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Backup Recorder

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:26 pm

^^ This. You are recording 200+ recitals which, presumably, will be used to access the student's performance for the purpose of awarding grades? Those students will (if they are on full time graduate/post-grad courses) be paying maybe £9k fees each year but the college is baulking at spending a few hundred quid (having already spent many times that amount on the current kit) to ensure proper redundency?
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:01 pm

Never mind!

Thanks to all of you for your kind and considerate responses.

Unfortunately I forgot how loud those old hard discs get. You can probably hear this external drive all the way over in the UK. You can easily hear it on the stage... so it's completely unsuitable.

I'll probably buy a second Denon recorder. I'm probably over thinking this, my colleague reminded me today that it's not my money.

Many thanks to all of you,

Peter
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Arpangel » Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:53 pm

Darren Lynch wrote: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'.

Very well made, doesn’t necessarily equate to good sound quality. It can be a compromise.

:-|
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:57 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:I'll probably buy a second Denon recorder. I'm probably over thinking this, my colleague reminded me today that it's not my money.
There's a fine line between being sensible with other people's money and scrimping. :thumbup:
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:45 pm

Logarhythm wrote:
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:

Thank you very much for your kind offer. Unfortunately I live in Toronto, Canada, so I'm not sure the voltage would even work if we some how got it here.

Sort of non-sequitur, what do you think the minimum spec should be for a PC recording stereo audio at 24bit/44.1kHz? I'll be putting an old PCI M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 in it, getting fed SPDIF from my Audient Mico.

Cheers,

Peter
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby blinddrew » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:46 am

As long as you turn off spurious processes and set the power management sensibly then any pc made in the last 20 years will comfortably handle a stereo feed without any problems.
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:26 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:I'm very surprised to read that... especially about MiniDisc...

Ah... but I suspect you never met Mike Skeet... idiosyncratic is the term, I think. Lovely guy in so many ways, but he always took a different approach to the conventional norm. Usually, he got away with it, too. :lol:

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.

Yes, there are traits that are easily recognised once learned. but Sony's ATRAC was/is a very clever and sophisticated data reduction codec -- far better than APT-X and MP3. It turned out to be very similar in some technical aspects to Dolby's AC3 (Dolby Digital) and I believe Sony ended up paying royalties to Dolby over it...

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.

In Mike's case, it was largely driven by the need to get his recording gear to fit into the saddlebags of his motorbike! This was long before the days of miniature marvels like Zoom's F-series and Sound Devices 700 and MixPre machines.

But really... was a MiniDisc recording really any worse in sound quality terms than a 1/4-inch tape from a decade before? I don't think so -- and neither did his clients!
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby James Perrett » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:29 pm

blinddrew wrote:As long as you turn off spurious processes and set the power management sensibly then any pc made in the last 20 years will comfortably handle a stereo feed without any problems.

In fact I'd probably extend that by 10 years. I was able to play 3 stereo tracks simultaneously on a 40MHz 386 PC back in the early 90's with no special hardware apart from the audio interface.
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:36 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:I'll probably buy a second Denon recorder. I'm probably over thinking this, my colleague reminded me today that it's not my money.

I would go with 'forumuser840717's advice -- a second DN700R or DN900R, or one of the equivalents -- Tascam SS-R250Nor SD-20M.

A computer with sound card is an alternative, but less convenient and you'll probably get into hassles with keeping it up to date and compliant with the academy's IT policies...

It might also be bearing in mind the implications of redundancy. Yes, it's great to have a second independent means of capturing the audio data, especially if you feel the memory card to be the weakest link in the chain...

But you still have several other single points of failure in the single path, which maybe should also be considered and protected if you're serious about this... :-)

Again, forumuser840717 suggested some ways of reducing the single points of failures slightly by using different output formats from the Mico (thereby reducing reliance on its A-D converter/output formatter). But that won't help if the Mico PSU goes down...
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:12 pm

Hugh...

You're not helping! Now I'm terrified that the PS on the Mico will fail.

I'm going to use an older office computer with the M-Audio Audiophile 24/96, and buy a Tascam DR40X. Now even if there is a power outage I will have a recording, albeit not as good as the c422 through the Mico.

So we should be sorted for the next two months.

Many thanks,

Peter
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:34 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Hugh...

You're not helping!

:lol: Yeah... but that's the reality.

You have to analyse where the possible failure points are, the likelihood of them failing, the outcome of those failures, and how you can work around those failures.

For example, if the recording system is far more reliable than the preamp, it is probably pointless having two independent recording systems because it's more likely that the preamp will fail, and then neither recording system can capture anything useful at all.

Now I'm not suggesting that the Mico is likely to fail, but if it did, what could you do to circumvent the problem. Do you have a suitable replacement immediately to hand that could be patched in in a few seconds/minutes?

Back in my BBC days, for really critical one-off broadcasts or recordings, we rigged independent mics (dynamics and capacitors to mitigate phantom power failures) running over independent cables following widely separated routes through to independent preamps/mixers, and recorded on independent machines all powered from separate independent supplies/batteries. Every effort was made to ensure there was no single point of failure and every possible device failure could be compensated for in mere moments -- often quite literally at the flick of a switch.

Now your recordings may or may not be deemed that critical, and the amount of acceptable downtime needed to replace failed equipment may be considerably greater... but it all needs careful analysis if you're to avoid wasting money and gaining no real-world benefit from acquiring and running redundant devices that won't actually help in case of failure elsewhere.
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Re: Backup Recorder

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:50 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But really... was a MiniDisc recording really any worse in sound quality terms than a 1/4-inch tape from a decade before? I don't think so -- and neither did his clients!

Of course you're right... :)

But even then (when MiniDisc was around) there were lossless formats available that didn't cost the earth. Not as portable as some versions of MiniDisc of course, but

... and I did meet Mike Skeet once... he knew my father-in-law. They were kindred spirits... why buy it if you can make it? :lol:

... and I'm happy to regail the assembled throng at a future SOS Meet with my tale of a regular live sound gig I did that could only be accessed via the Thames tow-path and across two sets of lock-gates. Pack your sack-truck with care... :D
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