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Portable Recorders For Production And Classical Work(No budget)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
Portable Recorders For Production And Classical Work(No budget)

I'm in the market for a professional portable audio recorder - I have pretty high end professional gear (Bricastis, Massive Passives etc..) but I am new to this portable recording stuff.

I just don't want to have any regrets about sound qualities. I want good converters - I want good pre's. I have an ambeo mic so if it could support that I would be happy.

I just tried to order the Mix Pre 10 ii but it is on a 12 week delay. And I need my unit for October.

What are the sonic differences between the SoundDevices the Nagra, SonoSax, Zoom etc..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I rank SONOSAX SX-R4+ as the ultimate followed by Nagra VI.

Sonosax has superb mic preamps, conversion, and functionality. Offers 135 dB dynamic range. Ideally it should be paired with its companion 8 channel expander box, the AD8+. Then it is a 14 channel or 16 channel recorder.

Nagra VI is a 6 channel recorder. Also excellent preamps and conversion.

I have a Nagra VI for sale for $5500. It is $10,000 new.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
Thanks for answering - I have a set of Avalon preamps m2s and 2022 but they are super heavy - is the 4000 extra worth it sound wise ? (For the sonosax)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
If you’re concerned about quality of your recordings then your first priority should be getting higher quality mics than the Ambeo. Investing in the highest quality mics far more important than getting the absolute highest quality preamps or converters. Among Sennheiser’s, the MKH mics are the highest quality. A pair of Sennheiser MKH8040 cardiods or SDC cardiod pair of similar high quality from Neumann, DPA or Schoeps would be a first step, followed by a pair of high quality omni’s.
If you feel a need for an ambisonic mic then for portability the Soundfield ST450 MKII is higher quailty than the Ambeo and it comes with it’s own portable preamp/processor and outputs B-Format and an adjustable stereo decode. For non-portable use the Soundfield DSF-1 (also comes with it’s own preamp/processor) is even higher in quality. For horizontal only Ambisonics, (non-portable) the Josephson C700S is also an excellent choice.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Head
 
I have a decent selection of DPA SDC plus can borrow almost the entire schoeps line from our studio
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
It's a bunch of learning curves for certain but is it possible that you rent/borrow a few choices and listen to the results?

I am a Sound Devices 788T fan (and have no reason to go looking for the latest and greatest) and I would defy someone to listen to a recording made on it on location in a typical venue and not be super pleased with the results. Castle-building is fine if you have unlimited funds, but who does?

In any case, it would probably be best to hear results; better than asking (even experience) users which they thought was best.

On the other hand, if you owned a recorder from any of the top manufacturers, and you liked the way it felt when you used it, you'd be golden.

D.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
laptop/interface/(remotely controlled) multi-channel preamp isn't an option?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
laptop/interface/(remotely controlled) multi-channel preamp isn't an option?
well I often record production for interviews so it will get double usage
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If there’s no budget, I’d be looking at an aaton cantar x3 with Dante. Then you can get into some really nice external preamps and converters. Something like a Rupert Neve Dante converter or others. You even get magnetic colorized faders on the field recorder itself.

-B
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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jnorman's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The Scorpio is the current top offering from Sound Devices, and is worth serious consideration, and would probably be my personal choice (given the money), though that is based completely on my own experiences and familiarity with SD - my 702 gave me years of solid service and outstanding audio quality, and my current MixPre unit is equally rewarding in both sound and build quality. the Sonosax (current) and Nagra VI (no longer in production) mentioned by plush, and the Aaton mentioned by bmd are premier units - they are all excellent pieces of gear, designed and built for years of professional use.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett ➡️
well I often record production for interviews so it will get double usage
for interviews, such a rig seems a bit large...
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
for interviews, such a rig seems a bit large...
Ya, for interviews, a small zoom recorder with four or six inputs should be plenty! BUT, I know where the op is coming from. Maybe I’m weird, but the fewer workflows I have to deal with, the more I like my job so I’m a one daw guy, and I’m really a ‘one daw that MUST have ara’ kind of guy... I can’t even stand leaving Nuendo to use spectralayers or melodyne!! Too complicated and for no reason...

So I can see how the op wants one box to do everything and that’s why canton x3...

Deedee, I know you are in love with the studer vista... how would you feel if you had to go from studer vista to a&h qu-pac? It would suck for you!!! That’s a cantar vs zoom!!! You’d rather just use the vista I’m sure, just as the op would rather just have a cantar and use it for everything!

-B
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
How portable is portable?

I have a Tascam HS-P82 and it's great and it fits in a shoulder bag. I like the UI better than the Sound Devices and I think the converters and preamps are comparable.

I also have a big blue box with eight channels of Millennia preamps and eight channels of Prism converters, and some format converters that provide AES/EBU outputs for the HS-P82. It also has a small power amp to drive monitors.

So if I have a gig where I need to be traveling light, I can use the recorder standalone, but if I have a gig where sound quality is paramount, I can carry the big blue box and a pair of field monitors.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Head
 
I was looking at the Joe Co (which seems handy to have around a studio also). - I wasn’t able to see if it has meters per channel and what the workflow would be if it didn’t
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
The JoeCo is a good unit. Mine has never failed me. A couple of points:

It is not a "portable" unit.

It is only a recorder so preamps and mixing surface will add to the rigs final size.

Depending on which JoeCo you pick, you will need to get into it. Mostly Dsub25s, ADAT, Madi or Dante. I think that some models may have 8 analog inputs on XLRs, maybe even mine. I have never used them.

If you don't go in digital, I am not to sure about the converters.

The build quality of every JoeCo unit I have had has been less than stellar. Bad component fit, bad LED life, just a little "cheap" for an expensive recorder. That being said, and like I said above, I have never had a recording failure.

On board meters suck; tiny, not hi-res, worthless.

Plus side? There is a very nice iPad app that fixes the meter resolution and allows control over monitoring and transport. But you need an additional piece of JoeCo gear, the wif-fi "box", the JoeCo Remote, to use it and it's also expensive. It does allow me to control the recorder from the control room or even from the stage (through an on-stage wi-fi access point) which is nice. It makes it easy to scratch-out my own mics. Shrug.

Oh, and I am not thrilled with the customer service at JoeCo. Brusk, abrasive, and a bit greedy for money ask to fix factory failures. They wanted $500 for two LED boards to replace two in my unit that have, now three, LEDs, gone out. I was willing to pay, but that price seemed to have "profit" built in. To fix a defective unit.

Gotta say, if I didn't already own on (a Dante unit) I would probably look for something else.

This $.02 and 5 bucks will buy you a Starbucks coffee.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett ➡️
I'm in the market for a professional portable audio recorder - I have pretty high end professional gear (Bricastis, Massive Passives etc..) but I am new to this portable recording stuff.

I just don't want to have any regrets about sound qualities. I want good converters - I want good pre's. I have an ambeo mic so if it could support that I would be happy.

I just tried to order the Mix Pre 10 ii but it is on a 12 week delay. And I need my unit for October.

What are the sonic differences between the SoundDevices the Nagra, SonoSax, Zoom etc..
Perhaps ask your dealer if they have a loaner or rental unit until your Mixpre 10 arrives?

If you really want the Mixpre 10, but go with something else, are you really going to be happy come 12 weeks later when you could have already gotten the Mixpre 10?
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdaugherty ➡️
Ya, for interviews, a small zoom recorder with four or six inputs should be plenty! BUT, I know where the op is coming from. Maybe I’m weird, but the fewer workflows I have to deal with, the more I like my job so I’m a one daw guy, and I’m really a ‘one daw that MUST have ara’ kind of guy... I can’t even stand leaving Nuendo to use spectralayers or melodyne!! Too complicated and for no reason...

So I can see how the op wants one box to do everything and that’s why canton x3...

Deedee, I know you are in love with the studer vista... how would you feel if you had to go from studer vista to a&h qu-pac? It would suck for you!!! That’s a cantar vs zoom!!! You’d rather just use the vista I’m sure, just as the op would rather just have a cantar and use it for everything!

-B
full support for the idea to regularly use the same gear in pretty much any situation: workflow, convenience, speed of use are pretty powerful assets...

however, for an interview, not even me would drag a vista/nuendo rig to the job! - i'd borrow a tascam dr680 or a sound device from a friend.



[off topic: you are correct that i got no love for the qu-pac; i have a vista compact remote and a soundcraft performer1 which have a much smaller footprint than my battleship or i could use a laptop to control the processing core or a stagebox...]
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett ➡️
I was looking at the Joe Co (which seems handy to have around a studio also). - I wasn’t able to see if it has meters per channel and what the workflow would be if it didn’t
The metering is pretty much useless. The JoeCo is intended for rock bands and groups that have everything in the PA to record concerts; you pull direct or insert and run everything into the JoeCo and you can tell if the channels are overloading so you can pull the trim down but you can't tell more than that.

It's a great thing if you need a lot of channels for cheap, but using it requires a lot of integration with the PA guys and it's missing some critical monitoring and metering features. Since it's intended to be used by the PA guy directly who wouldn't be able to take much advantage of those anyway, this makes sense.

It is a good "set it and forget it" recorder for PA guys who want to add recording services to their card. If you want to bring it in as a recording guy, however, you need the PA guy to give you signal feeds that many will not be willing to provide, and you need them to be able to set trims the way you want. This requires a better relationship with the PA guys than most of us have.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
It is a good "set it and forget it" recorder
Aren't all multi-track recorders pretty much "set it and forget it" devices?

As I mentioned above, the JoeCo Remote and an iPad gives me full resolution metering, monitor control, transport functions and easy access to menus. At an addition cost.

Probably works fine for R&R but it works fine for me recording classical.

BTW, the Sound Devices 970? Ever seen the meters on that. Hard to put 64 real meters on any box unless it's a Neve console.

D.

Last edited by tourtelot; 3 weeks ago at 06:10 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Have a look into the QSC Touchmix 8 (or 16 or 30, depending on your required input tally). 32 bit recording, impressive audio performance...a bit quirky user-interface (touch-screen) wise, as it doubles as a live sound mixer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think if I were building a highly-mobile location rig today, I would look hard at the Sound Devices 888 or 833. This is based on owning a 7-series recorder from which I've gotten many years of reliable service. But if I were building something to deploy for a "label" project, a full orchestra gig, or move in for a week of festival work, I would look at a computer-based rig with a front end based on Millennia HV-316 or Grace m108. The more channels I'm using for a project, the more I want it to go straight into Sequoia so I can get a head start on my mix.

I can't speak to esoterica such as Sonosax, Aaton, or Nagra. No doubt they are wonderful, but once we get into that price range I start wanting to make my own preamp choices, which leads me back to Millennia, Grace, and the fact that I can use either as a front end for a trustworthy Dante-capable "bit bucket" like the Sound Devices 888 or Scorpio.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
So if you are on the fence about using the device as a stand alone field recorder or using it as a computer interface, there’s always the Lynx aurora n... it will record all 32 of its inputs direct to an sd card, but can also be plugged into a computer via thunderbolt and used as an interface. Of course, these are line inputs and would require outboard preamps, but if you had your preamps racked in the same rack as the aurora, you could theoretically unplug from the computer, close up the road case, and go make a remote recording via sd card (sd cards are awesomely fast if you buy the right one, so there’s no worry about drive speed).

Then, you could get back to the studio, connect to the computer via thunderbolt and you’re running a studio session on your computer with the same hardware.

Just another option if you’re looking for something more like a joeco but with perhaps more value.

-B
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Does the Lynx Aurora n ...in standalone mode as you've described above...allow for monitoring of either individual (soloed) mic inputs and/or a 'constructed mix of all inputs' when not connected to a computer on location....or is that impossible and thus recording becomes a leap of faith, hoping that inputs gains, etc are set correctly, and everything's going onto the SD card ?
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Does the Lynx Aurora n ...in standalone mode as you've described above...allow for monitoring of either individual (soloed) mic inputs and/or a 'constructed mix of all inputs' when not connected to a computer on location....or is that impossible and thus recording becomes a leap of faith, hoping that inputs gains, etc are set correctly, and everything's going onto the SD card ?
I don't know, but for years I used a DA-38 which did not allow for monitoring like that, so I added an ARX 8-channel mixer to the rack so I could hear what was going on. It was good enough that on several gigs I wound up using it to make broadcast feeds. And only takes 1U.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
I don't know, but for years I used a DA-38 which did not allow for monitoring like that, so I added an ARX 8-channel mixer to the rack so I could hear what was going on. It was good enough that on several gigs I wound up using it to make broadcast feeds. And only takes 1U.
I did the same thing with a DTRS deck and a small Mackie mixer. But a good-sounding rack mixer would have saved setup time. My choice these days would be this one, because they sound good and the busses and solo systems from several can be bridged together.

Portable Recorders For Production And Classical Work(No budget)-prospec-1u8m-front-.jpg

David
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Portable Recorders For Production And Classical Work(No budget)-prospec-1u8m-front-.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ya it looks like you can make a whole mix on the unit or monitor a single channel. The meters are pretty high resolution too. You can create a song and then record multiple takes so some file organization as well. You can also monitor playback from the sd card.

I’d take a look at the manual. I’m actually surprised at the depth of the stand alone feature set. I didn’t realize it had so many features...

-B
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