Digital recording device

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The freeware "Audacity" and any decent notebook computer (with windows, Mac OS or Linux) also do a great job and have great editing features!
     
  2. brunets

    brunets Pianissimo User

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    I totally approve! But if the internal sound card is a little bit short on quality (like mine), an inexpensive USB interface will do the job. I have a Tascam US122 that works with every flavour of Windows or Mac and even on linux.

    btw, if you want a more advanced open-source program than Audacity, check Ardour...

    I just ask myself if the Eee PC of Asus could be able to handle a USB audio interface with a USB external drive for storage.

    Stéphane
     
  3. jcstites

    jcstites Mezzo Forte User

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    Wow. That Sony looks awesome. If anything happens to my zoom I will probably get the Sony.
     
  4. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

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    I broke down and got the Sony. It is a fantastic unit - build quality is superb, and the sound is just great. The mic preamp seems to be way better than the others I own (Edirol R1 and Zoom H2), and the built in mics are better as well. Battery life - 14 hours!! There are some very cool, useful features on it as well - I'll go into more detail if prompted. Includes an editing program. Only thing is it only records in WAV format.

    I found a great deal on the unit - $50 cheaper than anyone else, and they throw in a free pair of Sony MDR-7505 headphones (normally about $80!), which are pretty darn good 'phones, though a tad uncomfortable for long-term use.

    Sony PCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Recorder FREE SONY MDR 7505 headphones w/purchase | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore
     
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  5. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

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    Are there any disadvantages to WAV only recording? Thanks for the review Mr. Clean!

     
  6. Jude

    Jude Piano User

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    Dec 2, 2007
    Consider yourself prompted.

    Isn't there a feature that will convert a file to mp3? You lose quality when converting to mp3 from wav - that's why the files are smaller, so recording directly to mp3 probably wouldn't be optimal.
     
  7. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

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    SoCal
    Yes, the mp3 files are quite a bit smaller, and thus easier to deal with (like posting sound files to a web site). However, there can be a degradation of sound depending on the sampling rate, though this is not always really obvious without a side by side comparison.

    I've only had the Sony for a day, but a couple of things I noticed, besides the battery life and the build quality, are:

    There is a limiter you can use that will help to avoid ruining a good take by overdriving the input - at all times, two signals are held in the memory while recording - one at your desired level, and another 20 dB below that. If you overdrive, it automatically jumps to the lower one, which also automatically takes the level right up to, but not over, the threshold. After the "peak", the unit jumps back to "your" level.

    There is a (maximum) five second "buffer" before you hit the record button. In case you don't quite hit the record button in time to catch the first few seconds of a recording, the device has already held it in memory and will print it to the file.

    There is a 20 dB pad for loud sources (like, uh, a trumpet) which gives you more control over the input volume.

    This feature is very cool - you can change the speed of playback from 100% faster to 75% slower, without changing the pitch. This is an excellent feature for working out problems in your playing. There is also an AB repeat loop, which will replay a section between key input over and over.

    There is a remote control available for it, so that you don't have to push the record button and walk over to your playing position.

    It comes with 4 gig built-in memory, expandable to 8 gig.

    Adjustable microphone position (X-Y or wide stereo).

    Four separate circuit boards to separate analog audio, digital audio, digital recording and power supply circuits. Separate circuit boards for each function helps minimize noise.

    The readout is much larger than most, which is important for us old guys. Additionally, you can look at the top of the unit while standing across the room and see if your levels are too high by looking at the LEDs (green is OK, red is not).

    There is a "divide" button you can hit that will cut your current track in two, which might be helpful later while editing, etc.

    It comes with a pretty good basic editing program (Sound Forge Audio Studio LE).

    That's about it for now. The more I use it, the more I'll learn...

    J
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
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  8. brunets

    brunets Pianissimo User

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    Hi,

    For those of you who want to look at the manual, here it is in PDF : Sony PCM-D50 manual.

    And a nice review : Sony PCM-D50 review.

    The only crappy thing I see on this unit is that Sony is still trying to push his own Flash memory standard. Why on earth did they reinvent the wheel with their Memory Stick thing ?

    To me, recording in WAV rather than MP3 is a plus. When I shopped for a recorder a few years ago, I ended up buying a Tascam US-122 audio interface because none of the entry-level portable recorder had a good audio quality or a good audio format.

    Stéphane
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008
  9. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

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    Yes, it sucks that Sony is insisting on a proprietary memory, but they say it is to guarantee the high speed necessary to handle the amount of data going through the machine. They don't want consumers upset at them because the after-market flash card isn't getting the job done.
     
  10. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

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    Oct 22, 2005
    SoCal
    Sorry guys - it looks like the free headphone offer has expired. However, it is still the best price out there. I must have hit it on an extraordinary day, as mine was actually $10 cheaper ($439) with the headphones...
     

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