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Minidisc recording and options

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NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 01:22 PM
Clinton Hammond 13 Feb 03 - 01:43 PM
Ron Olesko 13 Feb 03 - 01:47 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 01:58 PM
Ron Olesko 13 Feb 03 - 02:10 PM
Zhenya 13 Feb 03 - 02:10 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 02:32 PM
Barbara Shaw 13 Feb 03 - 03:01 PM
Ron Olesko 13 Feb 03 - 03:03 PM
Clinton Hammond 13 Feb 03 - 03:10 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM
Barbara Shaw 13 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM
Ron Olesko 13 Feb 03 - 03:51 PM
Amos 13 Feb 03 - 03:53 PM
Ron Olesko 13 Feb 03 - 04:07 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 04:22 PM
NicoleC 13 Feb 03 - 06:43 PM
GUEST 21 Apr 05 - 02:03 PM
Clinton Hammond 21 Apr 05 - 02:47 PM
treewind 21 Apr 05 - 03:07 PM
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Subject: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 01:22 PM

I need to do some live recording of rehearsals to learn pieces, and my cassette recorder's quality is too poor to be much help. So I was thinking of making the jump to mini disc, unless there are other options I can't think of. DAT is nice, but too expensive -- especially when it hurts my feelings to spend $200 on a Sony MZ-N707 plus another $100-ish on a mic jut to record a practice tape!

I think the best option would be a standard CDR format in a portable recorder, but I can't find one.

Can anyone think of any other options? Mic recommendations? Helpful hints? I've been cruising the info at www.minidisc.org, but so much of it doesn't apply to the US market that it's hard for me to get the real scoop.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 01:43 PM

100 ish on a mic???

I spend 20 or 30 or so on a tie-clip mic from Radio Hack and it works JUST fine with my MZ-N707

The only thing that bugs me aboout MDs is the inablilty to 'scan' seach a single track

Ghost around Minidisco.com and look in the MIC section... they have lots of really good affordable mics for yor MD recorder!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 01:47 PM

Clinton - I'm confused about the item that you mentioned that bugs you.   You can make separate tracks so I'm not sure what you were referring to.

MiniDisc's are perfect for your use NicoleC. I'm a huge fan of them - I have two portables and two decks at home.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 01:58 PM

Been cruising Minidisco.com -- I like they way they point out pro and cons to equipment. It's very helpful.

Overall, it seems like the Sound Professionals mics are the best bang for the buck if you're going to get an "MD" mic. I saw the Radio Shack mic elsewhere -- for $30 it appears to have similar specs to the MD mics, which are not particularly impressive, really. I'm glad to hear you're happy with yours -- it might be a good starter mic and then I could buy a better mic once I understand the characteristics of the media better.

I'm a gear-head, I can't help it. I'm also hypercritical about sound quality. I gotta have a GOOD one :)


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 02:10 PM

I have a pair of Sound Professional mic's - I paid about $120 for them a few years ago. Excellent sound and very durable.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Zhenya
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 02:10 PM

Clinton - I have the N707. When you talk about scanning, do you mean going quickly to a certain point in the track? This works okay on my machine, although you have to hold the buttons down really gently or it moves back or forth to the previous/next track.

Nicole

Here's a link to a recent discussion on another site about some of the pros and cons of minidisc recorder ownership.
Minidisc recorder discussion
Actually, I referred someone at that site back to a discussion I found helpful on Mudcat. So try this too:Mudcat minidisc discussion

Also check the FAQ at Minidisc.com if you haven't already.

I'm really enjoying using mine, and now I want to get a home deck at some point as well. Unfortunately, the minidisc boomboxes (which I'm ready to buy right now) only seem to have caught on in Japan. I had one problem where the recorder suddenly shut off in the middle, but that appeared to be a battery problem. I put in a fresh battery and have had no further problems.

It does sound like the Sharp recorders may be a little quieter, but I'm not really unhappy with mine. For the uses I want, the sound actually is fine. Using a cable (from my stereo, for example) there's no noise. With the mike, there's a bit, but it doesn't bother me that much. If you need to make absolutely pristine recordings, you may want to get a Sharp rather than a SONY.

Oh,, and here's another good link - lots of info : Minidisc recorder discussion topics

Zhenya


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM

Thanks for the links, Zhenya! Losta a good reading there.

Now, if only the Sharp's were available in the US. They do seem to have superior features. I know I can order one, but I'd really like to have one by my next rehearsal Tuesday... I'm behind the learning curve and we have a performance coming up. And if a Sharp breaks, I gotta ship it back to Japan for warranty service. (Might as well buy a new one!)


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 02:32 PM

I gotta tell you, this thing about not being able to transfer your recordings digitally is a PAIN. Good lord, I even have an optical port on my laptop and apparently no go.

You gotta use the cheesy headphone port. They're kidding, right? I mean, that's okay for transfering cassettes and vinyl, but digital...


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:01 PM

I have the Sony MZ-N707, and I'm not happy with it at all. In fact, I hate the thing. It's nice and small, which is apparently why they sacrificed digital convenience, but then you have to hang an awkward mic off the tiny little thing, because it doesn't have one.

To hear the sound, you have to use another device or headphones. You can upload the minidisc to the computer, but to do so you have to play it while recording into some kind of software and then listen to it from there. The minidiscs play only on their own device with headphones or a md deck - there are plenty of other ways you can spend money on this little gadget.

In all fairness, the recording quality is very good - if you get the settings right. We just had a gig last month where I asked the sound engineer to record onto my md through the board. When I went to listen to it, it was totally distorted and unusable. His fault for not setting the levels right probably, but a problem with a device that is so obscure and difficult that it's frustrating and maddening. Another gig more recently, and a different sound engineer recorded onto DAT and CD and minidisc all at the same time. The CD is fine. The DAT is set aside in case we ever want to use it as a basis for a new cd, and the minidisc I'm afraid to even listen to. Not to mention take the time to upload the thing in real time and then listen.

I've talked to many people who love the quality of the recordings but hate the thing itself.

That's probably 5c worth.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:03 PM

Nicole - there are a number of considerations as to why they don't offer it - most notably the copyright issues. They are trying to avoid the ability to create clones from a digital source.

The MiniDisc recorders are marketed as a replacement, or competitor, for MP3 players and walkmans.   Most consumers will only be using these devices for personal music and the manufacturers have not spent their design time on digital output when 90% of users won't touch it. The additional cost would not make the unit that attractive to the market they are aiming for.

There are more expensive portable units available - mainly geared towards media and reporters - that do indeed have digital output.

Good luck!

Ron`


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:10 PM

Oh well hell!! I didn't know my MD player could scan like that!!!!!!! Cool..   (d'uh! You know, it's not easy being this much of a thicky!!)

Nic... Yer optical port on yer MD recorder, is likely input only.... But there are some indy programmers working on software to make the MD USB connection 2 way... we'll have to wait and see what they develop...

MD rule!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM

I can find one US portable with a digital output (over $1000) and ONE brand spanking new home deck with one ($500). The copyright issues are the same fluff they threw up about cassettes, and CDRs, and DAT recorders and so forth. It just isn't relevant, but there ya' go. Eventually portable MDs will have digital outputs. Say maybe next year. Meanwhile it's a stupid feature not to have if you're going to have a mic input.

In the meantime, since I'll hook it up to my home receiver anyway for playback when rehearsing, I can run it through my digital receiver and digitally into my computer -- still an analog conversion, but my receiver will do a much better job than a computer sound card. (Meanwhile, I'm wondering if my CD player supports MD... it supports practically everything else...)

Thanks for the "cons," Barbara. The technical stuff doesn't worry me since I'm very familiar with that sort of thing. The real-time playback requirement stinks.

I have to say I think that it would be terribly silly to put an portable quality electret condenser mic in a digital recorder. It'd make the mini disc sound like an answering machine; personally I'm glad they don't bother. To me, the beauty of having interchangeable parts is that you can use the proper mic for a situation, or buy headphones that suit your ears and needs.

BTW, Barbara, I have a pair of old mini computer speakers ($10) I plug into a Walkman I keep in the kitchen. They don't sound too hot, but it might be a solution if you want to review a jam or rehearsal with a bunch of people on-site, instead of passing around headphones.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM

Actually, we have it hooked up to our PA system for rehearsals. That works OK - probably because my husband set it up and I didn't have to fight with it. I'm obviously not a gear-head. But he won't go near the computer, so that's my battle.

I do see people walking around with this tiny little - almost invisible - md recorder at bluegrass festivals. What gives them away is the mic in their hand - or in one case, on the guy's hat.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:51 PM

Barbara,

Also check their glasses - they have some stealth mic's available.

I own a set of lavalier mic's that clip onto lapels. I use them for interviews, not for recording music at festivals. I am sure they would work though - but I wouldn't recommend bootlegging somebody elses music!


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:53 PM

The optical port can upload and download. Recent models have Windows software that allow you to do file transfers over a USB port which is a new feature. I still enjoy playing the recorded files I have chosen into recording software where I can tweak, amplify, reverb and edit the files before saving them.

The iMic device allows both headphones and microphone to be plugged into a little device which hooks into your USB port, which is handy because you can play your MDR straight into that mic port.

Jumping to tracks is easy and in addition you can fast forward while listening within a track so you can locate down to the syllable.

A


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 04:07 PM

Are you sure about that Amos? I'm curious what model you have.   I have a Sharp and a Sony unit, both with an optical port but you can only record into the device through it.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 04:22 PM

Blurb on iMac device:
The iMic™ universal audio adapter is a USB device that adds a stereo input and output to your Mac or PC. This allows the connection of virtually any microphone or sound input device to the iBook, Titanium PowerBook, PowerMac or any other Mac or PC with a USB port. Currently shipping, the iMic supports both line and Mic level input as well as line level output for any USB capable computer.

By using USB, the iMic provides significantly superior audio input and output performance over built in audio. The iMic is a must have product for people who are serious about getting high quality audio in or out of their computers. The iMic not only provides amazingly high quality performance but is remarkably inexpensive at a suggested retail price of $35.


Hmmmmmm... Amos, are you plugging your optical cable into this or the headphone cable?

The USB transfer thing ("Net" models) is only one way -- PC to MD.


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 06:43 PM

Okay, I bought a 707 at lunch today. No mic yet, but pondering local mic selections had made me wonder about the possibility of using a USB mic with the "Net" mini disc players that don't have a mic input... USB mics aren't great, but they could be good enough for recording practices, etc. I record (cassette, yuck) myself practicing sometimes for extra feedback, and I suspect I'll do a lot more of that on MD that recording rehearsals.

Hey, I get to go home and play with a new toy! My favorite!


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 02:03 PM

im trying to get a manual for my little girl .it for a panasonic sj-mr220


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 02:47 PM

http://www.minidisc.org/part_Panasonic_SJ-MR220.html


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Subject: RE: Minidisc recording and options
From: treewind
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 03:07 PM

NicoleC, I very much doubt you'll be able to use a USB mic with a USB minidisc recorder. USB is a system where one device controls all the others, and usually that controller is your PC - without it the other devices do nothing.

If you want a portable recorder, minidisc is great, but get one with a proper mic input and a cheap electret mic ($10) and you'll be surprised how good it sounds.

Anahata


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