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 Post subject: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
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Location: U.S.A.
Hi,

I'm getting ready to replace my aging Korg MR-1000 recorder. Having done some research, I'm now looking at a couple of possibilities: the Roland-Edirol R-44 and the Tascam HD-P2. Both fall into the category of "portable field recorders" (not small hand-held portables). At home they would be considered tabletop recorders. Has anyone had any experience with either of these recorders? The price is about the same. If so, could you please share your experience or opinions of them?

A few things about the Tascam: It has 2 tracks which is all I need for stereo. Also its A/D resolution is up to 24 bit/192kHz. The Edirol has 4 tracks (some waste there) and a resolution of 24 bit/192kHz. On the other hand the Tascam case has a clean design that mimics the older analog placements of the features and controls, while the Edirol would take some getting used to. Also the Tascam has a "retake" button that with one press enables you to delete the take in progress and to start over with a new take. I would bet that the Edirol requires several steps--which can definitely add to one's frustrations while trying to produce a good recording.

Neither unit provides the SD or SDHC cards. That's a separate expense.

Thanks!

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Last edited by Rachfan on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:31 pm 
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I have the Tascam DR-D1 which I'm very satisfied with sound-wise although I don't find it a model of good UI design. The display is
small, cluttered and hard to read. Also, it seems like you need to CHANGE the input level in order to find out to what level it's set.
But these are small niggles. It's the sound that counts most.

The retake button does not impress me. Unless storage is at a premium, and you record a LOT in each session, and don't clear the memory
before your session, I don't see the value of this. Besides, you never know you might need a previous take to patch up some imperfection
in the final take. I do that sometimes (though only if I had not noticed the imperfection during recording).

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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:44 pm 
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Hi David,
I have an Edirol 09 and have been very happy with it. The sound is excellent! The only thing wrong with the unit is that I have had to replace the cord, and currently I had to solder the wires together by the little black box thingy so it would turn on. If I ever decide to buy a new recorder, I would go with the latest Edirol. I haven't researched it in a while...does it come with a remote control? That would be really nice!

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:47 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Where I do complete takes only, my routine is to delete the spoiled takes in progress as I go along. Where I don't do any editing, I don't need to save those flawed takes. But I can see your point. (I probably wore out the Korg, as deletes were a several-steps process which increased my sense of frustration.) Then when I'm done, the only thing left on the screen are viable candidates for auditioning to select the best one. If I don't do that eliminating, then I have to listen to the duds too, and if the error(s) were near the end, so much the worse for efficiently using time! I suppose I could write down the file numbers of the duds, but it's extra time taken. My recording sessions are during windows when my wife is out doing errands. So every minute is important to me. In that sense I can see the allure of the reset button, but for your situation I agree, it would be counter productive. I hear you on the cluttered display panel. All I want to see there is the function I'm in and the take numbers. I'll take a look at the DR-D1.

Just saw the DR-D1. I could only find the DR-1 which was a hand-held portable. Are they the same? I'm hoping to find a table top recorder. They're more expensive to be sure, but hopefully worth it.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Last edited by Rachfan on Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:51 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks for your vote on the Edirol. There is no remote control on the Edirol R-44. I used to have one when we lived in New Hampshire. The cord was long and that was great, as the recorder was on a built-in shelf way past the tail of the Baldwin grand. So a flick of the remote saved me a lot of time. I don't know if they still make those or not.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:43 pm 
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Hi Everyone,

Well, we can close out this thread! Today I purchased the Roland R-44-E (Edirol) and it's already been shipped as I write this. This is a tabletop recorder (or "field recorder" as they call it) weighing close to three pounds. It turned out that the Tascam HD-P2 I was considering uses Firewire instead of USB2 to transfer music files from the recorder to the PC. My Dell Inspiron 560 PC has USB portals, but none for Firewire. It's possible to insert a Firewire card and portal into the PC, however, there is no guarantee it would be compatible with the mother board. Also the Tascam's large flash card is probably insufficient for my recording sessions. The Edirol, on the other hand, transfers files to the PC through a USB2 cable, and the SDHC flash card will be plenty large enough for my purposes. That card is tucked in with the Edirol for delivery. The AC adapter comes with the recorder, of course. For mics, I'm sticking with my Earthworks TC-20 matching pair (using the XLR inputs). The A/D resolution will be 24-bit/192kHz. There's a headphones output which I like to use for auditioning my "out takes". I'll need to familiarize myself with all the settings buttons first thing. I'm sure I'll be happy with it.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:07 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Missed this. I've had no problems with my Edirol R-09. If the new Edirol is based on it, just one detail - be sure to check the settings buttons/levers on the back before recording - it is possible for them to get bumped into less desirable preferences. Monica, my Edirol came with a remote control, a small plastic push button thing. Not that I've used it more than a couple of times, normally I've just started the thing up manually before playing.


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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:12 am 
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Hi Andrew,

Thanks for that tip. I sit on an artist bench to play, but the old black wooden bench is flush against a wall to my immediate left. That bench serves as amini-table. The Edirol's back side will be facing the wall with the front facing my profile, so it won't be likely that anything could bump it. The XLR inputs for the mics are on the side of the unit, not in back, so there shouldn't be an issue there. Once it arrives, I'll definitely take a close look at the back to see exactly what settings might be there if any. Thanks again.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:07 pm 
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Congratulations, David. And wow, what a recorder! Looks very fancy!! :)

@Andrew - I am very surprised that you go a remote control with yours!! I did not. Unless I actually did, but didn't see it in the box and then accidentally threw it away...

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 pm 
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Good you did bite the bullet David. The dawn of a new age :) I'll be interested how your new recording will sound. Probably not different as you'll be using the same microphones.

I have a remote control with the Tascam, and I do use it, but find it hard to communicate with that red led at the far end of the piano. I regularly lose track of what sequence number I'm recording, or think I'm done with a track only to find out I did it wasn't recorded because I did not press the record button for the second time. It would be so much handier to use microphones and have the recording device right next to you.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:42 am 
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Hi Monica,

Thanks! Yes, I'm in the Edirol user family now, so my maverick days with the Korg are over ha-ha! It gave me about seven years of wonderful service, so I can't complain. The look of the R-44-E is unconventional in my opinion. It probably could have been designed with more attention to aesthetics. But... if it can do its job well, then it achieves its main purpose. The piano is being tuned next week. So if I can get the Edirol running, maybe I can produce a recording to christen the recorder. Stay tuned!

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: Digital Recorders
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:09 am 
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Hi Chris,

Yes, I believe that everyone who has listened to the Earthworks TC-20 matched pair has liked the sound. I like it because the sound is natural and neutral. That is to say, the mics don't add any coloration to it. It's as if you were sitting in the room while the recording was being made. But I admit I would surely love to have the Earthworks TC-30s! They're best known for recording piano. But it's $1,749 for a matched pair, so I doubt I'll upgrade anytime soon! :lol: I find it easy to get caught up in this technical stuff. A concert pianist once reminded me that despite the piano, recorder, cables, microphones, room acoustics etc., nothing happens without the pianist! I think he had a very good point there.

As I mentioned in my reply to Monica, the Baldwin will be tuned next week, so if I have everything running, I might be able to make a recording sooner than later.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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