RE: [Harp-L] inexpensive recording rig (long)

I got one of these microtrack until a week ago.  I haven't recorded
any live shows yet but it's been great for rehearsals

>---- Original Message ----
>From: garry@xxxxxxxxxxxx
>To: Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: RE: [Harp-L] inexpensive recording rig (long)
>Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 14:06:25 -0400 (EDT)
>>i recently got a new recording rig for my birthday, and
>>figured some of you might be interested.  i've not done
>>recording before, though i know a number of tapers.  all
>>of them are *way* more serious about their gear than i
>>have the money, time, or inclination to be.
>>i was looking for something i could use to record weekly
>>jam sessions, and to occasionally record other shows
>>i get to.  major priorities included:
>>    cost.  i don't have much budget for this.
>>    simplicity.  i need something i can "set and forget".
>>    whether i'm playing or listening, i want to focus on that,
>>    not on the recording gear.
>>    size: related to above.  i don't want to lug a lot of
>>    gear around.  it'd be nice if it fit in my existing gig case.
>>    likewise, something i can sit on a barstool or table is a
>>    big plus in a lot of situations.
>>so with birthday looming, i started doing some research.
>>i'd gotten interested in minidisc from discussions here.
>>the Hi-MD recorders let you record 1.5 hours on a $7 disc
>>in uncompressed mode, or 8 hours in high quality (256KB atrac3+)
>>mode.  the former is ideal for archive-quality recordings like
>>shows, the latter is fine for day to day use, like practices or
>>jams.  i ended up going with a sony Sony MZ-RH10 hi-md recorder.
>>it's a HI-MD recorder with a very nice display that's easy 
>>to use in the dark.  their top of the line, it cost about $220.
>>a similar model (MZ-RH9) with a conventional lcd display is 
>>maybe $170 or so.  either'll record for several hours on its
>>rechargeable battery, and comes with an attachment you can put
>>a regular AA battery into to extend battery life.
>>to get the best sound, a good mic is key.  i looked at lot
>>at the various types and specs.  decided i wanted gooseneck
>>type for good stereo separation, 20-20KHz frequency response,
>>cardioid pickup pattern, high max SPL, etc.  after a lot of
>>looking, and evaluating tradeoffs, i settled upon the
>>MM-FGNC-1 Flexible "Gooseneck" (Cardioid) Stereo Microphone
>>from Microphone Madness.  it had all the features i wanted,
>>for a good price ($129).  it's actually a pair of cardioid mics,
>>each mounted on its own flexible stalk, joined at the connecter.
>>i opted for the 7" gooseneck, for maximum flexibility.  that was
>>a good call, as i can bend and shape the separate arms as needed
>>to aim the mics where i need them to go.
>>so with tax and shipping, figure $240 for the minidisc, 
>>$139 for mic.  add a $7 cable, and maybe a $25 mic
>>stand, and you're in business, for a total outlay of
>>about $400.  all the gear, cables, AC adapter, disc,
>>spare batteries, etc. fit in a small fanny pack i can
>>strap around my waist.  very cool.
>>i got to try it all out last thursday, recording the JR@terra
>>show.  i was sitting with dave barfield, so we attached my mics
>>to his mic stand, just below his.  this allowed me to get a
>>good A-B comparison.  a 6' cable ran to the recorder, sitting 
>>on the bar table beside me.  i recorded in Hi-SP (256K atrac3+)
>>to see what i was giving up in sound quality.  if it was good 
>>enough, this is highly desirable, since i wouldn't have to worry
>>about swapping in a new disk in a hurry, since that mode will record
>>8 hours on a disk.  even JR doesn't play that long.
>>i couldn't be happier with the results.  if you listen to my
>>recording and dave's, his is better, and that's what's up on 
>>the archive now.  but if i only had mine, i'd still be thrilled
>>with how it sounds.  it's hard to describe the differences.  his
>>is more full bodied, mine sounds a little harsher maybe.  dunno.
>>but if you just heard mine, i don't think you'd guess it'd been 
>>made on an inexpensive rig like this.  i'm very happy.
>>you might get some idea if you download the 9/15/05 show from
>>the archive.  the first 45 seconds of "snowflakes and horses"
>>are from my recording, patched in to cover a gap in dave's when
>>he had to change tapes.  you'll hear a slight hitch at the 45 second
>>mark; that's when it changes back to his source.  i tried to get
>>the volume levels the same, but they may be a little off, so this 
>>may not be the most accurate comparison.  if anyone seriously cares
>>i might be persuaded to send them copies of both to compare.
>>anyway, that's the story.  for about $400 i have a simple, flexible,
>>easy to use rig that produces (to my ears) great recordings.  if 
>>anybody's in the market for a recording setup, whether for shows
>>or practices, you could do a lot worse than this.
>>Garry Hodgson, Technical Consultant, AT&T Labs
>>Your love, your anger, your kindness, your hate.
>>All of it creates the future for you and your children.
>>What kind of future are you creating today?
>>Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,

Chris Michalek
CD Available

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