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Backup Recorder

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Backup Recorder

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:46 pm

Hello,

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

I am in need of an audio backup recorder, to record student performances. The primary recorder will be a Denon DN-700R, and while I don't anticipate any problems, I am not brave enough to record with it on it's own.

We have an old EMU e4 sampler with a 20 gig hard drive available. Is there a fundamental reason why a sampler would not be suitable for this task?

Please let me know your thoughts,

Peter
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby manwilde » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:07 pm

If it´s just for backup you can´t go wrong with a cheap handheld recorder. I have a Zoom H1 that sells for 85€ at Thomann, and that tiny thing records 48/24 stereo wav way better than I expected (if well positioned, with good acoustics), runs on a single AA battery and weights next to nothing.
Can´t help about the sampler option, I´ve never touched one...
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Uncle Freddie » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:48 pm

twotoedsloth,

Are you happy overall with the DN-700R? Just worried that it might fail during a critical recording?

My suggestion would be to find another DN-700R used and set it up for redundant recording.

If you want something newer, the Tascam DA-3000 is nice. I have 2 of them.

I would not try to use a sampler, which is a musical instrument, as a recording device.


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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:54 pm

Hello,

Thanks for your kind reply. I'm very sorry I wasn't clear in my first post.

I don't think that the students or professors would be pleased to see me recording on a device such as the H1n.

The complete signal chain will be Neumann KM84 or AKG C422 mics into an Audient Mico preamp, using the AES out to the Denon DN-700R in a concert hall with excellent acoustics. The H1n you've suggested doesn't have analog or digital line inputs. The H1n's big brother, the H4n looks promising, but it would be great to not spend any money unless absolutely necessary.

I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly, and I hope that this response doesn't upset you.

Best regards,

Peter
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:08 pm

Hello Uncle Freddy,

In response to your question, yes I'm quite happy with the Denon recorder. And if it is the best option, I would be glad to buy a second one, and I'm never comfortable without a backup. With nearly 200 student recitals eventually something is going to go wrong.

I am just trying to avoid spending any money if possible. Last year it wasn't an issue as COVID shut us down before the student recital season began. The year before that I used a Fostex D5 DAT machine, and in a pinch I think it could be revived and pressed into service. I have two PCs, but one of which is functioning as a video recording/streaming device, and the other one is used for office tasks, to play back backing tracks for students if required, and cutting and uploading video and audio tracks.

I understand that a sampler is playing out of position as a recording device. I'm going to see if someone has an unused office PC, which should be able to handle 24bit/44.1kHz recording.

Many thanks,

Peter
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby manwilde » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:36 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Hello,

Thanks for your kind reply. I'm very sorry I wasn't clear in my first post.
(...)
I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly, and I hope that this response doesn't upset you.

Best regards,

Peter

Not at all! I just wasn´t aware of the kind of recording you were aiming at, thanks for clarifying. :thumbup:
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Wonks » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:10 pm

What's the maximum sample time you can set on the EMU? You need to set that before recording. Reading the manual it just says it's limited by the amount of storage available, but the O/S writers maybe didn't expect it to be used for maybe three hours worth of recordings, so there may be a maximum seconds value you can enter or be shown on the display.
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby forumuser840717 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:22 pm

A second DN700R would be the obvious choice as then everything is swappable plug for plug and you could just split the AES out of the Audient to the two units in parallel or run AES into one and SPDIF into the other. Or run digitally into one and analogue into the other as a foil against digital problems in the Audient. (Though I've no idea how the Mico works so couldn't say whether the analogue outs carry on working if the digital outs fail.) You also have everything recording the same file formats on the same media so you only need to carry one format of media and have two machines that work the same way and which you know.

However, I think the DN700R is now discontinued but they're probably still available (and probably discounted) if you look around. Otherwise, it's replacement is the DN900R, which adds Dante.

An alternative could be the Tascam SS-R250N which does much the same as the DN900R in terms of analogue, digital and (optional) Dante i/o, and dual SD card recording. It just means learning another machine.

A much cheaper, and in some ways more useful, alternative could be a Tascam SD-20M. It's another 1U SD recorder, and much simplified on the i/o front (no digital i/o, nor Dante option, no balanced analogue outs, and only a single SD card) but as a backup machine in your application has several interesting possibilities.

Ok, so you can't connect it to anything digitally or over a network but it does have balanced analogue inputs so, as a basic backup recorder, you could go from the analogue outs of the Mico into this box in parallel with the digital connection to the Denon. More usefully, what this Tascam has which makes it quite versatile, especially as a backup machine, is that it has balanced mic inputs with phantom power plus a second pair of unbalanced line inputs with the ability to record 4 tracks of audio, and an internal battery backup.

So, apart from being able to run as a parallel backup recorder taking line in from the Mico, it effectively could replace both the Denon and the Mico in the event of a failure of either or both so offers a complete parallel or full replacement backup path from preamp to file. It even has the ability to run off 4x AA batteries (which slot into an easily accessible panel in the front) if the power fails. It's pretty much a portable recorder including a pair of mic preamps, some 4 track functionality, and battery power option in a 1U rackmount box.

The four track record has limitations but could be used to take a direct split of the mic and an unbalanced analogue out from the Mico and record both. Or it can be used to do the split level recording thing on just two inputs; making a simultaneous backup at a lower level to guard against overlevels in case input levels are set too high. All in all quite a lot of options for a SD recorder.

You would have to spend some money though.
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby ef37a » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:34 pm

If you can borrow a DVD recorder (I have 4 Freeview HDD/DVD recorders) you could record to that. Something schools/colleges are likely to have? You could even use a VHS hi fi sound recorder!

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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:41 pm

With regard to the Denon I've just put one of these: https://www.solidstatesound.co.uk/denon_dn-300r.htm into an install I've overseen...

It will allow you to record to USB stick and SD Card at the same time...

An alternative might be something like a secondhand Fostex FR2LE... Good little machine... I used one for several years for "straight to stereo" BBC Local Radio location recording.

Some machines - eg My Zoom F4 have two SD Cards and allow you to record to both at the same time... built in redundancy...

Or maybe you want the comfort of a physically separate recorder...

In 50 years of location recording - always with just one recorder :shock: - I've only had my fingers fully burned (total recorder failure) once and singed (electronics went noisy on me) once. Even the recorder failure was totally my fault... I didn't check the suitability of the media I was using beforehand. So it was technically a media/recorder failure rather than the recorder going down...
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Logarhythm » Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:20 am

twotoedsloth wrote:I understand that a sampler is playing out of position as a recording device. I'm going to see if someone has an unused office PC, which should be able to handle 24bit/44.1kHz recording.
Where are you based?
I've recently replaced my PC, and the old one is sat here doing nothing. It's not exactly cutting-edge (AMD FX8370) and it is a large, ugly, noisy contraption (much of it was formerly my ex partner's gaming rig) so not ideal for studio use, but happily ran Reaper and Cubase 10 as long as demanding plugins are avoided, and should be fine to sit backstage and put a few tracks to hard disk as a backup. Going to education use would be a great home for it, so more than happy to donate if it helps. I'm in Devon and I'm not sure how readily I'd be able to post it, but PM me if useful :thumbup:
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Arpangel » Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:44 am

twotoedsloth wrote:.

I don't think that the students or professors would be pleased to see me recording on a device such as the H1n.

That made me smile, I’ve been on quite a few orchestral and opera sessions using Schoeps and DPA mic's that ended up being recorded on Olympus OM10's at 16/44 and Sharp Mini Disc recorders, all intended for commercial release, and nothing was ever mentioned about recording quality, and the gear wasn’t commented on.
I can understand your concerns though, but I’d turn it on it’s head, and say "yes! but just listen what "I" managed to do with this little "toy!"

:)
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:10 am

Arpangel wrote:
twotoedsloth wrote:.

I don't think that the students or professors would be pleased to see me recording on a device such as the H1n.

That made me smile, I’ve been on quite a few orchestral and opera sessions using Schoeps and DPA mic's that ended up being recorded on Olympus OM10's at 16/44 and Sharp Mini Disc recorders, all intended for commercial release, and nothing was ever mentioned about recording quality, and the gear wasn’t commented on.
I can understand your concerns though, but I’d turn it on it’s head, and say "yes! but just listen what "I" managed to do with this little "toy!"

:)

I'm very surprised to read that... especially about MiniDisc... Although good for what it is, it was a lossy format and on classical recordings I could easily tell the difference between a MiniDisc and CD rendition of the same piece.

I tried - once - to use a Zoom H2 as a location master-recorder. Absolutely nightmare and all sorts of quality issues. That's simply not what they're designed for. I struggle to see how how any reputable recording set-up using very decent mics could seriously believe that MiniDisc was an acceptable medium for a source-recording.

Mind you - as I've mentioned here before - I have a DG recording of Eine Kleine that has a horrendous comp-edit in it... :o
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Arpangel » Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:45 am

Mike Stranks wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
twotoedsloth wrote:.

I don't think that the students or professors would be pleased to see me recording on a device such as the H1n.

That made me smile, I’ve been on quite a few orchestral and opera sessions using Schoeps and DPA mic's that ended up being recorded on Olympus OM10's at 16/44 and Sharp Mini Disc recorders, all intended for commercial release, and nothing was ever mentioned about recording quality, and the gear wasn’t commented on.
I can understand your concerns though, but I’d turn it on it’s head, and say "yes! but just listen what "I" managed to do with this little "toy!"

:)

I'm very surprised to read that... especially about MiniDisc... Although good for what it is, it was a lossy format and on classical recordings I could easily tell the difference between a MiniDisc and CD rendition of the same piece.

I tried - once - to use a Zoom H2 as a location master-recorder. Absolutely nightmare and all sorts of quality issues. That's simply not what they're designed for. I struggle to see how how any reputable recording set-up using very decent mics could seriously believe that MiniDisc was an acceptable medium for a source-recording.

Mind you - as I've mentioned here before - I have a DG recording of Eine Kleine that has a horrendous comp-edit in it... :o

It’s surprising what you can get away with, I recorded a lot of stuff for my own CD's using MD, and I can’t tell what was what now.
We also used high end Sound Devices recorders too, back at home unless I was told it was difficult to tell, although, it was program dependant, I can remember getting it right three out of three on some things, preferring the big recorders rather than the MD, so it’s not that good. But on a different note, MD had a lot of creative potential, some wonderful effects could obtained glitching from one machine to another.
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Darren Lynch » Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:15 pm

I'm not qualified to comment on location classical recording - but if it's really a minimum of 200 recitals a year, that begs for a robust/resilient solution using very well made kit. Just sayin'.
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