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Everything posted by ozpeter

  1. Looking briefly at eBay listings, it seems to me there's a lot of people putting MD stuff on sale at inflated prices, and nobody much bidding.
  2. I gave mine to my sister some years ago, and said "don't bin it, it's a museum piece". But I bet she has. That feature of having a mic to enable you to hear what's going on around you without taking off the headphones was pretty neat - and not implemented again? Now that sound-sealing in-ear buds are popular, they should bring back the mic. http://shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&_nkw=TPS-L2&_sacat=See-All-Categories
  3. A properly implemented digital audio output (and input for that matter) has no level controls - it's a means of transferring the audio data unchanged from one device to another. Are you sure that the level is somehow being changed along the way?
  4. Belatedly commenting on simple recorders for kids - the Zoom H1 is probably the simplest out there, and quality is very good. No menus, even.
  5. ozpeter

    Sony PCM-M10

    I'm sure there are other options - http://www.iriver.com.au/iriver/index.cfm?pageID=2&sID=32&prodID=31 for instance has Flac and Ape support (lossless playback but less storage required) and takes card memory.
  6. For a dissenting view, see the discussion at http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=221014
  7. ozpeter

    ATRAC CD's

    I don't think there's any difference in principle in duplicating an atrac cd vs duplicating an mp3 cd. It's all just data.
  8. Check out the cost of the Dragon software - though I'm not sure whether that bundled with the recorder is a cut-down or dedicated version - and you may find it worth trying to sell it if it's possible to licence it to someone else. It's a great program - my wife dictates everything through it and it's quite spooky how accurate and fast it can be - but if you don't need it, you don't need it!
  9. The "D" model should include the (quite expensive) Dragon voice recognition software, as far as I can see, hence the higher price. Mine (the non-D model) came with Audio Studio 9 LE, Digital Voice Editor, a clip-on stand with tripod socket thread, USB lead, windshield, and ear buds. The manual indicates that what comes included varies with territory. Mine seems to be a USA/Canada model, though I'm not certain of that. Some more 'discoveries' - the "Music" auto level setting option gives a bass boost to recordings, though the level is set quite low. When using the manual recording setting (or the other auto settings) you can have the playback bass boost on to provide an immediate more rounded replay quality, though if editing and preserving the recordings in DAW software, you'd still need to add to the bottom end at that point if you didn't record with the "Music" setting. Recording with the "music" setting on and the bass boost replay setting on as well gives too much bass boost.
  10. Prompted by the discussion above, I thought it might be interesting to see what the differences are between the SX750 and the M10 (apart from the obvious) as there are certain family resemblences. In terms of physical format, the SX750 is about the same height as the M10, except the former has mics mounted on top while the latter has them built into the body. In other words, the main body height is about the same, but the SX750 mics project above the body. It's about 30% thinner (AAA batteries vs AA in the M10 being the key factor I guess) and half the width. The SX750 is largely controlled with buttons on the right side. If you are right handed, the most important controls fall nicely under your thumb. The topmost button is the record / record pause button. The SX750 display is high quality LCD, and the display is laid out sideways when playing and menu setting, and vertically when recording which allows for decent size vertical meters with a margin display above them - very nicely done. My chief reservation about the M10 relates to the built in mics. They have a good frequency response particularly at the low end, and are low noise, but because they are built into the case Sony had to use omni capsules, and I'm not aware of any recommended mic technique involving closely spaced omnis. The outcome is that the stereo image is narrow and skewed by frequency, with higher frequency sounds being more likely to appear at the sides of the image and lower frequency sounds tending to clump in the middle, leading to a muddy-sounding image with little sense of ambiance in a reverberant acoustic. The SX750 perhaps goes to the opposite extreme. It has three cardioid capsules, one pointing forwards (when the recorder is laid flat) and the other two pointing sideways at 180 degrees. The stated purpose of the centre mic is to enable interviews or lectures to be recorded more clearly in mono. I rather hoped that Sony had done the obvious thing and implemented an MS configuration for stereo, as (apart from the slight distance apart of the side-facing capsules) the arrangement of the mics would be ideal for that method. However, careful testing shows that the centre mic is not used when the recorder is switched to stereo. Consequently, sounds coming from the centre of the soundstage arrive very much off-axis at the side-facing capsules, which is not a disaster in this context but it's an opportunity missed. But the configuration does have the advantage that it doesn't matter whether you hold it (or mount it) vertically or horizontally - it's all the same as far as the mics are concerned. The SX750 stereo image is far superior to the M10 image, due to the mic configuration, with left/right localisation very clear, and perhaps exaggerated, though it's easy to pan the sides inwards in post production. However, the mic (and/or preamp) quality is inferior to the M10. The SX750 sound is noticeably thinner at the bottom end, although there's enough that a bit of bass lift in post production is possible to correct matters. However, that comes with a noise penalty, as there's low-mid noise as well as higher frequency hiss. How much? Well, it's perhaps better than one has a right to expect at this price point and physical size. For 'everyday' use, no big deal, but for serious recording of acoustic music, it would be a problem. But this is not a tool intended for that task. Personally, all things taken into account, I'd be more likely to use the SX750 standalone than the M10. But I'm particularly fussy about stereo image. If low noise and a more low-end-extended frequency response matter more to you, then the M10 would be the winner. So how does the SX750 fare with external mics? I briefly tested it with a pair of Naiant omnis and with a Rode Stereo VideoMic. Noise was higher than with the M10 (which is pretty tough competition) but again, it was usable for casual or ultra-stealthy recordings. The SX750's available gain was considerably less than that of the M10. You'd get best results with high output mics with the smaller recorder. Line in was also slightly noisier on the SX750 than the M10, but you'd have to listen at pretty high levels to hear it. Well up to price-point expectations. The general working of SX750 menus etc was much like the M10. There are two broad levels, the second level being accessed via a first level "detail" option, just like the M10. It's friendly and smooth in operation. Location of the headphone output is where you'd expect the mic input to be - on the top between the mic capsules. I guess if you were operating it stand-alone in your shirt pocket (it's just the right size for that, and weighs very little) it would be handy to have the phones lead coming straight up from the top, but it does seem an odd arrangement, and ideally the mic input (which is on the side) would be at the top instead. The SX750 comes with two CDs of software, a desk stand which has a tripod thread concealed in its base (nice surprise), a soft case, windshield, usb cable, and thowaway ear buds. There's all sorts of other features tucked away in the menus, which the downloadable manual would explain. All in all it's an interesting general-purpose recorder - at a pinch, not unusable for concert taping on a budget, good for voice note purposes (it's Dragon certified for voice recognition) and ideal for simply keeping in your coat pocket just in case. And as I always like to record to two devices on location, it'll connect to the line out of the M10 when that's my main recorder. Now to the samples I've prepared. Firstly, I have to confess to a boo boo - I did most of the tests with the sampling frequency set to 22050, but I don't think that's actually that important. The downloadable file (rendered down to mp3) contains the following - Speech recorded on the SX750 internals, no eq Speech recorded on the M10 internals for comparison, no eq (note the difference in the stereo image!) Same as first SX750 but with eq to try to emulate M10 sound Speech recorded on the SX750 using Naint mics plugged straight in, 5dB of digital gain applied to match next sample Speech recorded on the M10 using the Naint mics plugged straight in, no gain required. SX750 line in from piano solo CD Ditto M10 Link - http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/9/22/1451533/Sony%20recorder%20tests.mp3 [The above is a version of a post I've added to the "TapersSection" forums]
  11. Mine is now on order (2GB model) - I really should stop reading internet forums as they always cost me money! It will be very interesting to see what the differences in real-world performance are between this little recorder and the M10.
  12. I'm now finding the 2GB model for $250 Australian dollars here. That's more tempting. http://www.sony-asia.com/product/resources/en_AP/pdf/PA/ICD/VoiceRecorder_brochure.pdf is the brochure, which seems to indicate that Sony do target this recorder for music as well as voice, and interestingly the M10 is seen as part of the range. The microphone layout in the ICDSX700 seems to lend itself to MS recording - I wonder whether that's actually how it works "under the hood", given that Sony have had MS mics in their catalog for years? In that case I'd expect it to provide a better stereo image than the M10, whose mics while quiet and full range provide poor stereo imaging (in my view).
  13. Not sure what you mean by that. It has a mark button which creates standard track marks in wave files readable in most (all?) DAW software. There's provision for later splitting the recording at the track marks if you want.
  14. Interesting... how much control is there over level when recording? Hopefully it's not always automatic? Here in Australia this device is $440(AU) while the M10 is $599 - personally I'd pay the extra for the "real thing" intended for serious recording (and targetted more for music recording than voice), but obviously that depends on one's precise requirements. Lack of 24 bit recording and memory of only 1GB are obvious drawbacks for "serious" use - but of course one has to define "serious"!
  15. http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1273554059.html is a comprehensive review. "The Sony Alpha NEX5 and Alpha NEX3 go on sale from July 2010, priced at $650 and $550 respectively with a 16mm f/2.8 lens, or $700 and $600 respecitvely with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens. The lenses will be available by themselves for $250 and $300 respectively. A third lens model -- the 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS zoom -- is set to follow from fall 2010, priced at around $800. Alongside the camera and lenses, Sony has announced accessories including two wide angle converters, a proprietary external flash strobe, external stereo microphone accessory, and an optical viewfinder. There's also a mount adapter that will allow manual focus compatibility with all Sony Alpha-mount lenses. Sony has also announced a forthcoming update that will give 3D Sweep Panorama capability to both cameras this July, for viewing on the latest 3D televisions." I think it's got beyond something they are "working on".
  16. I'm also an M10 purchaser but I don't plan to sell any of my MD / HiMD gear or media. Unlike some of the other gear I've mothballed it doesn't take up much room!
  17. It could well be that playback is muted during seek and what is being heard is the unmute, or the replay amp actually being turned back on.
  18. Indeed, the very responsive and professional developer has fixed it - the problem was only being experienced by people outside the UK - the BBC sends them a different feed from the UK users, and that feed got reduced to mono by the previous version of Radio Downloader. Now what were we talking about in the first place??
  19. (Indeed Radio Downloader is a good 'find' but I've raised a bug report as it appears to reduce stereo downloads to mono, regardless of mono/stereo settings in options).
  20. It was shot in the foot at the outset - although to begin with the problems didn't seem that big a deal in comparison with the (then) advantages over anything else - but now it's died a natural death. You oouldn't imagine Sony announcing it as a new way of recording and playing back now, in comparison with the advantages of current portable recorders and players. Right now, here in Australia, the RH-1 actually costs more than the equivalent Sony micro-SDHC recorder (PCM-M10) and the discs cost about twice the price per GB than micro-SDHC media. And if you add the cost of a mic to the RH-1 (a very respectable pair is built into the M10) then the RH-1 looks seriously costly. And the MD discs are many times bigger than the tiny micro SDHC cards. And mechanical. And not drag & drop. It's probably quicker to copy stuff into the M10 via drag and drop from an mp3 PC collection than to find a physical MD disc containing the desired music and insert it in a player. It's the end of a long path for me since the very first MD recorder that Sony made - still in the cupboard here somewhere - but I think the time has come for my the rest of my Hi-MD / MD kit to join it.
  21. http://drewdaniels.com/audible.pdf is worth reading - the difference between SACD and CD isn't demonstrably audible in terms of the audio standards used, but the study does concede that SACD releases may be better engineered and mastered than ordinary CDs.
  22. ozpeter

    Sony PCM-M10

    The new Sony PCM-M10 is garnering some favourable end-user and test comments, eg - http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/naturerecordists/messages/38949?threaded=1&m=e&var=1&tidx=1 http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/naturerecordists/message/38965 http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=124639.225 (work backwards in that last forum). I see it as the successor to the RH-1 HiMD recorder in some ways.
  23. I've only heard bits on the net and the radio, but the vocals sound horribly 'exposed' to me - I'm afraid the digital restoration process has not been kind to the original performances. I was all set to buy the box set (stereo) but I'll pass, and just replay them in my head as required.
  24. Just passing through - looks nice here but I've not got time right now to explore further - gotta get back to my MD!
  25. One practical thing - here I can click on "view new posts" and I only see MD stuff. In the new forums, will that still work selectively or will I see reams of non-MD Sony-related stuff too? Of course I may quickly find that of interest - or not!
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