Re: How to make CD's from a Sony mini-disc recorder

As I'm looking for a new portable MD recorder to make mic recordings of our 
sessions (my old one has busted)  I've been looking into this whole business 
of transferring recordings to computer, thence to CD.  It seems that Sony 
are obsessed with preventing bootlegging, the upshot being that there is no 
way for you to transfer recordings DIGITALLY on to your hard-drive from your 
portable MD.  This is a diabolical situation when they are selling recorders 
with mic inputs but that's the way it is.  With Sony's so-called "NetMD" 
recorders you can transfer your computer playlists to MD very quickly, but 
transfer in the other direction, such as you may want to do with your 
session recordings, is only possible in real time and by connecting the 
headphone socket of the MD to your computer line-in or mic socket.  This is 
of course analogue transfer, and, apart from being laborious, involves a 
certain degree of quality loss depending on the quality/compatibility of all 
the component parts involved.  In theory, given a good mic, you could make 
almost studio-quality recordings on MD - but, digitally-speaking at least, 
they are doomed to remain on your minidiscs.  Having said all this, you may 
still find that you can make very good copies on your computer, and in spite 
of the above-mentioned hassles you're still better off than with cassettes, 
what with their wow, flutter and tape hiss, none of which are present on MD 

If none of this puts you off MD, the next advice is to shop around - you 
wouldn't believe the price variations.  The one I'm buying is £120 on Amazon 
(no affiliation etc.....) but I have seen it at way over £200 elsewhere.  
Whatever you do, make sure that the thing has a mic input - most of the 
latest recorders lack this rather vital feature! They do not come with 
built-in mics like some cassette recorders, so you'll have to buy a 
recording mic too.

In terms of harmonica, when it comes to listening to yourself practising, I 
think that MD is far better than cassette.  Much better sound quality - 
quite "analytical," cruelly so in my case! - with no speed fluctuations to 
make the harp sound terrible, and no laborious rewinding to hear what you've 
just done.  You can re-use minidiscs many times without deterioration.

There are portable devices devices now, reasonably-priced, that record to 
memory cards and in effect are more like recording studios, but that's for 
someone else to discuss!

Steve Shaw

Want more than the blues?  Try Irish!

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