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Everything posted by A440

  1. A440

    Hi-MD blanks

    www.tapewarehouse.com Shop Category: Digital Audio Product Line: Mini Disc-Audio Item: SCM HMD1G HI-MD DISC Those are Sony Hi-MDs. Still there, maybe, because no one can find them. $5.59 each, $5.27 each for 10 or more
  2. Kudos to theblueraja, but I don't think that guy on YouTube is the best advocate for MD. He seems to think iPods are the only mp3 players that exist, that iTunes is the only way to get mp3s and that MD is the only recorder. Not true. Also, he's awfully whiny.
  3. There is no reason at this late date to deal with ATRAC at all. Not when you can get uncompressed recording and just drag-and-drop it onto your computer. Recordings on any minidisc unit will be encrypted and will have to be uploaded through SonicStage. That's how Sony murdered minidisc. Every so often SonicStage, for no discernible reason, decides it won't upload something--as it did with a disc I recorded last week, for which SonicStage simply wouldn't upload the first song from one group and the last song from another. Luckily it wasn't a crucial recording, but going through SonicStage is pointless if you are buying a new digital recorder. The RH1 was Sony's parting gift to longtime minidisc users--not a competitor to recorders to follow. The Edirol's built-in mics are going to be fine for your uses, even though I don't love their input for external mics. The fact that you can drag-and-drop recordings from the Edirol--or just pop out the SD card and stick it in a slot or a reader--is a huge plus. If the Sony M10 retains the good parts of minidisc, like quiet mic inputs and track marking, and dumps the whole SonicStage encumbrance, it could be The One, even if Sony is still trying to force you to use its Micro Memory Stick, whatever that is, rather than SD or MicroSD. If you're new to this, skip minidisc and don't try to combine recorder and player. Get a small mp3 player, like the Sansa Fuze or Clip, and get a digital recorder that does drag-and-drop.
  4. I use these, the size of pencil erasers. It's not one but two--which lets you separate them for better stereo. http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-BMC-2 Get the extended warranty, because if you use them as much as I do, you'll wear them out.
  5. By the way, on the recording front, you're not getting a full and flat frequency response from either of your mics. The ATR-55 frequency response is 70-18,000. The ECM-MS907 is 100-15,000. Especially since you mentioned bass vocals, you should seek out a mic with more bottom end.
  6. The NH1 needs its charging cradle to charge. So you have the sleek looking unit but you have to carry around the base as well. Lose the charger, unit is useless. That in itself is Game Over for the NH1. But the RH1 also 1) has the best sound on playback, including native mp3. (Transcoded mp3s ...feh.) 2) is the only unit that uploads SP, LP2 and LP4, 3) is Mac-compatible 4) is years newer. Whoever claimed the NH1 is better was uninformed. When it came out, the NH1 was supposed to be the deluxe Hi-MD. But the NH units were first-generation Hi-MDs, and the RH units followed (though the rest of the RH had various flaws). The RH1 got as much right as any Hi-MD unit ever did.
  7. Just don't get confused between plug-in power, the 1.5 volts supplied at the mic jack, and Phantom Power, 45V and a whole separate kind of device. With the kind of loud music toyranch wants to record, just plugging in a microphone to the mic jack is simply going to overload. The mic has to go into Line-In through a battery box (or preamp, though what you really need is the absence of amplification for loud music). Toyranch's AT-816 is a dynamic mic, not a condenser, and probably doesn't end in a stereo miniplug. I don't know about adapters, power, etc. for it to be used with MD. I found it at this recording-studio page--he uses MDs! http://www.retrosampling.se/studioeng.htm Bobt, all of us longtime users have had a huge learning curve with minidisc. When someone proclaims they're a N00B, I think it's worthwhile to point out easier alternatives. There are new gizmos all the time--I just stumbled over that cute little Yamaha Pocketrak .wav recorder a few weeks ago, and it's already been around for months. We get our gadgets to do a job, and if something can do the same job with less hassle, I think it's worth mentioning--full disclosure and all that....
  8. You want something you can put on a table, record and upload. To do that with minidisc, you need: Hi-MD unit + external microphones (though it seems you already have the mics). Windows computer with SonicStage installed. 2 steps at least: Upload (hope it works), convert to .wav or .mp3, store. ------------ Whereas you could get a Zoom H2 or Yamaha Pocketrak, both with built-in mics, for around $200 and do a simple USB upload because they don't record in Sony's weird proprietary encrypted format. Now if you want to set track marks while recording, or want to be stealthy with small outboard mics, Hi-MD is still your baby. But....
  9. It sounds like a good idea. It's not the most all-purpose form factor for mics, but it seems practical for your rehearsal use. A tip: Put something soft, like a mouse pad or a towel, under the little tripod legs because at your volume the table is going to vibrate too.
  10. Are you using the mics at a show or in a rehearsal? You need to think about where you will place them: on stands like those, with someone holding them, etc. The specs look like they're the same capsules that Microphone Madness and Soundprofessionals use for omni mics in various shapes, from clip-ons to in-ear mics (worn like earbuds), and you'll be surprised at how good they will sound. Would these be on stands at the soundboard? Someone holding them? Get mics with similar specs (particularly frequency response, 20-20000 Hz), and a battery module, but get the ones that are most practical in the way you want to place them. Two omnis six inches apart works great. About omni vs. cardioid (directional)--omni is more realistic, but crowd noise can be a problem if your mics are down in the crowd. On the other hand, cheaper cardioids lack bass response. If you can put the mics at the sound board on something way above the audience, you'll eliminate a lot of the crowd noise--and your band should pretty much drown out the rest. Look in the Gallery at my album (and the many others) to see what you get with omnis and cardioids.
  11. I don't see why you're ruling out NetMDs. But you probably are going to have to compromise on all your requirements. I'd suggest the MZ-N707, which takes a AA battery, and get yourself the remote of your choice. I know you can set Group mode as default, and if I remember correctly you can set Play mode too on NetMDs, even though you have to go into the menus the first time. The track mark button is still a separate button. It's a hard-working little unit, with one thing to watch: Look closely at anything you buy on eBay to make sure none of the little screws on the front are missing--they can loosen--and when you get it, lock them in with some clear nail polish.
  12. Meanwhile, back at the NH600D.... If you really want to baby along your RH1, you can also use the NH600D to upload recordings in Hi-MD format (Hi-SP, Hi-LP, PCM) via SonicStage. So if you made recordings on the RH1, you could upload them with the NH600D. Of course, you need the RH1 to upload old MD formats (SP, LP2, LP4) or for Mac compatibility.
  13. Did you get the DS70P used? It comes with an extension in the original package. And yes, an extension is essential to use it with MD. I don't know how many photos I have seen with it just sitting on top of the unit--and they are all purely visual rather than practical, because anyone who tried that even once would hear motor noise. Don't look for great bass or detail from the DS70P. Its frequency range is only 100-15000 Hz, not the full 20-20,000. Lowest note on a piano is 27.5 Hz. A better mic will really make the RH1 recordings sing.
  14. @narp It sounds like you know what you're getting into, so more power to you, and welcome to our small but stubborn club. If you riffle through this forum you'll see a lot of WTF posts from people who haven't researched MD the way you have, so I like to warn folks what they're getting into. I don't know which SonicStage you tried, but any SonicStage before 4.2 is kludgy. 4.2 isn't perfect by a long shot, but it's the best there is. As long as you have access to a Windows machine, get that version. (Only 4.3 works on Vista, but 4.2 works better on XP.) Search this forum for a full 4.2 installer.
  15. Track marking is, indeed, the feature that keeps me using (Hi-)MD. That and the stealth aspects. But the $300 Yamaha Pocketrak CX has a function called "file edit-divide"--I don't know if that can be activated while recording. People who are new to MD, who haven't been through its evolution like many of us here, are likely to make a lot of assumptions about digital recorders. For instance: (1) You can upload the recording off the disc--only true for Hi-MD, and still a ridiculously involved process. (2) The recordings are CD-quality. Only with Hi-MD. (3) The recordings are .mp3 or .wav. Nope. They are weird proprietary Sony ATRAC formats that need to be converted for anyone else to use them. (4) The unit has a built-in mic. Nope. (5) If you just plug in a mic, you can record anything, like loud music. Nope. You need additional gizmos and there's a learning curve. Face it--Sony's engineers were hardware wizards and absolute software buffoons, making what should have been a simple, intuitive recorder a quirky and complicated device. We're used to it and we're fond of it. But you don't need SP or Hi-SP compression on a 1GB (or 80-minute) disc when you can record .wav (or even 320 kbps mp3) onto a microSD card. You don't even need to ever know what ATRAC was. Minidisc was an interim device--a little, affordable digital recorder in the days before SD and microSD. I would love to have a flash recorder (microSD or SD card) with minidisc's surprisingly good mic preamps, minidisc's track marking and on-unit editing, minidisc's remote control and no built-in mics--recording, of course, in .wav and .mp3 and other standard formats with a simple USB upload. That would be the best of both worlds, and now it could be even smaller than MD units. I haven't seen it yet, but by 2020 when my three remaining Hi-MD units have bit the dust, I assume there will be one.
  16. Just about every minidisc gadget ever made is here: http://www.minidisc.org/equipment_browser.html The unit to look for that meets most your requirements is the MZ-N707. The red and black one may be the coolest minidisc design ever. It takes one AA battery and records in SP (good fidelity, although compressed), LP2 (passable fidelity) and LP4 (speech only). SP will record for the designated length of the minidisc--74 or 80 minutes--while LP2 will record twice as long and LP4...you can figure that out. Sorry, just one headphone socket. Note that even if you're willing to listen in LP2 quality, that's just 160 minutes per disc--2 or 3 albums. Also, you cannot upload the recordings from the MZ-N707. Yes, it has a serial connection, but that is a one-way connection from PC to MD, and not the other way around. Most MD units do not have built-in microphones, and no Hi-MD units do. The beauty of Hi-MD is that you can upload recordings to your computer. It has to be done through merely adequate Sony software (SonicStage 4.2), and most units are only compatible with Windows. But if it's not Hi-MD, you have a glorified cassette recorder--if you want to copy your recordings, you have to do them in realtime out of the headphone jack (or get the most expensive Hi-MD, the MZ-RH1, to upload them, which would make getting the other MD pointless). And I don't want to be too discouraging but....all minidisc units, particularly from the era before Hi-MD, are getting old. Very old. You have to find them used (eBay, probably). You have to hope they were not misused, and you're not going to be able to get them repaired. Me, I use my Hi-MD constantly. (MZ-NH700--bobt is right.) It's a nifty little concert bootlegging machine and conversation recorder, and (with a good remote) it's still better made for that purpose than many newer digital recorders. Yet honestly, I don't think this is the time to get started with minidisc, even if you love old technology. You really need to think about what you're going to use it for. For music players, there are smaller units that give you better fidelity. For recorders, there are units that have equal or better fidelity and upload through a simple USB connection or SD card reader. Minidisc was fun while it was the only game in town, but it's obsolete.
  17. A440


    You're lucky you haven't heard the more expensive Grados. Because the SR80 sound way better than the 60, the SR125 (which I have) make the 80s sound fuzzy, etc....I don't even want to think about how good the ultra top of the line Grados sound. I got my SR125 on Ebay for around $100, and they still show up around that point. A great investment. I've said before: for relatively inexpensive and completely comfortable phones, I think the Sennheiser PX100 sound a lot better than the Koss Portapros I used to use, but the Portapros aren't half bad either. As for IEM's like the Etymotic, I much prefer the Shure IEMs--more bass, sturdier design. Do the Etymotics still have that stupid twisted cord that makes all sorts of noise, or did they fix that? But the same thing with Shure as with Grado. First I had Shure E3, which sounded good until I heard the E4--much more spatial detail, and if you're a little patient you can find them for around $125 on eBay. But then I was bottom-fishing on eBay and nabbed a pair of Shure E500 for under $150 (usually at least $250) and now my E4 just don't sound so good....Shure has changed and renumbered its phones, so the E4 equivalent is the SE310. As they say over at http://www.head-fi.org ...sorry about your wallet.
  18. I have no idea who these people are, but Google found: http://www.user-manuals.com/advanced_searc...eywords=mds-e12
  19. I don't see the point of bass roll-off with a battery box. The line-in can handle more bass than the microphones can. It's the mic-in jack that's hypersensitive to bass. I'd just get a good accurate recording with the battery box, no roll-off, and if it's one of those gigs where the sound has the bass all cranked up, just play it back with EQ.
  20. A440


    @SharkD The overview is that ATRAC is done. Over. A big old floparoo. Sony was idiotic to think that it could force a proprietary format onto the world, especially when Apple/iTunes outflanked it as the only music seller that mattered and mp3 became the universal music format. Sony has given up its (admittedly stupid) Connect store trying to sell ATRAC files. It's not making minidisc any more, except possibly the MZ-RH1. There is zero future for ATRAC. If you have recordings that you made on MD or NetMD units, your best bet is to get the MZ-RH1 and upload them. That's the only unit that will upload them. Or you can record in realtime out of the headphone jack--which won't sound awful, depending on what you're recording into (better a digital recorder, via line-in, than a computer with a lowgrade soundcard). If you do get the RH1--some minidisc.org loyalists are currently selling theirs--it's a fine recorder and will upload via SonicStage as long as SonicStage remains compatible with Windows. I'm clinging to SonicStage 4.2 on Windows XP, but SonicStage 4.3, probably the last one, is supposed to work with Vista. Whether it will work with Windows 7 remains to be seen. There are flash recorders by Edirol, Tascam, M-Audio and others that will eventually replace minidisc as the standard for portable recorders, even though minidisc units have better mic preamps (so far at least) and lovely on-unit editing. The old Cowon X5 and Iriver HP120/140 hard-drive recorders also have their fans, and like the flash units they upload recordings by--wish Sony had thought of this--simply transferring files via USB. But Sony mismanaged minidisc through every phase of its strange lifetime--most egregiously by making recordings encrypted and foisting SonicStage on the world. I'll be using the two NH700 and one RH1 that I own until they expire as live recorders, uploading to SonicStage 4.2 on Windows XP. But I'm not deceiving myself that it's anything but stubbornness.
  21. Yes, please let us know how they sound--or post a recording to the Gallery!
  22. A440

    Finding a minidisc

    Get the NH700. Don't get the N10 under any circumstances. The NH700 will upload recordings to a PC. The N10 will not--the recordings will be stuck on the disc. The NH700 can also use Hi-MD blanks which hold three times as much music as the largest-capacity blank that the N10 will take. Further, the N10 was a Sony design made for looks more than practicality. To make it thin, all of its useful connections were put onto an external docking station. USB and charging connections are made through the docking stand ONLY. In other words, if you lose or misplace or break the docking stand, the unit is useless. You would have to make sure that the seller is even offering the docking stand for sale. Save yourself many regrets and skip the N10. http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MZ-N10.html http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MZ-NH700.html
  23. The only MD recorders that upload to your computer are Hi-MD units, with NH or RH in the number. (The best are NH700, NHF800 and RH1). Other MD recorders will not upload to your computer--the only way to get the music off the disc is by recording in realtime from the headphone jack.That's why they're cheap.
  24. Edit wave files with Audacity. Free. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ The only kink is a little word game. Audacity saves things to its own format, .aup, so instead using the Save command in Audacity (though you can keep the .aup files if you want) you make all your changes and "Export as .wav" (or "export selection as .wav" if you're extracting a song from a longer recording). You can also export .mp3 files after another little game: you need to get lame_enc.dll (available free lots of places) and put that file in the same folder as Audacity and tell Audacity where to find it.
  25. They used to do this even back in the analog days. But I don't see why you would want to bother with Minidisc now when you can get a flash recorder (Zoom, Tascam) for $200 that will make a lossless recording and upload it without the annoyance of SonicStage.
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