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Author Topic: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?  (Read 2877 times)

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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2016, 05:20:56 PM »
Or how about taking the new Zoom F4 plunge, if you have $650 available? Seems pretty kickass! And you have the ability to run 6 channels total[4x XLR INS + 1/8" Mini IN]. However, the F4 has the same pres as the F8, and I think the 70D preamps sound just as good/better as the F8 pres, so if you don't have $600[for a 701D] or $650[for a Zoom F4], the 70D is a great choice IMO! I have [2] 70D's now and I don't see myself switching decks around anytime soon ;)

So basically, if you want 4 channels and don't have a lot of $$, then Id get a 70D and approved SD card and be done with it! If you need 6+ channels, then look for a used Tascam DR-680mki. Someone just offered me a used 680mki for only $200!!! That's cheaper than a 70D ;D

And I ran an M10 as "backup" to my VMS02IB->70D for OVER a year, and NEVER needed to use my M10 backup, so I scratched the M10 and traded it for a 2nd 70D ;D Never looked back and now I have all balanced/locking XLR connectors, and TWO decks with 48v Phantom! I'm glad to be done with 1/8" Mini cables/connectors and back to all XLRs :)
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Offline dallman

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 11:56:34 AM »
FWIW to my ears when people line up 2 different sources and match them, as in a SBD and an AUD using 2 unlinked decks, you can always hear some reverb and issues from the alignment. It is never a perfect match. It may not bother most people, but I find it to be less than desireable. I would go with a 4 channel deck every time. After all, that is what the deck was designed to do.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2016, 12:22:25 PM »
While a four-track recorder will obviously save you time in aligning sources in post, I wouldn't necessarily rule out using two M10s. Separate recorders give you flexibility in terms of placement, without having to worry about running cables all over — plus, you then have a backup recorder for simple two-track situations.

Of course, this depends on how much of a PITA you find adjusting pitch/tempo to be. It's absolutely true that even two otherwise identical M10s will run at slightly different speeds.

FWIW to my ears when people line up 2 different sources and match them, as in a SBD and an AUD using 2 unlinked decks, you can always hear some reverb and issues from the alignment. It is never a perfect match. It may not bother most people, but I find it to be less than desireable. I would go with a 4 channel deck every time. After all, that is what the deck was designed to do.

Consider where and how you record.  If you pickup a 4 channel recorder, which is probably the right choice, hold on to your existing M10  so that you can easily adapt and make the best of any situation.  When recording with mics placed near the board then it's far more convenient, less of a hassle, and less error prone to record both sources on one recorder.  But if you can place your mics in a more optimal location which is not near the board, then having a separate recorder for SBD and doing the file sync align/stretch afterwards can often be more practical than running long cables, if that's even an option.  If making a high quality recording is the goal that's an important option to have, given the importance of getting the mics in the most optimal recording location.

Current software tools makes for the possibility of pretty much error-free aligning and stretching of the resulting files from two separately clocked recorders, but one needs the correct software tools, the know how to use them correctly, and the motivation to take the time and make the effort do it right.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline dallman

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2016, 02:54:41 PM »
While a four-track recorder will obviously save you time in aligning sources in post, I wouldn't necessarily rule out using two M10s. Separate recorders give you flexibility in terms of placement, without having to worry about running cables all over — plus, you then have a backup recorder for simple two-track situations.

Of course, this depends on how much of a PITA you find adjusting pitch/tempo to be. It's absolutely true that even two otherwise identical M10s will run at slightly different speeds.

FWIW to my ears when people line up 2 different sources and match them, as in a SBD and an AUD using 2 unlinked decks, you can always hear some reverb and issues from the alignment. It is never a perfect match. It may not bother most people, but I find it to be less than desireable. I would go with a 4 channel deck every time. After all, that is what the deck was designed to do.

Consider where and how you record.  If you pickup a 4 channel recorder, which is probably the right choice, hold on to your existing M10  so that you can easily adapt and make the best of any situation.  When recording with mics placed near the board then it's far more convenient, less of a hassle, and less error prone to record both sources on one recorder.  But if you can place your mics in a more optimal location which is not near the board, then having a separate recorder for SBD and doing the file sync align/stretch afterwards can often be more practical than running long cables, if that's even an option.  If making a high quality recording is the goal that's an important option to have, given the importance of getting the mics in the most optimal recording location.

Current software tools makes for the possibility of pretty much error-free aligning and stretching of the resulting files from two separately clocked recorders, but one needs the correct software tools, the know how to use them correctly, and the motivation to take the time and make the effort do it right.

I was not talking about my own recordings. I just do not record this way. I was talking about shows posted I listen to. You can always hear some reverb, or some slight misalignment and to each his own, but I think a deck designed to eliminate that problem is a better choice. Your point is well taken though, there can be other considerations.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 04:26:26 PM by dallman »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2016, 04:34:47 PM »
I was not talking about my own recordings. I just do not record this way. I was talking about shows posted I listen to. You can always hear some reverb, or some slight misalignment and to each his own, but I think a deck designed to eliminate that problem is a better choice.

I didn't assume you were, and completely agree that best practice is recording all channels using the same clock. But sometimes doing that is either not possible or not practical, and in those situations the use of two non-clock-linked recorders can make for a recording of superior quality than choosing a less ideal location for the microphones just so a single multichannel recorder can be placed close enough to the board to also record a SBD feed.

The part I completely disagree is the statement that one "can always hear some reverb, or some slight misalignment" in all recordings made from the combination of sources recorded on two non-clock-linked recorders, even when proper care has been taken to accurately sync the resulting files.  If you hear that stuff, it means the files weren't accurately and correctly sync'd.  It doesn't mean it's not possible to achieve.

Yes, such problems are quite common and quite possibly the rule rather than the exception for many posted shows made from a combination of files recorded using two non clock-linked recorders.  But it by no means is a forgone conclusion that those faults are unavoidable in this day and age of commonly available advanced tools for the accurate manipulation and synchronization of the files.  On the contrary, it's quite possible as long as one has the tools and is willing to make the effort to learn how to properly use them, and doing so today is much easier than it ever has been.  Granted that not long ago this used to be considerably more difficult and was more error-prone, but software advances move quickly.

I have recorded this way many times, originally out of necessity, and still do at times for reasons of practicality even though I now have a number of multichannel recorders.  It's not my prefered method as it requires additional work and careful attention to detail to avoid the problems you mention, but remains a valuable problem solving option.  It's a trade-off which demands more work afterwards to achieve identical quality.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline morst

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2016, 08:00:15 PM »
While a four-track recorder will obviously save you time in aligning sources in post, I wouldn't necessarily rule out using two M10s. Separate recorders give you flexibility in terms of placement, without having to worry about running cables all over — plus, you then have a backup recorder for simple two-track situations.

Of course, this depends on how much of a PITA you find adjusting pitch/tempo to be. It's absolutely true that even two otherwise identical M10s will run at slightly different speeds.

That's what I was gonna say.
 :iamwithstupid:  :coolguy:

I have recorded this way many times, originally out of necessity, and still do at times for reasons of practicality (snip).  It's not my preferred method as it requires additional work and careful attention to detail to avoid the problems you mention, but remains a valuable problem solving option.  It's a trade-off which demands more work afterwards to achieve identical quality.

Oh yeah, that too.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 08:04:32 PM by morst »
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Offline dallman

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2016, 12:09:03 AM »
The part I completely disagree is the statement that one "can always hear some reverb, or some slight misalignment" in all recordings made from the combination of sources recorded on two non-clock-linked recorders, even when proper care has been taken to accurately sync the resulting files.  If you hear that stuff, it means the files weren't accurately and correctly sync'd.  It doesn't mean it's not possible to achieve.


You are correct. My statement was too strong. With proper care and preparation, it most certainly is possible. There is a lot of sloppy work out there though and that is because it is a process that takes some skill and patience.
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Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2016, 01:20:30 AM »
As mentioned 2 recorders = better "backup" ...but also gives you the option to run rigs at different shows (like a festival). I might consider 2 M10's if I RARELY got the option to get a SBD patch and wanted the option to record 2 shows at once.

Personally I'd MUCH rather run a single 4 channel rig. Lining up the 2 sources is a piece of cake that way.

When I had a 4+ channel recorder I also had the M10. Most of the time I just ran the M10 because it was smaller and easier to use. I usually only broke out the multi-track when I had the freedom to record from whatever I wanted.

So...if it were me I'd pick up a 4 track recorder first and then save your pennies and pick up a M10 (or similar) in the future.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2016, 05:22:41 PM »
The question just struck me why Sony has limited itself to two track recorders with the M10 and D100 and not offered a 4 track XLR recorder?  It's like Sony has built two awesome recorders, but isn't interested in expanding to multitrack recorders? 

Offline rigpimp

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2016, 05:29:55 PM »
I'd consider this:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=179130.0

I have one and LOVE it.  I am considering this as a second one and linking it as a slave unit to get 8-channels.  If you buy it then I can go and get the Schoeps MK capsules that I need instead.
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Offline robin746

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2016, 03:32:56 PM »
I think the 70D preamps sound just as good/better as the F8 pres

Not even close, but if all you are doing is feeding line level maybe you won't notice.

I recently had a chance to compare the two, while four of us were on expedition. The recordist with the 70D basically said that none of their recordings were decent. There were lots of noise and signal strength issues, plus reliability with a variety of microphones (including contacts). Besides this, the form factor is really only handy when mounted under a camera, as designed.

Finally, compare noise floor. The EIN of the F8 amps is a respectable 127 dBu (A weighted). The F4 has identical circuits. The 70D pre-amps measure 7 dB worse. That's not a little.

So, no, not even close.
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Offline robin746

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2016, 03:37:29 PM »
The question just struck me why Sony has limited itself to two track recorders with the M10 and D100 and not offered a 4 track XLR recorder?  It's like Sony has built two awesome recorders, but isn't interested in expanding to multitrack recorders?

Who can ever figure out Sony?

They make a decent M10 but put two omni caps close together, thus killing the stereo field. Doh!

They make a larger and expensive unit but then forget to provide XLR inputs. Arg!

They put their best circuits into a MiniDisk recorder, but then cripple the file format.... only opening it when the units were due to be discontinued. ?!^$"£&*(!
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Offline morst

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2016, 07:16:49 PM »
I recently had a chance to compare the two, while four of us were on expedition. The recordist with the 70D basically said that none of their recordings were decent. There were lots of noise and signal strength issues, plus reliability with a variety of microphones (including contacts). Besides this, the form factor is really only handy when mounted under a camera, as designed.
I take it this was not a rock and roll adventure, but more of a "natural soundscape" type thing?

Yeah, about that form factor. I like to set it up so I can see the meters, which often winds up with me running the DR upside down as I view it, due to the angle of the display!
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Offline rastasean

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2016, 01:17:26 AM »
I think the 70D preamps sound just as good/better as the F8 pres

Not even close, but if all you are doing is feeding line level maybe you won't notice.

I recently had a chance to compare the two, while four of us were on expedition. The recordist with the 70D basically said that none of their recordings were decent. There were lots of noise and signal strength issues, plus reliability with a variety of microphones (including contacts). Besides this, the form factor is really only handy when mounted under a camera, as designed.

Finally, compare noise floor. The EIN of the F8 amps is a respectable 127 dBu (A weighted). The F4 has identical circuits. The 70D pre-amps measure 7 dB worse. That's not a little.

So, no, not even close.

Couple interesting videos about the noise:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dUjmYTB060

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5tGpKlNxhI

I don't hear any self noise in the latter video and it looks like he's plugging directly into the recorders. He's not comparing a F8 in the same setting but can you hear noise?

You may recognize the name sam mallery, he was the B&H review guy. I don't know how long he's been doing this review stuff on his own but I'm happy with it. 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 01:20:25 AM by rastasean »
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Offline morst

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Re: for board/mic mixes, 4 track recorder or 2 M-10?
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2016, 03:56:06 PM »
Couple interesting videos about the noise:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dUjmYTB060

What's up with this video? They claim that a "sescom cable" is the only way to eliminate the noise... I gather that any attenuator would work to keep the camera's mic level from overloading,  but they just keep calling it THE AMAZING MAGICAL MIRACULOUS WONDERFUL SESCOM CABLE or some crap... WTH?  :smash:
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