Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by David, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. David

    David Guest

    Can anyone recommend a portable device for voice overs, etc. Currently
    using cam/ext mic with lens cap on and transferring sound track over
    original video. This works well but I would like smaller unit like a
    minidisc if good enough.

    Also, can minidiscs dump straight to HDD and in what formats. Thanks for
    any recommendations.
    David, Aug 22, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. David

    Darcy O'Bree Guest

    There are products that can meet these criteria but you need to prioritise

    If small is the top priority then a consumer level portable MD recorder will
    do the job. Make sure you get one with a manual input level as the inbuilt
    audio limiters on these things can be extremely savage. Take your mic along
    and give it a good test before you buy. You'll also have to transfer your
    recorded audio in real time via a soundcard. Don't be mislead by recorders
    with the NetMD feature which boast up to 64x USB transfers. These only work
    from PC-MD (allegedly for copyright reasons - bastards!)

    If high speed transfer is important then you'll sacrifice size and your
    wallet. Marantz do portable pro recorders that record to either flash cards
    (PMD670) or CDR (CDR300) but they cost around £700 and are not much smaller
    than a phone book.

    Darcy O¹Bree
    Digital Media Studios Manager
    Staffordshire University
    Darcy O'Bree, Aug 22, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. David

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Sharp MT877 or Sharp MT280E. I've got both these minidisk
    recorders/players.They both have the usual AC3 options (up to 5 hours
    continuous recording) with the ability to mark and label disks and

    The MT877 is more expensive but has a built-in Lion battery, the MT280
    uses AA batteries (you can use rechargeable ones). Both give you about
    50 hours playing/recording on one set of batteries (or charge).

    Both have a digital optical link (lead supplied) but you'll need a sound
    card with a digital optical link to use it. Otherwise just connect the
    audio out (from the MD) to the mic in on your sound card. I used to use
    a little splitter to do this, so I didn't lose the "mic in" facility
    into my PC. I've now built a little box with switches to select various
    mic in/sound out options.

    If you shop around on the Internet you can get the MT280 for about £70.
    I also use it for audio. In fact I bought a new domestic music centre
    with MD so I can put all my CDs on MD. I also use it in the car using
    one of these "plug-into-cassette slot" gizmos.

    They both take a little getting used to since they're so small that all
    the buttons are multi-function, depending on what mode of operation
    you're in.

    To "work" the sound you'll need an audio editor (Goldwave or Sonic
    Foundry come to mind), though Vegas 4 comes with its own audio
    capture/editing suite.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 22, 2003
  4. David

    David Guest

    Thanks for advice, might just be what I'm looking for. Could you answer 1
    other question though?
    Is the quality likely to suffer by passing through my 'standard' soundcard,
    I'm sure I seen another posting mentioning the 'cheap' aplification circuits
    on s/cards causing hiss, etc. Should I connect via mic in or line in?

    The reason I say this is that I have tried direct mic in narration and found
    it quite average as opposed to the superior method of direct by firewire
    from cam. I don't mind trading off some quality to gain more portability if
    the minidisc gives somewhere between the 2 methods.
    Thanks for any comments.
    David, Aug 23, 2003
  5. David

    Tony Morgan Guest

    IME providing the sound levels are right (not too low to hear hiss, and
    not too high to cause clipping) quality is usually OK.
    Personally, I've never had great success using line-in. I always use
    So much depends on the microphone you're using.
    The great thing about the MD models I've mentioned is that you can
    select between AC3 L1 (CD quality), L2 (broadcast quality) and L4
    (speech quality). L! Will give you great quality (depending on the mic)
    with about 90 minutes recording time - so you can "match" one-to-one MD
    with miniDV tape.

    If your sound card's quality is an issue, alternatives with digital
    (optical) input are relatively inexpensive. Funnily enough, I've had one
    for about a year but just haven't had the time (or be bothered) to
    install it - so it can't be much of an issue - at least not for me (with
    a Creative Labs Audigy)..
    Tony Morgan, Aug 23, 2003
  6. The reason I say this is that I have tried direct mic in narration and found
    You could play from your MD and record to your DV cam, then firewire it into
    the computer. Might be the cleanest signal chain with your gear.

    Craig H.
    HighPeaksVideo, Aug 23, 2003
  7. David

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Whatever you decide, I should re-iterate that neither the 877 or the 280
    are easy to master because of the "multi-function" operation of the

    You'd think that with the revenue generated from these consumer items
    manufacturers could provide an extra manual - a sort of "How to do this
    (or that)".

    To an extent, camcorders are the same. On my camcorder, three (really
    useful) features only have a passing mention in the manual - writing
    back to miniDV tape from your video editor, End Search, and the
    recording of analogue video/sound onto miniDV tape.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 23, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.