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Recording a 3 day conference -- lessons/options/ possibilities....

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I've just finished the biggest recording project I've had to tackle. The brief was to try to record as much of a three day environment/climate change conference as possible given that the agenda included main room plenaries and small workshops.

Since this is all voluntary -- we managed to aggregate 4 Mini Disc recorders and a few Mp3 players which didn't quite stretch to all our needs but this was our first time you see.

Two of the MDs weren't HiMD it turned out so while that may appear to be a complication I found that in editing up the material it was more straightforward to plug my own player with the diskettes into my iMic and re-record al of the audio. I did that for all the audio that was presented in disk format.

In fact this method of re-recording proved very effective to ensure the best quality sound I could manage. When rerecording the HiMD material I could also use Sonic Stage to control the playing of the audio from the minidisc and let me know how much audio remained in the "group" while I monitored the recoding waves on my audio editor -- Audacity. I did n that even though I did not use Sonic Stage to upload the media to my PC.

It proved all rather seamless. The gaggle of other formats -- recorded in the main on mp3 devices with poor mic inputs -- were a pain to edit up.

Since we also offered CDs of the conference feature talks for sale at the end of the event for attendees we worked out that the best approach -- in future -- would be to dedicate each conference session to one disc which is straightaway removed at the session's end, converted and edited so that the CD can be burned ASAP. The real time transmission is a hassle of course but not so much if you delete the followup discussion (useful though that may be).

Since then I've experimented with a few different approaches of playing exotic formats like .amr and recording the output via iMic to my HiMD player (via line in). I manage that way to sustain a reasonable level of quality while snaffling a useable file/project for editing and later squishing down to Mp3 format.

I've yet to find a comfortable way to upload and handle so many separate MD tracks via Sonic Stage (from the one recording session)and thereafter join and edit them with any reasonable level of comfort or lack of confusion. All the options I know of in effect impose a whole series of extra tasks before you get top your final product.

I prefer




This underscores my approach of doing all my recording on Mini Disc and I was wondering what existed here or elsewhere in way of setting up a MD unit as a bona fide recording studio.

If one were doing that what would be in the kit?

What range of mics?

Attachment hardware?

It struck me that if I rigged it carefully i could technically do a sort of live to air setup if I used the line in from my pc to record any sound I had on file while running a commentary through the microphone and mic jack. But the two inputs are exclusive and its either 'line in' or 'microphone'. Is there a work around -- say with a switch option?

As it is now I have to stop recording via line in (and then change inputs) to be able to add a followup comment via a microphone.

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I guess I am allowed to chime in ,

It would in my opinion depend on how mobile you wish to be , ...... on one case not needing to be mobile , a Mackie 402VLZ3 mixer , two decent mics , and a Compressor between the Mixer and the Md , will give you a lot of control , over what goes into the MD , a little fatter ,and crisper , than just Mics direct .

Second case needing some mobility but still needing control - A Fostex MN06 Hexamix , Battery Powered 4 channel mixer that has an effect loop

( I have one and use it a lot )

two of the inputs are Mic level , an although there is a little noise , it doesnt sound to bad , and what hiss there is is easily removed with the Noise removal in Audacity .

These are just two VERY SMALL footprint semi Studio quality setups .

I am actually waiting for the Mackie 402 to make it to Japan , there are already in the US , and very cheap , but the quality of the Mic pre's are there .

Go to Mackie's website and watch the video about the 402

Several Compressors I would recommend for a small footprint

If you can find one , the Alesis Smashup , ( I have one and really Like it )

also the FMR products RNLA stereo compressor


I would love to have this one , and at 220 or so it cant be beat for a studio quality compressor


and for the 402


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I guess I am allowed to chime in ,

...., a Mackie 402VLZ3 mixer , two decent mics , and a Compressor between the Mixer and the Md ... A Fostex MN06 Hexamix , Battery Powered 4 channel mixer that has an effect loop... I am actually waiting for the Mackie 402 to make it to Japan ,..... the Alesis Smashup .....

But is there an easier more direct & cheaper way of doing this without being caught up so much in quality issues?

I have mics. I have a line in jack. How do I make the two options work for me without investing in new mics or expensive hardware? My logistical problem is that if I change inputs from line in to mic or back it is becomes a crude sound on the audio and I cannot dub.

It would be nice to merge both audio sources as can be done with some software.

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