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Newbie seeks basic advice on MD setup for recording band rehearsal ?

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Howdy - few years back I bought MZ NHF800 recorder with Sony ECMMS907 mic - mostly for recording guitar lessons. Then it sat unused for some time. Recently I took it to the band practice and tried recording it. We practice in a small carpeted room - it is a country/latin/rock 5 piece band - electric but not super loud - we use unamplified congas instead drums. I used 1GB disc, set recording mode to Hi-SP (we play 3-4hrs), set recording level at automatic and set Mic AGC to "LoudMusic" . However I did not set Mic Sensitivity to "SensLow" (unless that is default value). Mic was placed on regular mic stand.

Recording came out alright as far as frequency content and even overall mix of the band - I was able to transfer it to WAV, chop into smaller segments, EQ and compress them and add touch of reverb. But it also has a somewhat unsteady volume level that is periodically dropping. I am not sure if that is caused by incorrect combination of settings on recorder? somebody tapping foot very close to mic stand? faulty disc (it is 5-6 yrs old)? Should I add some kind of anti-shock mic holder?

TIA - I would greatly appreciate any advice or pointers,


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The level fluctuations are from AGC. Set the mic at SensLow, switch to Manual and do some tests--with your stereo up loud if you can't convene the band. Your mic itself is not overloading, and neither is the preamp, so all you have to do is set the input level to something where it doesn't peak.

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Set your recorder to Manual Level in the menu, absolutely! Experiment a little with the level....leave some head room. In other words, don't set the input level right up to the acceptable peak. Back down from that some. Note: on your MD model, the recorder may default back to automatic every time you shut down, so you will have to check that and set it back to manual. My 900 does that..

I record almost daily in my practice studio, also carpeted. My studio is12 feet by 10.5 feet. I'm either recording my own practice, (I'm a jazz drummer), or my sessions...trio to quartet or more and I use one-point stereo mikes. I've found that the best placement of a one-point stereo mike is on a mike stand suspended above the group, (or my kit), at about head height and pointing straight down. Take note of the sides of the mile where the capsules are located for properly orienting the mike to the sound sources.

My other suggestion is to get a much higher quality microphone. You can stick with the one-point stereo mike design.

Have fun,


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