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Thread Any tips on ambient field recording with Minidisc?

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Lanky Bastardos

Lanky Bastardos

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1 Posted on 09/14/2005 at 07:41:37
I need to record a room for every single possible sound that might occur (vocals, bumps and bangs..anything).

The set-up needs to be portable, durable, and reasonably priced so I'm thinking of using a minidisc recorder and a decent condenser microphone (with a good frequency response - 20 - 20kHz if poss).

Does anyone have any tips as to how I should go about this/what equipment to use? Any recommendations for a good mic?

Should I be using a low > medium impedence converter? (obviously, I'll need an XLR > 3.5mm balanced line)

Also, if I want to record in stereo or multiple channels.. any recommendations for a good, cheap, portable pre-amp or mini-mixer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated...
Lanky Bastardos

Lanky Bastardos

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2 Posted on 09/22/2005 at 01:01:40
Hi guys,

Ok, I've decided to go for a Sharp MDMT270H minidisc recorder (because they're cheap and will do everything I need) and a SoundPro SP-PSM-3 stereo condenser. I've chosen this mic as it's designed for use with minidisc recorders (and other recording devices using 3.5mm jack stereo mic inputs), it's a stereo condenser and has a great frequency response (20-20kHz.. the human hearing range). It's also reasonably priced and shouldn't break beyond repair at the slightest bump.

I'll keep you posted as to how my set-up fairs out in the field. Thanks again for your help...
Freakuency

Freakuency

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3 Posted on 09/20/2005 at 10:47:18
Sorry, Lanky, I should have been more specific in my setup. Here's what I'm using:
A Sony MZ-R37 minidisk recorder. Its a bit on the old side, with not many features, but it makes great, high-quality recordings.
A Sony ECM-MS907 stereo condenser mic, designed specifically for use with minidisk recorders. You can even adjust the stereo field between 90 and 120 degrees. Google those two components and check out the specs, reviews and user opinions. I've managed to capture excellent recordings with this setup. I've not run into any problems with noise, other than what gets recorded (I captured a killer thunderstorm a few months back, but also managed to capture all the passing cars, ambulances and A/C units running 4 houses down the block! A very sensitive mic). You can pick both of these components up on Ebay for cheap, although I'd probably be more inclined to buy their current equivilents new, since electronic devices of this nature tend to be pretty delicate. I had to return one minidisk bought on Ebay, because it arrived not working. Best of luck and keep us posted.
Lanky Bastardos

Lanky Bastardos

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4 Posted on 09/19/2005 at 01:00:36
Thanks guys. I haven't considered using an ipod.. I was concerned that I would have to heavily compress the files but I guess ipods have plenty of storage space, so compressing the files down wouldn't be too much of a concern. Reason being - I hate that slightly low-fi, swishy on the hi frequency, sound you get with compressed MP3s.

Freakuency... the MDR and Sony Mic set-up - is it a condenser Mic? I'm worried about the signal > noise ratio and have been told I would either need a mic designed for use with MD (or 3.5mm input devices) or get a low>medium / low>high impedence converter. I've had an irrating, buzzing system noise in the past and I've heard that the impedence conversion can solve this - have you had any of these problems with your set up?

I'd also like to create a quadra-phonic mic set-up in a room, so that I could locate a sound generated within it (ie the mic nearest to the source sound will pick up a stronger signal, so by by spacing the mics I could try to work out roughly where the sound was produced). Any ideas for a decent, portable, cheap mulitrack? An Minidisc multitrack would be great but have never heard of one...

Thanks again guys.. your help is greatly appreciated.
Freakuency

Freakuency

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5 Posted on 09/17/2005 at 13:32:52
I've acheived some good results using a Sony MDR and a nice littel Sony stereo mic. I've recorded many thunderstorms, cicadas singing by a lake, all sorts of fodder for samples, such as drills, engines, screams, you name it. Most MDRs allow you to feed to your computer via an optical line, but your sound card must have an optical in, otherwise you can use audio in/out and just record the signal. MDRs work great, if you have the patience to learn how to get a good recording.

I still have much to learn, as you do, but I do know that MDRs are quite nifty for a cheap, reliable way of getting good sample fodder. =)
blabla

blabla

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6 Posted on 09/17/2005 at 10:33:58
Hey Ive been wanting to do the same thing, except using an Ipod, because there is a new operating system for the ipod, linux. Im just waiting till they come out with the 4th gen version. Here is a sight that is pretty good for field recording>>>>http://emusician.com/daw/emusic_going_wild/
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