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Dan Wake

I need to upgrade for a far better audio recorder: which?

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Hello,

 

I need to buy a new audio recorder can you suggest something with those features please?

 

1) It’s important I can custom names the files before starting recording, for example the name of the ciak scene, I mean all the info useful for people which will make the post production

2) I need to record 5 tracks with phantom power

3) I need full support for ambisonic audio

4) All the tracks must have a safety backup track recorded to tot. -db to prevent clipping

5) Very good low noise levels, way much better than another model I already own called Zoom H6 but is not enough. The new one must be so good that I can record room tones (I really need to record good quality room tones for work also).

6) Full timecode support

7) I need to send an audio monitor wireless to the script clerk

8) Low battery consume or offering good solutions for it

 

I prefere a recent model if possible

 

Thx!!!

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Are they any dealers in your region you can go test drive various recorders to see what works for you in terms of workflow etc?  I think the least inexpensive recorder you could get that does all this is the Sound Devices MixPre 10t.

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37 minutes ago, codyman said:

Are they any dealers in your region you can go test drive various recorders to see what works for you in terms of workflow etc?  I think the least inexpensive recorder you could get that does all this is the Sound Devices MixPre 10t.

thx for help Codyman, unfortunately I live in a rural zone I have not dealers in my zone. I'll check it ouy the SD Mix Pre 10t thx. I'm a rookie with those kind of pro devices and I'm trying now to make a step more in that direction, I wish to ask you please: which kind of "cons" could I encounter on the stage using it? Could I feel the lack of "something" or someone ask me for a specific feature that this recorder have not built in and what theoretically? thx a lot!

 

(sry for bad english)

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The Zoom F8n may good for this. In the US, the Zoom is about $700usd less than the Sound Devices Mix Pre 10t. There is also a 10m intended more for music productions than movies and TV. The F-series Zoom recorders are more of a 'pro' recorder compared to the consumer Zoom H-series. The F8n has 8 mono tracks (or 4 stereo pairs) + 2 mix tracks, and has three power options, AC/12V power via a coax plug, 9-16V external power via a (pro standard) Hirose power connector, and internal battery power (8-AA batteries) along with meters for all the power sources. It also has multi-channel mic support and pro file naming options including metadata and such for sound reports. Most folks here agree, the SD Mix Pre series has 'slightly' better preamps and limiters, but the Zoom has more features which include +4dB main outputs if you need to feed a camera of other pro device a line level mix. Neither recorders have internal mics suitable for sound effects (atmosphere) tracks... if that is what you mean by "room tone" which is normally recorded with the exact same gear as dialog.

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2 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

I'm a rookie with those kind of pro devices and I'm trying now to make a step more in that direction, I wish to ask you please: which kind of "cons" could I encounter on the stage using it? Could I feel the lack of "something" or someone ask me for a specific feature that this recorder have not built in and what theoretically? 

 

you don't mention your budget, but as a rookie it would be best to first research some of the industry standards (this forum is a great start, search with google), then rent some of the recorders to find out which you prefer. 

 

if you just want a simple answer get a Cantar X3, that should do the job ; )

 

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my budgt is about 3k euro but I need to buy/include the amisonics mic also (I would be grateful for any advice related to it).

 

What do really I wants is to buy a recorder that I can use with AAA projects: with the zoom H6 the DOP came to me and asked "can this device name files and folders before hitting start when we write a new scene info on the Ciak?"....

 

Other than that I like to make fields recording but I noticed that when I record very quiet places there is some noise from the pre amp of the zoom h6. I need a better one about this task.

 

For me recording quiet places at a decent amplitude without noise is very demanding task considering that all my sund design works would be made by fields recording made by me.

 

Now I have about 7 years of experience with audio and indy cinema, this year I'll go to a AAA film festival for a work I made as sound designer with the zoom h6 and rode ntg 3. I hope to find new job opportunities so I wish to upgrade. And with ambisonic I wish to make VR audio high quality recordings for vr video and vr games (I already have bought the VR headset).

 

Do you think the Zoom F8n can do the job for my tasks?

 

thx

 

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another option is to wait a little bit and use those money for a sound school, I really need to learn a lot of stuff. it's not only about equipent I should buy, it's related to all the practice sectors of this work. That's why I call myself a rookie

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Sounds to me like you want everything but for less than what those things will cost. You’d be in a better position if you:

 

-did your own research by reading manuals and comparing features

-saved your money for the right machine and mic, not just what fits in your current budget

 

also remember that ambisonic recording is not the same thing as post processing. Don’t expect your field recorder to do what a plugin will do, they are generally not designed to deliver final products like that. Sounds to me like you need to read up on the craft before you go spending a bunch of money. There are many resources including this forum that are good places to read, and you will find that reading will not only answer your questions, but more importantly, answer other questions you didn’t know you had. One being that an engineer does their own research. 

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30 minutes ago, JonG said:

Sounds to me like you want everything but for less than what those things will cost. You’d be in a better position if you:

 

-did your own research by reading manuals and comparing features

-saved your money for the right machine and mic, not just what fits in your current budget

 

also remember that ambisonic recording is not the same thing as post processing. Don’t expect your field recorder to do what a plugin will do, they are generally not designed to deliver final products like that. Sounds to me like you need to read up on the craft before you go spending a bunch of money. There are many resources including this forum that are good places to read, and you will find that reading will not only answer your questions, but more importantly, answer other questions you didn’t know you had. One being that an engineer does their own research. 

 

thx yes that's basically what I think but I have big technical limits. for example I'm not able to understand, if I read a manual, what is the best signal/noise ration for each device. it's like people who never learned how to read sheet music.

I do that, I open manuals and search for the little I know for example "safety track" (to record a safety track a tot minus db).... but I'm aware it's not enough.

My problem is that I earned 3k in one month and half with 2 audio works, but in the past 7 years I earned only about maybe 600 euro in total.... baically I see something is starting to move now and I wish to do "something" to do not continue being a poor man lmao. sad but true lol.

people say they like my works it sound good in movie theare, and I'm going to a super cool film festival. honestly I'm so much immersed in the work right now that I coldn't do more research than what I'm doing now. but I wish to "write an escape plan" for when I'll be at the festival, I wish to stamp my firsts business card to give people who works in the sector. So tha's why I'm rushing a little bit. I feel need to do that something, can you give me a suggestion about it please?

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There is a lot more to know than just how to operate the equipment. You have access to the internet, so I suggest learning these things. If you want to know what is being said in a manual, look it up. This will help you be a better engineer. But if you just want people to provide you with answers then you’ll never be very good at your job, and will likely not know what to do in the event of an emergency. Being able to help yourself is what will keep you from being poor a lot more than playing soundie. 

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1) It’s important I can custom names the files before starting recording, for example the name of the ciak scene, I mean all the info useful for people which will make the post production

 

Zaxcom Maxx

 

2) I need to record 5 tracks with phantom power

 

Zaxcom Maxx only have 4 preamps, two lines and 4 AES. You need a Nomad in this case, but have a vey restricted low frequency performance (Hard wired high pass at 50Hz), probably is better the Nova 

 

3) I need full support for ambisonic audio

 

No one have full support for A format, some have support only for Ambeo (Zoom F8n, Sonosax SX R4+, SD Mix Pre). For B format any recorder could decoder it, not perfect (W need to set at -3dB) (L=W+Y and R=W-Y)

 

4) All the tracks must have a safety backup track recorded to tot. -db to prevent clipping

 

Zaxcom Maxx with neverclip

 

5) Very good low noise levels, way much better than another model I already own called Zoom H6 but is not enough. The new one must be so good that I can record room tones (I really need to record good quality room tones for work also).

 

Zaxcom Maxx

 

6) Full timecode support

 

Zaxcom Maxx

 

7) I need to send an audio monitor wireless to the script clerk

 

Zaxcom Maxx with radio option and a URX100 (Best Sound). Zaxcom Nomad or Nova with ERX3

 

Low battery consume or offering good solutions for it

 

Zaxcom Maxx

 

I'm using for ambisonic recording a Zaxcom Maxx and a Sonosax SX R4 (Not plus), with Soundfields SPS200, ST250 and ST350

 

Best

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9 minutes ago, Dan Wake said:

thx a lot @ramallo! woah why does they support only the Sennheiser for A format? there is a technical reason for that?

 

The matrix is equal for all (Except the DPA4)

 

W' = FLU+FRD+BLD+BRU

X' = FLU+FRD-BLD-BRU

Y' = FLU-FRD+BLD-BRU

Z' = FLU-FRD-BLD+BRU

 

This is A to B (The B is the main format for decode)

 

The difference is the distance to the center of tetrahedron, depends of this distance you need more or less EQ for compensate the separation artifacts. This EQ is individual for every microphone  brand/model (aka correction filter).

 

Best

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For your budget you can afford only one rig. Zoom F8n, and a Rode NT-SF1 mic. That is it - your whole budget spent.

 

why is your DOP dictating what features your recorder has - this is a madness and should not even be a conversation. tell the DOP to shut up, or pay for the gear he/she wants you to use themselves. It is ridiculous.

 

In truth, your budget is about a 1/2 or 1/4 of what it should be. you are setting yourself up to fail, and they are helping you to do that. Take a step back, take advice, and think about what kit you want to use.

 

Good luck, sb

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Hello, 

Looking at your 7 years of experience and also you want to upgrade your recorder I’ll advise you make the jump to a Sonosax SX-R4+ and the AD8+ module. Best preamp out there. You have also an AMBEO ambisonic card option in the recorder If you want a slick setup. Power management/consumption is also fantastic on this recorder. Not 3k though... 

I love mine. 

 

Pat 

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34 minutes ago, Patrick Tresch said:

 ... and the AD8+ module.

 Pat, I would venture that advice doesn't help (I might also go R4+ with an AD8+ over a Cantar X3 but it's not on the cards)!

 

Dan, is the same "DOP" on this project? And more to the point are you on it because of the work you did previously with the director (or whichever lead creative) or is it something new? If it's the same DOP maybe he's an allie and will help; if it comes through previous work then they are allies (and it could be both). If neither is the case and the project is new then good luck (in the best sense!) - take your experience and previous success to the field. Talk to the main (and other major) people on the job over what is going to be expected to (hoped to be) achieved and decide beforehand to work around the limitations.

 

I expect both the Zoom F8n and F4n might do the recording ok along with the Sound Devices MixPre 10t as well as the MP6, ASSUMING 4 tracks ambisonics only are needed not your "5 tracks with phantom power" and sorry, can't offer advice on an ambisonic mic here. But no-one can really offer non-specific advice properly when everything is about the project and script.

 

I will say - if you have friends and supporters from recent or previous jobs they are not only your best collaborators / advice now but your future.

 

Best, Jez

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On 7/16/2019 at 8:10 PM, Dan Wake said:

thx for help Codyman, unfortunately I live in a rural zone I have not dealers in my zone. I'll check it ouy the SD Mix Pre 10t thx. I'm a rookie with those kind of pro devices and I'm trying now to make a step more in that direction, I wish to ask you please: which kind of "cons" could I encounter on the stage using it? Could I feel the lack of "something" or someone ask me for a specific feature that this recorder have not built in and what theoretically? thx a lot!

 

(sry for bad english)

For me, the more complicated the kit (eg. recorder vs XLR cable) the more important I have local/regional support. Unless you got budget (or it's cheap enough) to have more than 1 (eg. XLR cables) - reliability of service is part of the professional practice. I would wait (if you can) and see what Zoom F6 is about. It doesn't have analogue limiters, which I would have said a while back would be essential for using 5 cabled condenser mics but aside from the look ahead digital limiters it has 32bit recording - theoretically giving you a lot of head room without so much noise (it will record 32bit and 24bit at the same time):

~ Ambisonic (perhaps brand specific?);

~ 6 x P48 preamps;

~ TC;

~ Metadata entry on machine or app;

~ Control surface accessory;

~ Cheap enough to own 2(?) and/or easy enough to replace in a hurry.

 

The 3 or 4 things against it on paper are the lack of balanced O/Ps, so other than the unbalanced minijack (which should be good enough for wireless sends to headphones or camera scratch track), you wont be able to send much audio very far by cable. eg. balanced O/Ps to an ENG camera/s (unless you can upgrade the signal en route). Single card slot. Tiny faders. And possibly another iffy Headphone amp. The F8n and F4 models, already on the market, both have balanced O/Ps and dual card slots (as well as small faders and iffy Hp amps ;) - but without 32 bit recording.

 

I like the Ramallo's suggestion of a Maxx (which is a really cool recorder), especially if there is a community of Zax users and a committed dealer in Italy (tedes.it) - there may even be some bargains out there as people upgrade to Nova etc.

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I think given the budget restraints the Zoom F8n with its controller is a very sane choice. I don’t understand why so many here offer advice on recorders costing many times more than your budget and that doesn‘t even include the mic. 

Regarding the ambisonic mic: do you really need that? In 98% of the times I have not even been asked to provide stereo ambiences, let alone anything requiring more capsules. Ambisonic mics can be great, if and when you really need them. If you don’t, you could spend that much more on your recorder, and get (for example) a Sound Devices 633 or the Maxx

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I don’t understand why professionals work on consumer tools. You can use a recorder minimum 4 years. 7 if it’s a class1 recorder. You usually rent it. Even if you do 1% a day, 3 days a week it’s easy to have RIO. My mic is 20 years old and still sounds sweet. 

 

Ps: If the AD8+ is overkill, you still can add a small 2 mic preamp to your setting using the new M2D2 preamp and connect it to the TA3 AES input of the recorder. 

 

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10 hours ago, Patrick Tresch said:

I don’t understand why professionals work on consumer tools. 

 

 

While I‘m not the greatest Zoom fan, it’s not a consumer tool. 

The op mentioned 7 years of „experience“ which didn’t earn him any money, except for one recent project, which must have been very low budget. So I‘m very reluctant to call him a professional, yet. 

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Hi Dan,

 

Though I am a big fan of sound devices and their Mix Pre recorders I would also consider either a used Zoom F8 or the Zoom F8n. There is really not that much difference between the 2 recorders other than the hardware, both are 10 track track recorders and have a solid build. It has 8 inputs in total can take external batteries via hirose, it takes accurate timecode via the BNC connection. If you do choose to go with a used F8 I would be sure to download the latest firmware update unless it already has it. As of now the latest firmware is version 6.0 and the F8n is 2.0. Both recorders are essentially the same, and it's a good starting point to launch your career. Here's some additional info I may have missed via the link right here. https://www.zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-f8n-multitrack-field-recorder#downloads. I also recommend checking out an online store called zZounds https://www.zzounds.com/ you can find the F8n there. It's good option to consider buying the recorder there as they also take payment plans interest free for up 12 month. If you have and questoons about ways to power it or sound related please let me know. One more final thing I'll add, check out Curtis Judds course where he teaches how to operate the device he also has a course for the MixPre sound devices recorders, here's his site https://school.learnlightandsound.com/courses. Both course are about $40 US. Again, feel free to message me, if you have any questions.

 

 

On 7/16/2019 at 12:45 PM, Dan Wake said:

 

Hello,

 

I need to buy a new audio recorder can you suggest something with those features please?

 

1) It’s important I can custom names the files before starting recording, for example the name of the ciak scene, I mean all the info useful for people which will make the post production

2) I need to record 5 tracks with phantom power

3) I need full support for ambisonic audio

4) All the tracks must have a safety backup track recorded to tot. -db to prevent clipping

5) Very good low noise levels, way much better than another model I already own called Zoom H6 but is not enough. The new one must be so good that I can record room tones (I really need to record good quality room tones for work also).

6) Full timecode support

7) I need to send an audio monitor wireless to the script clerk

8) Low battery consume or offering good solutions for it

 

I prefere a recent model if possible

 

Thx!!!

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:50 AM, Dan Wake said:

my budgt is about 3k euro but I need to buy/include the amisonics mic also (I would be grateful for any advice related to it).

 


The Rode NT-SF1 is the best budget ambisonics mic at the moment. Is only US$999, and you'd probably have to spend over triple that if you wanted something better. 

And if you're serious about ambisonics then clearly a Zoom F8n would be the best pick for you. 

An F8n would be a massive and I mean MASSIVE leap forward from your current H6

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