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Author Topic: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?  (Read 3947 times)

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Offline lsanbourne

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Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« on: November 17, 2023, 05:31:48 PM »
Hello,

I have been recording myself (I'm an opera singer) for about 7 years, first with Zoom devices and now with MixPre-6 ii, which is a great upgrade. I'm curious what I would gain if I splurged and got a Sonosax setup (e.g. AD8+ and M2D2). Does anyone have sample Sonosax recordings they could share, ideally in comparison with MixPre?

Thank you for taking the time to help!
Larry

Offline DSatz

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2023, 10:46:56 PM »
I think you are at the point of diminishing returns with the recorder you already have, unless there's some specific problem that you notice or suspect about it. Sonic differences among well-designed, properly operating preamps and recorders tend to be quite small, except for preamps that are designed to add a certain coloration to recordings--which none of the ones you mentioned are.

On the other hand your microphone(s), your way of using them and your acoustic surroundings--none of which you said anything about--are much larger variables--again assuming that the recorder is doing its job, which is to be a reliable, neutral scribe.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline jbell

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2023, 08:44:51 AM »
Here was an old comp of the Sonosax and Mixpre6!  Most people preferred the Mixpre6. 

https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=184892.0
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Offline lsanbourne

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2023, 05:13:56 PM »
Thanks very much! I saw that old comparison and it was helpful, but I would love a comparison with acoustic music, since that's probably more applicable to my use case.

I've heard from a lot of people that going beyond MixPre is beyond the point of diminishing. But even Sound Devices makes things that cost 5x more (not to mention Sonosax, DAD AX32, etc). I figured there must be some reason people buy these (surely it's not just because of additional features?), and I don't think all these people are just wasting their money! So even if it's a small difference, I'm super curious to hear it.

I asked on Gearspace and got lots of extremely strong opinions about how Sonosax is the world's best - but no one had any comparison audio files with classical music.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2023, 06:56:44 PM »
snip " I asked on Gearspace and got lots of extremely strong opinions about how Sonosax is the world's best "

I'm not surprised that you felt opinions there were "extremely strong". But they aren't wrong.

There's some overlap between their user base and ours here - mostly in their location sound forum. Which brings me to my question - how are you recording yourself? Are you recording at live performances or rehearsals where a portable recorder is required? Needs to run on batteries? How many tracks at once?

I agree that there isn't much room to grow beyond the SD Mixpre series recorders without significant jump in cost but there are definitely options and Sonosax has a proven track record for excellence.

There's other options if you are looking for color in your signal chain like running a mic pre in front of the recorder or using different mics even. Depends on your use case.

EDIT _ I didn't catch at first that you are looking at the AD8 preamp not one of their all in one recorders like the SX-R4. My bad. Still interested to hear what you are doing with your gear especially if it's live on location.
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Offline lsanbourne

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2023, 11:13:18 PM »
Thanks for your reply! For the record, I completely believe Sonosax is better - I just hope to be able to hear the difference myself before spending 5-6x more.

For this, my "mobile session" setup, I am recording live performances and sessions in churches or small theaters, usually including myself as a performer, usually into a DAW so that we can easily listen to takes. I'd use 4-6 channels now but want to be able to grow. Ideally the setup would also work on batteries with self recording (like MixPre), but for the session use case, I mainly just want great quality and don't want to have to lug a 1U box just to get extra channels.

For context, I also own RME Babyface Pro and 12Mic, but since 4 channels is a common use case and I'm very frequently on international tours taking a zillion flights, I want something that fits into a carryon bag (besides mic stands...grr mic stands...).

Larry

Offline Ronmac

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2023, 09:42:18 AM »
I think you are at the point of diminishing returns with the recorder you already have, unless there's some specific problem that you notice or suspect about it. Sonic differences among well-designed, properly operating preamps and recorders tend to be quite small, except for preamps that are designed to add a certain coloration to recordings--which none of the ones you mentioned are.

On the other hand your microphone(s), your way of using them and your acoustic surroundings--none of which you said anything about--are much larger variables--again assuming that the recorder is doing its job, which is to be a reliable, neutral scribe.

I totally agree. Having someone else provide a recording using a device(s) in an unfamiliar location won't offer much.

Thanks for your reply! For the record, I completely believe Sonosax is better - I just hope to be able to hear the difference myself before spending 5-6x more.
Larry

If you believe the Sonosax is better buy it. You will be happy, until someone tells you something else is better.

Offline kuba e

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2023, 07:27:38 AM »
Larry, welcome to the Tapersssection forum!

Our friends are right. The things that have the biggest effect on the quality of the recording are: the first is the space, then the location of the microphones, then the microphones themselves and their configuration, and the recording equipment is the last. The exact same applies to money. The biggest effect is the placement and configuration of the microphones, it's free. Then the microphones themselves, that already costs something, but the improvement can be big. Finally, there is a recorder, it also cost something, but the improvement is much less significant.

Here on the forum there are people who have a lot of experience recording classical music and have always been willing to share their experience even with amateurs like me. I have learned a lot here thanks to them. It's a bit of a shame not to take the opportunity to consult your recording process.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2023, 08:20:17 AM »
Hi there, another classical person here (pianist and choir director / singer). Just chiming in to agree that there's no need at all to upgrade from your MixPre; its preamps are already outstanding. The same could be said for the Zoom F series recorders, which I am a huge fan of.

Like others have said, the biggest improvements will be made by better technique, and then second, better microphones. Speaking of which: how are you recording yourself, and what mics are you currently using?

The people on GS Remote who say that you should be using Sonosax, DAD, Pueblo or other preamps are generally people who are professional recording engineers and who own the finest microphones available. At that elite level of technique, experience, and equipment, you are refining to the nth degree, and top end outboard preamplification and conversion might get you to the mountaintop.

I am very fortunate to have recently acquired some DPA 4000 series mics which are definitely in the world-class category, yet I have zero desire to replace or supplement my Zoom F6. My technique is the area that needs the most work, so that's what I'm focusing on.
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Offline dallman

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2023, 12:57:32 PM »
Hi there, another classical person here (pianist and choir director / singer). Just chiming in to agree that there's no need at all to upgrade from your MixPre; its preamps are already outstanding. The same could be said for the Zoom F series recorders, which I am a huge fan of.

Like others have said, the biggest improvements will be made by better technique, and then second, better microphones. Speaking of which: how are you recording yourself, and what mics are you currently using?

The people on GS Remote who say that you should be using Sonosax, DAD, Pueblo or other preamps are generally people who are professional recording engineers and who own the finest microphones available. At that elite level of technique, experience, and equipment, you are refining to the nth degree, and top end outboard preamplification and conversion might get you to the mountaintop.

I am very fortunate to have recently acquired some DPA 4000 series mics which are definitely in the world-class category, yet I have zero desire to replace or supplement my Zoom F6. My technique is the area that needs the most work, so that's what I'm focusing on.

Well said!
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Offline lsanbourne

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2023, 04:11:47 PM »
I have 4 Schoeps MK5 mics and 2 Line Audio CM4s for occasional room sound (see Decca book). I'm a professional musician but also wanting to do record others professionally.

My current device does not have enough channels. So I am trying to decide whether it is worth it to get something better than MixPre 10, but I don't want to do it without blind listening examples.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2023, 04:57:47 PM »
I have 4 Schoeps MK5 mics and 2 Line Audio CM4s for occasional room sound (see Decca book). I'm a professional musician but also wanting to do record others professionally.

My current device does not have enough channels. So I am trying to decide whether it is worth it to get something better than MixPre 10, but I don't want to do it without blind listening examples.

Those are all outstanding mics, and it's good to find another person here using the Haigh / Dunkerly Decca book.

If I were you I would get a Zoom F6 which gets you your 6 channels for under $750. Its preamps are more than up to the task, and later today I may post some samples in Team DPA or Team Classical of a concert I just sang in and recorded. Check my post history for many other classical / acoustic recordings made with this recorder.

If you need 8 preamps, get the F8n PRO, or the MixPre-II 10 if you'd prefer to stick with Sound Devices. I really don't think you need to look for anything more expensive for all the reasons mentioned in previous replies.

Also, please share some of your recordings if you would feel comfortable doing so. There are precious few of us on this forum who post classical concerts.
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Offline lsanbourne

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2023, 02:57:45 AM »
Thanks, Voltronic! Are Team DPA and Team Classical subforums somewhere here? Sorry for the newbie question. Looking forward to hearing your recordings and will do my best to post some of my own.

I remain really curious to hear comparisons with Sonosax AD8+ and SD 888, since (1) I don't like the headphone amp on the MixPre-6 ii and (2) I have never worked with such a high-end device and am curious what it sounds like. I know everyone's trying to convince me not to buy or worry about it, but that isn't quelling the curiosity with which I posted my original question.

Offline grawk

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2023, 07:35:21 AM »
Don't let people discourage you from trying to get the best result you can.  Everyone sees the point of diminishing returns in different places.  I'd suggest checking out http://jwsoundgroup.net as a place that might have someone that's tried the sonosax preamps.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2023, 09:20:09 AM »
Don't let people discourage you from trying to get the best result you can.  Everyone sees the point of diminishing returns in different places.  I'd suggest checking out http://jwsoundgroup.net as a place that might have someone that's tried the sonosax preamps.

Also Gearspace Remote Possibilities. But I think we're just trying to save the OP money. Nothing wrong with trying everything out, though.

Regarding the headphone amp comment - The headphone amps in the zoom f series are known to be not very good, even though the rest of the recorder is. I very rarely do any critical monitoring through headphones at recordings anyway, I just made you a quick listen to gauge overall balance and then just press record.
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