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Everything posted by A440

  1. Don't use AGC. Use Manual. 20/30 is a good place to start. But metal, like Lamb of God, is always a challenge. It may overload your mics, and there's no way to fix that. The battery box is supposed to give you more headroom for mics, and maybe it does, but that's your only hope for next time. As greenmachine says, you can't undo disortion. I wish someone would write a program for that.
  2. Welcome, coded. Let us know the results of your experiments.
  3. The NH600 has a line-in jack, and you can't get rid of the auto track marking when recording via Line-in. It's not controlled by Synch. Whenever it hears silence (I think two seconds or five seconds), it makes a mark.
  4. It doesn't record in realtime. No mic jack, no line-in. The only input is the USB to download via SonicStage. The NE410 was the bottom of the line player-only unit. However, if $25 also gets you a whole lot of blank discs, it might be worth it anyway.
  5. Just to make clear, the noise is the mechanical noise of the disc whirring up to speed. So if you are recording, for instance, birdcalls, you might well hear the unit itself as well.
  6. I love my MD for exactly what I use it for--concert recordings and an occasional interview--but it's probably not right for you. Unless you are really desperate to reuse those old discs, NetMD is going to drive you nuts. The only way to get your recordings off them is to plug into the sound card and record in real time (or buy the MZ-RH1 to upload them, which would mean you don't need the NetMD in the first place). Also, if you are making field recordings of quiet sounds, MD units make noise. You have to put the mic far away and hope for the best. There are better ways to make field recordings now: flash recorders with no moving parts that upload via drag-and-drop, without the SonicStage annoyances that killed Minidisc. Look at the Zoom H2 or the Tascam DR07, both under $200. I haven't tried either one, but both get positive user reviews.
  7. Forget about putting the mic in your bag. Imagine listening to the conference with a bag over your head (including your ears), or with your head in a bag under a table. For the mic to give you something you want to listen to, it has to be able to pick up what you hear.There's no magic mic that will somehow clarify speech that has been muffled. The business mic listed among the Sony Rewards would seem to be geared to what you want to do--but it's going to have to sit on the table.
  8. For endless discussion of portable recording devices, plunge into http://www.taperssection.com .
  9. Has anyone tried the Tascam DR07? Under $200, very promising feature list. Haven't gotten my hands on one yet. http://www.tascam.com/products/dr-07.html I don't love the Edirol R09 display, and its mic jack is inferior to Hi-MD.
  10. Try your newest remote, like the MZN707, and see how it works. The RM-MC40ELK remote is mighty nice--it has a recording level indicator and a backlight (though using the backlight while recording makes a little bit of static). The RH1/M200 remote is really made to work with the unit like another line of the display--look at some of the pictorials that were posted here with the RH1 was introduced--but finding one might be difficult.
  11. Can't offer you any help with the current mess. But I would guess you are using one of the versions of SonicStage before 3.4 , which would viciously and idiotically erase the tracks from your disc if you tried to upload them twice. That limitation was removed in later versions. Update SonicStage as soon as you can, either to 3.4 or 4.2. Search this board for "installer."
  12. Sorry to be a party pooper, but MD is not the sensible solution for most people's portable music player needs, especially someone new to MD who'd have to start chasing down used equipment and elusive blanks. Look for a solid-state player that plays .flac or .wav, or a slightly older hard-drive player (like the Cowon iAudio X5) for more capacity, or a player that gets good reviews for sound quality. iPod has always touted its design and convenience, not its sound. Minidisc doesn't have the capacity of the hard-drive or solid-state portable players, and it's way too inconvenient for use as just a player. Blank discs are also getting harder to find. Old MD units are playing compressed music, and while 256 kbps SP--one album per disc--sounds good, it's still compressed sound rather than full-on fidelity, and it's going to leave you with a whole stack of discs to deal with. The site www.anythingbutipod.com is a wealth of information about mp3 players. I love my minidisc as a recording unit, but only a few diehards would recommend it now as a medium to get started with. Encode your CDs to .mp3 at 256 kbps or 320 kbps or alt-preset-insane on LAME, get a player known for sound quality like Sansa Fuze or something from Cowon, and take it from there. Even the dinky little Sansa Clip is supposed to have good sound quality, according to reviews.
  13. 160 Hz is pretty high for bass roll-off. If you are really in a show where they are pumping the subwoofers, you might go to 100 Hz at most, which will give you a lot fuller low end. The reason is that frequency (Hz) doubles every octave. So A440 is an octave above A220, which is an octave above A110, which is an octave above A55. (The bottom note on a piano is A at 27.5). And the lower the notes you allow the unit to pick up, the richer the music will sound. The bass roll-off is there for two reasons. One is to try and prevent the mic preamplifier from overloading; it's especially susceptible to bass. But you're not going through the preamp if you're using line-in. The other reason is to battle the tendency of live sound guys to smother everything in bass. But if what you're hearing in the room isn't bassy, you should go easy on the roll-off. So why do the bass kicks overload? Because they're overloading the mic itself, and that happens before the signal gets to the battery box.
  14. Mic-->battery box-->LINE IN. Mic-in has an amplifier that you are overloading even more with the battery box. That's one cause of the distortion. Put the volume at 20/30 unless you are trying to record something ultra bass-heavy like reggae or death metal. At a certain point the mics themselves will be overloaded by bass, but most music won't do that.
  15. Your friend has probably never looked at it, but down in the taskbar (lower right) there's a litttle speaker icon controlling the sound card. Double-click it and a bunch of volume sliders will pop up. Make sure nothing is muted, all the way down, etc. The friend's built-in mp3 player may also have its volume control way down.
  16. If you can find the MZ-NH700 or MZ-NHF800 --the same unit with a FM radio remote in the NHF800--you'll save some money over the RH1, and the only missing feature you care about is pitch control (the RH1 has it, MZ-NH700 doesn't). No MD without H in the name will upload files to your computer. They are old. You're better off just starting with a Hi-MD. I love my MZ-NH700. I use it to record shows 3-4 times a week, stuck in a pocket, and it has been going steadily for 3 years.
  17. Your question got buried by newer ones. I think you're basically doing all you can do. AGC for speech and theater, a decent level of gain on manual for music. You're right that you don't want to be messing with manual volume during a show. It wouldn't be that effective anyway, unless you have lightning-fast reflexes and perfect anticipation of when people are going to be loud or quiet. Remember that what you're getting with manual is the way it actually sounded. That's another reason I wouldn't play with the input volume. It's better, as I see it, to have the accurate recording and then, if you want, do some processing on a copy of it. If your recording is all one track, you could upload it, use Hi-MD Renderer (free from the link in that forum) to convert to mp3 or SonicStage to convert to .wav, and open the converted track in Audacity. Then Select All under Edit and choose Normalize under Effects, which should pump up the quieter parts. But if you're like me, you make track marks during the event. So you'd have to upload, Combine all the tracks (highight them top-to-bottom, not bottom to top, because it combines in the order you highlight them), and then convert the big track and send it to Audacity. You could also convert all the separate tracks to mp3 or .wav and then use Nero, if you have it, to burn to a CD. Make it gapless (set gap beween tracks to zero) and use Nero's Normalize function, in a check box somewhere. I record a lot of concerts, though, and it doesn't really bother me that the between-song chat isn't as loud as the music. As long as they speak into the mic, it's still loud enough.
  18. The organ was at a little out-of-the-way joint called Westminster Abbey and the levels were probably around 15/30. And everything was fine until the deep bass line kicked in. It wasn't the overall level that was the problem, but the strength of the bass, which for all I know was 32-foot horn-like pipes, probably an octave or maybe two below what's in your samples. Not a rock concert, but you could feel it. Those are lovely organ recordings! Very improvisatory take on the Toccata and Fugue in D minor there....
  19. Just a thought but are you using AGC? I have recorded conversations in noisy places and AGC (un)helpfully pumps up the sound of ventilation fans, nearby conversations, dishes clinking and every other ambient noise when the person isn't talking. I'm going to try manual volume next time to see if I can lessen that. Every mic has self-noise; better ones have much less. I'd be curious to see what happened if you tested your various mics by themselves in a quiet room, manual volume, with just enough gain so that talking into them gave you the same volume for each one.
  20. Just to clarify, my problem with the church organ was that I went through mic-in, which is very sensitive to bass. And when the bourdon, the deep nasal bass pipes, kicked in, so did the distortion. I think the mics were working just fine, but the bass was too much for the preamp.
  21. Orchestras seem loud but are actually rather quiet. The few times I have recorded one, I could do it through the mic input without distortion, though I never tried AGC. I tried recording a church organ through Mic-in, though and got distortion when the bass pedals began. Anyway, rock or jazz with amplification and regular bass-drum thuds don't work with AGC.
  22. Looks good. Be sure to always use the lead rather than plugging directly into the Mic jack. There are two reasons. One is the noise of the motor, which will be picked up by the mic if it's right next to the unit. The other is that the jack itself is part of a small piece of equipment, and the weight of that whole mic--as opposed to the weight of just a plug--will put a physical strain on the jack itself, and could eventually wear it out. Let us know how it sounds. If it works decently, it's quite a bargain.
  23. The MS907 has minimal bass--its frequency response starts at 100 Hz, whereas the SPs go lower. It's also, as pointed out, directional, not omni. Both of those can make the sound seem crisper, especially if that's the sound signature you are used to. But I definitely don't love that Patti recording. It sounds muffled, and having been at the Bowery many a time I know the room doesn't sound like that. It may be that the attenuator is giving out--is that crackling at the beginning from the attenuator or from the mic rubbing against something? It may be that the mics are too low down--where were they? Or, again, it may be the limitations of the attenuator method. I was a big booster of the attenuator when I started recording, because there was no input-volume control on my MZ-N707 and battery boxes were big. But since I got a mini battery module I have found it much preferable. http://www.microphonemadness.com/products/mmcbmminminc.htm It might be time for you to move on up to a battery module and go through line-in. It does improve the sound. The 16,000 Hz cutoff point sfbp found is also curious, though it could be your mp3 encoder. Do the SP mics also sound muffled when you just record mic-->Mic-in from your stereo? The more diffuse sound (compared to MS907) is from cardioid directionality vs. omni sound, but listen strictly for highs. If they are not so muffled, that would also point to the attenuator. I got the SPs for stealth, and I find omni sound more realistic, but it may also just be that you prefer the MS907 sound signature. No shame in that--you should use the mic that makes recordings you're happy to listen to. But if you have the $ for the experiment in this dreadful economy, go for the battery module. It will also improve loud music recordings you make with the MS907. AGC is great for lectures--though I find it pumps up the background noise if the speaker pauses. I promise you, though, that it will ruin the recording of any band with drums.
  24. Lots of choices for you. Too many. Let's narrow them down. That little black Sony mic is the FAKE-1 model. Sony doesn't make anything like it--or if it did, it was with some long-ago cassette recorder. I actually have one from eBay, just to have something always in my computer bag, and it's not bad for speech but by no means hi-fi. The second-hand ECM-MS907 is probably fine, if the seller looks trustworthy--good feedback, in-focus photo, return policy if Dead On Arrival, etc. Of the others, rule out Dynamic mics. They're for singers/speakers onstage plugged into a PA system. You want Condenser or Electret Condenser mics with the minidisc. (You could do your eBay search for stereo mic* -dynamic) The all-caps STEREO-CONDENSER-MIC might work for you. It's probably optimized for speech rather than music. I say that because its frequency response is 100-12,000 Hz. Your ears (and minidisc) are 20-20,000 Hz, extending lower and higher. The lowest key on a piano is 27.5 Hz. It's probably not crucial for your son's use, but it won't sound as quite as crisp at the top end as the Sony, which goes up to 15,000 Hz. The Aiwa is mono, the Hitachi is dynamic, the plug on the NDM looks bizarre (and DM means it's probably a Dynamic Mic), Ross is Dynamic, Sennheiser is Dynamic (and you're right, that's a well-known brand). Those are for singers on a stage who need the mic to pick up their voice up close but not all the racket around them. Handheld mics will pick up noise if the hand slides around while handling them. That doesn't matter for a rock singer in a loud concert, but could be annoying in a recording. That's why people put microphones on stands or tabletops or lapels, where they won't move or get brushed. As I mentioned somewhere else, why not spend a few bob on the (probably counterfeit) DS70P and see how that works? You could always move up to the ECMMS907, which is a pretty serious mic. As Guitarfxr said, look at the plug if you can see it in the photos. It should look just like your headphone plug, with two rings around it for stereo. The Aiwa plug is a good photo of one ring--mono. That's also a big plug, to go into a stage amp, not the 3.5mm miniplug for the minidisc.
  25. Xeys_00 The MZ-N707 was the one that got me started on minidisc. Never looked back. If your main interest in minidisc is as a player, look around and get the NH600D (the D is for downloader, no mic or line inputs) Hi-MD unit, probably quite inexpensive. And I just saw a new NH600, which has a line/optical input--though no mic input--on Amazon UK for £69. You could fill one Hi-MD blank with 45 hours of music if you don't mind LP2 (or the similar Hi-LP) quality. Or eight hours of Hi-SP, much better quality. That's a long..........workout.
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