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Digital Recording Devices...

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by tenor_singer, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Good afternoon controlbooth family,

    I hope everyone's holiday went well.

    I am back at school now and our choir teacher... who is under strict orders to NEVER purchase anything tech related without clearing it with me first (long story as to why)... came up to me all excited about some digital recording device for $1400 that she wants to get for her choir.

    I told her to let me do a bit of research first, step one being asking professionals what they recommend.

    Here is what she wants:

    1. Record CD's of both her and her students playing and singing.
    2. Record Tracks
    3. Change pitch on CD's (usually done by altering the speed of the device).
    4. Must be easy for the most tech unsavvy person in the world to use.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Tenor.
     
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    How many tracks at a time need do they need to record? If it's only two, get a good CD burner or mini-disc (i wish those took off like CD players) and hook two mics to preamps for stereo. If you want something more, get an interface like a MOTU Traveler or Firepod and do computer based recording. The CD and two mics would be better for a technophobic person.

    Then agian, I could have completely missed the mark on what you where trying to accomplish.
     
  3. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Does she want it to be portable? While this isn't a CD player, there is a wonderful little portable, rechargeable-battery-operated hard disk recorder that has up to four XLR inputs and is very easy to use. You'd need to pair it with a mic or two, but she could literally set up shop and record anywhere within a minute - great for those field trips with the choir. I'll get you the make/model of this device (it's back in Charlottesville, and I'm home right now).

    Update: I found the device online - it's the Edirol R4 portable recorder, and it retails for about $1200. Here is the product page: http://www.edirol.com/products/r4/index.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  4. the_dude

    the_dude Member

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    Marantz CDR300. I see them every so often at high schools and colleges. The most important thing when buying a product for a high school like this is buying something that is easy to use and nearly idiot proof. Finish it off with a 57 and a 58 and be done with it.
    Unless your teacher is willing to dedicate significant amounts of time to editing, getting anything more then 2 lines into a cd burner would be a mistake.
    Getting a computer interface or even a multi track is not the route you want to go for a number of reasons. It's okay to be under budget.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I think he found it, and Marantz is great gear. Also got to love phantom in's on a recorder.
     
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    You got a third reccomendation for the CDR-300 here. My band teacher has the hyped-up version of it that they don't sell any more (the one that copies discs as well, has a second well), but the CDR-300 works fine if you don't need to copy discs to hand out to students. The band teacher got two small Audio Technica hanging mics and a Behringer UB-802 mixer, and hooked up a small stereo recording setup. This way he can record the whole band rehearsing, and it also works for the chorus class rehearsals. But if it's just going to be for individual rehearsal, go with a 57 and 58 (for instrumental and/or vocal performance recording). And it is almost idiot-proof. Just make sure to finalize the disc :). We've had someone forget to finalize the disc more than once...we then have to go back to the machine and finalize it before it plays in the band room playback system.
     
  7. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Our choir teacher wasn't here today to pose all of your questions to, so please bear with me while I work on the answers. Thanks for all of the ideas so far.

    Tenor.
     
  8. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Ok... the device that our teacher wants is the superscope voyager system.

    Anybody see it.

    It has a bunch of good tools, but I am concerned about how rugged it is.

    Thanks again.

    Tenor.
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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  10. PhantomD

    PhantomD

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    I was just going to recommend either a MiniDisc or a Superscope.

    We use a minidisc in our theatre (for want of a better word in our situation) and it has a digital optical input from the CD player and an analogue RCA input from the Rec Out on our mixer. Works a charm.

    Superscope I have recently discovered to be amazing gear - I have used two in recent times and they are great gear with all the Phantom power etc extras. I was just trying to find what model I used at the City Hall (long story - I almost got to run a spot there for a show when they needed a guy and I was in the audience...unaware...and I kicked myself when I approached them AFTER the show...) but I cannot find the manual now.

    We have just recently purchased the first phase of a whole heap of new audio gear for our music department, and it includes a Superscope! Amazing piece of equipment...this is the next model up from what I used at the City Hall and it has all the bells and whistles including a metronome and a tuner!!!

    Two mic and two TRS jacks on the front, phantom powered, all sorts of adjustments, built-in speaker on/offable, all sorts of outputs, gadgets, CD tech - I can't recommend it more.

    I'm sure harry1989 might have something to say to back me up.

    EDIT: It is the same unit design as the Marantz link given above...except our model does not have a slot-loading recorder, it has a tray loader, but it also has an extra top-loading CD player on top for singing along with a CD while recording...endless possiblities. Although that model appears to have a 20GB HDD which ours does not!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    That's what it is. That's what the band teacher has at my school. The Superscope 300. But from the looks, $1400 is a ripoff, recommend the model with Audix F15 mics for under $1200. But if it's the Director (with PSD340 CD/MP3 system), then it's a good recommendation - especially if the teacher tries to stick an MP3 CD from a computer in there. Perfect.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  12. PhantomD

    PhantomD

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    Forgot to say, our school Superscope plays mp3s off disc.

    I was just going to quote your post, soundlight, but you changed it so that when I clicked quote I got a different post than what I saw originally!!! :eek:

    Edit: The superscope also has a built in mic, although I've never bothered to use it so I cannot comment on its quality. Must be OK though.
     
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    AHA. The post changer strikes. Well, I kinda changed my mind about the information that I'd included as soon as I'd posted it.

    The Audix mics are absolutely great. Superb. I've heard them in use before, and they're really nice. Sounds like the teacher actually found a good system.

    The internal mic is really not that great, we used it for competition rehearsal in band, and it was about as good as the handheld tape recorder tapes that we got back from the judges.
     
  14. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I've got the Marantz PMD660. Smaller than the CDR300 so easier to carry around (I have it in my sound bag all the time), it records to Compact Flash disk in WAV or MP3 formats so quick to drop the files onto a computer, edit, and burn CDs. Also quick to record and erase repeatedly without wasting CDs.

    The internal mics on this unit are actually decent ... I've recorded some sound effects through them. Otherwise I hook it up to the mixer aux outs using the XLR inputs, to record shows.

    So, I'm pretty happy with this unit. Improvements would be (a) smaller size, and (b) SecureDigital memory card instead of CompactFlash.
     
  15. PhantomD

    PhantomD

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    They're great pieces of gear.
     
  16. harry1989

    harry1989 Member

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    Yep, exactly what PhantomD said, it is one awesome piece of equipment. I was with him when we did the gig at City Hall.
    The only problem with it is you need to know a bit on how to work it in order to use it. But if you give them a basic runthrough, it should be fine.
    But it can be used in basically any situation. (For example, in my last week of school I recorded Year 11 music assignments to a cd from a computer, and was once used for another performance, which PhantomD ran.)
    PS The inbuilt mic had a fairly good quality for how it was placed (just a pinprick on top for audio to get in) (found that out when accidentally leaving it on when i started recording those assignments ^^, one CD down the drain...)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  17. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    I know it is not overly simple to use, but for the sort of price people are looking at, the Alesis Masterlink does an excellent job, but outside of not being able to create a cd directly, we tend to use HD24 from Alesis, full 24 tracks adat in and out AND analog line in and out. In addition they have a simple device the fireport that allows you to take the drive out of the unit, and connect it directly to your pc and transfer the files.

    Once you go to multi track with pc based editing people will not look back
    The obvious ability to have control over some of the balance levels in post is a big bonus.

    Sharyn
     
  18. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Miniature electret condensers can be anywhere in between complete and total garbage to decent. You never know what you will get, i've ripped apart many things in my times and sometimes the more expensive devices unfortunately have the worst mics.
     

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