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Tech: minidiscs & microphones

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KingBrilliant 09 May 01 - 05:59 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 May 01 - 07:16 AM
Hamish 09 May 01 - 08:03 AM
KingBrilliant 09 May 01 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Russ 09 May 01 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Mikey Joe 09 May 01 - 10:42 AM
KingBrilliant 09 May 01 - 10:49 AM
Gervase 09 May 01 - 10:58 AM
Jande 09 May 01 - 11:29 AM
John J 09 May 01 - 11:32 AM
KingBrilliant 09 May 01 - 11:56 AM
KingBrilliant 10 May 01 - 05:26 AM
Rick Fielding 11 May 01 - 12:58 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 May 01 - 11:05 PM
KingBrilliant 14 May 01 - 10:43 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Jun 01 - 09:07 PM
KingBrilliant 06 Jun 01 - 04:11 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Jun 01 - 04:57 AM
harpgirl 28 Nov 04 - 01:30 PM
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Subject: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 09 May 01 - 05:59 AM

Hi all
I just bought a Sharp MD MT80H walkman minidisc for recording practice sessions & pub & festival sessions.
The instructions say I need a plug-in-power type microphone. The mic I was sold initially was a sterio condenser jobbie with battery. The first minidisc unit went pear-shaped & was replaced. I was worried that it may have been because I used a powered mic.
I have been on a quest with different shops & get lots of conflicting advice. They all reckon it wasn't the mic that caused the problem & that it should have been OK. I spoke to the support line at Sharp but they redirected me to a microphone manufacturer that they recommend - who weren't a lot of help either!!
I don't want to spend too much money - but I do want a reasonable quality. I think I need a unidirectional stereo condenser type mic, and that the omni directional lapel mic style won't be what I need. Any advice on recording quality would be welcome....
It seems that the problem with using non plug-in-power mics is that current can come in from the mic & nacker the MD unit. A guy at Maplins reckoned I'd be OK with a pair of mono dual-impedence mics going thru a mono-stereo adapter plug thingy - the mics themselves have a transformer and also a capacitor before the output line so there should be no DC going into the unit from the mic. This sounded feasible - but I'm petrified of nackering another unit as I think the retailer might question a second failure!
The Sony shop reckoned that the Sharp are more resilient at the mic input than Sony & that my original mic should have been alright.
My head is spinning round & round AND I haven't been able to play with my new toy properly yet.
Can anyone help with some advice & recommendations - please, pretty please.

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 May 01 - 07:16 AM

Refresh. And while I'm at it, what sort of price is the Sharp, Kris?


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Hamish
Date: 09 May 01 - 08:03 AM

I've used a £10 stereo computer accessory mic on my minidisk - it's not powered but gives remarkably good results. Start there, I'd say!


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 09 May 01 - 08:21 AM

Fionn - cheers for the refresh.
I bought the MD-MT80H for £139 from a John Lewis store.
Hamish - where did you get your mic? Is it adequate for recording from across a room in a pub?

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 09 May 01 - 09:03 AM

With all due respect, MDs are not that complicated. The recommendation from the guy at Maplins was bizarre. The failure rate for electronic components these days is appalling. It is apparently cheaper to replace them than do QA on them. I recently bought a Sony mini system. Two of five were DOA right out of the box.

I've been using a minidisc recorder for a couple of years now. I take it to every music event and keep it going all the time. I use a Sony EGM-16 tie-clip mic ($20) where portability is important. I put the recorder in an available pocket and clip the mic to my shirt pocket or collar or neck (depending upon the sort of shirt I am wearing). The mic takes a thin battery about the size of a nickel. If I am planning to stay in one place for a while I use a Sony ECM-MS907 ($100) and a small stand. It takes a single AA battery.

I'm very happy with the sonic results of both mics. The files sound great played on my MD deck or transferred to a homemade CD.

Finally, check out minidisco.com


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: GUEST,Mikey Joe
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:42 AM

If your mike input says, plug in. Does this mean that the system can use an plug in power type mike. Or that the system MUST use a plug in power type mike and a self powered mike will damage the system?

Mj

I have a Sony MZR700


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:49 AM

MJ Sharp say that they recommend only using a plug in power type mic because of the possibility of a self-powered mic damaging the unit. But this is causing me no end of trouble because the shops I have tried only seem to stock self-powered which they reckon should be OK (but having returned one unit I'm loth to risk anything). On the other hand it seems rediculously restrictive if I can't now find a mic that matches their recommendation.
What do the Sony's have? Is it optional with them?

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Gervase
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:58 AM

I use a self-powered Sony stereo mike on a Sony MiniDisc recorder which delivers plug-in power and it works a treat - no damage to either machine or mike.
I'd advise against the smallest Sony stereo mike, though, as it's too small to stand under its own steam on a table-top without a large dollop of blu-tack or summat, while wearing it as a tie-mike with the little clip on the back means that you have to stand very still lest you record every rustle, grunt, belch and swallow. And it costs around £100, which is a bit steep for session recording.
Russ's solution sounds the best - two inexpensive mikes for different locations.


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Jande
Date: 09 May 01 - 11:29 AM

I'm using an MLi computer mic with my Sony MZR-55, I have absolutely no memory of where that mic came from... Possibly with a soundcard or something.

James and I, as songwriters, tend to get the lyrics and melody of any new stuff down using the minidisk. It has wonderful sound quality.

The only ting I dislike about minidisk recorders is the number of wires! Especially if you have it plugged in to the wall instead of using the battery.

~ Jande


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: John J
Date: 09 May 01 - 11:32 AM

If you PM Bernard I'm sure he'll be able to help: he's a pro sound engineer (and a thoroughly nice guy). John


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 09 May 01 - 11:56 AM

Aha! That's the ticket. I'll PM Bernard. And thanks everyone for all the help so far.

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 10 May 01 - 05:26 AM

Ha! An amazing thing happened!
I was going out to a friend's house last night to do some singing & wanted desperately to record it, so I thought I'd try the ratty old mono cheapy mic I had for my PC when that was alive. That worked OK but not great & meant I had to record in mono mode.
On Sat my brother-in-law had been round to borrow some PC game CDs & we had emptied out the drawer onto the table. So there on the table still was this tiny little mic that had come with a modem years ago. I had tried it in a tape recorder before but it had been shite. However - I thought I'd plug it in just to see ..... and lo & behold it were briliant!!!! It is stereo & must be one of these plug-in-power jobbies because it worked really well on the minidisc whereas it hadn't on the tape machine.
So I had one all along & just didn't know it!
So - sorry to have bothered everyone & thanks for all the help.

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 May 01 - 12:58 AM

I'm taking the plunge on Saturday. Glad to get some info here. Is there a website that objectively rates the recorders and mikes so I'll have a leg up when I head to the store?

Thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 May 01 - 11:05 PM

I have a friend who owns the R37 model from Sony, and he just thinks it's the best thing he's ever bought. He, like yourself, is a professional musician.

Another friend of mine, in Boston, just picked up one of the other models, the R70 model, and believes strongly that it's the way of the future.

I'm going to be getting one as soon as I can. Probably the R700 model, which replaces the R70.

Rick, one thing to note. Sony doesn't market many of their mini-disc recorders because they don't want to support them. Right now, in Canada, only the R37 and R70 seems to be available. Prices are higher than I think they should be.

Assuming no Canadian Sony reps are here, it's much cheaper to buy in the states. For instance, the R70, which was what I had been planning on buying is $499 in Canada. In the states, it WAS 249. Currently, they seem to be having a great sale on them at between 179 and 199 in the states. This is because they are discontinuing that model in favour of the R700.


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 14 May 01 - 10:43 AM

Rick - there's loads of info on the web - but its like wading through mud half the time. You could try http://www.minidisc.org.
The words 'minidisc' and 'comparison' yield quite a few hits on google.
Harmony Central have some stuff here

I'm really happy with my minidisc. It was pretty cheap and seems to do a good job. I've recorded some songs to send out to my sister in Japan & taken them from the minidisc onto tape - they sound pretty good for a home recording. For some reason the level going in from the minidisc to the tape recorder is very low though & you end up replaying the tape on a high volume setting (but no hiss or distortion so I suppose that's what a volume nob is for). The only thing I didn't like was that when I played back on my parent's hifi there was a noticeable slight loss of the undertones of my voice which was a bit bizarre (I thought it made me sound very saccharine - yeurkkk). I'm going to experiment a bit because I wonder whether I should have had the bass boost on when I played the minidisc into the tape machine (analogue leads connection). Sounded fine played back on my hifi, so it could be just because dad's equipt is about 20 years old.
Anyways - its a brilliant fun new toy!!!!

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 09:07 PM

Hadn't really started looking at and compairing minidiscs, when I saw one second-hand in a tiny electronics store. Went in to check the price out of mild curiosity, not really having spare cash to spend at the time, but as soon as the thing was in my hands I had to have it. I suppose they're all the same in this respect, but the solid build of it was a real pleasure. So I shelled out 50 GBP that I could ill afford - way too much, I'm sure - but I'm absolutely delighted with the acquisition. I'm using the cheapest of cheapo computer mikes, and the results are amazing. I will never lug the three-head Uher round in anger again.

One problem is, I've got no manual and can't find one on the internet for this particular model. (It's an MD-MT161, which I think is the model known as MD-MT15 or 15S in the US.)

I've sussed the basics, but could anyone explain any of the (to me) less obvious stuff - for instance, "combine" and "move" in the edit modes, and the "sync" part of the "enter/sync" button? And "TOC edit" keeps appearing - what's that?


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 04:11 AM

Is it a Sharp one? Sounds like it from the model number. I've found a manual for a different model at www.minidics.org/manuals/sharp_mdmt831.pdf
It lookds pretty similar to the manual for mine, so I expect it should answer some of your questions.
The TOC edit thing appears when the minidisc is altering the table of contents on the disc - ie its making permanent the changes that its been working on. Its important not to remove the power source when its doing this, as the disc could then be corrupt & unreadable.

Mine also has a 'hold' function which you can turn on & which then makes all other button-presses inactive until you turn it off again (to prevent accidental button-presses from knackering whatever it is you are trying to do). Unfortunately I accidentally put hold on the other day & then I couldn't remember how to turn it off again - and hence couldn't do ANYTHING including turn the damned thing off!!! its worth looking that one up in the manual..... (eventually I turned it off by frantically pressing everything I could in all sorts of combinations).

Kris


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Subject: RE: help: minidiscs & microphones
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 04:57 AM

Thanks, Kris. Yes, it's a Sharp - sorry, I meant to say that. And thanks for the other information. I'll try that manual. My model does have that "hold" facility, but it's a slideable physical switch, so no difficulty about how to turn it off. (I just didn't know what it did until you explained.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: minidiscs & microphones
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 01:30 PM

refroosh


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