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Peter Y

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    Aiwa AM-F70, Sony MZ-RH1

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    contra & square dancing, fiddling

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  1. That's the issue - I have an RH1 and Hi-MD Music Transfer 2.0, and I can transfer from Hi-MD minidiscs. But I have bunches of the older minidiscs and want to be able to transfer them. So using Sonic Stage seems to be the only way to do it; and since i have no other use for a PC, it seems to make more sense to get an Intel Mac which I can also use for other purposes. It's less than ideal as I don't particularly need a new Mac right now, but I can't figure out a better way to do it. If Sony would make Mac software that was equivalent in functionality to their PC software I wouldn't have to do it - so Sony seems now to be in the business of promoting Macintosh sales - are you reading that Sony?! Peter
  2. That's pretty much true; I think I've heard of at least one virtualization program (CrossOver Mac) that lets you run Windows programs from the Finder without having Windows installed. It's still at the stage of being a public Beta: http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/08/31/crossover/index.php But for stable released software to run Windows on a Mac you do have to install a legal copy of Windows. But I could use the computer as a Mac when I'm not using it for minidiscs, which would be far more useful to me than a Windows computer, which would be much more useful for most of my purposes. Peter
  3. Actually most of my friends whom I'd feel comfortable about asking to install software on their computers either live too far away, use Macs, or both - not surprising given that I live in a relatively rural area and many of my best friends are musicians. I agree that the time I'd save would be worth it. My current thinking (still tentative) is to get a low-end Intel Mac (low-end laptop or iMac) that can run Windows so I could use to run SonicStage. I'd keep it near my stereo and it would be the computer that manages my digital music stuff - digitizing my records and tapes, playing music through the stereo system through an Airport Express, etc. That's a more expensive solution, but it would be more versatile given that I'm a Mac user of 20 years and have no other use for a PC. Peter
  4. I guess that answers my question - too bad! I guess I'll have to figure out another way to deal with the issue, which will have to involve either real-time transfer or getting a new computer, neither of which sound very appealing! Thanks, Peter
  5. Clearly I'd have to attach the hard drive to a PC, since SonicStage doesn't run on Macs! Assuming it doesn't install anything onto the hard drive of the computer I don't see why anyone would mind if I installed it onto my external hard drive, so I'm sure I could find the person who could take care of Administrator privileges. But what I need to know if anyone knows, is whether it does install anything onto the internal hard drive, or if that can be avoided. A440, what does you mean that it can't be run as a standalone program? Do you mean that it has to be installed on the PC's internal hard drive itself? If so, I guess my idea won't work unfortunately ... Thanks, Peter
  6. I'm a Macintosh user of 20 years who just moved up to Hi-MD with an MZ-RH1. Hi-MD Music Transfer 2.0 does reasonably well for my Hi-MD minidiscs (except for the two tracks it hasn't liked and refused to upload ...); but it doesn't handle my many standard minidiscs at all, of course. I really have no interest in buying a PC since I have no other need for one and have no interest in learning how to deal with PCs and handling viruses and everything that goes with them just for this one specialized purpose; I rarely use them otherwise. I do have access to PCs at work, but probably shouldn't modify them by installing SonicStage on them. That leads to my question: Is it possible to install SonicStage entirely on an external hard drive, so I could attach it to whatever computer is available and attach the RH1 (I assume PCs have at least 2 USB ports) as well, and upload live recordings from standard minidiscs to the external hard drive? I believe our department has relatively new PCs and I think they're running Windows XP. (I've found questions in this forum about storing music on external hard drives, but not the software itself.) If it is possible, I may ask for help on how to do it; I rarely use PCs and have never installed anything on one. Thanks, Peter
  7. That's good to hear. Well, I don't know about my skill level, since I haven't done it very much, but in this case it worked out with a bit of fussing around! Amadeus makes it pretty easy. I was just trying the program; don't even have a registered copy yet, and barely know how to use it. It may be that there are other Mac programs that are better for this sort of thing, but it certainly seems pretty good; I'll probably buy it after I get back. I'm leaving in a couple hours - lots of recording adventures ahead! Thanks for your advice. Peter
  8. I was under the impression that that was a wise thing to do, but I couldn't find any documentation anyplace on the forum that specifically stated that. Thanks for confirming what I thought. I guess if I use Groups and the time/date stamp it should still be easy to keep track of things. What I did find was discussion of repeated material that comes about when track marks are entered, although I have the impression that might only occur when using the line-in input. Is that true? Thanks, Peter
  9. I just got my MZ-RH1 and made my first test recording (on a regular MD disc in Hi-SP mode) at a jam session. It came out pretty good, but I had a problem when uploading the recording to my computer (using Hi-MD Music Transfer 2.0 on a Mac running OS X 10.4.5). I ended up with two tracks, one about 90 minutes long and one about 50. About 10 minutes into the first track I was told the data was unreadable (I don't remember the exact error message unfortunately) and it stopped. The file up to that point was readable, but that was all I could get. However, it did upload the second file just fine. Having read horror stories in the forum about lost files and about files edited on the MD not being uploadable (at least in SS), I went back the the MZ-RH1 and played the track, and couldn't hear any problem around the time where it stopped uploading. So I put in a track mark before the problem and one after, and deleted the problem area. That didn't help, so I deleted a bit more and this time it worked to my relief. Since we were playing fiddle tunes that are 32 bars long, and there are three repetitions missing, I was able to combine and edit the files in Amadeus to the point where it's virtually impossible to tell that anything is missing. Never having tried to upload files to my computer before (it not being possible with my old Aiwa FM-70), this leads me to wonder how frequent this problem might be, and if it might therefore be desirable to insert track marks either automatically or manually now and then to reduce the likelihood of losing substantial amounts of music if a track has problems. Is there any general advice/wisdom on this topic? I'm curious to hear any opinions before I leave for Fiddle and Dance Camp on Friday. Thanks, Peter
  10. Thanks, T.L.V., for suggesting calling the Sound Professionals. It took a couple days to reach the right person since I wasn't home when he called me back, but I just talked to Chris who is apparently the microphone expert. He assessed my description of my recording needs and decided a cardiod microphone would be more appropriate than an omni, since at times I really don't want to pick up some of what's going on. He didn't think an extension was critical with that microphone because it's directional, has a several-inch built-in extension, and is aimed away from the MD recorder, but it wouldn't hurt. Because I wouldn't be recording really loud music I wouldn't need to power it. However, he did say that the SPSM-4 is considerably better than the SPSM-4D since it uses Audio Technica microphones. After considerable discussion it seemed that with the accessories I would end up buying it wouldn't be that much cheaper than the AT 822, which is higher in quality and also more convenient to use as it's a single microphone with less setup needed. So I ended up ordering that one. Thanks to everyone for your ideas and suggestions, Peter
  11. I was looking for a downloadable instruction sheet for version 1 and found the following: http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-doc...ts.pl?mdl=MZRH1 On that page there's a link for the manual for version 2. I downloaded it to demonstrate to myself that it was real, and started doing a search, resulting in finding the following: http://www.css.ap.sony.com/consumer/templa...=Personal+Audio From there I was able to download the actual program which I've installed and used. The page also summarizes the new features, the most major of which seem to be downloading files from the computer to the minidisc (WAV or MP3 on an MZ-RH1, WAV only on MZ-RH10/MZ-RH910/MZ-RH710 recorders). I guess we won't be able to upload files from regular minidiscs in the near future ... Peter
  12. Thanks to everyone for your ideas. Probably I will continue to use manual level controls. I will probably have to switch between two or three levels - there will be one level for classes, one for a fiddle-only jam session, and one for a session that's got accordions and piano as well. But once I get the levels figured out it will be reasonably easy to switch between them; and I can even note the settings to save for future years. To smkranz - I set a reminder on my computer to put a sample of the recordings I make up on the galleries when it's all over (mid-August; I'll be home a week, then gone another week) - hope I remember, and I hope you enjoy it! I don't want to complicate my recording set-up any more than necessary since I carry everything around in my fiddle case and it has to be capable of being put away and set up again quickly in between classes. So a mixer seems impractical to me, even if probably a good idea in theory. That leaves the microphone as the main concern. I do like the 90/120 degree setting on the microphone as sometimes I only want to focus on the person teaching the class; or in a jam session I want to pick up a particular musician more than others - but sometimes I want to get more general coverage. However, its frequency range is 100-15,000 Hz. I downloaded a frequency generator and did a quick test. Being in my 50's my hearing seems to drop off around 15,000 Hz. However, 100 Hz is quite audible, and notes below that are played quite regularly when accompanying fiddle music on the piano. So although I've always been happy with my recordings, I have to conclude that a better microphone would capture an important part of the music that I've been missing. The range of microphones is overwhelming, and I know very little about them. Looking at the Minidisco web site, to narrow it down somewhat, the one that looked appealing is the Sound Professionals SPSM-4D, possibly with a stand and extension cable - <http://www.minidisco.com/SoundPro-SP-SPSM-4D> at minidisco.com and <http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-SPSM-4D> at the Sound Professionals web site. It appeals to me because it's clearly a significant step up in quality and frequency response, seems convenient to use and set up, and preserves the ability to focus narrowly vs. more widely that I have with the Sony microphone. Does anyone know anything about this microphone, or have any other suggestions? Thanks, Peter
  13. I just got my new MZ-RH1 which is quite a change from my old Aiwa AM-F70, so I'm trying to figure out what needs to change in my recording strategy for Fiddle and Dance Camp at Ashokan this summer. I'll be recording classes in which there will be primarily one person playing a fiddle. I'll also be recording jam sessions in which there will be a number of people playing, and there may be button accordions and a piano; it should still be acoustic or possibly with very minimal amplification at most. With the Aiwa I got very good results with my Sony ECM-MS907 microphone using the built-in automatic level controls. As I understand it the Aiwa has good automatic level control, I gather much better than the Sony MD recorders. I tried out the MZ-RH1 at our local jam session (several fiddles, hammered dulcimer, recorder, piano) the other night and ended up setting the sound manually at about 22, and even so it was generally centered somewhat below -12 dB. So based on that and what I've read on the MD Community Forums I've got a few questions that maybe those who know more about Sony MD recorders than I can help me with! 1. If the jam session is an indication and I have to set the recording level that high and still have levels barely reaching -12 dB most of the time, could I get away with using automatic level control or am I still better off using manual controls? 2. I'm planning on recording in Hi-SP mode. I could stick with my Sony microphone, or I could get a higher quality microphone. I was looking at the Sound Professionals SPSM-4D, probably with a stand and extension, cable although I'd be open to other ideas. Would I notice enough improvement in sound quality in Hi-SP mode to be worth buying a new microphone? 3. I bought a second battery, but I realized I'm not sure how I'll charge it conveniently. Are there any chargers for the LIP-4WM battery? Thanks for any advice, Peter
  14. The problem with larger speakers is that I have to take them from home to work and then to a jam session in the evening. That wouldn't be so bad except I have to park over a mile from work and take a shuttle, so I'm already carrying my school bag and my fiddle case for the jam session. The portable speakers I use now are acceptable but not great; but at least they fit in my fiddle backpack case along with my minidisc or CD player, depending on my music source. What I really want is something that still fits in my fiddle case but that sounds somewhat better. I suppose I could carry another bag, but it would start to get awkward! Peter
  15. I've done some research on them and they do look very good. I can't figure out which model would be preferable between the 200 and the 300. Do you know anything that would help in making an intelligent decision? I care more about sound quality than about volume as I'll be using it in a living room-sized place for a fairly small group of people (4-8 usually) so volume isn't a problem. I can use AC, and both have at least optional AC adapters, although if I used batteries AA would be preferable as I have a bunch of rechageable AA batteries. Thanks in advance for any advice! Peter
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