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MP3 recorder for rehearsals and concerts

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by booch, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. booch


    Aug 12, 2004
    Hey guys,

    I want to buy an MP3 recorder to record my ideas, rehearsals and gigs. The point is not to have a studio quality recording, but to be able to hear what was going on. I need much better quality than speech recorders provide.

    This means the mike should be good enough as I'd like each instrument to be clearly audible, including bass. This is so I can refine songs and ideas and I can check what I should change in songs we play on the concerts.

    I've had some poor quality recorders, but on practice all they record is basically terribly distorted drums. And with this band we don't even practice so loud.

    Does somebody have experience with these units?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. I've used portable Minidisc recorders to do this for years, but it's a hassle to get it out of the MD format. But, they're pretty cheap and sound good. You'll need a little condensor mic.

    Edirol now has a recorder that records on flash cards in .wav or .mp3 formats. They also have a mic built in. They're selling for about $400.
  3. booch


    Aug 12, 2004
    I was kinda thinking in a lower price range... But thanks for the feedback!
    If no cheaper recorder of the required quality exists, I'm gonna have to cough up some cash...

    Yes, MD recorders can be a pain in the butt, with the MD disk, the size and all. They can be excruciatingly slow to control at times, too! Anyway, it would be better to have a smaller, more compact unit.
  4. Basshammer


    Feb 25, 2005
    Florida, USA
    I think IRiver makes some mp3 players that also record from external sources(mic, line). I haven't met anybody who has one, but it seems like it would be cool. I have minidisc too, and it's good, but I can't get my recordings off of minidisc onto my computer. I assume the IRiver would make a WAV or mp3 file when it records, but I'm not sure....
  5. booch


    Aug 12, 2004
    Actually, getting the stuff off the MD is not such a problem for me, I'd just connect the MD player to the computer and record a huge WAV file. Takes some time but I can still practice while the music is being recorded to the computer.

    So far it seems that to get a decent quality the best is to buy a MD recorder...
  6. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    M-Audio just came out with the Micro-Track recorder, does .wav and mp3 for about $400, it even has Phantom Power for condenser mic's.

  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've been using MD to record my gigs and rehearsals for about three years now. It's brilliant in capturing the event (Sony MD and external mic) but, as several others have mentioned, a pain getting the files onto the computer. Funnily enough, I was just corresponding with a friend in Australia this morning and saying how the copy-prevention crippling of the MD format is going to lead me to something that produces .wav, .ogg or .mp3 files straight off when the time come to replace it.

  8. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    My iAudio X5 records in at least wav and mp3. WIth the latest firmware it might do ogg, I haven't checked yet and I haven't tried recording save hitting the button by accident. I might try it soon if I can get a good mic.
  9. I decided to switch from MD to a digital recorder because of the somewhat tedious process of transferring from MD to mp3. I had ordered an Edirol R1 to use for recording solo DB and bluegrass jams and was disappointed in both the quality of the build and the recordings. It had much more noticeable hiss than even my consumer level minidisc recorder and much lower levels, even using a (cheapish) external self-powered conderser mic. I also didn't like the interface, and setting manual levels was very problematic.

    I've returned the Edirol and just now got off the phone with Oade brothers and ordered a Marantz PMD-660 ( http://www.oade.com/digital_recorders/hard_disc_recorders/PMD-660.html ) with their advanced concert mod. Costs more than I was planning to spend, but I'm expecting the quality worth it. I also bought a very decent mike (Studio Projects LSD 2). I've only been playing for a few years, and I've found that my recordings at jams and festivals have been great learning tools, and I like listening to them for entertainment now too.
  10. I was just about to order an Edirol Robert! Glad you posted!

    If you don't mind my asking, how much did the Marantz set you back? I used the cassette version for years until switching to MD. Very durable and the quality was great for a cassette.

  11. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I use a $19.95 General Electric cassette recorder from Wal Mart. :D

    (Okay, I know that was of absolutely no help to anyone...)
  12. With their "Advanced Concert Mod" it was $750. Expensive, but still considerably less than the DAT stuff i was looking into a few years ago. Its a bit under $500 without mods. Info and pricing on these units with their mods is at http://www.oade.com/digital_recorders/hard_disc_recorders/PMD-660MODS.html . I found Oade Brothers through the old datheads listserv, they seem to have been recommended dating back to the early 90s there. The guy talked with me for about an hour before I ordered and I was very happy with with his help.

  13. FunkSlap89


    Apr 26, 2005
    Albany, NY
  14. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    I just bought the ZOOM MRS-8 ( http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/mrs8frmst.html ). It's an 8 track digital recorder using SD memory cards. A 1 GB card has over 6 hours of recording time. :)

    Anyway, it also has a built-in condensor mic. I just used it last night to record an entire rehersal live just using the built-in condensor mic. The quality was excellent! I was shocked how well the internal mic worked. I also used it to record my lesson I had the other day. Very handy and extremely portable. It costs about $350 USD new, but also has a plethora of effects and a built-in Rhythm machine. Well worth the price considering the versatility. :cool:

    It doesn't export MP3's, but it does export WAV files to your PC, which you could than easily convert to MP3's using one of the hundreds of programs available that does that. The program that exports the WAV files is available as a free download on the ZOOM website.

    They also make a much smaller 4 track version for about $200 that has nearly all teh same features. The downside with that one is the largest memory card you can get for it is only 128mb, which only gives you around 50 minutes of record time. That was one of the main reasons I opted for the 8 track version. It uses a different type of memory card that is available in much larger memory capacity. ;)

    Good luck! :bassist:
  15. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Check this link out.

    Click here.

    If any of the info is useful to you send Todd an e-mail and thank him. He's a great guy.

  16. I broke down and bought another sony md recorder that has usb uploads in .wav format. Just can't beat $200...

  17. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    USB uploads in .wav format? Have you got a link with more info - that would be useful compared the Sony USB model I've got, which allows no uploads to the computer.

  18. I bought it here

    And here are the specs:

    Download, listen, share and store all different kinds of media with Sony's new Hi-MD™ Walkman® digital music player. The high-powered, totally versatile MZ-RH910 meets all your music and data file storage needs. Store up to 1GB of music or approximately 675 songs on one re-recordable Hi-MD™ MiniDisc. The player is compatible with both Hi-MD™ and Standard MiniDisc media. The MZ-RH910 will play back music in MP3, ATRAC®, and ATRAC3plus™ audio formats, and it supports WMA and WAV audio formats with conversion to the ATRAC3® format. It’s also great for storing and transferring data files at up to 100X transfer speed. This is the ultimate companion... a great quality digital music player that easily stores your valuable music and data.

    *Blue text indicates step-up features from the Sony MZ-DH710

    Large 5-Line LCD Display on main unit - view album, artist and song titles
    Mic input and Line input - Ability to Record From Multiple Sources (Mic/Line-in)
    Self Recording Upload Feature - with option to save in .WAV format
    Digital Amplifier - More efficient - uses less energy then traditional analog amplifiers
    Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery included
    New Sleek Design - thinner and lighter
    Store 45 hours (approximately 675 songs) on one Hi-MD™ MiniDisc
    Compatible with both Hi-MD™ and Standard MiniDisc media - store 13 hours of music on a standard 80 minute MD
    High-Speed PC to MD recording at up to 100X Transfer Speed
    Record and Playback Uncompressed Linear PCM Audio using the the line input for recording
    1GB Data File Storage - Store and Transfer Presentations, Documents, Spreadsheets and Photos
    Archive Data with Low Cost, 1GB Removable Hi-MD™ Media
    Music and Data Transfer Powered by USB
    Plays Back MP3/ATRAC3®/ATRAC3plus™ Audio Formats
    Supports WMA and WAV Audio formats - with conversion to ATRAC3®
    Skip-Free G-Protection™ Technology - for virtually uninterrupted playback of your music
    Expanded 5 Way Control Jog Dial® Navigation
    Compatible with The Connect™ Music Store - Offers one of the most extensive music collections online
    SonicStage® Music Management Software Supplied
    Up to 34.5 Hours continuous playback with Rechargeable Battery and one "AA" battery
    Inputs: USB, Mic In, Line In (analog and optical digital), DC in 3V
    Outputs: Headphone/Remote (1/8" stereo mini plug)
    Supplied Accessories:

    Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery (NH-10WM)
    External "AA" Dry Battery Case
    AC Power Adaptor (AC-ES3010K2)
    Earbud headphones (MDR-E808LP)
    Digital Cable
    USB Cable
    1GB Hi-MD™ Disc
    SonicStage® Software CD-ROM
    1 Connect Card

    3 1/4" x 3 3/8" x 27/32" (80.2 x 84.3 x 20.7mm)
    4 oz (112g) without battery
    System Requirements:

    IBM PC/AT or Compatible (The Software will not run on an Apple Mac)
    Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2004 / Windows XP Media Centre Edition/
    Windows XP Pro / Home Edition/Windows 2000 / Windows ME / Windows 98SE
    CPU: Pentium III 450Mhz or higher
    RAM: 128MB or more
    Hard Disk Space: 200MB or more
    USB port
    Display: 800x600 display or better (1024x768 is recommended)
    CD-ROM Drive

    ** They have a unit that's more expensive that has software that will run on Mac...
  19. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It sounds like they may have done away with one of my major objections - I'd be interested to hear how it works out in practice.