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Portable recording devices...


sunnybear
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I've been using a Sony minidisc recorder for about three years. For many years before that I used a variety of portable analog tape recorders. I am so pleased with the minidisc recorder that I would never consider analog again. Minidisc recorders are very popular with old time musicians. At Clifftop almost all the analog tape recorders have disappeared, even the fancy Marantz units. I am not interested in an MP3 recorder because I am not happy with lossy file compression on general principals.

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Sony MD + Sony mic or, before it broke, my Audio Technica AT822. I actually used the Sony combination when I was "recording guy" for Quartet Program this summer (the pro quit his job). I managed to actually get some really good results out of it after I uploaded over line-in to the computer and applied some noise filters (the hall was a bit noisy).

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Mine, which I bought almost a year ago, I havn't even used yet. I need to get into it as soon as I can, but I need to send back the microphone I got with it, as that was faulty from the start.

Nevertheless, If what I have mz-r900 is NOT the best, I'm even interested in getting another one which IS.

This one, I was told IS the best, for recording also, but a few weeks later when I was in London (Eng) (on the way back to Israel from the US) I was told that it is a discontinued model, and any way, something from Sharps (I think) was better for quality recording.

Then in Israel, I was told that mine is good enough but it needs a good (software) program or whatever.

Can someone here tell me the truth? Is mine as good as best? or is there another one out now which is simply BEST for recording through mic or cable, as well as for listening purposses?

Thanks alot, and I'd expect that the other people reading this thread would also like to hear these answers!

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Russ@home, I'm a big fan of minidisc too, and I see a lot of them in fiddle classes, workshops and sessions in Ireland. Something you might not want to hear though - minidisc uses a file compression algorithm (called ATRAC) as well. More here if you're interested:

http://www.minidisc.org/faq_sec_4.html#_q18

I don't worry too much about the nuts and bolts though. The main thing is it gives really good results.

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Seems like most of the current offerings available locally from the discount outlet stores are designed for .net

users and not live recording. I looked at the latest Sony offerings and it looks like they don't even have

microphone input. Does anybody know which of the readily available units come with mic's? Lots of proprietary

.net software stuff that I'm not interested in. Maybe that's my problem.

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I did a great deal of research on which Minidisc to buy and the battle seemed to be between the Sony MZR909 and the Sharp MT888. Although the race is probably close I heard that Sharp is better if you want to record with a microphone as it has better pre-amps and I think also a better bass response. I chose the Sharp and am very pleased with it indeed. One advantage the Sony had over the Sharp was pitch change. You can also now buy models that quickly download tracks from the computer.

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Soundboot, it sounds like you know a few things, can I ask you just a few questions, the first question makes me feel very ignorant, but I'll still ask it.

1) What are pre-amps?

2) does the "better bass response" make the quality as good as CD? Or as good as what's missing from the tone in comparrison with high quality cassette tape recorders etc? (and how does it compare to DAT machines?)

3) Yours is a Sharp MT888? You say that there are new Sharp models which have all that and more? Which?

4) Sony is better for "pitch change"? What is that? and is my MZ R900 as good (at any rate) as the MZ R909?

I will be very thankful if you (or anyone else) could answer what you can.

S.Taylor

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All of the Sharp MD recorders have a better mic circuit (less noise) than the Sonys, and further, the Sony rec volume can't be adjusted while recording, while the Sharp can. If you insist on buying Sony, you can get a mic amp to use line in instead of mic in, but that still doesn't get around the volume adjusting problem.

Go read the amazon.com customer reviews for the Sharp MDSR60S for a run down of all the issues. I've got one, and with a Radio Shack condensor mic (the stereo ones, $29, and throw away the battery box, because MD recorders have the power coming from their mic circuits) hung over each ear for recording, the results are spooky real.

DAT is theoretically superior, not being compressed, but also fussier and more expensive on all fronts, including the cost of media.

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1) What are pre-amps?

It's the circuitry that processes and boosts the mic signal (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). In practice this makes the signal stronger and the sound better!

2) does the "better bass response" make the quality as good as CD? Or as good as what's missing from the tone in comparrison with high quality cassette tape recorders etc? (and how does it compare to DAT machines?)

Better bass response means relatively more bass! I think that minidisc's compression mainly takes off some of the high end but probably takes from both ends to some extent. As I understand it it is not quite as good as CD quality but the human ear cannot really detect those differences. DAT is better than CD so minidisc comes third place but the differences are pretty undetectable.

3) Yours is a Sharp MT888? You say that there are new Sharp models which have all that and more? Which?

I can't remember at the moment but it is a similar number maybe MT888i. Also the MT888 ships under a different number to some countries.

4) Sony is better for "pitch change"? What is that? and is my MZ R900 as good (at any rate) as the MZ R909?

Pitch change is either that you can turn the speed up and down or you can change the pitch without changing speed (possible on some digital devices). I haven't tried it so I'm not sure. The sony MZR900 is virtually the same as the 909. I'm not sure about pitch change but one thing you cannot do on the 900 is change the recording level as you are recording which I believe the 909 can do - the Sharp certainly allows for this. I wouldn't worry though - you still have one of the best ones on the market.

Violinman

The options for getting your minidisc recording into your computer are either digital or analogue. The digital options are either the top end models that are ready to plug in via USB (I'm not entirely sure though if you can also upload to computer - it may be download only). Many of the minidisc recorders have an optical in socket which means that you can record data digitally to the unit so no problems there except that you need to buy an extra interface. Some high-end soundcards have optical in so you just need the special lead which came with mine.

The other simpler option for upload to computer is analogue which is what I do. I just record straight into my sequence and the results are fine.

Hope this helps.

One thing to watch out for if you buy a minidisc is to check that it has a microphone input. They are starting to cut corners by having 'line in' only for recording from a CD player etc but does not work with a microphone.

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I have an older Sony minidisc recorder. It's much much better than the Sony microcassete recorder

that it replaced. I had an old stereo walkman cassette recorder that had a small stereo mic that I

recycled with the minidisc machine. It makes for a very compact unit.

I don't think there's an easy way to access the files on the minidiscs directly. Which is why I'm

interested in the MP3 recorders. The only way I can get the tracks into my computer is to run the

headphone to the mic input of the soundcard. It's slow but it's not like I have to watch it all the

time.

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Just thought you might like to know that the MT888 is called the mt770 in other countries:

http://minidisc.dezines.com/francistung/pr...sharp/mt770.htm

Very good UK price:

http://www.askdirect.co.uk/search/Sharp_MDMT888H.html

The same machine but with USB interface (MT899H):

http://www.askdirect.co.uk/uview?call=ask....&topcatid=5

Seems like you cannot upload to computer with this but I could be wrong.

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