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Author Topic: Suggest a setup for a NEWB for recording acoustic/jazz/chamber shows in my loft.  (Read 2121 times)

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Offline ICTWoody

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Beautiful space, but all hard surfaces that reflect sound make for a difficult space in which to record.

If portability is not an issue, then a multi track USB interface is enough.  Cm3 mics or dpa 4061 mics.


But I think the main problem will be the hard reflective surfaces which can only be overcome with acoustic treatment or recording elsewhere.  As soon as you record in that space, you're going to hear what I mean.

But it is beautiful.

I think that some of the disadvantages of that room when it comes to acoustic things like reflections etc... can be somewhat mitigated by choosing the type of performers I have up there. It has a lot of natural verb, but I have several stereos in that room I rotate around (including the big altecs pictured) and I'm pretty familiar with the sound in there. Acoustic recordings sound really nice cause of the natural verb... rock and stuff, not as much.

My dedicated listening room is smaller at 12.5'x16.5' and it's fully treated and measured. I have it setup so my head is in a reflection free zone and there is a lot of full range trapping to help mitigate room modes. It's not that I couldn't treat the big room... it's just an aesthetic thing (remember, I'm a designer for a living) and it won't be happening. But instead of looking at the sound of the room as a huge drawback, I'll probably just embrace it and try and tailor the music to it a bit.

As for portability, I really think that I will be taking the rig out and doing some location recording at least every couple months. I know a lot of small venues and bands that would let me tape... so why not if I'm going to invest in the gear. Also... even though I'm all MAC when it comes to computers, I feel like there is still more risk recording to my MacBook Pro etc... than a dedicated recorder. I really want to keep the computer out of it just to avoid any software instability issues. Plus... I wanna be like you guys!!! :-)

- Woody

Offline Moke

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I mentioned "Whips" for the LA pair.
This is a pair of Belden 1804a silver-plated copper small diameter quad-star cable whips, and the CM3 pair.  The small diameter, lighter cable, and right angle offset allow for mounting the mics in the mount without loading them which causes off-center mounting.
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Offline heathen

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The DR-100mkIII and a pair of those CM3s is going to have you set up really well, and with some money in your budget left over for all the miscellaneous stuff that quickly adds up like cables, memory cards, a stand, some kind of stereo bar, etc.  Make sure to post some of your pulls here.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | Countryman B3 | CA-14 omnis | AT853 cards | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline ICTWoody

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The DR-100mkIII and a pair of those CM3s is going to have you set up really well, and with some money in your budget left over for all the miscellaneous stuff that quickly adds up like cables, memory cards, a stand, some kind of stereo bar, etc.  Make sure to post some of your pulls here.

Yeah... the CM3's seem like a no-brainer as a starting set. If I want to change patterns I'll just buy another mic pair down the road. I LOVE high-value brands, and Line Audio Design definitely seems to be one of those brands.

I have stands already... nice ones from my photography stuff. Light ones which would work well for portable recording, and some really rigid studio ones that I'll probably use in my place. I have some short Mogami XLRs I can use if I mount the recorder close to the stand for now. But I will probably order some light weight ones like Moke suggested.

The DR-100MKIII looks nice... but I REALLY think I want the flexibility of more tracks. To me 4 is a minimum... and I'm definitely in the having more than I need and not use them, rather than the wish I had more, camp. Going to a recorder that has nicer features to me justifies the cost... the Sound Design units can serve as a USB interface if I want to record to my computer, the Class-A preamps are supposed to be very nice (and I'm a huge believe in preamps making a huge different, albeit coming from the playback world. My most expensive component is my Modwright 36.5 pre.) Analogue limiters, if I need them in the future, good DAC's etc... Plus, to me, the remote app is a big plus — which is almost an exclusive feature of those units.

Now — assuming that I was pre-disposed to 4+ tracks, and a budget of $900 MAX for a recorder, and I wanted the OPTION of portability, the question becomes IS the MixPre-3/6 the best recorder option for the reasons listed above. Or is something like a Zoom F4/F8, Roland R-44E, or something with more tracks from Tascam, like a DR-60/DR-40/DR-680/DR-701 a better value?

Are there any generalizations/consensus regarding brands among the more serious tapers? Like "lower end Tascam sucks, don't waste your money" etc... I should be aware of? And sorry if I just made anyone LOL asking if there was consensus in an audio-related hobby. :bigsmile:

- Woody

Offline heathen

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Now — assuming that I was pre-disposed to 4+ tracks, and a budget of $900 MAX for a recorder, and I wanted the OPTION of portability, the question becomes IS the MixPre-3/6 the best recorder option for the reasons listed above. Or is something like a Zoom F4/F8, Roland R-44E, or something with more tracks from Tascam, like a DR-60/DR-40/DR-680/DR-701 a better value?

Are there any generalizations/consensus regarding brands among the more serious tapers? Like "lower end Tascam sucks, don't waste your money" etc... I should be aware of? And sorry if I just made anyone LOL asking if there was consensus in an audio-related hobby. :bigsmile:

- Woody

I was recently researching some of the recorders you mention, though I had slightly different criteria than you which knocked some of those you mentioned out of the running for me.  My advice would be to start with the features you most want and get a list of potential recorders based on that.  Once you have that list (which will probably be around 6ish, I'm guessing), look through the threads on the Recording Gear subforum.  There is probably a dedicated thread for each that you're considering.  Those threads should give you an idea of what issues people are running into by using them in live concert audience taping situations (which is most of the time not what the recorder was intended for).  Keep in mind, of course, that people are going to be more inclined to post about problems than they are to just say "everything works great."

As for general consensus, I think if anything most people will say that all of the recorders you mentioned are fine, with the differences between them being fairly small in the big picture of things.  We're not talking about the difference between McIntosh separates and a Bose all-in-one POS here  ;)

You don't NEED to get a MixPre6 to have 4+ channels of quality audio.  Without starting a war here, I'd bet that in most live concert taping situations the difference between MixPre6 preamps and those in a DR-680mkII would be hardly audible, if at all.  Keep in mind that your money is better spent on mics.  I'll take a DR-680mkII with top-of-the-line mics over a Sound Devices recorder being fed mediocre mics any day.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | Countryman B3 | CA-14 omnis | AT853 cards | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline kuba e

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Woody, read this thread, there are a lot of informations about recorders.
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=183193.0

Offline ICTWoody

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Woody, read this thread, there are a lot of informations about recorders.
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=183193.0

Thanks. I'll read through that thread tonight.

- Woody

Offline ICTWoody

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As for general consensus, I think if anything most people will say that all of the recorders you mentioned are fine, with the differences between them being fairly small in the big picture of things.  We're not talking about the difference between McIntosh separates and a Bose all-in-one POS here  ;)

You don't NEED to get a MixPre6 to have 4+ channels of quality audio.  Without starting a war here, I'd bet that in most live concert taping situations the difference between MixPre6 preamps and those in a DR-680mkII would be hardly audible, if at all.  Keep in mind that your money is better spent on mics.  I'll take a DR-680mkII with top-of-the-line mics over a Sound Devices recorder being fed mediocre mics any day.

I agree for the most part regarding the likelihood of the quality being more even in "real world settings." I wonder about the usability, features et, al, though. I still have a lot more reading to do. Gonna keep diving in.

- Woody

Offline goodcooker

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I'm guessing from your handle that you are in Wichita. I just moved there a few months ago. Also guessing from your pics that you are in Old Town or at least downtown somewhere. So am I. Been taping for a bunch of years (concert and home studio stuff). If you would like to get together and talk recording send me a PM and we can have some beers or whatever.

I also may have a complete turnkey rig I may be willing to sell to get you started for well under your budget.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Generally, a battery powered standalone recorder is much easier to deal with if you intend to record outside your home in places where setting up your mac with an interface is inconvenient or risky.

FWIW, I think you're on the right track to think about at least 4 channels because that gives you much more flexibility later than a 2 channel recorder. 

In choosing from among the recorders you listed, particular features matter.  For example, if you want a recorder that can be controlled over HDMI with a capable DSLR, then it's the mix pre or 701d.  I think the zooms have a different time code setup--not sure what it is.  Consider the external battery requirements for each recorder because some can be powered with a simple cell phone battery, some use the C-style battery and some may need a 12v battery.  Also suggest that you look carefully at the display screen because some screens have better metering displays than others.  These recorders are just enough different between models that you need to look at their features carefully before you buy. 

Cm3s have a small body that isn't as visually obtrusive in photos as some larger body mics.  They do have a wide card pattern which may pick up more reflections than some other choices.  They are nice sounding mics. 

The reflections in the space will change when packed with people. 

A lot of equipment trading goes on here.  You might find some setup that suits you at a good price.

Offline Moke

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Portable recorders, via a DC powering scheme, will NEVER give you a 60hz AC buzz.
Dirty AC power sucks, and it is in abundance.
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Offline ICTWoody

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I'm guessing from your handle that you are in Wichita. I just moved there a few months ago. Also guessing from your pics that you are in Old Town or at least downtown somewhere. So am I. Been taping for a bunch of years (concert and home studio stuff). If you would like to get together and talk recording send me a PM and we can have some beers or whatever.

I also may have a complete turnkey rig I may be willing to sell to get you started for well under your budget.

Awesome! Yeah, I'm in Delano. Right by the clock tower. I'll send you a PM and we can meet up... love to show you my space and pick your brain. I'll PM you.

- Woody

Offline voltronic

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Regarding shockmounts - I can't speak to the effectiveness of the Line Audio mounts, but I can tell you that the CM3 is a bit more vibration-sensitive than other mics.  Perhaps this is due to their ultra-light weight.  To that end, I always recommend Rycote shocks above anything else, though they do cost a bit more. 

I saved quite a bit of money buy purchasing the softest lyres separately and doing a DIY job on the rest of the mounts.

Regarding the suggestion on ultra-light cables - as long as you properly strain-relief your cable dressing, you can use as thick and heavy a cable as you like.  The only situation where I need to use super-light cabling is when rigging my DPA 4061s on a low-profile carbon fiber stand which would otherwise flex under the weight of thicker cable.
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Offline ICTWoody

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Regarding shockmounts - I can't speak to the effectiveness of the Line Audio mounts, but I can tell you that the CM3 is a bit more vibration-sensitive than other mics.  Perhaps this is due to their ultra-light weight.  To that end, I always recommend Rycote shocks above anything else, though they do cost a bit more. 

I saved quite a bit of money buy purchasing the softest lyres separately and doing a DIY job on the rest of the mounts.

Regarding the suggestion on ultra-light cables - as long as you properly strain-relief your cable dressing, you can use as thick and heavy a cable as you like.  The only situation where I need to use super-light cabling is when rigging my DPA 4061s on a low-profile carbon fiber stand which would otherwise flex under the weight of thicker cable.

Good to know. I'm getting pretty settled on giving a pair of CM3's a try. I might snag their shock mounts... but I'll look into the Rycote shocks as well.

- Woody

Offline bombdiggity

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Beautiful space, but all hard surfaces that reflect sound make for a difficult space in which to record.

If portability is not an issue, then a multi track USB interface is enough.  Cm3 mics or dpa 4061 mics.


But I think the main problem will be the hard reflective surfaces which can only be overcome with acoustic treatment or recording elsewhere.  As soon as you record in that space, you're going to hear what I mean.

But it is beautiful.

I think that some of the disadvantages of that room when it comes to acoustic things like reflections etc... can be somewhat mitigated by choosing the type of performers I have up there. It has a lot of natural verb, but I have several stereos in that room I rotate around (including the big altecs pictured) and I'm pretty familiar with the sound in there. Acoustic recordings sound really nice cause of the natural verb... rock and stuff, not as much.


I was going to say in response to the initial comment to look at the type of music proposed... 

acoustic/jazz/chamber is fine in any room (and often better in rooms with a little more reflectivity).  Just host people who know how to play without amplification (or at most a little amp for bass or whatever needs it). 

The second aspect is positioning.  You'll probably want to go "stage lip".  That's a safer position anyway in terms of hosting in an informal environment.  I'd done quite a few house shows over the years and as host you don't have time to monitor gear nor is it a good use of your time anyway.  Also generally lacking fixed seating means the audience space is flexible (and they'll appreciate that more).  In terms of everyone including you enjoying the show you'll likely end up with the mics on stage or at the very back to keep them out of the way.  In a huge live room the back is not prime recording space... 

Close you can do omnis or cards.  I don't use omnis but if I were in a live room I'd only use them close. 

It looks like a really nice space. 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

 

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