Fun project: help me put together audio workstations

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Dear helpful and intelligent readers,

I work for Michigan State University as the audio digitisation
specialist for the computational humanities department. I'm also an
Electrical Engineering student. My department is moving to a bigger,
better building, and we have been given more grant money to expand and
take on more projects. I have been given the assignment of putting
together our new audio room. It will consist of multiple workstations,
each of which can be used to digitise from analog sources, edit, burn
cds, encode to streaming media, upload to internet.
Students will be using these workstations as part of classes
(linguistics, speech sciences, audiology, and sociology students), so
they should be well suited to that (that is, fairly easy to use after
an introductory lesson).

I have already done a few weeks of research on this, but I would gladly
accept opinions.

First, I was to find the best way for students to do field recording.
For that, I have found:
-M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 - meets our 24-bit 96kHz standards set by the
library of congress, accepts compactflash, and looks user friendly and
sturdy enough for non-audio-nerd students. Out of all the flash
recorders I looked at (the Marantz line, Edirol R1), this was both the
least expensive and the closest to our requirements.
-Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording interviews, also to be used
for the video documentaries and interviews which we also do here.
-Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the wireless mics
but the professors really wanted them "so that elderly people don't
trip over the wires". whatever.
-some PZM's... Is there a hugely noticable difference between the 30D
or 6D and the cheapy $70 one? These will largely be used as backup
mics, in case a lav fails, and also to pick up the interviewers'
questions, ambient sounds, etc.
-For both our video and audio interviews, Rode NTG-2's

Now for preamps...
After looking at nearly every preamp on the market, I think our best
bet is the Grace Design 101. The preamp needs to be small and
portable, accurate, low coloration, low self noise, and under $2k. The
101 seems to have all of these attributes, with 2 channels just over a
grand. The preamps are to be taken with the student to interviews, in
a pack with the flash recorder and mics, or by our video team to
interviews.
Others that I looked at: Langevin DVC (a bit too expensive), Sytek
MPX4aii, FMR RNP.

Mixers.
I am having trouble with this one. In our current audio workstation we
have a Behringer Eurorack 2004A 16-channel. I was told that on the
mini-stations only 8-12 channels are necessary. But I have
reservations about every 8-10 channel analog mixer I look at. I'm
really just not as knowledgable/comfortable with mixers as other parts
of the chain.
Right now I'm leaning to the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002 10-channel,
just because of its similarities to the 2004A.
The mixer will just need to accept balanced line inputs from the tape
decks (for ex, tascam br-20 into ch 1&2, tascam 122 into ch 3&4, etc),
send to compressor and ADC, and to output the audio from computer to
powered monitors.

Vocal processor.
We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.

A/D converters
We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?

In addition each station will have a cassette deck and cd duplicator
(thinking microboards QD-123), and a set of monitors and headphones.
These stations will not be sonically separated from each other which is
why the headphones are necessary, but we need also some decent but
inexpensive small monitors.
For monitors I'm looking at Edirol MA-20D, Event Tuned Reference 6, and
Roland Ds-7. As the material will be solely speech, the only important
thing with the monitors is accuracy, and bass response is not pertinent
as we roll off everything below about 300 anyway.
For headphones we'll probably get some more sennheiser eh2270 which is
what we currently have.

I apologize for the ultra-long post. My object is to get some ideas
and opinions from others, who if you're like me, think doing this is
really fun. So, opine away.

Thank you,

Kayte Revitte
 
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Kayte, I'm in the E.L. area, @ Marshall Music. Just wanted to let you
know that we carry many of the lines you've mentioned and I'd love to
put a package together for you. I can offer you some good solutions
and/or alternatives, and a package discount as well. Give me a call @
337-9700 ext. 400 M/W/Fr/Sat. Or email:

christopherubin@hotmail.com

Chris Diener
 
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christopheru...@hotmail.com wrote:
> Kayte, I'm in the E.L. area, @ Marshall Music. Just wanted to let you
> know that we carry many of the lines you've mentioned and I'd love to
> put a package together for you. I can offer you some good solutions
> and/or alternatives, and a package discount as well. Give me a call @
> 337-9700 ext. 400 M/W/Fr/Sat. Or email:
>
> christopherubin@hotmail.com
>
> Chris Diener

No thanks... haha, I should have guessed a response like this.
 
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> First, I was to find the best way for students to do field recording.
> For that, I have found:
> -M-Audio Microtrack 24/96

Good call

> -Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording interviews

A good standard

> -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the wireless mics
> but the professors really wanted them "so that elderly people don't
> trip over the wires". whatever.

How are students going to learn not to trip the elderly when they go to work
using wired lav's? (and they will)

> -some PZM's... Is there a hugely noticable difference between the 30D
> or 6D and the cheapy $70 one? These will largely be used as backup
> mics, in case a lav fails, and also to pick up the interviewers'
> questions, ambient sounds, etc.

The 6D is a little smaller which doesn't impact the sound much, but the
built-in cable isn't as robust as the 30D's full-size XLR connector, and the
185 is too chinsy. For field use I'd go with the 30D for sure.

> -For both our video and audio interviews, Rode NTG-2's

I like almost every Rode mic I've tried, but haven't tried this one.

> Now for preamps...
> After looking at nearly every preamp on the market, I think our best
> bet is the Grace Design 101. The preamp needs to be small and
> portable, accurate, low coloration, low self noise, and under $2k. The
> 101 seems to have all of these attributes, with 2 channels just over a
> grand. The preamps are to be taken with the student to interviews, in
> a pack with the flash recorder and mics, or by our video team to
> interviews.
> Others that I looked at: Langevin DVC (a bit too expensive), Sytek
> MPX4aii, FMR RNP.

I think the FMR RNP is as far as you need go, I'd even call it overkill for
ENG. It's an outstanding value.

> Mixers.
> I am having trouble with this one. In our current audio workstation we
> have a Behringer Eurorack 2004A 16-channel. I was told that on the
> mini-stations only 8-12 channels are necessary. But I have
> reservations about every 8-10 channel analog mixer I look at. I'm
> really just not as knowledgable/comfortable with mixers as other parts
> of the chain.
> Right now I'm leaning to the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002 10-channel,
> just because of its similarities to the 2004A.
> The mixer will just need to accept balanced line inputs from the tape
> decks (for ex, tascam br-20 into ch 1&2, tascam 122 into ch 3&4, etc),
> send to compressor and ADC, and to output the audio from computer to
> powered monitors.

The MXB1002 is a lower grade of gear from the rest of what you're looking
at, but it is well-suited to the task with its multiple stereo inputs and
tiny footprint, and I can't think of anything similar but better...

> Vocal processor.
> We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
> Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
> kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
> I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
> keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.

The RNC is not a limiter, so it doesn't offer the fool-proofing you seek.
The DBX 1066 is fairly standard, the DBX 166XL is rather cheap like the
Behringer Multicom. Frankly I think the compression should be applied in
the computer, so you can see the whole waveform and anticipate high levels,
rather than "oops - one more time from the top".

> A/D converters
> We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
> As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
> better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
> that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
> but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
> overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?

I think a standalone ADC is overkill. A $250 M-Audio Firewire Solo gets you
in and out of the computer at 24/96, and the converters are more than
adequate.

> In addition each station will have a cassette deck and cd duplicator
> (thinking microboards QD-123)

You should consider just packing the computers with 4 burners each (extra
ATA controller card would be required), which can burn the same content to
four CD-R's simultaneously with Nero. The whole computer would cost less
than the duplicator, and other work can be done while they're burning.

> For monitors I'm looking at Edirol MA-20D, Event Tuned Reference 6, and
> Roland Ds-7. As the material will be solely speech, the only important
> thing with the monitors is accuracy, and bass response is not pertinent
> as we roll off everything below about 300 anyway.

I imagine most brand-name small monitors will suit your needs.

> For headphones we'll probably get some more sennheiser eh2270 which is
> what we currently have.

Those are aimed at home users, Sony MDR-7506's are pretty standard in the
pro field, and cheaper, no doubt they'll serve your needs.
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> christopheru...@hotmail.com wrote:
> > Kayte, I'm in the E.L. area, @ Marshall Music. Just wanted to let you
> > know that we carry many of the lines you've mentioned and I'd love to
> > put a package together for you. I can offer you some good solutions
> > and/or alternatives, and a package discount as well. Give me a call @
> > 337-9700 ext. 400 M/W/Fr/Sat. Or email:
> >
> > christopherubin@hotmail.com
> >
> > Chris Diener
>
> No thanks... haha, I should have guessed a response like this.
>

Heh, good luck getting timely service when Marshall's becomes your
authorised warranty service provider.

-John O
 
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Um (OP), you mention going with 24 bit 96k... You also mention rolling
off everything below 300 hz. This seems contradictory to me. There is
a whole lot of information (even in the humnan voice) betwween 300 Hz
and say 60Hz.

Re: Mixers - you may want to check out the Soundcraft M4 or M8 or the
Allen & Heath MixWizard 3 line.
Re: Compression - I agree with the person who said you may not need
dynamics proccessing if you're in the 24 bit world. ..As long as the
users know how to correctly set levels.

You may want to look into the Apogee Mini Pre something or other. It
should have a decent pre, good conversion (spdif) and might even have
the soft-limit feature which would give some room for error with hot
levels. It is also very portable.

Dan Fox
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Um (OP), you mention going with 24 bit 96k... You also mention rolling
off everything below 300 hz. This seems contradictory to me. There is
a whole lot of information (even in the humnan voice) betwween 300 Hz
and say 60Hz.

Re: Mixers - you may want to check out the Soundcraft M4 or M8 or the
Allen & Heath MixWizard 3 line.
Re: Compression - I agree with the person who said you may not need
dynamics proccessing if you're in the 24 bit world. ..As long as the
users know how to correctly set levels.

You may want to look into the Apogee Mini Pre something or other. It
should have a decent pre, good conversion (spdif) and might even have
the soft-limit feature which would give some room for error with hot
levels. It is also very portable.

Dan Fox
 
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"Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127230966.591133.179370@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> Dear helpful and intelligent readers,

Well, I'll comment anyway ... :)

> Mixers.
> Right now I'm leaning to the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002 10-channel,
> just because of its similarities to the 2004A.
> The mixer will just need to accept balanced line inputs from the tape
> decks (for ex, tascam br-20 into ch 1&2, tascam 122 into ch 3&4, etc),
> send to compressor and ADC, and to output the audio from computer to
> powered monitors.

Is there a specific reason for this mixer (eg battery operation)? If not,
I'd suggest you consider one with balanced outputs, to help avoid hum
problems.

>
> Vocal processor.
> We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter.

When would you use this? Are you sure that in the hands of inexperienced
users, it won't cause more sound problems than it solves? And with the
24-bit recording you've speciified, I'd have thought there was no need to
use compression to ensure level remains below 0dB. I suggest you get an
opinion from an experienced recording engineer who has supported a student
environment.

(You can always do compression in software, after recording.)

> A/D converters
> We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
> As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
> better bet to get stuff into the computer.

However, if people are plugging the Firerire in and out, there's a
possibility of causing problems. Some Firewire equipment has instructions
to power things off when plugging in. You *know* people aren't going to do
that every time! I have experience of only one Firewire device (an external
hard disk) which my son uses at University - and he has twice lost data when
connecting the Firewire interface.

You won't have that particular problem; but I suggest you ask for
experiences with people who use Firewire in a student environment - some
devices have a four-pin connection, some have a six-pin (incoluding power).
It may be that the problems only occur with one type of connector.

Don't forget you'll need USB2 for the M-Audio file transfers.

I'd suggest you should also include card readers, so you can include
photographs with the audio files.

Tim
 
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> > Mixers.
> > Right now I'm leaning to the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002 10-channel,
> > just because of its similarities to the 2004A.
> > The mixer will just need to accept balanced line inputs from the tape
> > decks (for ex, tascam br-20 into ch 1&2, tascam 122 into ch 3&4, etc),
> > send to compressor and ADC, and to output the audio from computer to
> > powered monitors.
>
> Is there a specific reason for this mixer (eg battery operation)? If not,
> I'd suggest you consider one with balanced outputs, to help avoid hum
> problems.

The MXB1002 has balanced outputs, not that it would fix a hum problem, and
isn't really necessary for runs under ~10'.
 
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Tim Martin wrote:
> > Vocal processor.
> > We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter.
>
> When would you use this? Are you sure that in the hands of inexperienced
> users, it won't cause more sound problems than it solves? And with the
> 24-bit recording you've speciified, I'd have thought there was no need to
> use compression to ensure level remains below 0dB. I suggest you get an
> opinion from an experienced recording engineer who has supported a student
> environment.
>
> (You can always do compression in software, after recording.)
>

I'm sorry, I should have explained this better. There are several
functions that these stations will be used for. The students will just
USB their interviews in from the microtracks, but myself and other
audio technicians also occasionally digitise library collections. This
is what the compressor/limiter and ADC section is for. The students
will only be using the stations after I give them an introductory
lesson and tell them not to touch the racks. There will probably be
big signs.

> > A/D converters
> > We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
> > As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
> > better bet to get stuff into the computer.
>
> However, if people are plugging the Firerire in and out, there's a
> possibility of causing problems. Some Firewire equipment has instructions
> to power things off when plugging in. You *know* people aren't going to do
> that every time! I have experience of only one Firewire device (an external
> hard disk) which my son uses at University - and he has twice lost data when
> connecting the Firewire interface.
>

Yes i know this from the video station! Big signs, again. Maybe if we
tell the students that if they touch the racks they will get 60,000 V
or something...

> You won't have that particular problem; but I suggest you ask for
> experiences with people who use Firewire in a student environment - some
> devices have a four-pin connection, some have a six-pin (incoluding power).
> It may be that the problems only occur with one type of connector.
>
> Don't forget you'll need USB2 for the M-Audio file transfers.
>

Yes, thank you.
 
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Zigakly wrote:
> > First, I was to find the best way for students to do field recording.
> > For that, I have found:
> > -M-Audio Microtrack 24/96
>
> Good call
>
> > -Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording interviews
>
> A good standard
>
> > -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the wireless mics
> > but the professors really wanted them "so that elderly people don't
> > trip over the wires". whatever.
>
> How are students going to learn not to trip the elderly when they go to work
> using wired lav's? (and they will)
>
> > -some PZM's... Is there a hugely noticable difference between the 30D
> > or 6D and the cheapy $70 one? These will largely be used as backup
> > mics, in case a lav fails, and also to pick up the interviewers'
> > questions, ambient sounds, etc.
>
> The 6D is a little smaller which doesn't impact the sound much, but the
> built-in cable isn't as robust as the 30D's full-size XLR connector, and the
> 185 is too chinsy. For field use I'd go with the 30D for sure.
>
> > -For both our video and audio interviews, Rode NTG-2's
>
> I like almost every Rode mic I've tried, but haven't tried this one.
>
> > Now for preamps...
> > After looking at nearly every preamp on the market, I think our best
> > bet is the Grace Design 101. The preamp needs to be small and
> > portable, accurate, low coloration, low self noise, and under $2k. The
> > 101 seems to have all of these attributes, with 2 channels just over a
> > grand. The preamps are to be taken with the student to interviews, in
> > a pack with the flash recorder and mics, or by our video team to
> > interviews.
> > Others that I looked at: Langevin DVC (a bit too expensive), Sytek
> > MPX4aii, FMR RNP.
>
> I think the FMR RNP is as far as you need go, I'd even call it overkill for
> ENG. It's an outstanding value.
>
> > Mixers.
> > I am having trouble with this one. In our current audio workstation we
> > have a Behringer Eurorack 2004A 16-channel. I was told that on the
> > mini-stations only 8-12 channels are necessary. But I have
> > reservations about every 8-10 channel analog mixer I look at. I'm
> > really just not as knowledgable/comfortable with mixers as other parts
> > of the chain.
> > Right now I'm leaning to the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002 10-channel,
> > just because of its similarities to the 2004A.
> > The mixer will just need to accept balanced line inputs from the tape
> > decks (for ex, tascam br-20 into ch 1&2, tascam 122 into ch 3&4, etc),
> > send to compressor and ADC, and to output the audio from computer to
> > powered monitors.
>
> The MXB1002 is a lower grade of gear from the rest of what you're looking
> at, but it is well-suited to the task with its multiple stereo inputs and
> tiny footprint, and I can't think of anything similar but better...
>
> > Vocal processor.
> > We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
> > Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
> > kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
> > I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
> > keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.
>
> The RNC is not a limiter, so it doesn't offer the fool-proofing you seek.
> The DBX 1066 is fairly standard, the DBX 166XL is rather cheap like the
> Behringer Multicom. Frankly I think the compression should be applied in
> the computer, so you can see the whole waveform and anticipate high levels,
> rather than "oops - one more time from the top".
>
> > A/D converters
> > We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
> > As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
> > better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
> > that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
> > but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
> > overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?
>
> I think a standalone ADC is overkill. A $250 M-Audio Firewire Solo gets you
> in and out of the computer at 24/96, and the converters are more than
> adequate.
>
> > In addition each station will have a cassette deck and cd duplicator
> > (thinking microboards QD-123)
>
> You should consider just packing the computers with 4 burners each (extra
> ATA controller card would be required), which can burn the same content to
> four CD-R's simultaneously with Nero. The whole computer would cost less
> than the duplicator, and other work can be done while they're burning.
>
> > For monitors I'm looking at Edirol MA-20D, Event Tuned Reference 6, and
> > Roland Ds-7. As the material will be solely speech, the only important
> > thing with the monitors is accuracy, and bass response is not pertinent
> > as we roll off everything below about 300 anyway.
>
> I imagine most brand-name small monitors will suit your needs.
>
> > For headphones we'll probably get some more sennheiser eh2270 which is
> > what we currently have.
>
> Those are aimed at home users, Sony MDR-7506's are pretty standard in the
> pro field, and cheaper, no doubt they'll serve your needs.


Thank you very much. I am sending warm fuzzies your way. Allow 5-10
business days for delivery. :)
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

shai.brown@gmail.com wrote:
> Um (OP), you mention going with 24 bit 96k... You also mention rolling
> off everything below 300 hz. This seems contradictory to me. There is
> a whole lot of information (even in the humnan voice) betwween 300 Hz
> and say 60Hz.
>

I often disagree with our best practices and policies (96/24 I think is
way unneccessary, 44.1/16 would be fine and everything would go much
faster and storage would be much cheaper).
I would only point a finger at the library of congress who has set
these standards for us. That's what they tell me anyway.

But I should have mentioned, we always make 3 versions of everything:
archival is 24/96 and NOTHING is changed, nothing is eq'd, compressed,
nothing, just straight in from the tape. Optimised copy is at 16/44.1
and this is where we roll off bass, get rid of a/c's cars and planes if
we can, and make it more listenable. The third is the internet
distribution copies which are realmedia files for streaming.

Here's our standards, if you're interested.
http://www.aodl.org/audio.php

> Re: Mixers - you may want to check out the Soundcraft M4 or M8 or the
> Allen & Heath MixWizard 3 line.
> Re: Compression - I agree with the person who said you may not need
> dynamics proccessing if you're in the 24 bit world. ..As long as the
> users know how to correctly set levels.
>
> You may want to look into the Apogee Mini Pre something or other. It
> should have a decent pre, good conversion (spdif) and might even have
> the soft-limit feature which would give some room for error with hot
> levels. It is also very portable.
>
> Dan Fox

Thank you I am adding these to my "look at" list. :)
 
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Kayte wrote:
>
> -M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 - meets our 24-bit 96kHz standards set by the
> library of congress, accepts compactflash, and looks user friendly and
> sturdy enough for non-audio-nerd students. Out of all the flash
> recorders I looked at (the Marantz line, Edirol R1), this was both the
> least expensive and the closest to our requirements.

Hasn't really hit the market yet, but initial reports look good.




> -Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording interviews, also to be used
> for the video documentaries and interviews which we also do here.
> -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the wireless mics
> but the professors really wanted them "so that elderly people don't
> trip over the wires". whatever.
> -some PZM's... Is there a hugely noticable difference between the 30D
> or 6D and the cheapy $70 one? These will largely be used as backup
> mics, in case a lav fails, and also to pick up the interviewers'
> questions, ambient sounds, etc.
> -For both our video and audio interviews, Rode NTG-2's


Is this really just for interviews? If so, I'd suggest a pair of lavs
(Sennheiser is fine, but you might also look at Countryman) and one good
omni interview mic (E-V RE50, AKG D230, etc.) The others you list are
probably going to create more problems than they solve in an interview
environment.





> Now for preamps...
> After looking at nearly every preamp on the market, I think our best
> bet is the Grace Design 101. The preamp needs to be small and
> portable, accurate, low coloration, low self noise, and under $2k. The
> 101 seems to have all of these attributes, with 2 channels just over a
> grand. The preamps are to be taken with the student to interviews, in
> a pack with the flash recorder and mics, or by our video team to
> interviews.
> Others that I looked at: Langevin DVC (a bit too expensive), Sytek
> MPX4aii, FMR RNP.


The preamps in the MicroTrack should be more than adequate for this
task, and it provides phantom power. Adding an external preamp
dramatically increases your cost and increases the probability that an
inexperienced field recordist will botch things up.




> Vocal processor.
> We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
> Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
> kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
> I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
> keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.

Why not record uncompressed, and muck with the dynamics later in software?





> A/D converters
> We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
> As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
> better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
> that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
> but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
> overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?

What is the application for the ADC, just transferring the analog tapes?
How many active channels at a time do you need?






> For monitors I'm looking at Edirol MA-20D, Event Tuned Reference 6, and
> Roland Ds-7. As the material will be solely speech, the only important
> thing with the monitors is accuracy, and bass response is not pertinent
> as we roll off everything below about 300 anyway.


Accuracy is indeed paramount, and without good monitors (and a decent
room for them to work in) you will be unable to judge the effects of
your changes in recording technique. Take some of that microphone
budget and spend it on better monitors. Maybe Genelec 8030A's or the
Tannoy Active Reveals?
 
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> Is this really just for interviews? If so, I'd suggest a pair of lavs
> (Sennheiser is fine, but you might also look at Countryman) and one good
> omni interview mic (E-V RE50, AKG D230, etc.) The others you list are
> probably going to create more problems than they solve in an interview
> environment.
>

Could you elaborate? What problems?

> The preamps in the MicroTrack should be more than adequate for this
> task, and it provides phantom power. Adding an external preamp
> dramatically increases your cost and increases the probability that an
> inexperienced field recordist will botch things up.

Well... I agree with you. The professor I showed the microtrack info
to said "I understand the key here is preamps. We need external
preamps." He didn't really let me say another word after that, he just
added external preamps to my list...It stinks, but that's what they
want, and what they want they shall get. Perhaps later, after I've
gathered all the info, but before they make any purchases, they will
ask me my opinion. I'm not sure if they will.

> > Vocal processor.
> > We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
> > Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
> > kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
> > I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
> > keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.
>
> Why not record uncompressed, and muck with the dynamics later in software?
>

Yes, that's the plan. LIKE i said before, the c/l is for analog
sources before they're sent into the computer. As above, there are 2
processes going on: student field recordings, and digitisation of
library tapes. The students will just send their recordings in via
USB. (Boy am i getting tired of typing this again... ;)


>
> > A/D converters
> > We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
> > As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
> > better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
> > that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
> > but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
> > overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?
>
> What is the application for the ADC, just transferring the analog tapes?
> How many active channels at a time do you need?

See above, 2 channels.


>
> > For monitors I'm looking at Edirol MA-20D, Event Tuned Reference 6, and
> > Roland Ds-7. As the material will be solely speech, the only important
> > thing with the monitors is accuracy, and bass response is not pertinent
> > as we roll off everything below about 300 anyway.
>
>
> Accuracy is indeed paramount, and without good monitors (and a decent
> room for them to work in) you will be unable to judge the effects of
> your changes in recording technique. Take some of that microphone
> budget and spend it on better monitors. Maybe Genelec 8030A's or the
> Tannoy Active Reveals?

Thank you.
 
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Arny Krueger wrote:
> "Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1127230966.591133.179370@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
>
> > First, I was to find the best way for students to do
> > field recording. For that, I have found:
>
> > -M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 - meets our 24-bit 96kHz
> > standards set by the library of congress, accepts
> > compactflash, and looks user friendly and sturdy enough
> > for non-audio-nerd students. Out of all the flash
> > recorders I looked at (the Marantz line, Edirol R1), this
> > was both the least expensive and the closest to our
> > requirements.
>
> > -Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording
> > interviews, also to be used for the video documentaries
> > and interviews which we also do here.
>
> > -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the
> > wireless mics but the
> > professors really wanted them "so that elderly people
> > don't trip over the wires". whatever.
>
> This kinda surprises me, because you start out with a
> portable recorder, and then you essentially kick its
> portability in the teeth by tacking on a line-operated,
> somewhat bulky wireless mic receiver.
>
> Why not just hook the mics up to the recorder directly?

Why not indeed. I disagree with the wireless setup, I think it will
complicate things, introduce noise, and be much more likely to fail.
If you have more info to help me demonstrate this point I would most
appreciate it.

Thanks.
 
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Kayte wrote:
>> Is this really just for interviews? If so, I'd suggest a pair of lavs
>> (Sennheiser is fine, but you might also look at Countryman) and one good
>> omni interview mic (E-V RE50, AKG D230, etc.) The others you list are
>> probably going to create more problems than they solve in an interview
>> environment.
>
>
> Could you elaborate? What problems?

Handling noise, extended LF response, and durability to start with.
Improper setup is likely.

It might be nice to have a good stereo pair for recording music or
special ambiance conditions, but for that I'd look to something like the
Josephson C42 (under $1000 for a matched pair, very durable, and quite
transparent.)




>> The preamps in the MicroTrack should be more than adequate for this
>> task, and it provides phantom power. Adding an external preamp
>> dramatically increases your cost and increases the probability that an
>> inexperienced field recordist will botch things up.
>
> Well... I agree with you. The professor I showed the microtrack info
> to said "I understand the key here is preamps. We need external
> preamps." He didn't really let me say another word after that, he just
> added external preamps to my list...It stinks, but that's what they
> want, and what they want they shall get.


If you can, ask him why (given the ambient noise level and application)
external preamps?

If he really insists on top-notch preamps, why not drop the MicroTrack
and get a Sound Devices 722? Excellent preamps and a state of the art
recorder in one easy to use package.
<http://sounddevices.com/products/722.htm>



>>> Vocal processor.
>>> We need a 2 channel compressor/limiter. We're currently using a
>>> Behringer multicom Pro, which I dont especially like or dislike, I'm
>>> kind of meh about it. I've heard good things about the FMR RNC, but
>>> I'm not sure if that would really suit our purposes, which is just to
>>> keep the source below 0dB before the ADC stage.
>>
>> Why not record uncompressed, and muck with the dynamics later in software?
>
>
> Yes, that's the plan. LIKE i said before, the c/l is for analog
> sources before they're sent into the computer. As above, there are 2
> processes going on: student field recordings, and digitisation of
> library tapes. The students will just send their recordings in via
> USB. (Boy am i getting tired of typing this again... ;)


Am I reading this correctly? You want to compress the analog tape
before you digitize it?



>>> A/D converters
>>> We currently use lucid 2496 ADCs, but these only have S/PDIF outputs.
>>> As I found out in a different thread in this forum, firewire would be a
>>> better bet to get stuff into the computer. I have not seen anything
>>> that has both kinds, and I have not seen anything similar to the lucids
>>> but with firewire. We have a motu 896 but that would certainly be
>>> overkill for the mini stations, wouldn't it?
>>
>> What is the application for the ADC, just transferring the analog tapes?
>> How many active channels at a time do you need?
>
>
> See above, 2 channels.

How about a Lynx L22? <http://lynxstudio.com/lynxl22.html> You're going
to have to spend $1500 or more on an outboard converter to get better
sound quality, and it reduces the clutter in your work areas.
 
G

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Kayte wrote:
> Arny Krueger wrote:
>
>>"Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>news:1127230966.591133.179370@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
>>
>>> -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the
>>> wireless mics but the
>>> professors really wanted them "so that elderly people
>>> don't trip over the wires". whatever.
>>
>> This kinda surprises me, because you start out with a
>> portable recorder, and then you essentially kick its
>> portability in the teeth by tacking on a line-operated,
>> somewhat bulky wireless mic receiver.
>>
>> Why not just hook the mics up to the recorder directly?
>
>
> Why not indeed. I disagree with the wireless setup, I think it will
> complicate things, introduce noise, and be much more likely to fail.
> If you have more info to help me demonstrate this point I would most
> appreciate it.


The MicroTrack is not much bigger than a wireless transmitter and will
fit in the pocket of the interviewee. I have several teachers doing
this with Edirol R-1s and they have had excellent results.

If you absolutely have to have a wireless, and you can't spend the
$2000-$3000 a good one costs, you ought to look seriously at the
Sennheiser Evolution G2 series.
 
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"Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127230966.591133.179370@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com

> First, I was to find the best way for students to do
> field recording. For that, I have found:

> -M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 - meets our 24-bit 96kHz
> standards set by the library of congress, accepts
> compactflash, and looks user friendly and sturdy enough
> for non-audio-nerd students. Out of all the flash
> recorders I looked at (the Marantz line, Edirol R1), this
> was both the least expensive and the closest to our
> requirements.

> -Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording
> interviews, also to be used for the video documentaries
> and interviews which we also do here.

> -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the
> wireless mics but the
> professors really wanted them "so that elderly people
> don't trip over the wires". whatever.

This kinda surprises me, because you start out with a
portable recorder, and then you essentially kick its
portability in the teeth by tacking on a line-operated,
somewhat bulky wireless mic receiver.

Why not just hook the mics up to the recorder directly?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127332477.113860.175740@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
> Arny Krueger wrote:
>> "Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1127230966.591133.179370@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
>>
>>> First, I was to find the best way for students to do
>>> field recording. For that, I have found:
>>
>>> -M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 - meets our 24-bit 96kHz
>>> standards set by the library of congress, accepts
>>> compactflash, and looks user friendly and sturdy enough
>>> for non-audio-nerd students. Out of all the flash
>>> recorders I looked at (the Marantz line, Edirol R1),
>>> this was both the least expensive and the closest to our
>>> requirements.
>>
>>> -Sennheiser MKE 2 lav mics for recording
>>> interviews, also to be used for the video documentaries
>>> and interviews which we also do here.
>>
>>> -Shure ULX wireless lav mic system - I was against the
>>> wireless mics but the
>>> professors really wanted them "so that elderly people
>>> don't trip over the wires". whatever.
>>
>> This kinda surprises me, because you start out with a
>> portable recorder, and then you essentially kick its
>> portability in the teeth by tacking on a line-operated,
>> somewhat bulky wireless mic receiver.

>> Why not just hook the mics up to the recorder directly?

> Why not indeed. I disagree with the wireless setup, I
> think it will complicate things, introduce noise, and be
> much more likely to fail. If you have more info to help
> me demonstrate this point I would most appreciate it.

The most likely part of any wireless mic setup to fail would
be the battery.

I've had a ULX for about two years and its a wonderful
thing. But its more complex and trouble-prone than a short
mic cable.
 
G

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Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Kayte" <k.revitte@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127332345.897962.12390@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
>> Is this really just for interviews? If so, I'd suggest
>> a pair of lavs (Sennheiser is fine, but you might also
>> look at Countryman) and one good omni interview mic (E-V
>> RE50, AKG D230, etc.) The others you list are probably
>> going to create more problems than they solve in an
>> interview environment.
>>
>
> Could you elaborate? What problems?
>
>> The preamps in the MicroTrack should be more than
>> adequate for this
>> task, and it provides phantom power. Adding an external
>> preamp dramatically increases your cost and increases
>> the probability that an inexperienced field recordist
>> will botch things up.
>
> Well... I agree with you. The professor I showed the
> microtrack info to said "I understand the key here is
> preamps. We need external preamps." He didn't really let
> me say another word after that, he just added external
> preamps to my list...It stinks, but that's what they
> want, and what they want they shall get. Perhaps later,
> after I've gathered all the info, but before they make
> any purchases, they will ask me my opinion. I'm not sure
> if they will.

I'm beginning to suspect that the grautitous mic preamps are
for some prof's DAW, and the gratuitous wireless mics are
for the lecture halls in your department. ;-)
 

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