mp3 vs. minidisk

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by dauminator3, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. dauminator3

    dauminator3 Pianissimo User

    It is time for me to invest.....

    Which is better for recording purposes? My sister has a minidisk player but the trouble is getting it to the computer then to cd. Is one able to record on most mp3 players, or is a minidisk player better? Which brand/model would you reccomend.....

    The second problem is a microphone. If you have any suggestions here they would be appreciated, otherwise I will search other threads....

    Thanks- Jared
     
  2. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    It all comes down to budget and requirements.

    1. What _exactly_ do you want to record?

    2. What do you want to do with the recording after laying down the basic track(s)?

    3. Are you looking to get into audio production as something (semi)serious or just investigating an means towards an end?

    4. How much do you have to spend?

    FWIW, mp3 and minidisk are both compression-based formats, and hence, are sonically inferior to raw wave/analog recording.

    - Paul Artola
    Ellicott City, Maryland
     
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Jared,

    I've used a Sharp MD recorder for a few years with decent results.
    I paid about $90 for the recorder and about $60 for my clip-on 'spider-mics'.

    I transfer the MD recordings to CD with a Philips CDR775 player/recorder. I paid $220 for it used, but new models, which are faster, start at around $200 and go up from there. Making CD's with the stand alone recorder is much easier for me than getting a decent signal/recording into my computer.

    Also, I couldn't find any portable devices that record in MP3 format.

    Greg
     
  4. dauminator3

    dauminator3 Pianissimo User

    I am heading to college next year and need a way to practice and hear myself play, as well as record recitals, performaces, ect., and make audition cds. I have read all about the md, and my sister has one so I know first hand, I just couldnt find much on mp3. I have no more than $300 for this and am not looking for top of the line material, just what will get the job done....

    Thanks- Jared
     
  5. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

    90
    0
    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    For the practice, recital, performance recording, you are probably going to get good performance from either the minidisk or mp3 recorder. Given that choice, I would think the mp3 recorder would be more useful since you can also use it as a travelling cd collection player too.

    To make audition cds, I recommending getting something a bit more professional. Using a PC/Mac is probably the most cost effective way for this application.

    For a microphone, go to ebay and search for "stereo microphone" then sort by Highest Price First. This will get you past the tons of headphone/mic sets and into the range of mics you want. Sony has several models for MD/DAT recorders that are in the $50-80 range and will probably do OK for your applications.

    The reason I ask if you plan to pursue audio production for a hobby is that none of the cheapo gear above will serve you very well as you start getting into this more seriously. However, if you just put your $300 into a nice mic setup, and use something like a laptop for recording, then you should give serious consideration to the Rode NT5 pair of mics and a small Behringer mixer. This combination will have legs long past the MD + toy mic have served their purpose.

    - Paul Artola
    Ellicott City, Maryland


     
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    If you want a decent portable recorder for under $300 then you're stuck with minidisk or cassette recorders. Laptops aren't cheap enough and neither are DAT machines.

    If you find otherwise, please let me know, cause I've looked...

    Greg
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,639
    3,377
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    There is always the option to do a USB audio interface, but that will only work if you have a computer or laptop to use. If you do in fact have a computer or laptop, check into that. There are several USB or Firewire audio interfaces that you can use, and you can download a free version of Digidesign ProTools that will give you 8 tracks to work with. Toss in a couple mics and cables, and you could do all of that for around $300, depending the the mics that you decide to buy.

    Good luck!
     
  8. dauminator3

    dauminator3 Pianissimo User

    I will probably be getting a computer (probably laptop) before I head out. As of now, I am not planning on getting real serious about recording (although I do know that this is a big part of being a musician these days).

    Lets say I have a mic and a practice room. What can the minidisc recorder do that the mp3, and vice versa? Would it be better to overlook the inconvenience and just use a computer (even though I do not plan on doing to much editing, adjusting levels, etc.)?

    I might probably be getting an mp3 player (10-20gig) anyway.

    Thanks- Jared
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,639
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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Jared, I think that if you are going to be getting a laptop computer and you still have $300 to spend, you should look into what I suggested. You don't necessarily have to use ProTools either, although that's what the studio big boys use - they just use the non free version that can do a bit more and has like 32 track capability - it might be more tracks than that though, I'm not really sure.

    One, you would be able to get near pro quality sound, plus you would be able to modify it - add some reverb, adjust levels, etc. You can also create your own presets so that all you have to do is hook it up and go.

    You could easily pack all of that stuff in a decent laptop case and haul it into a practice room. Once you know what you are doing with it, setup would be minimal.

    Here is a link to some USB audio interfaces on Musician's Friend:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/d=tp?q=USB+Interface
     
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    If your main purpose is simply to record your own "sessions" and then listen to them critically for cues and clues, then I would think that a minidisc will perform the function you require. You can record "near-CD quality" with them and by using a simple patch cord in place of the headphones (ie. plug one end into the headphone output jack and the other end into the "AUX INPUT" on a decent stereo rig) you can playback and hear your recording through the stereo in high quality sound.

    You don't even need to use the "stereo" function... mono is good enough if there is only one of you! (But stereo is good if you are trying to "work up" a quintet and need to get some tips on balance between players). That way, even if you are using a Sony, you don't have to hassle with the special software that comes with them!

    You'll find that minidisc portable recorder/players are:

    a) VERY capable of high quality sound (as I said, near-CD)
    b) can record a long time on one battery charge (I get 4 hours recording, 8 hours playback on mine)
    c) exceptionally flexible
    d) provide excellent shock resistance
    e) small enough to fit in a shirt pocket
    f) "cheap like borscht" compared with special DAT recorders, high end mics, studio quality mixing "stuff", etc, etc.
    g) Heck, you can even use them to record lectures, workshops, etc.
    h) The blank discs are relatively inexpensive so I wouldn't even bother with trying to "burn to CD" for most stuff. The blank discs have a "locking tab" same as a floppy diskette to prevent accidental erasing/overwriting. In fact, I'd compare them more closely with a diskette than any other kind of recording media. They'll also hold up to 250 minutes or more when you are recording in Mono and using the full compression that's available.

    I'm not knocking what other guys have said about more complex gear... they definitely have their place. But for a student who needs a highly portable, non "space-consuming", relatively low cost, utterly flexible system?... the MD is the way to go.
     

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