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Cheap but decent minidisc players.

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by TheAngryFedora, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. TheAngryFedora

    TheAngryFedora Member

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    I have gotten the okay from both the tech director and the producer at my school to start looking for minidisc players to replace our CD players, or to work with the cd players. Any suggestions? Price range is probably from one to two hundred for one deck. Maybe getting two, though, if we can afford. Any websited would be greatly appreciated, but if you have any personal experience with a model and could recommend it, ebay is probably our best bet and a recommendation of that sort seems more geared toward the ebay approach.

    I've used minidisc once before, as has the tech director, and we both agree that it's awesome. We're looking for something with Auto Pause and that could potentially record from CD to MD? One of the two decks, at least.

    Really any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks!

    -Ben
     
  2. jumpjet

    jumpjet Active Member

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    Full compass carries a decent tascam one that has MD on one side and cdr on the other. Good unit. It's about the only rack mounted MD that they still carry. As I understand it, the standard is on it's way out.
     
  3. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    I would strongly encourage you to NOT, NOT, NOT get an MD player. As jumpjet noted, the format as a standard for theatre is on the way out, and with many good reasons:

    1) Decks with auto-cue are near impossible to find at reasonable prices today, if at all.
    2) MD is a notoriously unreliable medium; decks trash discs all the time, and although certain brands are worse than others, even the best brands have issues. The only fairly reliable MD players I've ever used were portables that I had for personal use. Decks, well:

    -We had two when i was in college, and they failed on me big time, starting to skip, during tech of my first show. We thought it might be a heat issue, so took them out of the rack, gave them lots of air space on all four sides, and put a powerful fan blowing past them. No dice, still skipped. Sent them in for service, they worked on the bench for 12 hours straight; the second I tried using them again, Skip City. Can't recall if it was a Tascam or a Denon
    -I worked at a Tony Award winning regional theatre a few summers ago, and we had a number of the 1U Sony units, which are really good, except that the rotary encoders have a tendency to be finicky, and sometimes not advance a track when they click, and other times jump two tracks!
    -The deck in my editing setup is a JVC CD-MD combo (it was great because I could burn a backup CD with CD-TEXT and it would digitally transfer it to the show MD, including the title info). At one point, it stopped reading MDs altogether, out of the blue. Stayed like that for around a year and a half, and it was out of warranty and I didn't use it much, so I never had it serviced. Then, just as suddenly, it started working again. That was the last time I ever willingly touched an MD.

    --A
     
  4. TheAngryFedora

    TheAngryFedora Member

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  5. AVGuyAndy

    AVGuyAndy Active Member

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    So what's the new standard?
     
  6. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    The new standards tend to be either CD-R or computer-based (on the higher end, SFX, on the lower end, there are a number of options that I can't think of specific names of off the top of my head, including both cue-list based ones that are simpler but cheaper than SFX and ones that assign cues to various keys on the keyboard and let you essentially use the computer as you would a hardware sampler).
     
  7. jumpjet

    jumpjet Active Member

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    Yeah, I hate using the computer for sound based stuff though. It always tends to be thinking and hiccup, etc, etc. MD really was a great solution while it was around. I mean, you could write/rewrite, edit tracks (even if the interface was a little clunky) and rearrange things on the fly.

    What we really need is someone to create a hard disk solution that has the same editing features and maybe a few extra goodies. Then it just cues up like a CD or MD and can play the same way.
     
  8. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    There's a key to using a computer for sound to avoid the skips and "hiccups". You MUST use a computer that is ONLY used for sound work; don't have other stuff running in the background, no playing solitaire or Bejeweled or anything else, no Microsoft Office, etc. And then it needs to be optimized for running sound, since some of the default Windows settings prioritize other functions over the ones used in sound playback.

    If you do some searching, there are a few websites out there that give pointers for this sort of optimization, although I don't know of addresses offhand.

    --A
     
  9. control

    control Member

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    in my opinion no matter how hard sony tries to push these thing they will never get the popularity now with mp3 players also the only place that ive seen a md is at my church and they only use it for people come in and use the sound system and thats rare!!!!
     

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