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Sony MZ-NH1 or a hard drive recorder?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by lermgalieu, Dec 7, 2004.


  1. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I just ordered a MZ-NH1 to replace a stolen MD recorder - I had to replace with MD for insurance purposes. I had been thinking about going to a hard drive based thing like the Nomad and selling the MD recorder. But now that you can record to a 1 gig MD uncompressed and synch directly to your pc, the MZ-NH1 makes MD much more attractive. The MZ-NH1 seems much more geared towards my purpose (recording rehearsals and gigs for my own reference) than do the more playback oriented jukeboxes like Nomad and iRiver.

    Does this logic make sense? I've heard that more professional grade portable hard drive recorders like the Marantz are up around $700 and I only want to spend $350 max.

    Oh and I am going to be using a self powered audio technica mic (the AT 822).

    Any feedback anyone has would be appreicated.
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    All the HD recorders currently on the market will require you add a preamp, and battery life is not as good as the MD.

    Stick with the Sony, I'd say.
     
  3. dhosek

    dhosek

    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Actually Fostex has at least one that doesn't require a preamp. And I think the Roland models also don't.

    There's a lot of territory between an MD recorder and say an Alesis or Mackie.

    Me, I've given in and record direct to my laptop.

    -dh
     
  4. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Are you referring to multitrack recorders by Fostex and Roland? If so, I've already given up on that route - I used to have a Fostex VF-16 but now I can record 8 tracks directly to PC for home recording as needed. I am just looking for something walkman sized that will give me good quality and be easy to transfer to PC, but won't be a pain to lug around or set up.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I looked at the Sony and am also keeping my eye on This as well. Do you know if the Sony supports uploading into Mac OSX?
     
  6. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    That looks pretty sweet. Do you know how much it is? In regards to your question - it says this about the MZ NH1 on amazon: "NOTE: The MZNH1's recording features and bundled software are not compatible with the Mac OS operating system. "
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thats what I thought. :meh: The R1 is listed at $440 at Zzounds, but its either not shipping yet or out of stock. At first I was wary of the media type, but upon inquiring I found out that I can buy a 1 gig flash card for about $79, which would be perfect for my needs, since the USB upload (OSX compatible on this one) would be fast enough to allow me to erase and start over each time. Yowsah!
     
  8. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Has anyone tried to use a Tascam Pocket Studio to do this type of thing? I have been looking for a replacement for my Minidisk recorder as well and have yet to pull the trigger. Right now the Iriver solid state 1 Gb unit looks interesting as well as those listed above. Does anyone know if the infamous hiccups in Iriver recordings was just with the hard drive units or the solid state ones as well?
     
  9. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    That Edirol R-1 looks interesting indeed. Check out the dynamic range (83 dB) and signal-to-noise ratio (93 dB) numbers, though. Isn't that a little on the low side for a digital device, especially a 24-bit device?

    Also, that's USB 2.0 on that thing....
     
  10. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I thought USB 2.0 was a good thing?
     
  11. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    USB 2.0 very good indeed, but not every USB-equipped machine can do 2-dot-oh. Some folks may need to get a card to do it for them. No biggie...
     
  12. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The R-1 looks interesting. Dynamic range and S/N are low. Also does not say whether the CF is Type I or Type II (e.g. Microdrive).
     
  13. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    IMO the type I or II thing is just about over. I am a professional photographer and have been there and done that on compact flash storage over the last 5 years. The solid state stuff is so much more reliable in the long term and storage capacities are right there with the Microdrives. The only compact flash hardware failures I have ever had were with microdrives. I had 5 at one time and they all failed eventually.
     
  14. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Thought I'd mention that I've been using the Nomad JBIII since about May and I've been obtaining some excellent results with it.

    I've attached a photo showing my portable live recording stuff sitting in its case. There's some other stuff in there to give you a sense of scale. The main things you can see are, from left to right :
    1. the JBIII itself, sitting inside the bubble wrap envelope in which it was shipped (it's about the size of a CD jewel case)
    2. a Sound Professionals PASM-2 stereo mic w/pre-amp; this is an extremely sensitive mic
    3. some fold-up headphones

    The JBIII is a 16-bit device with a laptop harddrive. Mine's 20GB; it's fairly straightforward, it seems, to replace that with a bigger drive (there are user groups out there where you can get how-to info.) It can record direct to WAV or MP3.

    It's got one of those stereo miniplug inputs that function either analog or digital. I've only ever used the device in analog mode. It does indeed have its drawbacks here. I've found that it's easy to get a crappy rotten lousy distorted recording if the signal's anywhere near "hot". I get excellent results (given a good mic placement), though, when I don't use either of my mic pre-amp's two added gain stages. This winds up putting onto the hard-drive an information-rich signal but with very little amplitude. I apply the volume after the fact with software.

    Many folks get much better results, I'm told, using an external A/D converter and thus by-passing the JBIII's crappy analog input and A/D converter.

    The JBIII's battery and its software let you record a file up to 3 hours long. There's always new firmware coming out, so that limit could well be upped in the future (are you some kind of freak you can play for more than 3 hours without stopping for a leak or something?) I find that I can easily record a couple of hour-long sets and still have battery power to spare. You need good software on your computer to handle those huge WAV files, though. A lot of supposedly good software really sucks terribly at memory management. The best all-purpose WAV editor I've seen is called GoldWave, made by a programmer out of Newfoundland, Canada. I'm not into multi-tracking and GoldWave has done everything I've asked to do and more. I really like it and it handles 1 GB files like nobody's business.

    The JBIII does FireWire. I put a FireWire card in my PC box to take advantage of this. A 750 MB WAV file moves over to the PC in about a minute and a half.

    Oh yeah, I also splurged on a 3rd party file management app for the PC -- NotMad Explorer. Much better than the dreck Creative shipped with the unit.

    I don't use the JBIII for anything but recording. That case everything is in has been bumped around a fair bit and has even seen a small fall -- no problems with the JBIII. Still, I treat it like a fairly delicate instrument and I expect long service out of it.

    Very happy with it. It's simple and reliable.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. I don't know about this model of the minidisc recorder, but an earlier one I bought suffered two problems. First, to get tunes onto your computer in such a format that you can save them as WAV or MP3 files, which you could then freely burn to CDs, email to friends, copy etc., you had to download the material in real time through the headphone jack. This was a consequence of the second problem: Sony's paranoia :bag: regarding illegal copying and their proprietary software. These were really negative features of a recorder that otherwise would have had great potential for making good quality on site recordings (it still does, but if you want to copy a 3 hour gig on to your computer, you better have 3 hours to spare). If they've changed things since, it might be a great deal. I cannot speak about the other recorders you mentioned.
     
  16. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Chief, you no longer have to do the real time deal. You can transfer the files over as files. The only drawback, as I mentioned, is that Sony uses a proprietary file format, and you have to bring them over with the Sony app. Luckily, Sonly has just released a utility to convert these files directly to wav. Kind of a pain, but I can live with it if it works as described in reviews I've read...
     
  17. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Hi Laurence (long time...), could you elaborate a bit on the quoted post. I'm about to invest in MD recorder, but have little clue on what to get and what to avoid. Thanks
     
  18. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Olivier, I don't have it yet and have never used it. Also, I am by no means an expert. All I really know about this unit in particular is what I have read on the internet. I know the synch stuff is PC only (not macintosh), that it takes the new 1 GB minidiscs, and that you can record in non-compressed sound on this unit so it is comparable to recording to a hard drive. You can see some more info here
     
  19. lermgalieu,

    another problematic feature with the MD recorders, at least the older ones, but perhaps also the new ones, is that Sony claims the supplied software requires a factory installed operating system. (More Sony paranoia at work, I suspect). So folks like me who installed Windows on their machines themselves cannot use the software. I would suggest that anyone who is interested in buying the Sony product read very carefully the documentation before buying it.
     
  20. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Well I guess I'll find out soon! I guess one of the perks of needing to replace with another MD for insurance reaosns is that I will get to try something that I probably wouldn't have purchased otherwise (in favor of something more like a hard drive). I am going to try it out and if I like it I will keep, if not, its eBay:30.

    Another good thing about replacing my insurance stuff was talking into a guitar store, pointing at 2 Jazz basses and a Gretsch acoustic and saying "I'll take those" - no negotiating or anything.

    I guess now I am both off the topic of MDs and double bass! Sorry...I got a call to do a recording session last night...it was fun but it was a late night thing and now I am a bit scatterbrained!