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Compare Sony PCM D100 Sonics to MKH 50/30 Midside into a SD 744t

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Hi All,

 

I love the detailed clarity and incredibly low noise floor of a pair of Sennheisers feeding a 744t, especially for quiet nature ambiences and ocean sounds.  Sometimes the rig can be a little bulky though.

 

I've looked over a bunch of older threads on small, 2 channel, all in one recorders and most of them dated to when the PCM D100 was still very new, so it would be nice to get some updated opinions.

 

How does the Sony PCM D100 hold up to the level of sonic quality of a Schoeps or Sennheiser stereo rig going into a nice recorder like a SD 744t?    90%?  80%?

And where does the Sony break down?  Noise floor, mic quality?  

 

Curious to know whether I should just keep hauling the big rig around, or whether I can save my back and some baggage costs by picking up a D100?

(or a Nagra SD with stereo mic- feel free to include that in the discussion...)

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

 

 

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with the price of a used sony, why not just buy one, do a side by side for your typical scenarios, and if it doesn't hold up to your standards sell it again. total cost about 0. bonus point if you post back here wih audio samples ;-)

chris

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From what I've read, the Sony's internal mics are decent, same with previous models. But if your planning to use pro condenser mics, the D100 does not have balanced XLR inputs... or Phantom Power.

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Why not get one of SD's Mix Pre-3/6's? Very lightweight. It can use the same L series batteries your 744 does or Hawkwoods just came out with the SD-1 which provides a hirose power input for standard NP-1/BDS setup. 

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Thanks for the input!  I was also PM'd a nice comprehensive review that I somehow missed.  http://www.creativefieldrecording.com/2017/01/18/sony-pcm-d100-review-one-year-later/

 

I'm not too concerned about the lack of XLR's, more interested to know how well it works in it's native state using it's onboard mics -   If I'm using an outboard mic array, the 744 is plenty small enough to keep using, although those tiny mixpres are very attractive as well.  

 

The review reference above has answered all my questions pretty well, but if anyone has one of these rigs, feel free to add your experiences!

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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I just bought a Sony PCM D100 a few weeks ago and I got to say I am pretty impressed by what it can do. 

 

I normally use a SD 664 with Sennheiser and Schoeps in AB, ORTF, XY and MS. For 5.1 productions I go for very far spaced omnis in AB at the moment. I asked myself the same question as you did and so I compared several smaller Systems for run and gun Ambience, for my holidays etc.

 

I compared the Zoom H6, the Zoom H1, the Nagra SD and the Sony. The H6 and hte Nagra I sent back. The Sony and the H1 I kept for two reasons. The H1 has a very good noise floor for such a small recorder and fits in my jacket. Handling and Wind noise is a problem thought and of course the sound quality is not for professionals. But it is good for quick and dirty stuff and very cheap (i also compared the H1 to the iXY for iPhone, but these plug on mics are a waste of money).

 

The H6 I sent back because it is too big for me and the overall sound quality is not as good as Nagra SD and D100. But the noise floor is pretty good and the H6 I have to admit! Still....not for me

 

So it came down to the Nagra SD and the Sony. They are very similar and either side has its pro and cons. The Nagra has the best sound quality but is pretty expensive the Sonys noise floor is better though. And the Sonys sound quality is really good as well. Having said that:

 

Non of those recorders compare to a stereo Set Up on my SD 664 in any criteria!

BUT: There is a way to come close to that: I bought a Rode NT4 because it has a battery (So I can use it on the D100 stereo jack), is fairly cheap and it sounds very good. It is a XY Stereo Mic and I am really satisfied with the results. The SD 664 with Sennis is still better but not by much.

 

I think that depending on what you wanne do having the 744t as main system, the D100 with NT4 (or another battery driven stereo mic) as smaller run and gun ambience set up and the D100 for quick and dirty ad hoc ambience is a very nice way of achieving your goals.

 

On both the D100 and the NT4 you need to work on wind and handling noise though before you can get started.

 

cheerz

Urs

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Very interesting!

 

I bought a Sony M-10 a couple of years ago on the basis of it's low noise microphones.

 

For it's low price it is a handy little recorder that I can keep in the car for random grabs of atmos or fx

 

Sure it does not deliver what my 664 and Sanken CSS-5 offer but gee it is very handy

 

mike

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For those using these small recorders for ambience gathering, a recent purchase of mine might make a good pairing for some of you. I was looking at various stereo mic arrays for sfx use (in this case for ambience), then stumbled upon this Wildtronics SAAM mic. It’s sort of a hybrid between a Crown SASS and other stuff, like binaural and ortf. Or so the literature says. I believe it’s a couple of omni lavs with some cool baffling. Anyway, I’ve found that it sounds excellent for my uses and might for you too. It has an optional backplate to which you can mount a small recorder like a Zoom or a Sony D series.  It makes the mic array and recorder into one piece, and is simple to mount to a tripod or just set someplace. The unit is quite lightweight. Upon opening the box I was disappointed because it didn’t scream “heavy use” to me, but after using it a couple months I’ve really grown to love it.  The array was designed for nature recordists but it can be much more flexible than that. Super clean and quiet mics and preamp.  With mine I also purchased the fabric cover that goes over it and of course the backplate. It’s pretty great, and given how nice it sounds (to my ears anyway) it’s quite a bargain.  

 

https://www.wildtronics.com/saam.html#.WflcWkplCEc

 

Apologies if it seems like a thread detour, but since so many were talking about getting ambiences with a small recorder I thought I’d mention it. 

-Stuart

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On 10/14/2017 at 8:19 AM, Matthew Marzano said:

Why not get one of SD's Mix Pre-3/6's? Very lightweight. It can use the same L series batteries your 744 does or Hawkwoods just came out with the SD-1 which provides a hirose power input for standard NP-1/BDS setup. 


Yeah when you see the MixPre3 in person that thing is ridiculously tiny!

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4 hours ago, resonate said:

Stuart, the demos on the site sound amazing. Do you have some other ambience samples, like rain or some other ambiences we would normally use in movies? I'm Very interested.....       

 

Sure, no problem.  As luck would have it I just got my second SAAM mic a couple days ago and wanted to do some quad tests.  I live in a busy suburb, so there's not much worth recording around here most of the time.  But there's some construction going on behind my house so I just set the mics out an hour ago to see what it would sound like.  Linked is a large quad (four channel L,R, Ls,Rs) wave file.  It's big relatively big at nearly 350MB.  It's not a great sound by any means, but it might give some insights into the mics.  Still trying to determine the best way to place them for quad recording so that I don't get phasing when summing to stereo.  Anyway, here's the link to the sound file.  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1N8ZSpGXXLFqBnd6iADmoKJCxQMhQhILJ

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On 11/1/2017 at 5:29 AM, mikewest said:

Very interesting!

 

I bought a Sony M-10 a couple of years ago on the basis of it's low noise microphones.

 

For it's low price it is a handy little recorder that I can keep in the car for random grabs of atmos or fx

 

Sure it does not deliver what my 664 and Sanken CSS-5 offer but gee it is very handy

 

mike

 

+1 for M-10 being really handy, two AA's, micro SD, remote control, however discontinued for some time.

I found it was devilishly hard to get hold of, as I wanted it for some time for the very rare 5 second pre-roll, not usually available in a recorder of that size. I run it in parallel to my Nomad 12 to quickly record and playback selected problems for assessment on the fly, and 5 secs pre-roll is enough to catch events (hit record on the remote), without adding much weight, and saves having to mess with the rather long winded playback facilities of the Nomad, particularly for long takes.

So when the director asks 'exactly which words / sentence did the motorbike, helicopter, jackhammer, angle grinder, scaffold pole, siren, jet, door slam, conflict with and how bad was it?' I can quickly playback the offending noise re-assess and confirm for myself, and give an accurate answer, or even give them headphones if they want. 'Did it really clip the last word and did it matter' etc. etc.

Bit off topic, but the pre-roll might be another factor worth consideration for the OP,  the D-100 is quite a bit bigger and heavier than the M-10, but does have the 5 second pre record buffer.

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I am in Ireland right now on holiday making some ambient recordings and wind adjustments. I now use the rode dead kitten. Gives me good results. Better than the sony one it comes with. But still not enough for the difficult wind situations i found here. Right now I am trying out a combination of 3 things. I put the end of a women's tight under the dead kitten and taped it to the recorder so wind cannot go under it. If that is not enough i put an old windscreen from a rycote zepplin around the whole recorder including my hand (also keeps my hand worm ;). For heavy wind that helps aaaaaaa lot! Just got to hold still. But even the really heavy wind situations i get here on the irish mountains aren't a problem anymore. Really happy with that. 

 

For the handling noise i bought a rycote portable recorder suspension. But not the one rycote suggest for the D100 because its too hard. I have the one with the black suspension not the grey one. Helps a lot as well.

 

hope i could help.

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22 hours ago, Peshawar said:

 

Sure, no problem.  As luck would have it I just got my second SAAM mic a couple days ago and wanted to do some quad tests.  

Those sound great. So they are really two SAAM mics (in the file metadata the second pair was marked as 8040 pair). Do they go to the mixpre line level in or are you using some preamplification from SD box, too?

Thanks again.

You could align the second microphone to the first by using AutoAlign plugin from SoundRadix, maybe? It works great.

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1 hour ago, resonate said:

Those sound great. So they are really two SAAM mics (in the file metadata the second pair was marked as 8040 pair). Do they go to the mixpre line level in or are you using some preamplification from SD box, too?

Thanks again.

You could align the second microphone to the first by using AutoAlign plugin from SoundRadix, maybe? It works great.

 

Resonate,

 

Haha, yes the metadata is incorrect there. It’s two SAAM mics back to back. I was just experimenting so I didn’t really try to time align them this time. That take was just one of several where I was attempting different distances.  As for the settings on the MIxpre, it was set to line in with gain at 0. The preamp on the SAAM was doing all the work. Another thing that’s cool about those mics is that you can monitor what it’s “hearing” even if your recorder is far away. Just plug in a set of headphones. It’s pretty cool in case your recording setup is not right next to you. 

-Stuart

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On 8/11/2017 at 10:49 AM, Ohrenzeuge said:

For the handling noise i bought a rycote portable recorder suspension. But not the one rycote suggest for the D100 because its too hard. I have the one with the black suspension not the grey one. Helps a lot as well.

 

hope i could help.

 

Thanks for this. I have just purchased a D100, so I may well be ordering this suspension in the near future.

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I have never had a handling noise problem with my M10

It's far more difficult holding a Sanken CSS-5 still for a 4 minute atmos or fx track.

However a small Rycote softie over the end is essential.

 

Sure I do not use it for critical work but it is so convenient and delivers good results!

As the attached file indicates, I was on a day off in southern Italy.

Italian_bells.mp3

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