Shiny new portable recorder.

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"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1122377358k@trad
> In article <RbidndjT1u4JKHjfRVn-iw@comcast.com>
> arnyk@hotpop.com writes:
>
>>> I'll bet it's not a digitally controlled analog
>>> attenuator.
>
>> I'm hoping that you'll lose that bet, Mike.
>>
>> I seem to recall that about six months ago TI announced a
>> new low-power-supply-voltage (+/-5) high-performance mic
>> preamp chip with a built-in digitally-controlled analog
>> attenuator. Seems like the time might be right for that
>> part to start showing up all over the place.
>
> That's the one that Mackie is using in their mic/line I/O
> card for their dxb console. I don't know if it's cheap
> enough to use in a recorder like the M-Audio yet though.

Yea, its not a cheap chip - about $10 in production
quantities. But, it's not like the MXB is cheap or comes
with a lot of mic preamps.

> I guess we'll wait and see.

Agreed.

> Still, the cost of recording media is what will keep me
> away. I'd be happy to put up with an extra 1/4" thickness
> in exchange for an internal disk drive, but I suspect
> that the market dictates pocket-sized as a design
> criteria.

I sort of homed in the microdrive option which is a disk
drive option.

Mike, I also don't share your need for gobs of in-device
storage, probably because I might be a lot more comfortable
with offloading stuff from the portable via USB.
 
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mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1122378632k@trad:

>
> OK, so the recorder costs $1000 more than the apparent cost. That's
> still too much. Plus it requires carrying a computer as well as the
> recorder. And seeing as how my laptop computer doesn't have a DVD-R
> drive, I'd have to either get a new computer or get an external DVD
> burner, which is another box to carry with me. When I get "paid" $200
> for a weekend (if that much) I can't justify the investment.

Mike, I doubt this is a solution for you, but in case other are following
this thread:

An alternate to laptops or burners for storing flash card data has
cropped up mostly in the digital photography world. Some are called
"image tanks". At the bare bones minimum, they are basically a box with
a laptop hard drive, a battery, one or more card reader interfaces, and
one or more computer interfaces.

I just bought an extraordinaryly inexpensive example of the breed. The
Digimate II-Plus as sold with a preinstalled 30 Gbyte hard drive by
mwave.com for $105 delivered.

-Has reader ports for nearly all current flash cards. Slower than more
expensive models, about 2.1 Mbytes/sec for large files. (faster models
will do 6 to 12, but cost several times more)
-Lithium Polymer battery is good for about 80 minutes (about 9 Gigabytes
of upload.
-Has USB2 computer interface, can upload large files at about 9
Gigabyte/sec from its HD to a USB2 PC (much slower to a USB1 PC)
-uploading card to disk it dirt simple. power on the Digimate, stick in
the card, observe the card ID light up on the display and that adequate
free space (shown) remains on the HD to upload the card data amount
(shown). Push the "upload" button. Watch a progress display if you are
conservative.
-uploading from the Digimate to a PC is almost as simple--just plug in
the usb cable and an XP PC will recognize it as a device, and display its
contents in Windows Explorer as an additional drive. Each separate
uploading of a card is placed in a separate directory, so you are safe if
your file from yesterday has the same name as your file from today.

Downsides
-unknown manufacturer--no comfort factor of a major support organizatiom
-slow card upload speed

Upsides
-amazingly inexpensive
-sturdy construction
-good upload progress display for situational awareness

People who are considering a flash field recorder might think of a gadget
in this class. Other, faster models currently popular with the storage-
heads at dpreview.com's user forums include the Nexto-CF (somewhat over
$250 by the time you add your own hard drive), and the PD70X (something
like $200-250 or more). Neither is sold by U.S. sellers, but they are
easy enough to find on eBay or overseas web sites.

Peter A. Stoll
 
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<normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:pMydnQV7NeOh7nvfRVn-jg@comcast.com
> "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
> news:RbidndjT1u4JKHjfRVn-iw@comcast.com...
>> "Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
>> news:znr1122330509k@trad
>>
>>> I don't see anything mechanical on the M-Audio with the
>> possible
>>> exception of the buttons on the side. That means the
>>> gain
>> is digitally
>>> controlled, and I'll bet it's not a digitally controlled
>> analog
>>> attenuator.
>>
>> I'm hoping that you'll lose that bet, Mike.
>>
>> I seem to recall that about six months ago TI announced a
>> new low-power-supply-voltage (+/-5) high-performance mic
>> preamp chip with a built-in digitally-controlled analog
>> attenuator. Seems like the time might be right for that
>> part to start showing up all over the place.
>>
>> Yup, here it is:
>>
>> http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/pga2500.html
>
> It has a serious problem as a component for small
> portable applications: It draws 300mW per channel.

I noticed that. Like 30-40 milliamps for each of the plus
and minus 5 volt supplies. It's almost like what good is
the low voltage operation?

> A stereo recorder, using a pair of these preamps, will
draw
> over half a watt---and that's without even considering
> the rest of the recorder.

If you haven't had the experience Norm, hard drive based
portable recorders like my Nomad NJB3 run pretty warm. I
think that total device dissipation while playing .wav files
is like 5 watts or more. That's why the size of these
devices is dominated by the batteries and their mass
storage.
 
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Arny Krueger wrote:
> I sort of homed in the microdrive option which is a disk
> drive option.
>
> Mike, I also don't share your need for gobs of in-device
> storage, probably because I might be a lot more comfortable
> with offloading stuff from the portable via USB.
>
>

I agree....a 2 or 4GB CF card is plenty for most ppl, myself included,
especially considering the battery will probably die before you use 4
gigs. I could understand for people who record musical festivals or
shows in which multiple bands are playing, or long lectures and such,
but I think the average "taper" records less than an hour or two at a
time and would rather have something they can throw in the pocket for
spur-of-the-moment recordings as opposed to lugging some big mechinal
hard drive around that will record 40 hours of uncompressed audio.

I think we've all run in to that situation, somewhere, it could be
anywhere at any time where there is a sound or something so incredible
that we pray that something like the microtracker would fall from the
heavens into our hands. Anyway, I applaud M-Audio and hope in the final
version they put more thought into the gain stages and level monitoring.

Jonny Durango
 
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In article <58ednaYS7bsi1nvfRVn-iQ@comcast.com> arnyk@hotpop.com writes:

> I sort of homed in the microdrive option which is a disk
> drive option.

I thought about the Fostex FR-2 (I think that's the number) because it
would take a Microdrive, but that was before the digital camera folks
started picking up the Microdrive, the price went down a bit, and the
reports of occasionally losing all the data started coming in. I don't
think I'd trust that for a field recording when there's no chance to
do another take, and you might not even find out that you need another
take until too late.

> Mike, I also don't share your need for gobs of in-device
> storage, probably because I might be a lot more comfortable
> with offloading stuff from the portable via USB.

If it was for in-house use, it wouldn't be that much of a problem. But
when I go off on a field trip, I like to minimize the amount of stuff
that I have to carry with me, as well as the amount of stuff that I
have to hook up in order to make a recording. This is why I'm looking
for something that doesn't need to be unloaded before I can get back
to work. It's also why I'm looking for something that has usable mic
inputs so I don't have to carry an outboard preamp if I'm not
recording from an existing mixer.



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In article <Xns969F62B05C439Haifa10Kulim07Michel@216.196.97.138> Lyn1Stoll_spamdel@comcast.net writes:

> An alternate to laptops or burners for storing flash card data has
> cropped up mostly in the digital photography world. Some are called
> "image tanks". At the bare bones minimum, they are basically a box with
> a laptop hard drive, a battery, one or more card reader interfaces, and
> one or more computer interfaces.

Somebody (a camera person, in fact) showed me one of those. Still,
it's intermediate, temporarly storage. There's something very
comforting about taking the media out of the recorder and putting it
away. A lot of the field recording that I do doesn't get played or
produced immediately. It could sit on the shelf for several years
before someone pulls it out to see what went on at that festival that
year. Tape reels and cassettes were berry berry good for that.

Recording on a flash card, copying to a portable disk drive, then
again to a CD or DVD for shelf storage means that your only copy (what
then becomes the "master") is third generation. I know that digital
copies are supposed to be perfect clones, but now and then something
goes wrong. When it does, you don't lose a little high end like making
an analog tape copy, you lose everything.



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In article <pMydnQV7NeOh7nvfRVn-jg@comcast.com> normanstrong@comcast.net writes:

> > http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/pga2500.html
>
> It has a serious problem as a component for small portable applications: It
> draws 300mW per channel. A stereo recorder, using a pair of these preamps,
> will draw over half a watt---and that's without even considering the rest of
> the recorder.

Hey, that's good. Probably gen-u-wine pretty-close-to-Class-A
operation. But not good for a battery powered portable, for sure.



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In article <h46dnRK5lompLXvfRVn-sA@comcast.com> jonnydurango1BUSH_FROM_OFFICE@comcast.net writes:

> I agree....a 2 or 4GB CF card is plenty for most ppl, myself included,
> especially considering the battery will probably die before you use 4
> gigs. I could understand for people who record musical festivals or
> shows in which multiple bands are playing, or long lectures and such,
> but I think the average "taper" records less than an hour or two at a
> time

This is exactly the problem - the products are designed for the
"average" user and that's all you can buy unless you're willing to pay
at least three times the price for a difference that's worth maybe
$50. But "economy of scale" talks. The average user would tell you
that he couldn't use it because his microphone plug won't fit and he
can't take the disk out (like a flash card) and plug it into his
computer. In fact, the true "average" user isn't even interested in
recording, which is why there are so many more loadable players than
recorders available.


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However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 11:42:07 -0400, Peter A. Stoll wrote
(in article <Xns969F62B05C439Haifa10Kulim07Michel@216.196.97.138>):

> mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1122378632k@trad:
>
>>
>> OK, so the recorder costs $1000 more than the apparent cost. That's
>> still too much. Plus it requires carrying a computer as well as the
>> recorder. And seeing as how my laptop computer doesn't have a DVD-R
>> drive, I'd have to either get a new computer or get an external DVD
>> burner, which is another box to carry with me. When I get "paid" $200
>> for a weekend (if that much) I can't justify the investment.

The M-Audio 2496 looks like a winner. Haven't heard it yet.

Ty Ford




-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
 
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On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 15:14:19 -0400, Mike Rivers wrote
(in article <znr1122394566k@trad>):

>
> In article <58ednaYS7bsi1nvfRVn-iQ@comcast.com> arnyk@hotpop.com writes:
>
>> I sort of homed in the microdrive option which is a disk
>> drive option.
>
> I thought about the Fostex FR-2 (I think that's the number) because it
> would take a Microdrive, but that was before the digital camera folks
> started picking up the Microdrive, the price went down a bit, and the
> reports of occasionally losing all the data started coming in. I don't
> think I'd trust that for a field recording when there's no chance to
> do another take, and you might not even find out that you need another
> take until too late.

The FR-2 is 14 inches away right now. It uses two kinds of cards, no
microdrive. It also has a timecode option.

The Edirol box just came in.

More later.

Ty



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
 
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Re: Shiny new portable recorder.

Group: rec.audio.pro Date: Tue, Jul 26, 2005, 10:20am From:
mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)

In article <1122352738.0d1d4016a81af2dddf505e9f9f317dbe@teranews>
ulyssesnospam@rollmusic.com writes:

Even if this recorder sells "street" for the $500 MSRP, and you need
four $250 4G CF cards, you've still got yourself a high-resolution
digital recorder that fits in your shirt pocket for $1500. That's
amazingly cheap.


I can buy a Sound Devices for that, with an internal hard drive and real
XLR mic inputs. If I was going to spend $1500, I'd go that
route,<<<<<<<<<<

Actually you can't. The Sound Devices 722
2 track hd recorder has a street price of $2375.


Eric
 
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Mike Rivers wrote:
>
> This is exactly the problem - the products are designed for the
> "average" user and that's all you can buy unless you're willing to pay
> at least three times the price for a difference that's worth maybe
> $50. But "economy of scale" talks. The average user would tell you
> that he couldn't use it because his microphone plug won't fit and he
> can't take the disk out (like a flash card) and plug it into his
> computer. In fact, the true "average" user isn't even interested in
> recording, which is why there are so many more loadable players than
> recorders available.
>
>

Very true...I agree there is a market gap between devices like the R1
and the 722T that is only filled with cheesy consumer grade stuff like
the JB3 and iRiver thingy. But for the average "taper" or semi-pro
recordist, most people don't need more than an 8GB CF card for one
recording. And if they need more overall storage, keep in mind that you
can buy any number of flash cards, but a HD has an absolute limit, that
might be further restricted by the firmware or FAT.

Hopefully in the future, as the market becomes more competetive, the
price of CF media will come way down and we can all be happy.

Jonny Durango
 
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In article <QdWdnc_meLEl4nrfRVn-iw@comcast.com> tyreeford@comcast.net writes:

> The M-Audio 2496 looks like a winner. Haven't heard it yet.

Another (for me) loser. No internal hard drive. Can't afford the media
to use it for a weekend long gig without having to recycle, and I
don't want to trust myself to do that correctly when I'm tired.



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"Mike Rivers" wrote ...
> Another (for me) loser. No internal hard drive. Can't afford the media
> to use it for a weekend long gig without having to recycle, and I
> don't want to trust myself to do that correctly when I'm tired.

*IF* you had enough time between sets/performers and *IF*
this thing works with CF audio recorders, this might the the answer..

http://www.supergooddeal.com/product_p/hs80otg.htm

80GB space for $158
Automatically (one button) downloads device contents into
hard drive without using computer, etc.

If I had known about this I might have got a Marantz PMD-660
and this thing to take with me to Spain last month.
 
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In article <8747-42E78883-7@storefull-3252.bay.webtv.net> Audioetc@webtv.net writes:

> Actually you can't. The Sound Devices 722
> 2 track hd recorder has a street price of $2375.

That's sure a big change from the original plan. I've just been
watching the development, not the price. I guess I'll stick with my
Jukebox 3 for a while yet.


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I've thought about the Cinte also, but until it Googles up more than 5
hits (with just one user opinion), I'm holding off. There's plenty of
other options for CF standalone storage that aren't unreasonable
(Wolverine, SmartDisk), but yeah the Cintre's quite a bit cheaper.


I just don't get the grousing about the media. You buy some large
cards and a storage unit (the Wolverine 80 gig is $270) and you record.
Every two hours you swap cards. It's not as if half the other stuff
we do isn't a pain in the ass.
 
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On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 17:55:13 -0500, "Peter A. Stoll"
<Lyn1Stoll_spamdel@comcast.net> wrote:

>mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1122310342k@trad:
>
>>
>> For me, a just barely big enough flash card would be enough to record
>> over a whole weekend, perhaps 20 to 30 hours.
>

>I wonder whether the firmware in these CF machines actually is set up to
>handle cards bigger than 2 or 4 Gb. There are some implementation seams at
>those two points which may trip up a machine or two. I can vouch the 722
>handles a 4Gb card from personal use.

The Edirol R1 works fine with 8 GB CF cards, although in 2 GB max
pieces. If they came up with a firmware revision to auto split files
at some reasonable size (1 or 2 GB) it would be perfect. Now it
just shuts down and saves at the 2 GB limit.

Jeff
 
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In article <dc92nq$3ab$1@news01.intel.com> richard.7.crowley@intel.com writes:

> *IF* you had enough time between sets/performers and *IF*
> this thing works with CF audio recorders, this might the the answer..

Someone mentioned this approach - essentially a hard drive with a flash
card reader and an "operating system" that knew how to do just one
thing - copy the flash card files to the hard drive. Thing is that the
more intermediate steps you have between the original recording and
what you're going to produce from, the more chances you have that
something won't be there when you need it. It's fine for studio work
and casual work where you can eithe do it again or just blow it off if
it's not there, but if you have to bring home the bacon, it's best to
bring the pig back alive, and then make the bacon when you have plenty
of time.




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In article <7obge1538mjuacg0eg2m34rscm2e94vl3u@4ax.com> jff@ix.netcom.com writes:

> The Edirol R1 works fine with 8 GB CF cards, although in 2 GB max
> pieces.

As far as recording goes, I have no problem with a 2 GB limit. There
are always places to break, at least for the things I record. What's
nice about using, for example, cassettes, is that you can record one
set on a cassette, you change tapes at the end of the set, and you've
only invested a couple of dollars. A $50 tape budget can cover a
weekend and you don't have to worry about recycling the media.

A 1 GB card would probably be about the equivalent in terms of
recording time, but that's (just guessing here) about $25 per card,
plus the darn things are so small you can't write anything on them
except maybe for an index number, so how do you know what's on each
card?

> If they came up with a firmware revision to auto split files
> at some reasonable size (1 or 2 GB) it would be perfect.

I'd rather have a button I can press to do that. The Jukebox 3 with
the current firmware does that (when I can remember which button to
press) but it leaves a small gap. No problem if you split during a
pause. The bigger the files, the more difficult they are to handle -
longer transfer time, more "receiver" space required, and more to lose
if it doesn't work.

I know that professional news photographers are all using digital
cameras with flash cards. I wonder what kind of failure rates they
have? On the other hand, photos take up a whole lot less space than
audio, so you can shoot all day on one card, transfer the files in a
few minutes, and chances are if you work for a newspaper or agency,
they're paying for the media anyway.



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In article <1122515538.853823.164820@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> vdubreeze@earthlink.net writes:

> I just don't get the grousing about the media. You buy some large
> cards and a storage unit (the Wolverine 80 gig is $270) and you record.
> Every two hours you swap cards.

There are some problems. One is with organization of the media. If you
have a bunch of medium sized cards, you have a lot of them to keep
track of. If you buy a couple of large cards, you're dead in the water
until you either transfer the data and recycle the cards, or you buy
more cards.

The other is a percepual problem. The recorder is cheap and
attractive, but it isn't useful until you invest several times the
cost of the recorder in re-usable media. It's that you really can't
buy a $300 recorder with interchangeable media, you buy a $1500
recorder with reusable media.



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