Mini-disk recorder for voice-overs

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Robert, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Robert

    Robert Guest

    I'm doing a project that is using a good bit of voice-over. What
    recommendations does anyone have on a good mini-disk recorder and mike
    for such work? I'd appreciate any commentary on this subject.
     
    Robert, Mar 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Robert" wrote ...
    Seems like an oxymoron that you have a project that needs
    "a good bit of voice-over", but you are seeking a very low
    budget solution?

    These are the kinds of things I would take into consideration
    before deciding on equipment. You don't have to reveal any
    of them here, but the more we know the more precice you can
    expect the responses to be...

    1) What kind of production?
    2) Production total budget?
    3) Voice-over setup budget?
    4) Recording conditions? (Interior/ideal, exterior in a
    boiler factory, on the lam from the law, horseback, hot
    air baloon, submarine, peak of Mt. Everest, etc. etc.)
    5) Narrators? (Male, Female, amateur, pro?)
    6) Content? (Scripted, ad-hoc, real-time, etc?)
    7) Length? (30 sec each, 30 hours each?)
    8) Desired quality? (Pristine anechoic studio, "actuality"
    from locations, run-n-gun news, etc.)
     
    Richard Crowley, Mar 7, 2004
    #2
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  3. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Maybe we understand oxymoron to mean something different! Anyway, here
    are the answers to your several questions...

    OK. Does that help? I'm looking forward to what you have to recommend.
     
    Robert, Mar 7, 2004
    #3
  4. "Robert" wrote ...
    Just pointing out that it would seem logical that the budget
    for capturing the voice-overs should be commensurate with
    its importance to the production.
    Sounds more than adequate for a good setup with...
    Recorder
    Microphone
    Monitoring headphones
    Mic stand, cables, etc.
    So you can likely use a conventional mic(s).
    If you were doing high-quality, some mics sound better
    on male vs. female, etc. Some are more forgiving of
    amateur usage, etc.
    So likely sit-down sessions. Not practical to just hold the
    mic (as for a short "news shot" type clip)
    I would consider using...
    * iRiver iHP-120 [$350 street price]
    * Shure 58 or Audix OM2 microphone [$100-200]
    * Sony MDR-7506 headphones [$100]
    * Mic cable/adapter (XLR to mini-phone), stand, etc. [<$100]

    Alternately, you might consider a clip-on "lapel" mic
    if that is appropriate for the situations you are recording.

    You really don't want to record to a compressed format like
    MP3 or ATRAC (used on MD). Many people have reported
    problems with subsequent processing and compression of
    source material that uses lossy compression.

    The iRiver has a 20Gb hard drive, enough to hold many
    hours of recording. And it can be quickly downloaded
    into your computer via USB for editing. IMHO an ideal
    combination of fast/cheap/good.
     
    Richard Crowley, Mar 7, 2004
    #4
  5. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Thanks!

     
    Robert, Mar 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Robert

    Alan Guest

    Richard,

    I have been considering using the iHP-120/140 for capturing audio
    (probably on-subject with lav mic) and later syncing to video.
    (prefer this to wireless lav into camcorder). If it works, I agree it
    seems a great quality, value, ease-of-use etc.

    (btw, The new hi-md's i am reading although they do allow transfer to
    PC without decoding to analog in realtime, there is no current
    software to convert the captured file to a .wav file! supposedly
    "software to burn an audio cd" which could be used for this is "coming
    soon".)

    I have a couple of concerns prior to purchase maybe you can clarify:
    1. the iHP120/140 has a "line in" that folks appear to plug regular
    (or low powered) microphones into. Does this work and why?
    2. some have reported "glitches" or "lost samples" in ihp120/40 tests.
    If you are using this what has been your experience, as regards both
    the audibility of the glitches and what they do to the timing when
    syncing later to video?

    Thank you very much for your input...
     
    Alan, Apr 1, 2004
    #6
  7. Robert

    Alan Guest

    second attempt to post this - sorry it it posts twice...


    Richard,

    I have been considering using the iHP-120/140 for capturing audio
    (probably on-subject with lav mic) and later syncing to video.
    (prefer this to wireless lav into camcorder). If it works, I agree it
    seems a great quality, value, ease-of-use etc.

    (btw, The new hi-md's i am reading although they do allow transfer to
    PC without decoding to analog in realtime, there is no current
    software to convert the captured file to a .wav file! supposedly
    "software to burn an audio cd" which could be used for this is "coming
    soon".)

    I have a couple of concerns prior to purchase maybe you can clarify:
    1. the iHP120/140 has a "line in" that folks appear to plug regular
    (or low powered) microphones into. Does this work and why?
    2. some have reported "glitches" or "lost samples" in ihp120/40 tests.
    If you are using this what has been your experience, as regards both
    the audibility of the glitches and what they do to the timing when
    syncing later to video?

    Thank you very much for your input...
     
    Alan, Apr 1, 2004
    #7
  8. "Alan" wrote ...
    I continue to be wary of compressed recording fomats for
    "mastering". If you ever have to release the production in a
    compressed format (DVD, online, etc.) there is an increased
    possibility of problems with the de-compressed file (which
    you use for editing) when it is re-compressed for release.
    Best to avoid it IMHO. YMMV.
    It appears to have only a sensitive "line-level" input and does
    not have a proper mic-level input. It apparently needs a mic
    preamp (with either optical-digital or analog-line level output)
    for reasonably good quality use.

    I bought an M-Audio Duo at Guitar Center (on special) for US$150.
    I plan on making a base unit that bolts onto the bottom that will use
    a NP-1 rechargable battery (maybe even for both the I-River and
    for the M-Audio), and with an electrical SPDIF (which the M-
    Audio outputs) to TOSlink (optical which the I-River inputs)
    converter. I bought this for recording direct to my laptop (via
    USB), but with the optical converter, it should also work nicely
    with the I-River.
    I do not have one (yet). I would question whether the people
    reporting "lost samples" are throwing these things in their
    hidden pockets (or jockey shorts? :) for clandestine recording?

    As for timing. Unless I were shooting segments running >30
    minutes at a shot, (or a $10M Hollywood feature) I wouldn't
    even worry about it. Of course, I am assuming you are using
    some conventional NLE where you can easily slide the audio
    track back and forth to achieve lipsync.
     
    Richard Crowley, Apr 2, 2004
    #8
  9. Robert

    alan Guest

    I agree... another reason to look beyond MD as long as options do
    exist.
    I just got this information on an email back from iriver americas
    estore:
    I think these were controlled tests...
    http://www.irivernordic.com/forum.php?thid=4627&fid=7
    I do fairly long shoots so this could be inconvenient but based on
    posts on other forums I don't think it's an issue.

    thank you for your comments...
     
    alan, Apr 2, 2004
    #9
  10. Robert

    actorguy2001 Guest

    I much prefer using Digital Audio Tape for secondary audio. I use two
    portable
    Sony recorders, the TCD-D8 and the TCD-100. I also use an ancient
    (1991) deck.
    I capture the digital audio using the Edirol UA-1D, which can capture
    using either coaxial or optical output, and connects to the USB port.

    To my ears, DAT is a little crisper sounding. YMMV!

    Ven Hawkins
     
    actorguy2001, Apr 2, 2004
    #10
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