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Author Topic: Modern all-in-one recorder help  (Read 1619 times)

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Offline unidentified

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2024, 01:20:34 PM »
I own two F3s and almost always run both of them at gigs from different locations. Set them up, turn them on, walk away. Mixing the two recordings is not difficult, just requires some practice and care.

Offline Chanher

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2024, 11:58:38 PM »
So much has changed in the recorder department, I still remember when reliable 4-channel 24/96 was just a pipe dream!

I would listen to as many Sound Devices MixPre samples and Zoom F series samples as possible. Throw in some Sound Devices 700(?) series samples as well.

A few years ago I finally upgraded my home playback to some (semi) serious studio monitors + DAC and it made a huge difference in critical listening for me.

I absolutely am biased, based on my owning (and loving) an F3 and F6, but I did a lot of listening and I preferred the Zoom F series before buying them. The difference is subtle but I liken the Zoom preamps to a V3; clean and transparent. Minimal-to-zero coloring of the sound.

While the MixPre preamps aren't very colored to my ears, they're just SLIGHTLY (I repeat SLIGHTLY) dull. This could be a lack of brightness. It is definitely subtle, but I hear it. I have heard plenty of MixPre recordings that I thought sounded great, and I have no doubt you could make great recordings with them. It's entirely possible the Zoom preamps have just a hair of that classic high-frequency bump (presence) that most people like. I know I like it. The Zoom and SD recorders both have excellent noise performance, see specs. I've only listened to a few of SD 722 samples and I liked them.

It sounds like SD's service is better and I know the MixPre's are engineered VERY well; they're using 3 separate ADC's, set at different gain stages, and the recorder selects the ideal ADC based on the incoming signal level. This applies to 24-bit and 32FP recording mode. The Zoom's use 2 ADC's for a similar feature. Both have proven to be reliable in the field.

32-bit Floating Point (32FP) is a whole other animal; good luck haha. Just know that the main difference is that you do not set your levels when using 32FP. There is not a sonic benefit to using 32FP over 24-bit. IMO, do not fear 32FP. It is super useful when I setup close to the stage/performers and I can hit record well ahead of time and not interfere with the performance while messing with levels. The performers appreciate it and I'm allowed to record a lot of great musicians because they know I stay out of the way. Or hitting record early at a rock show and wandering the venue and enjoying the performance has been priceless for me, I truly tape more now.

If you're only gonna be doing 2 channel work for the forseeable future, I recommend just start out with an F3. Tiny, cheap, simple and sounds great. A tiny 5000mah cellphone battery off Amazon and it will run 10+ hours.

The good news is I don't think you can go wrong with any of the above recorders. We should celebrate so many wonderful options.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 12:01:14 AM by Chanher »
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2024, 01:34:57 AM »
Thanks all for the ongoing input, I really appreciate it.

As I read feedback in this thread and over here, I'm revising my thoughts on repair service.  It's not so much repair service I value, but the initial durable build quality.  True enough, at my price point it's easy and relatively cheap to replace anything that breaks with another unit.

I admit, I have a mental block about the Zoom offerings and concerns about the quality of the preamps for my unamplified choral recording.  The feedback here and in other threads I've found here and elsewhere should amply dispel those concerns.  I guess at a few years past the half century mark as my brain slowly turns to jello I'm just a bit more comfortable with what I know, which still has me leaning towards SD.  I also find the F3 form factor a little odd, at least with my current bag / setup, whereas the MP3 v1 controls are all easily accessible from one side and within my bag.

I'm amazed at the options available these days, and it seems like I truly can't make a bad decision here!  I've had a couple generous offers for MixPre-3 v1s which I'm currently considering.  Clearly the answer is to pick up the MixPre-3 v1 and get my brother to buy an F3 so we can use both!
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2024, 08:34:58 AM »
Clearly the answer is to pick up the MixPre-3 v1 and get my brother to buy an F3 so we can use both!

This is a very solid approach. I hesitated getting into the Mixpre series until after the vii came out. The talk of the menu structure was baffling to me with all the different modes and how they differ. Once I finally bit the bullet and bought a Mixpre6 v1 from a member here well but gently used I found that the touchscreen interface was very user friendly and navigating the features was very straightforward.

The only hiccup IMO is the need to unpack polywav files before getting on with my typical workflow but that was an easy hurdle to overcome once I stopped being butthurt about it.
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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2024, 11:19:20 AM »
I admit, I have a mental block about the Zoom offerings and concerns about the quality of the preamps for my unamplified choral recording.

We all did! 

I hesitated getting into the Mixpre series until after the vii came out. The talk of the menu structure was baffling to me with all the different modes and how they differ.

I'm still somewhat there, but probably because I don't have enough hands on time setting-up/using one.  The other things that sort of bug me are forced polywavs instead of an option for straight mono/stereo wavs, and not having full size XLRs for all channel inputs on mp6 (last one is not an issue with mp3)
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2024, 05:19:13 PM »
I admit, I have a mental block about the Zoom offerings and concerns about the quality of the preamps for my unamplified choral recording.

We all did! 

I hesitated getting into the Mixpre series until after the vii came out. The talk of the menu structure was baffling to me with all the different modes and how they differ.

I'm still somewhat there, but probably because I don't have enough hands on time setting-up/using one.  The other things that sort of bug me are forced polywavs instead of an option for straight mono/stereo wavs, and not having full size XLRs for all channel inputs on mp6 (last one is not an issue with mp3)

These are some of the reasons I bought a 788 instead of MixPre-II. 4 of the inputs are TA3, but that's not an issue for me.
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Offline kindms

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2024, 08:28:20 AM »
ticks most of your boxes but over the budget

Ill put my .02 in for the Sonosax M2D2

I love it. it sounds awesome, its tiny and you can just use an old cell phone as your bit bucket.

gives you analog in out digi i/o usb audio usb power & traditional etc and its the size of a pack of smokes.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2024, 06:31:30 PM »
ticks most of your boxes but over the budget

Ill put my .02 in for the Sonosax M2D2

I love it. it sounds awesome, its tiny and you can just use an old cell phone as your bit bucket.

gives you analog in out digi i/o usb audio usb power & traditional etc and its the size of a pack of smokes.
Oh no, you didn't!
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Offline adrianf74

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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2024, 09:33:34 PM »
Oh no, you didn't!
 >:D >:D Don't mess with Bri's budget here! He says he has kids and stuff.    >:D >:D

Guess he’ll have get them kids some jobs… or look at other options.
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Re: Modern all-in-one recorder help
« Reply #39 on: Yesterday at 08:01:32 AM »
Oh no, you didn't!
 >:D >:D Don't mess with Bri's budget here! He says he has kids and stuff.    >:D >:D

Guess he’ll have get them kids some jobs… or look at other options.


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