Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Mini disc questions

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Oct 26, 2003.


  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Hi, I just picked up a Sony MZ-R50, and plan to use it to get a direct recording from the soundboard, on or live gigs. I will then use the optical out to go into my soundblaster 5.1 platinum soundcard, to convert to .wav format, edit in soundforge 6.0, then burn to CD.

    Once the CD is burnt, I can delete the files on my computer, and re-use the minidisc for the next recording.

    This all sounds good in theory, but I wanted to know if any of you with experience with such have any suggestions?

    We've done board recordings in the past, and most of the time, the vocals, and sometimes other instruments record too hot, and are very distorted. Is there any sure fire fix for this? I had the idea of adding a compressor to run between the mixer, and the MD recorder. Will this solve my problem without squashing the whole mix?
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sorry, the MD you bought does NOT have an optical output, analog only. You can still transfer to your PC, just not digitally.

    This confuses a lot of folks, but there are no current MD portables with digital outputs, only decks have them.

    Before I bought my deck, I used to do analog transfers to my Mac for burning CDs and this worked fine, although it's slow (real time vs. high speed).

    Since MD is digital, the way to avoid distorted levels is to set them low. Get a rough level during sound check then back off 3-6 dB. You can then boost the levels on the computer when editing. I have some MDs where the peaks are as low as -8. Don't worry about losing dynamic range, the range of the media is much greater than you need so tossing a way a few dB isn't an issue.
     
  3. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    My misake.....it has optical in, but apparently no out.....oh well.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  4. Well, actually the HHB MDP500 has both opto & co-axial digital outputs. I record some of our gigs with my little Sony MZ-N707 using a Sony ECM-MS907 mic - very small, light, easy to set-up, but as mentioned elsewhere, a pain to get to files off so they might be useful elsewhere - the no-opto out thing on the MD Walkman confused the hell out of me until I realised it was all part of Sony's paranoia (sound familiar?). This is where the HHB comes in handy - I can put the MDs (recorded in SP mode) in the MDP500 and copy the files to wherever I want.

    - Wil
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You're right, Wil...the HHB does have digital outputs....and a $1500 price tag! It's a professional unit though; there is also a pricey Marantz pro MD portable with digital outs.

    At that price, though you could buy TWO Marantz's pro CD-R portables or two of their new Compact Flash based recorders (no moving parts!).

    There are no CONSUMER portables sold today with digital out. I doubt paranoia has anything to do with it, MD is still marketed mostly as a playback medium, people using portables for live recording are a minority of total users and it's only been the last couple of years that there was any gear to transfer the audio to anyway. Sony does have digital outs on most of their MD decks.

    So Wil do you own an HHB or are you borrowing one?

    P.S. Still getting gigs at the Sahara?
     
  6. Hello Brian,

    Yes & yes (there are some samples on the site - all recorded with the Sony, BTW). I don't want to hi-jack the thread, so look out for some PM.

    Regards -
    - Wil
     
  7. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    We found the same thing.

    So we sacrificed one of the auxilary sends on the desk. Instead of running 4 foldback sends, we ran 3. The 4th auxilary was assigned to the MD player. So we could effectively send the MD player a mix that was completely independant of the FOH mix.

    It took us a couple of gigs to get it right. But once all the levels were sorted, POW!
     
  8. Antonius

    Antonius

    Nov 26, 2002
    NL
    For digital transfer to the pc I bought a (scarcely) used quality MD deck for cheap (internet rules :) ). If you decide to buy a deck, make sure to get a model with optical and/or coax digital out, not every deck is equiped with one of these!

    If you don't want to loose a single bit of sound quality, double check the digital inputs on your Soundblaster. Most Soundblaster cards are known to resample the original input, thus altering the sound (hardly audible for us mere mortals, but it DOES loose information).

    For live recordings you need powered mics (plug-in power from your minidisc unit is too low voltage for loud music, causing nasty distortion - you need a battery box for live recording).

    Nice online sources of information are:
    • www.minidiscussion.com - I found valuable information in their resident message boards back when I started using MD (there have been some problems with the message boards - don't know if they are online again)
    • www.soundprofessionals.com for microphones and batteryboxes
    • groups.yahoo.com/group/MicDIYers/ - Yahoo discussion group Mic DIYERS, these guys know about microphones and recording! Very helpful and friendly people.
    • Do a google search for "Datheads", "micdiyers", you'll find tons of useful information on live recording
     
  9. Antonius

    Antonius

    Nov 26, 2002
    NL
    Thanks for pointing that out. My setup does easily distort, I thought this was common.

    At least some Sony models (Tim is using a Sony), are known to give a lower voltage plugin power, and are therefore very easily overdriven. Microphones are also very different - apparently yours perform fine on just a few volts, others need about 9-10v to operate properly even at moderate sound levels. Your combination of recorder and microphones may perform very well even for loud music, but it is common for other setups to be overdriven into distortion at far lower volume.
     
  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Finally remembered to bring the MD along with me to a gig this week, I am quite pleased with the results. I ran from the tape out on the board, directly to the MD, I think it sounds pretty good! Here is a quick snippet....let me know what you guys think, please. (PS, I had to kinda crush the quality quite a bit to get it to TB acceptable sizes, but still think it sounds good).
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's pretty good for a desk recording. Just remember to keep everything in context when listening back. For example, there was too much delay on the vocals on the recording, but it probably sounded fine live.
     
  12. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Actually, we didn't think it sounded bad compared to the mess we had coming out of the monitors. First time with that sound guy, and last I might ad.
     
  13. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Also, I hate to break it to you but that was a BEHRINGER desk it came out of! :eek:
     
  14. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Great! Now send Mackie a thankyou card :)
     
  15. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Heh, we don't own it.....it belongs to the clown that did the sound. Funny thing is, when I was hooking up the MD, the drummer looked at it and said "damn, that looks just like a Mackie".
     
  16. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hmmm...ok, i'm lost...my wife just got me one of those minidisc recorder things....sony type...it's blue...the model number is mz-nf610...i'm wondering if i can record rehearsals with this thing...use an adapter and plug a mic into it? use an output from the board to go into it? does this thing even record? just curious...i have absolutely NO clue...my tuner even confuses me...thanks...now, if i can get my wife to post this message for me, i'll be set...
     
  17. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I find the best results are right from the tape out on the board. You can use a mic, but it always ends up sounding like someone set a boombox in the middle of the room to record it. Some of my results, which came out pretty good are at my site..... www.elohssa.com let me know what you think, if you've got a minute.