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Digital Recording


Peter Allison
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quite, and sorry to bang the drum for that little Sony 5 quid job, but I have absolutely no concerns whatsoever about its response.

 

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/coramdc/index_f...ton%20mag,9.mp3 for example - nowt wrong with the quality of that, bearing in mind it was way up high above the choir.

 

And why not bang the drum for the Sony? If it does all you want/need, then why spend any more? Sadly, for my bank balance at least, I’m into Hi-Fi. The sky, or more importantly the size of you bank account, is the limit. Sounds good though.

 

:P

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As you say, a better microphone would improve things, but just like Hi-Fi, it’s the law diminishing returns.  To get a microphone that is twice as good as your Sony, you’ll spend considerably more than £120.  Then it comes down to, what do you want the recording for, can you justify the expense etc?  If (like Hi-Fi) you’re bitten by the bug you’ll always be saving for the next upgrade and have a very empty wallet.

 

:P

 

I record a fair amount of our choir and organ and use an Audio Technica AT825 Stereo mike which though it retails at about £250, I got on Ebay for £80. I have been using an aged Sharp md recorder and the results are astonishing. I have used a Sony mike, but the lack of Bass was a real problem. What I like about the Sharp is that the record levels are manually set. The Sony md recorders are auto levelling by default and you need to mess about going through menus to switch it to manual...... which only stays like that until you turn it off.

 

Peter

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I record a fair amount of our choir and organ and use an Audio Technica AT825 Stereo mike which though it retails at about £250, I got on Ebay for £80. I have been using an aged Sharp md recorder and the results are astonishing. I have used a Sony mike, but the lack of Bass was a real problem. What I like about the Sharp is that the record levels are manually set. The Sony md recorders are auto levelling by default and you need to mess about going through menus to switch it to manual...... which only stays like that until you turn it off.

 

Peter

 

Interesting about the mike - I think I'd have been better getting something secondhand on ebay. My Sony mike (bought new for £60) starts rolling off at 100Hz, and there's not much bottom octave on 16' organ stops.

 

My Sony MD retains the manual levels - and all other configurations - when turned off. Only loses them if you remove the Li-ion battery for a time.

 

JJK

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I think I should put the record straight, I was not been serious about doing clandestine recordings of some of our more popular recording artists. as for the digital recorder, well, its just that I do not have £1000 for a Tascam portable DAT,and my Sony Dat has gone to the scap heap after failing a medical. Over the years I have used a AKG stereo mic in and around cathedrals and town halls and got excellent results, but by far the best was a pair of AKG 414's (set on a 12ft stand and used as a cross pair of figure of 8's) these were used to record a polish friend in Durham Cathedrals recital series, he played sonatas by whitlock Reubke and a Polish chap, the sound was better than using a borrowed calrec soundfield recording Simon Lindley in the same venue. David Rogers of Doncaster has used nothing but Tandy PZM' for hundreds of his private recordings, and the sound is excellent, these ecellent mics can still be bought from http://www.tandyman.co.uk

best wishes

Peter

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Guest delvin146
I have done a lot of recording in past years, and still do so at my own church. I picked up a couple of flat plate PMZs yonks ago and the frequency response is superb, also clarity. I also use a pre amp. Then straight onto a CDR. I have always sought permission from whoever I have recorded, and assured that such recordings are for private use only. Most will accede to the request and are very good about it. Conversely, one guy recorded me at one of several recitals I did at Parr Hall, Warrington, and was right up front holding a mic in his hand pointing right at me, without permission.  :o  <_< Beat that for a brass neck!!

 

R

 

Are you sure it was a mic he was holding? :o

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Guest Roffensis
Hi

 

Apart from any frequency response anomolies in the microphone capsule, because of their design, all PZM's have a reduced bass response due to the size of the baffle - mount the things on a wll, or a large piece of rigid plywood (or prespex) and the bass increases.

 

As someone says later, Soundfield microphones are still available - there's a new version been introduced recently - but they are pretty expensive (which is why I don't have one!).

 

I've successfully used ordinary cardiod microphones as a crossed pair in live recording situations. 

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

I have recorded in a extremely difficult cathedral acoustic and ,with the PMZs, got down below 10 hz. How low do you want to go? <_< This was suspended off a balcony facing the organ, very good. Playback over my loft system, with two large subwoofers confirmed the range. Two eminent cathedral organists heard the recording and were highly impressed. More recently I have more closely miked the organ, but with mikes on the floor facing up. The clarity, acoustic and range is phenomenal, I do however use a preamp, and go straight onto a CDR.

 

Hope this is of interest,

 

Richard

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What I like about the Sharp is that the record levels are manually set. The Sony md recorders are auto levelling by default......

 

I too have an early Sharp MD recorder. I am interested in this auto leveling feature of the Sony MD units - wouldn't this be a plus for recording pieces with a wide dynamic range (from Aeoline to full organ)? Will it change the level "on-the-fly" like that?

 

Best,

 

Nathan

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Guest Roffensis
I too have an early Sharp MD recorder.  I am interested in this auto leveling feature of the Sony MD units - wouldn't this be a plus for recording pieces with a wide dynamic range (from Aeoline to full organ)?  Will it change the level "on-the-fly" like that?

 

    Best,

 

          Nathan

 

 

Better to get a manual level, set it for full organ as much as is being used, then leave it. Don't like auto record levels, never any good if you ask me.

 

R

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I too have an early Sharp MD recorder.  I am interested in this auto leveling feature of the Sony MD units - wouldn't this be a plus for recording pieces with a wide dynamic range (from Aeoline to full organ)?  Will it change the level "on-the-fly" like that?

 

    Best,

 

          Nathan

 

You dont get a true picture, especially with sudden loud chords (sfz) in pieces. You can easily hear the volume change, while the auto changes the level to avoid overloading. Far better to manually set the level to the loudest bit and when listening later, turn the volume up for the quiet bits if you cant hear it.

 

Peter

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You dont get a true picture, especially with sudden loud chords (sfz) in pieces. You can easily hear the volume change, while the auto changes the level to avoid overloading. Far better to manually set the level to the loudest bit and when listening later, turn the volume up for the quiet bits if you cant hear it.

 

Peter

 

Hi

 

Actually the auto level on my 4 year old Sony Minidisc does a pretty good job - certainly good enough for non-critical recordings or when I've not had opportunity to set the level properly. When you can set the level manually though that's far better - any increase needed to pp sections can be done later.

 

For serious recording these days I use a laptop, recording to the hard drive and then sorting out and editing as needed, the MD is only used where I need a rough and ready recording, e.g. to pass on to someone who can't make a concert.

 

As a medium that, like mp3, removes part of the audio signal, MD is never going to be as good as uncompressed digital recording (or even analogue on very good machines).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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For serious recording these days I use a laptop, recording to the hard drive and then sorting out and editing as needed, the MD is only used where I need a rough and ready recording, e.g. to pass on to someone who can't make a concert.

 

As a medium that, like mp3, removes part of the audio signal, MD is never going to be as good as uncompressed digital recording (or even analogue on very good machines).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

That must take up a serious amount of memory? What ADC do you use and at what sampling rate?

 

In theory a good analogue machine running at a high enough speed will record more “data” than any digital system.

 

;)

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This isn't really the place to discuss it in depth, but that's not actually true either in theory or in practice (writes a recording engineer).

 

Paul

 

Surely analogue systems record at an infinite sampling rate where as digital records at a finite sampling rate? Infinite sampling must equate to more “data” than finite? I’ll say no more because as you say, this isn’t the place to discuss this subject at depth.

 

;)

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Surely analogue systems record at an infinite sampling rate where as digital records at a finite sampling rate?  Infinite sampling must equate to more “data” than finite?  I’ll say no more because as you say, this isn’t the place to discuss this subject at depth.

 

;)

 

I've always found its the loudspeaker that counts in the end.

 

FF

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Surely analogue systems record at an infinite sampling rate where as digital records at a finite sampling rate?  Infinite sampling must equate to more “data” than finite?  I’ll say no more because as you say, this isn’t the place to discuss this subject at depth.

 

:lol:

 

I don't know about the sampling rate itself - but the whole reason people go with digital is to do with a combination of signal to noise ratio and frequency response.

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That must take up a serious amount of memory?  What ADC do you use and at what sampling rate?

 

In theory a good analogue machine running at a high enough speed will record more “data” than any digital system.

 

:lol:

 

Hi

 

At present I use an external Soundblaster sound card, but I'm looking to upgrade when I can afford it - the noise floor of the Soundblaster is a little higher than I would like - but it's still better than the best analogue, where the dynamic range is limited to around 60dB - often less - and the laptop is considerably easier to move, and cheaper to run, than my Revox open reel machine (have you seen the cost of open reel tape lately?)

 

I record uncompressed WAV files at 16bit 48kHz (same data rate as DAT tape) - it comes out at around 10MB per minute of stereo audio (approx 60MB for a 1 hour recording) - the laptop has a partintioned drive with a 40GB "data" partition, so that gives many hours of space - but I have to clear it out sometimes! I can edit in the digital domain and then burn a CD.

 

For serious recording I would consider using a higher rate (96kHz/24 bit) - but my current soundcard doesn't seem to support that - and it's not really necessary for most of what I do.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Thanks for your reply Tony.

 

I've always found its the loudspeaker that counts in the end.

 

FF

 

Not just the loudspeaker but where it’s physically located within the room. What precedes it in the recording/playback chain is also important, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). I have found that speaker choice/placement to be personal thing anyway. One persons meat is another’s poison.

 

:blink:

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Many years ago I bought a pair of Heybrook HB1's as they were very good at the time and got rave reviews, along with with a Rega 2 turntable and Arcam Alpha amp as my front end, they produced excellent results. I sold them to James Lancelot at Durham Cathedral in 88-89 and they are still giving sterling service, which is not bad for a 22 year old speaker. Now I am after a small Audio Pro sub woofer which gets down to +/- 18 htz which should make the sitting room "shimmer", with the odd 32ft open wood, I will have to remove all the soft furnishing first tho B)

best wishes

Peter

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