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Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

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Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:35 pm
by mrMRKelly
Hi, I'm looking to multitrack my band at different times at a local studio. Previously I've used the Yamaha AW16G but its a pain to get the files into my DAW (logic) so looking for a better solution (recording to USB for easy transfer). Im after the best quality recording possible at as cheap as possible (£1000 or less)

I have been considering the Sound Devices Mix Pre 10m and Zoom F8n as these seem like good options but before doing so just wanted to get some advice or feedback specifically on them or some alternative suggestions please. I would prefer 8 quality pre amps as opposed to 16 noisy ones for eg.

Alternatively should i just buy a 2nd hand (AW1600 or Korg 3200 etc) for around £200? Will a £1000 Mix Pre 10m sound £800 better?

Thanks

Matt

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:52 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
I'm not sure how you would define '£800 better'...

What I can tell you is that the Mix Pre is a stunningly good recorder with some of the best preamps around at any price. Lots of high-end professionals are using the MixPre10T/10M for serious location work with great success.

So if you're really asking, is the MixPre worth the money, I'd say yes without any hesitation.

But as you have already found, there are lots of other options depending on your preferred workflows, intended applications, and budget.

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:11 pm
by CS70
A laptop with either a 8 channel interface or a small ADAT-enabled interface (e.g. the ID22) combined with a 8-channels preamp would do (this allows you to select the best preamps you can buy), with a massive workflow advantage of not having to transfer files to your main machine at all and have a seamless transition from the recording to the mixing project: create your project so that the audio goes in a Dropbox (or similar) directory. Exit Dropbox when recording. Re enable it when done, by the time you're home your main machine directory will be synchronized with project and audio files ready for mixing.

Infinite takes, clear labeling and coloring, having the levels and gain structure exactly how it will be during mixing, being able to change the guide track mix as you (or the performer) likes, even being able to make a quick mix onsite to show the client or the band - it's just too good to let go.

The disadvantage is that you have to bring the laptop and its power supply with you (and yeah a USB cable ;-) ), but it still fits in a backpack. And in many DAWs you cannot select hardware inputs which aren't physically connected, which leaves that tedious task to the recording day (there's ways around this tough).

I have tried other solutions but the ease of auto-synchronization of massive files is simply too big for me and I keep coming back to laptop + interface.

Portable recorders are great when you're truly on the move (e.g. stuff like a walking interview, public interview recording or outdoors sound recording ) and you need to carry on recording while you move.. But in a band situation - even a rehearsal - you aren't, at all.. it's a different location, but it's a fixed location, so to say, and the setup time for a laptop+DAW is as low as with a portable recorder (with the plus that, like I do, you can prepare most stuff as home the evening before the recording day). Another plus is that you actually learn more about your DAW, rather then having to learn unrelated interfaces.

As for differences in performance - short answer is no: the music, the band's performance, the mic you use, the room you use them in and where you place them in the room are way more important than difference in preamps between relatively modern kit. Already a moderately hi-gain guitar amplifier will make more noise than even a lousy preamp. Obviously using a Mixpre as interface gives you the best of both worlds.

What you want to look out for tough is that some old all-in-one recording solutions record at 16bit, not 24. While it's not the end of the world, it makes getting the right gain structure a trifle harder and the main issue with location recording is that every session is unique, so it's a slightly more stressed out process.

In a studio, where all your gear and knobs are in the usual places and all is set up in a way that you can learn to use without much thinking, while on location you basically build up a mini-studio in ten minutes every time. So anything that simplifies your workflow and reduces the likelihood of "I can't believe I didn't see this" errors is imho very valuable. That means microphones with great headroom, quick and flexible headphone monitoring and, well, 24 bit recordings for a more robust gain structure.

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:46 pm
by MOF
Hi, I'm looking to multitrack my band at different times at a local studio.

Can the (rehearsal?) studio record each sound source for you? If so it would save you quite a lot of money.
I’m very pleased with my UAD Apollo, maybe a second hand 8 channel version will be available at that price.

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:37 pm
by mrMRKelly
Thanks all,

Basically, what ever i record on will be transferred (one way or another) to my main Mac at home for mixing within Logic. I don't want to mix it on the device at all so don't want all the "extras".

I have thought about the option of getting a laptop and some pre amps but it will still be transferred to my main system so would rather spend the (equivalent) money on a decent recording device instead. Ive done quite a bit of research, but there are so many recording devices available. I guess that the Mix Pre is on my wish list as the SOS review says really good things, but can anyone say whether (number of inputs, mics used and room aside) it can record better than the following:

Mackie DR32
Yamaha AW1600
Zoom F8n
Soundcraft Ui24R
KORG D3200

I love recording so don't mind getting a decent piece of equipment either (i.e. the Mix Pre 10 for e.g.). Or paying for something that will stand the test of time! i'll be using it for rehearsals as well or other live recordings. This will also give me the option of earnings some extra cash recording other bands.

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:22 pm
by Bob Bickerton
Happy MixPre 10M user here and the quality is excellent, so it most certainly would deliver what you want. Having said that you really do need to be in an excellent room with optimum mics and placement to get the most out of it. I’ve also owned a Zoom F8 which is also very good and would not be the weak link in non-perfect studio conditions.

Bob

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:50 am
by ConcertinaChap
I can't speak for any of the others but I own and use a Zoom F8n for live recording and am very happy with it. It's a nice piece of kit. Here's a recording I made with it recently of the Birch Tree Folk Choir of Bath. The mic is the Rode NT-SF1 ambisonic jobby and I transferred the recording to Logic for mixing just as you're intending - the procedure was quite painless :).

CC

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:45 am
by Ramirez
Happy Soundcraft UI24R user here.

It does a hell of a lot for the money, and I have no issues at all with sound quality.

It does have a couple of quirks though:

*Onboard recording and use as interface is limited to 48kHz.

*Onboard WiFi is not the most reliable. I use mine hardwired via ethernet to a Surface Pro and it has been rock solid. If you’re going to rely on a wireless connection it’s probably wise to use a router.

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:01 pm
by Sam Spoons
The onboard router is probably only 2.4GHz which is a very crowded region of the radio spectrum these days. Make sure you get a modern router with the 5GHz band too which is still a little less crowded so likely to be more successful (my Berry XR12 is similar and the onboard wifi is flakey in a crowded bar).

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:52 pm
by Ramirez
Sam Spoons wrote:The onboard router is probably only 2.4GHz which is a very crowded region of the radio spectrum these days. Make sure you get a modern router with the 5GHz band too which is still a little less crowded so likely to be more successful (my Berry XR12 is similar and the onboard wifi is flakey in a crowded bar).

No, the UI24R works on both 2.4 and 5. Mine's just a bit flaky.

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:39 pm
by Sam Spoons
That's quite impressive TBH I hadn't realised that. Shame it doesn't benefit from it though :(

Re: Mobile/location recording gear recommendations.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:50 pm
by John Willett
Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'm not sure how you would define '£800 better'...

What I can tell you is that the Mix Pre is a stunningly good recorder with some of the best preamps around at any price. Lots of high-end professionals are using the MixPre10T/10M for serious location work with great success.

So if you're really asking, is the MixPre worth the money, I'd say yes without any hesitation.

But as you have already found, there are lots of other options depending on your preferred workflows, intended applications, and budget.

The MixPre would be my No.1 choice nowadays. :thumbup:

(Actually, my No.1 choice would be the Sonosax but that is over x10 the price of the MixPre) ;)