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Author Topic: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?  (Read 12044 times)

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Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2011, 05:10:56 PM »
[...]
Why would you consider getting a portable web browser to record as opposed to a stand alone device?
For two reasons: I thought of getting one anyway to show my photography work etc. And also, because I thought that it would be nice to monitor the recording live, though I don't know to which extent that is possible on an iPad.

Offline rastasean

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 05:19:53 PM »
[...]
Why would you consider getting a portable web browser to record as opposed to a stand alone device?
For two reasons: I thought of getting one anyway to show my photography work etc. And also, because I thought that it would be nice to monitor the recording live, though I don't know to which extent that is possible on an iPad.

I'm sure there is an app that will allow you to record in high res that you can use with the usbpre2 but so it certainly may be worth it but I think the former reason makes more sense: to show photographs. People don't carry around an actual portfolio, its all digital so that can make sense. I don't know anything about the headphone amp on the ipad but I have a feeling the usbpre2 and/or sony d50 would exceed what is in the ipad to allow you to monitor it. What headphones do you have to monitor it live?
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Offline jbell

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 05:20:35 PM »
I've always heard laptop tapping is a PIA so I can't imagine the ipad would be any different. 

Edit:  Here is one on ebay that only has 3 hours and is starting at $300.  Might be able to snag it for a good price

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sony-PCM-D50-4096-MB-12-5-Hours-Handheld-Digital-/120726618165?pt=Voice_Recorders&hash=item1c1bde0035
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 05:26:33 PM by jmbell »
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Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 06:03:02 PM »
I'll go with the D50 then. The perspective of monitoring and tapping on the iPad is not for me. I will try to find it used at a good price. Though to monitor I thought to use the USBPre 2?

I have the ATH-50, but would consider to buy a new pair, that would be a perfect match for the USBPRE 2 and another one for the D50, because I think they'll need different ones. I, also thought of IEM's for the field, to better block out the ambient noise and to be less conspicuous. Any suggestions?

PS: If I find a cheap used PMD661, which also has S/PDIF Input, that should be as good instead of the D50, right?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 06:14:51 PM by nino »

Offline JasonSobel

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 09:53:06 AM »
PS: If I find a cheap used PMD661, which also has S/PDIF Input, that should be as good instead of the D50, right?

yes, a Marantz PMD-661 works great to record from an S/PDIF data stream.  in fact, it might be preferable, because the RCA connection over a coax cable might be more robust and secure than the optical S/PDIF connection on the Sony PMD-D50. The battery life on the PMD-661 (when recording via S/PDIF) is at least in the 7-8 hours range, and probably more (though I never tested the S/PDIF input until the batteried completely died).  That is with 4 internal re-chargeable AA batteries.

Along with most of the folks here, I would also recommend staying away from the MTII, for reliability reasons.

Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2011, 12:09:56 PM »
Thank you for those clarifications about the digital connections! I understand that the D50 has optical input and the PMD661 has coaxial input. IMO S/PDIF is more robust. Also, I read the Digital Line In is only made out plastic on the Sony, the style which always brakes. But new, the PMD661 is another 150$ more.

The last few days I tried to source a used PMD661 or a D50 without success.

Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2011, 12:28:41 PM »
So over which type, I mean the full descriptive name, of digital connexion can I connect the USBPre2 to the PMD661 on the one side and the D50 on the other?

Offline JasonSobel

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2011, 01:22:51 PM »
So over which type, I mean the full descriptive name, of digital connexion can I connect the USBPre2 to the PMD661 on the one side and the D50 on the other?

Jon (mshilarious) was just making the point that S/PDIF is a data format, and can be carried via a coax cable (usually with an RCA connector, but sometimes with a BNC connector) or an optical cable.  but it's the same S/PDIF format either way.

The Sony PCM-D50 provides an optical S/PDIF input.
The Marantz PMD-661 provides an RCA jack for the coax S/PDIF input.

The USBPre2, conveniently, provides an S/PDIF output over both optical or coax cable.  So you'll be able to connect either deck directly to the output of the USBpre2.

I generally prefer a coax cable for S/PDIF signals, particlarly for field recording, as I think they are more durable and reliable.  but, I don't have direct experience with the PCM-D50.  If the optical S/PDIF connection is tight and secure, it probably won't make much real world difference which one you go with.  Perhaps other D50 users can speak to the optical input's reliability and durability.  That said, the PMD-661 provides an RCA jack for the S/PDIF input, and it's tight and secure.  the cable can rotate and/or shift a bit, and there's no worry about loss of signal.  and there are many right-angle RCA plugs available, which I find convenient.

Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2011, 01:46:50 PM »
I got it! Thank you Jason!

Form what I heard the D50's optical input doesn't look that durable, so is the corresponding cable. Would indeed be nice, if some user could give us feedback about that point. All in all, the PMD661 looks better equipped for this task as a S/PDIF recorder.

And there is also this test, where, IMHO, the PMD661 easily turns out the be the most silent for Line-In: "Portable Recorder Noise: The Sounds of Silence: http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable-recorder-noise.html#samples

...but it's again 150$ more.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 01:49:38 PM by nino »

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2011, 02:01:15 PM »
I got it! Thank you Jason!

Form what I heard the D50's optical input doesn't look that durable, so is the corresponding cable. Would indeed be nice, if some user could give us feedback about that point. All in all, the PMD661 looks better equipped for this task as a S/PDIF recorder.

For SPDIF use, unless you're going to be beating and banging around with the usbpre2, I don't think it matters much. Now, if this will be in a bag over your shoulder and in movement while using it, I'd pick the 661, but otherwise I think it's moot.

Of the 4 possible SPDIF connections (usbpre2 optical, usbpre2 coax, 661 coax, and D50 optical) I find the most fragile or prone to disconnect with movement is the usbpre2 optical, not the other three, and a right angle toslink connector end on your optical cable plus some gaffer tape resolves my worry there. If you go that route, make sure to find an optical cable with right angles on both ends (toslink on one, standard 3.5mm optical on the other) and avoid adaptors that make a straight cable RA.
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Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2011, 02:18:54 PM »
Well it will be sometimes in a bag over my shoulder... I started of the thread with the idea of getting the USBPre2 connected to a used MicroTrackII. Now, I start to think that only the PMD661 will be up to the task.

BTW "Page" where does one get such wonderful angled short cables even with different ends?

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2011, 02:52:11 PM »
Well it will be sometimes in a bag over my shoulder... I started of the thread with the idea of getting the USBPre2 connected to a used MicroTrackII. Now, I start to think that only the PMD661 will be up to the task.

BTW "Page" where does one get such wonderful angled short cables even with different ends?

JVC made them for a while, they show up on ebay often, about $10 or so. I didn't really look around when I got mine.

If you're going to be using it while it's over your shoulder, I'd go for a coax connection, or gaffer tape the RA optical cable which will work for that sort of environment in my experience. if you can't find the RA optical cable, I'd move to coax before using an adaptor or a straight end one. If it will only be over your shoulder for transit only and not in use until you are stationary, then I wouldn't worry.
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Offline nino

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2011, 03:22:30 PM »
It'll definitely get occasional use when over the shoulder and in movement. But as I do not want to spend the 600$ on the PMD661, I google to find a portable device to "record" a S/PDIF coax signal. It's hard to believe that there is not a satisfying way to do that without buying a whole audio recorder which I don't need at all. For the moment my research is fruitless though ;-)

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2011, 03:29:00 PM »
I also recommend the RCA SPDIF connection vs. the TOSLINK SPDIF...  But I ran TOSLINK (UA5 > Nomad JB3) for several years without issue in a bag.

I was concerned about movement on the optical cable, so I built a cage for my bag and secured the optical cable (inside techflex) to various points in the cage with nylon ties.  There was only a 3" dongle sticking out for my JB3.  Once plugged in, the JB4 was pretty secure.  It was fine for placing under my mic stand, or on a small table at a club.  But if I had to walk around, or carry it during a taping, I'm not sure if I'd trust the connection...

As for the RCA SPDIF input on a small recorder, yeah... there aren't many devices, and most are not cheap.  Our needs are so specific, and our market-share so small, that manufacturers don't see the benefit in selling a device like that... 

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Offline jbell

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Re: USBPre 2 > SPDIF > MicroTrackII for the field ?
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2011, 03:39:29 PM »
When I used the D50 the optical in on the recorder was secure since it was a mini plug in.  I always thought the Toslink on the preamp side was the connect of concern. 
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