. It always worked well. I just ran the Master Outputs of the mixer in the inputs of my soundcard using Balanced XLRs.

If you use a Minidsisc to record chances are it will have a 1/8 input which will be unbalanced. Make sure to use a DI box if you use a balanced line or keep the cable real short.

edit:

I've also had nice results before using a Beaver-Dynamic condenser microphone and a higher end Sony MiniDV camera using the built in XLR inputs.



[last edit 9/13/2004 8:56 PM by Professor Chaos - edited 1 times]

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Asylunt 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 3 on 9/14/2004 1:20 AM >
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The ever classic Marantz will easily get you through this situation with analog technology. And for cheap as well, check out Alpha Video, you can rent a Marantz deck for $15 a day/$45 a week. http://www.alphavideo.com/rc_taperecdupedetail.php?id=3
It records on cassette tape, but with a decent quality tape, and a good mic, the quality will be decent. DAT would be the way to go, but I've used a Marantz before with very good results.

My friend has a portable minidisc recorder and the binuaral digital mic which is awesome as far as recording environments, because it records binuaral. Listening back with headphones makes it sound like you are in the original recording environment. We weren't too fond of Sony's proprietary encoding methods however. Sound quality was decent though.

You can also get little XLR to Mini-jack adapters, some with built in preamps/phantom power supplies and mixers, to use with whatever piece of equipment you have that only accepts mini jack.

Asylunt




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abandonedmuse69 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 4 on 9/14/2004 4:26 PM >
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Posted by MacGyver
How about some brainstorming for ways to do high quality (digital is nice...) audio recordings in harsh environments and on battery power. Do there exist compact and rugged recorders that will accept external microphones, preferably via XLR?

I've always wanted to make longish recordings of environments like drippy cellars beneath a brewery or water trickling (or roaring) through a drain, hissing surging steam in a tunnel, etc. I can record A/V with my canon A70, but both the microphone and the recording quality are nowhere near the quality I want to reproduce.

Thoughts?


I have used a mini disc before...works great for collecting sounds!
but i have noticed that working with our cheapo cameras and then using high quality sound throws all the sound off in quality...some will be excellent(the mini disc) others will be shitty(the cameras) and i can't seem to equalize it all. sometimes you just can't grab all the sound if people are talking unless you have a specific sound person(which i have yet to find ...everyone always thinks this is the shitty job)

so yeah these are my main sound issues any suggestions? i think until we are working with higher quality equip we will have to use good ol music to substitute.




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Asylunt 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 5 on 9/14/2004 5:18 PM >
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I'd say just ditch the camera sound and use the Minidisc. To properly sync it you'll have to use the old school clacker routine, or a set of hands will do the job.

Asylunt




"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain
abandonedmuse69 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 6 on 9/14/2004 5:51 PM >
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Posted by Asylunt
I'd say just ditch the camera sound and use the Minidisc. To properly sync it you'll have to use the old school clacker routine, or a set of hands will do the job.

Asylunt


yeah i think thats the best idea but then its another set of jobs to do..like capturing it in wave form on soundforge then re-rendering it to mp3 then putting it in the movie as an extra sound file..i don't think my computer will stand for it. but then again if i do something serious that requires sound i shouldn't be a slacker and should go the extra mile. damn i want a faster computer...anyone want to send donations to the crazy cat film fund? lol!



[last edit 9/14/2004 5:52 PM by abandonedmuse69 - edited 1 times]

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Asylunt 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 7 on 9/14/2004 6:47 PM >
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Nothing worthwile is easy!




"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain
abandonedmuse69 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 8 on 9/14/2004 6:58 PM >
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Posted by Asylunt
Nothing worthwile is easy!


i totally agree...
;)




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Macsbug 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 9 on 9/24/2004 3:16 AM >
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Some mp3 players might do the job - my creative nomad jukebox can record DAT quality I believe (48 bit, 44.100?) in WAV format, and you can hook up headphones to it to listen as it records. A friend of mine spent some good time shutting us up so he could record some drippings in a certain South Dakota cave thingy, i'm interested in how that turns out... he was using a DV cam.




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Duke 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 10 on 10/5/2004 2:31 AM >
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I know in the past I had excellent results recording all kinds of things with this. Fidelity wasn't the BEST but some would say that ads to the effect. Also it's a very rugged item which makes it perfect for UE. Some of you may have worked with these in the past
http://www.shopusafromja.com/login/images/upload/toyrurusmicrophon.gif




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Ben 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 11 on 10/5/2004 2:23 PM >
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Plus, it exudes professionalism. People know to take you seriously when you're interviewing them with one of those.

Audio lomographer.




mewthree 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 12 on 8/18/2008 3:47 PM >
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well it's a bit late now... 4 years later, but technology has advanced!

I happen to make music using a lot of sampling from abandoned buildings and train yards, and various places.

I use a Zoom H4 which works pretty good. It takes 2 AA batteries which last a long time. It has 2 small condenser mics that are pretty sensitive, but some people may find it annoying if they prefer directional mics... but fear not because it has left and right xlr inputs (fantom power if you want too) and high impedance 1/4 which also work for instruments. it takes an SD card, which you can put a 2 gig in there and you are set for hours.

downside to it... it costed me brand new like 330 including tax and that is only because the guy at moog audio never charges me tax and often knocks a few bucks off the price for me. I think they will come up to 400 dollars or so.

other downside, it's plastic, not metal so dont drop it down a flight of stairs or something, which is possible since it is a field recorder.

upside, the stereo from the 2 mics works quite well! it simulates the position of your ears.

other upside... you can mount it on a camera tripod




DjMalign 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 13 on 8/20/2008 12:44 PM >
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Edirol also has a great portable .wav recorder that is comparible to the zoom as well, and I like the interface better. Yeah, that's the way to go. Especially with a large memory card




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mewthree 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 14 on 8/20/2008 3:21 PM >
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I have yet to try anything by edirol, but they seem quite affordable. I believe it was one of their pairs of studio monitors I was looking at (since I dont have a grand to blow on them) Also I think I was looking at one of their midi-controllers too (keyboard) but I bought an axiom49 instead.

I dont know how great samson mics are, but they seem not bad at all for their size on the zoom. I have yet to try any of their ordinary mics.





RailGuy88 

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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 15 on 9/28/2008 8:55 PM >
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Just joined... May I suggest Sony. They still make Hard-disk recording modules for the professional line (vs consumer or semi-pro) that have XLR/line combo plugs, multiple channels, multiple outputs, and many different formats. The modules come in a carrying case, and contains an internal battery pack with optional external power source.

Not sure on the cost. But you may want to look at their website, and also at sweetwater.com and bhphoto.com.

-R




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mewthree 


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Re: on-site audio recording
< Reply # 16 on 9/30/2008 6:37 AM >
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Posted by RailGuy88
Just joined... May I suggest Sony. They still make Hard-disk recording modules for the professional line (vs consumer or semi-pro) that have XLR/line combo plugs, multiple channels, multiple outputs, and many different formats. The modules come in a carrying case, and contains an internal battery pack with optional external power source.

Not sure on the cost. But you may want to look at their website, and also at sweetwater.com and bhphoto.com.

-R


well mine has two built in condensers, two combo plugs (xlr and 1/4"), it has a 4 track, and it stores on either the 16mb internal which is not much but it also uses SD cards up to 2gb. it runs on 2 AA batteries which last like 5 or 6 hours with the backlights running. I prefer AA batteries over internal batteries in this case only... because when they run out you can bring spares. it has usb, and you can also put the sd card in the computer. you can choose for the recording to be done in wav or mp3, depending on how much you care about quality vs the space you will take up on the card. it has built in effects such as chorus, flange, distprtion and other effects typical for guitars, which work well if you are going a guitar track on the thing (basically it is a 4 track porta studio also)

however, it costed over 300 bucks which is the downside.




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