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Topic: OT (sort of): recording gear question

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  1. #1

    OT (sort of): recording gear question

    I need something a bit particular, and would like some input from people with more experience in these things than I.

    I have a number of conditions, however.

    ok, first off, what I need:
    a means to record a concert, "live", not the very best environmental/acoustical conditions.

    the audio data will then be (minimally) edited and burned to a CD (not for professional distribution, these are "demo" type recordings)

    The cost has to remain as low as possible.


    The things I have considered: a netbook with a mic; a DAT with a mic, lugging around a desktop PC with a mic;... other suggestions I have not thought of?

    With a decent stereo microphone on a boom, what sort of option should I be looking at for the recording medium?

    If I go the netbook or PC or laptop route, do I need a very good soundcard? or is the soundcard not involved in any question of quality for what I need?

    Sorry if this sounds all rather confused.. but I AM rather confused. I know nothing about audio engineering - and actually have very little interest in it. But I'd like to be able to record all of our festival concerts and be able to give a decent recording to the musicians who participate. This is particularly important if we are performing any new works.

  2. #2

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    I need something a bit particular, and would like some input from people with more experience in these things than I.

    I have a number of conditions, however.

    ok, first off, what I need:
    a means to record a concert, "live", not the very best environmental/acoustical conditions.

    the audio data will then be (minimally) edited and burned to a CD (not for professional distribution, these are "demo" type recordings)

    The cost has to remain as low as possible.


    The things I have considered: a netbook with a mic; a DAT with a mic, lugging around a desktop PC with a mic;... other suggestions I have not thought of?

    With a decent stereo microphone on a boom, what sort of option should I be looking at for the recording medium?

    If I go the netbook or PC or laptop route, do I need a very good soundcard? or is the soundcard not involved in any question of quality for what I need?

    Sorry if this sounds all rather confused.. but I AM rather confused. I know nothing about audio engineering - and actually have very little interest in it. But I'd like to be able to record all of our festival concerts and be able to give a decent recording to the musicians who participate. This is particularly important if we are performing any new works.
    The best option is to hire a professional to do a two-track recording. They'll have the experience for mic placement, the right mics for the job, and a fast turnaround time. Rate-wise I suspect you'd be looking at something around $30-65 an hour, though I have seen some charge as little as $150 for a full package deal around where I live. Personally, I do a lot of student recordings so my rate is low and usually on a per evening/event basis.

    With someone else managing the recording you can focus on the other aspects of the concert

    That said, a USB interface with GOOD condenser microphones running into a laptop with Sonar, PT, Logic, or even Audacity should give you acceptable results. Make sure that you disable all nonessential services and that you stress-test the system (4 or more hours sustained recording time without a glitch).

    If you do want to go the DIY route I'll be happy suggest some mics to use and help you set the whole live rig up.

    I'm sure Dan will chime in too.

    Best,
    Reegs

  3. #3

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    could someone suggest a good quality microphone for recording classical instrumental music that I could use with a laptop?


    if I get a laptop for this, should I look for anything in particular regarding the sound card?

  4. #4

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    Hello. I have had excellent results with a Zoom H4 digital recorder. I have recorded both rehearsals and performances with excellent results. It comes with stereo microphones, jacks for external mics if you want to use them, and a mount for a tripod. I bought it several years ago and (if I am remembering correctly) the cost was around two hundred fifty US.

    It stores info on a flash memory card which you can either move to your computer for editing or download by USB cable from machine to machine.

    Here is a link to Amazon with the current model:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...7VSZGP959AP7YZ

    Best of luck!
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5
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    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    I use a Zoom H2 which is a little cheaper than the H4. The unit is about $180 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...FQP7agodJic0aA. An 8 GB SDHC card ($20) will hold 11 hours of 16 bit, 44.1 khz audio. There are 2 sets of stereo mics with one having a wider stereo spread. You can also record both sets at the same time giving a surround effect. It uses a USB cable to transfer sounds to a computer. For better sound quality you can get external mics but then you will probably need a decent stereo preamp.

    Jim

  6. #6

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    I am wondering, if I use a laptop to record, with a microphone (obviously), are there limits on the distance/length of the cable?

    What other sorts of equipment might I need if I were to use a laptop to record?

  7. #7

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    Zoom recorders are a really good option I forgot about! Their built-in mics work pretty well. An all-in-one solution for under $200. This might be the exact solution you could use if you don't want to hire anyone.

    To get a stereo recording, you need two mics arranged in one of numerous patterns. XY is the simplest (a ninety degree angle where the bisecting vector points to the source). A friend of mine recommended the CAD e70's as a decent sounding stereo pair for cheeeeeeap. At $99 each they won't be the greatest. I've seen a few reviews describe them as very bright. But unlike software you can always sell them if things don't pan out.

    With an H4 the mics will plug in directly. You'll need an interface with preamps and phantom power if you want to use a laptop.

    Properly shielded analog mic cable will run hundreds of feet before you see any serious degradation in signal strength.

  8. #8

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    ugh...
    post edited


    so I spoke to a sales person at a music store, who highly recommends using a Zoom H4 Next instead of a laptop.

  9. #9
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    272

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    G’day,

    The most practical solution is a digital recorder with built-in or external stereo mic mounted on a mic stand, suitably positioned.

    As reberclark and Jim suggest, the Zoom H2 or H4 are a good choice among many digital recorders offered.

    Just do a few tests first. You will be surprised about the quality of the recording you will obtain, without having the full facilities a recording engineer has.


    Herbert
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  10. #10

    Re: OT (sort of): recording gear question

    Some microphone options here:

    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-e...der-500-a.html

    You are opening a can of worms for yourself though

    And there are reasons why sound engineers do that as a job of course.
    All your strings belong to me!
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