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Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.

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Naemanson 09 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM
treewind 09 Sep 03 - 05:45 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 09 Sep 03 - 06:02 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Sep 03 - 06:09 PM
Naemanson 09 Sep 03 - 06:12 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Sep 03 - 06:36 PM
wysiwyg 09 Sep 03 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Russ 09 Sep 03 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 09 Sep 03 - 09:23 PM
NicoleC 09 Sep 03 - 10:34 PM
Naemanson 09 Sep 03 - 11:13 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Sep 03 - 11:18 PM
Kudzuman 09 Sep 03 - 11:23 PM
wysiwyg 09 Sep 03 - 11:28 PM
Micca 10 Sep 03 - 03:21 AM
treewind 10 Sep 03 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Russ 10 Sep 03 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,MMario 10 Sep 03 - 09:51 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 Sep 03 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,MMario 10 Sep 03 - 10:27 AM
nickp 10 Sep 03 - 11:43 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 10 Sep 03 - 11:50 AM
open mike 11 Sep 03 - 12:44 AM
Peter T. 11 Sep 03 - 08:10 AM
treewind 11 Sep 03 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Sep 03 - 10:15 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Sep 03 - 12:07 PM
boldreynard 11 Sep 03 - 01:36 PM
Peter T. 11 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM
Willie-O 11 Sep 03 - 07:17 PM
Naemanson 11 Sep 03 - 07:18 PM
Bert 11 Sep 03 - 09:35 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Sep 03 - 11:35 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Sep 03 - 12:32 AM
treewind 12 Sep 03 - 04:34 AM
The Barden of England 12 Sep 03 - 05:29 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Sep 03 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko at work 12 Sep 03 - 01:43 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 03 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 03 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 03 - 03:31 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 03 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 03 - 03:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Sep 03 - 07:51 PM
Snuffy 15 Sep 03 - 08:41 AM
wysiwyg 03 Feb 04 - 11:46 AM
Dave Bryant 03 Feb 04 - 11:53 AM
moocowpoo 04 Feb 04 - 03:43 AM
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Subject: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM

When I came out to Guam I had hoped to find a thriving Chamorro culture carefully preserving its heritage and traditions. And, to a large extent, that's what I found. But nobody seems to be preserving the music. They are very proud of FM 102.9, the Chamorro radio station. Unfortunately that consists of musicians doing covers of popular songs in the Chamorro language. I've even been told that the old songs and chants were lost during the Spanish Domination. But that's not quite true.

I have met an old time Chamorro navigator who tells me there are old songs and chants connected to the outrigger canoes that still sail from island to island throughout Micronesia. He is willing to share them with me.

Now, to the crux of the problem. All I have to do this with is a handheld cassette recorder. I don't have a clue what's out there to use for this work. I have read accounts of the old time collectors who lugged huge recorders around the countryside. What is out there now?

I have a few criteria to consider. It cannot be intrusive. Manny is very shy. It has to have good recording qualities. And the recorder and the media it records on to has to be able to stand the heat and humidity here in Guam. It will get rained on. There is no way to avoid the rain here.

So, what can you tell me? Please realize I know nothing about the technical side of these things. If you are going to talk ohms and watts and dbs and such then you will leave me in the dust.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: treewind
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 05:45 PM

Minidisc is the replcement for cassette for this type of work.
No contest.
And try to keep it dry, but a wet MD will probably recover better than a wet cassette...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:02 PM

heloo, waht you want to record a field for then?
you will only here mouses, maybe tractor if you liucky.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:09 PM

Here are some threads you might start with,

Field Recording Ideas
Minidisc & Microphones
Tech: Field Recording Equipment Help


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:12 PM

Excellant! Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:36 PM

You're quite welcome.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:38 PM

Get a grant! Get $$ for expenses!

Have fun!

Check out the Lomax stuff at American Memory to see how they organized and documented the work.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:48 PM

I second the Md suggestion.

Further suggestions:

Make sure you buy a MD recorder which has a plug for a microphone. In the old days all of them had such a plug. Now such plugs are increasing rare.

If you are used to working with portable analog tape recorders, be warned that MD recorders as a rule do NOT come with a built in mic. It must be purchased separately. The Sony Sony MZ-B10 is the only MD recorder I am aware of with a built in mic.

When you actually start recording don't repeat the mistake all us amateurs made in the old days. Start the recorder and KEEP IT GOING. Don't worry about dead air and extraneous material. Don't bother to turn the recorder off and on to catch just the good bits. Just keep feeding the recorder discs until your source quits. The editing can be done back home at the PC. You will never regret filling a disc with useless noise. You will regret to your dying day missing the great story that preceded the song you did record.

Always carry lots of discs and lots of batteries. Carry way more than you think you'll use.

Keep a log if feasible. Who? Where? When? No matter how good you think your memory is, it isn't good enough.

Can't keep a log? Be scrupulous about labeling the discs.
Even if you keep a log, be scrupulous about labeling the discs.

Even if you are scrupulous about labeling your discs and keep a detailed log, begin each disc with a statement of who, when, where.

Record everything. What you think you are interested in today, what you will be interested in a year from now, and what you will wish you had recorded 5 years from now are very different things.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 09:23 PM

Thank you George - good stuff.



Russ is right!



From "field recordings" (reel to reel) from the 60's and 70's....details can get lost...however.



ON THE RECORDING - at the start - YOU should clearly speak the artist's name, date, time, location....let the person introduce the rest of the material, ask them about the same info. even after music....or story....if there is "flow" let it "go" but when they stop, prod for the background.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: NicoleC
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:34 PM

Ditto on the minidisc. You might look into a water-resistant neoprene "sports" case. They make them for PDAs -- a PDA size version might fit.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 11:13 PM

This stuff is great, keep it going. I hadn't thought of the dangers in turning the recorder off and on. I probably would have made that mistake right from the get-go.

How does one go about getting a grant? I think I need to talk to Charley Noble. He's an expert that stuff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 11:18 PM

I definitely agree with Russ. Record EVERY little thing.

With my MZ-N707 from Sony and most newer MD recorders you have MDLP which can give you 74 minutesx4 = 296 minutes, or nearly 5 hours of recording time.

It uses AA batteries. I don't bother with the NiCd which came with it. I prefer to use Alkaline batteries. I KNOW I can get roughly 5 or 6 hours on one battery. Some of the newer ones use specially designed Li-Ion rechargables to keep the profile small. Personally I don't like the idea. I prefer to have a second battery handy to swap in when I need it. NOT a recharger which can take 4 to 10 hours to recharge.

You NEVER know

Anyway, it's a good deal. Personally, I don't speak much into microphone when doing field recording. It will give a much more natural feel to the informant's sound. If you keep starting and stopping, the informant will be made aware of the recorder. My recommendation is to explain to the person what you are doing, set things up, start the recorder, and as Gargoyle says, give the date, location and informant's name and what you're doing and then EVERYTHING else becomes a conversation. Try NOT to look at it again until you're finished. As your conversation becomes more relaxed, the informant will be more natural about things. Try to get a conversation going before the recording to relax the informant.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Kudzuman
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 11:23 PM

Ditto here on minidisc! These are a great medium and hold up to 74 minutes in stereo. If you go mono you can double that time. The discs seem even more stable than CD-R's. Check out www.minidisco.com for recorder/players and blank mini-discs. Ebay is also a good source, just make sure you know what you are buying. I've used these before for live recordings with great sound. If you use a portable mixer then you can use your choice of mics, but a stereo mic and minidisc make a great combo that can be run from battery power alone. Cheers!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 11:28 PM

bET cATTERS WILL SEND YOU BLANK DISCS... well not Capslock, that a**hole!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Micca
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 03:21 AM

Naemanson, Definately MiniDisc, I have a Sony MZ-R900 that has the *4 long play facilities,and the quality on that setting is still better than casettes abd it gives about 5 hours of continuous recording.
and a good compatible mic, it has a rechargable internal battery and I have 2 spares, but it has a "piggy-back" AA battery pouch that even with the rechargable FLAT will keep it going so you can carry on without recharging!! with a full charge and an AA in the pouch it will run for up to 17 hours!! You can use the software in your computer to enhance faint recordings and "Normalise" the recordings also( that is boost the recording to its max without distortion) and , because it is digital, there is very little "noise"when you boost the recording!
Micca( who is currently processing about 12 hours of wonderful chorus singing from towersey Folk Festival)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: treewind
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:28 AM

The other thing about just leaving it on and recording everything is that on MD it is so easy to edit the rubbish out afterwards.

I'd go for mono, but that's partly because I have a Sony MZR30 that pre-dates MDLP, also in a typical field situation you probably can't set up a good stereo sound stage anyway: I always use a mono mic. And with mono you get better sound than LP (though you might be pushed to hear the difference).

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:47 AM

Naemanson,

It sounds like field recording is a new thing for you so I'll go ahead and state some more obvious things.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I'm just trying to keep you from learning the hard way the same lessons I learned the hard way.

Start every session with new or freshly recharged batteries. Buy a charger and batteries and make sure there are always batteries in the charger. I actually keep three chargers going for MD, camera (digital camera, digital recorder, NICE combo), mic and flashlight.

Which reminds me, buy a small flashlight and keep it with the MD recorder. The display can be tough to read, especially for "mature" collectors, and especially in dim lighting.

Periodically check the recorder during a session. It is tempting to "set it and forget it" but don't. It's extremely discouraging to notice after the fact that the battery died sometime during a particularly wonderful session. Actually, batteries die ONLY during the most wonderful sessions.

When you check the recorder you can also keep an eye on the elapsed time or time remaining so that you won't be caught flatfooted when it is time for a new disc.

Speaking of which, when you notice that you're getting towards the end of the disc, go ahead and put in a new disc at the first convenient pause. There's no rule that says you must fill up each disc completely. If you are proactive about disc changing, you won't find yourself fumbling with the recorder in the middle of a great song.

After each recording session be SURE to listen to each disc. Don't just toss it into a box for later handling.

If possible, listen to the entire disc. If that's not possible, fast forward through the disc, stopping occasionally to listen. You are looking (listening) for problems that were not apparent during the recording session.

I discovered once that the table I had placed my mic on was bouncing because someone was keeping time by tapping (pounding actually) his foot. That, of course, made the mic bounce. I got a great recording of the tapping of the mic as it bounced on the table, but not much music.
Another time, a fan which I didn't even notice at the time made the disc sound like it had been recorded at the height of a hurricane.

Which reminds me, if you've seen pictures of the great archivists of the old days, they are sitting at huge reel-to-reel tape machines with earphones on. The earphones are NOT a bad idea. At least at the start of a session plug the phones (which usually come with the MD recorder) in briefly to monitor the initial recording quality.

The following is a PURELY PERSONAL PREFERENCE.
I don't use any of the extended play and recording modes. I always use the mode which puts the LEAST amoung of music on a disc.

This is because no matter how many hours you put on a disc, the recording occupies exactly the same amount of storage space. More specifically and technically, exactly the same number of 1s and 0s are stored. To get more hours onto the disc you have to sacrifice quality by storing less of the audio which the mic collects.

I am NOT suggesting that you do things my way here. But I am suggesting that you listen carefully to recordings made using each of your MD's recording modes. If you DON'T hear a difference, go for maximum recording time. If you DO hear a difference, it's your call which mode to use.

FINALLY,
Grants are a wonderful THEORETICAL possibility. As my dad used to say, "Great work if you can get it." Unfortunately getting grant money is incredibly time and labor intensive. You could spend all of your time on Guam writing grants and have no time left for recording. By the time a check arrived you and your sources could have died of old age. This sounds like a situation where if YOU don't do it, it won't get done.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:51 AM

get what you can on the cassette NOW...if you can get more later - great. if you can't ; at least you have some of it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 10:13 AM

Cassettes are fine if that is all you have available or all you can afford, but I strongly urge people to check out MD's.

Reading through these posts I can see where some people might be nervous about MD's being too complicated.   If you can work a cassette recorder or program a VCR, you can work a MD.   Yes, the digital readout is a bit small for those of us with aging eyes, but it is workable.   Yes, there are some potential disasters if you aren't fully aware of how the deck works (I will never live down the fact that I lost a wonderful concert I had recorded because I unplugged the MD deck before allowing the TOC to record)but if you spend a few hours "playing" with the deck, you will be amazed at how simple it can be.

The benefits have been mentioned above. For field recording the obvious two benefits are the ability to record HOURS of uninterrupted music AND the HUGE improvement in quality of recordings.

I did an interview with Peggy Seeger a few years ago and she took a few minutes to examine my MD recorder. She told me of the 150 pound "portable" recorder that she lugged around with Ewan MacColl. She marveled at the possiblities that an MD would have provided them. I also remember reading similar stories about Alan and John Lomax - where they would listen to the song first before deciding if they wanted to make a recording. Imagine all the songs and stories that have been lost.

Naemanson also mentioned that his subject is a bit shy - a minidisc, perhaps with a lavalier mic, is the most unobtrusive device available. I've done interviews in living rooms where we have been able to have very relaxed conversations and the mic and recording equipment are quickly forgotten.

Naemanson has a wonderful opportunity to record something that will be of great cultural value for generations to come. There are some costs involved (maybe $200 to $300 to get a "decent" MD player and mic)but the payoff will be enormous. With the internet, you could order a MD recorder and have it in your hands tomorrow - even in Guam!
Check out www.minidisco.com !


Ron


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 10:27 AM

they had a gadget on sale at a store the other day that suppossedly will hold 200 hours and tcomes with software to tranfer to computer. The only thing I didn't like about it is that it has no option for a plugin mike - so you would be limited to the built in mike. It's also voice activated - but I think that's a "feature" that can be turned off.

It's cheap enough that it's worth trying out...$50 US.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: nickp
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 11:43 AM

And from experience can I repeat the 'record it all now and edit out the gaps later' comments. Good luck - and have fun


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 11:50 AM

MMMario. I've seen that on the internet. I believe they have a hard drive inside. Looked that them. Interesting. Not sure I'd go for it even if they DID allow an external microphone.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: open mike
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 12:44 AM

warning--not all mini disc recorders have microphone jack inputs.
they are colored red on sony ones. they have "optical" input jacks
whatever the hell those are...and they are apparently only for up-and-downloading ready made music...not for live applications.
do not get fooled into buying a mini disc recorder with no mic
capabilities, as I did by a bungling, ill-informed sales guy.
I hear that many of the new ones do not have live recording inouts
due to some folks recoreding concerts then selling them on the internet.
good luck! and if you get any chimorro recordings, can I offer
copies to my daughter's in-laws who are from guam?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 08:10 AM

Great thread! Sort of unrelated question, but what would you experts consider to be the best recorded of the earlier field recordings for sound quality -- like, who knew what they were doing, and who didn't.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: treewind
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 09:38 AM

That voice activated 200 hour gadget is probably only voice (as in telephone) quality too. OK for recording meetings but not for music. Especially at that price.
My guess is :
(a) solid state
(b) highly compressed (hence low quality)
(c) comes with small memory. "200 hours" quote may be for when fitted with max size memory card at far more cost.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 10:15 AM

Thoughts on overcoming the shyness:

1. Let him hold the recorder and let him practice until he gets more comfortable

2. sing him some songs yourself, so it's a sharing thing among equals


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 12:07 PM

Peter - You asked a question about the earlier field recordings. I think most of the recognized names (Lomax, Warner, etc.) knew what they were doing and based on the resources available did the best job. There weren't many options available back then - it isn't like today where we can choose from a number of technologies and a number of various models.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: boldreynard
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 01:36 PM

The Library of Congress' American Folklife Center has a section devoted to field techniques. It may be found here.

There are what seem to be very helpful "model forms" you can follow to log where when how etc. you made the recordings, as well as advice as to how you should go about making your collection.

There is also a great picture within the "how to" section of the type of equipment the Lomaxes had to use. It really puts things in perspective.

Adam Frost


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM

Excellent site!!! yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 07:17 PM

Hey, don't be so quick to diss the possibility of using a miniature built-in hard drive recorder (but a decent one, not some $50 knockoff). A very highly regarded up-and-coming duo, John and Michelle Law, brought one of these when they played a concert in our little arts centre (I did the sound). At their request, we placed their mini-recorder on a chair in the back corner of the room and recorded the show. With no external mike. Didn't even put it on a cushion or something, just pressed the button and let 'er run. This goes against all my grain as I have heard many cassette recordings ruined by motor noise, (or vibrations) but it's apparently not a problem with these units.

I didn't actually hear the recording, but John said it sounded GREAT. (which of course made me happy as the amateur sound tech).

I forget the name of the unit, but it cost something like $400 Cdn. I seriously think it would be worth your while to check out, Brett, if it's hard to get mini-discs in your remote location. I'll drop John a line and ask him the name.

I'll get back to you...

Bill


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Naemanson
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 07:18 PM

Sandy Ives wrote a wonderful book on his experiences doing field recordings on Prince Edward Island. It's well worth the read and full of the music he recorded. I should go through it again before I get together with Manny.

By the way, I'll be seeing him and the rest of the gang tomorrow but we are getting together to cut wood for the canoe.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Bert
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 09:35 PM

Whichever method you choose (I'll add a vote for minidisk) practice first and then practice some more until handling the machine becomes second nature. There's nothing worse than starting to recird and then finding that you've pushed the wrong button and didn't record anything.

Get a machine that has a manual recording level control as well as automatic. On certain stringed instruments (piano is particularly difficult) the AVC can be fooled and you will need to set the recording level to about half what the meter says so that the harmonics are recorded faithfully. Again practice, practice, practice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 11:35 PM

Oh! That's right. Check that Automatic Volume setting. My N707 had it set on when I got it. Definitely something to check out. Some also have a Bass-Boost capability as well that should be turned off at the factory, but it's good to check the setting as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 12:32 AM

There's another site to check on Mini-Disc equipment.

http://www.minidisc.org

They also have manuals available for download, both user manuals and service manuals.

Mini-Disc Manuals


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: treewind
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:34 AM

My MZR30 has a very good automatic level control and also a sensitivity switch. If I put the switch in the low position the auto level control works perfectly for almost any acoustic recording situation. The only thing it can't cope with is a loud amplified band.

Newer decks don't have that switch: an unfortunate cost saving.

One thing to mention with MD recording levels - you can afford to set the level quite low. With tape that is bad news as the sound is lost in the tape hiss, but you don't get hiss on an MD. Also if you go a little over the top on tape it doesn't sound too bad - just a little compressed and muddy - but digital recording is horrid when overloaded.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: The Barden of England
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 05:29 AM

Why go the MD and microphone way when you can get a 4 track digital recorder for about the same money? look up the Zoom MRS-4 - Digital 4-Track Recorder. It uses Smart media cards as the storage, has a built in microphone, and is portable (runs off 4 "AA" batteries) and you can get an AC adaptor for it. What's more you can make multi-track recording of yourself too, at near CD quality. Makes great sense to me


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 01:38 PM

Willie-O. Could this be that recorder? It shows a $400 retail, but that is probably US$.

iRiver's iHP100


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko at work
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 01:43 PM

John, the Zoom runs approximately $300 U.S. and you can find a decent MD recorder with the bells and whistles for about $125. The storage is also an issue - the Zoom comes with 32mb of storage which is approximately 17 minutes of high fidelty recording. You can purchase additional memory, I believe up to 128 mb, which will give you approximately 70 minutes of recording. You will also need to upload and store the Smart Media card to another source - a hard drive or other storage device which will be an additional charge. An MD disc can be found for approximately $1.50 U.S. for 82 minutes of storage.

You are absolutely right that the quality of the Zoom gives you the ability to record 4 tracks, but for most field recordings you will get similar superb near CD quality as well, depending on your mics.

But you make a good point - there are other devices available and I think within a few years you will find reasonably priced hard drive recorders. In the interim (and even long term), I think the MD is a perfect solution.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 02:03 PM

Well it's like this. Get an old dictaphone recorder that runs on batteries, and stock up on your wax cylinders and batteries for it, like James Madison Cappenter did.

Then you go to that field where it's relative quiet, after some local yokel has pointed out the singers in the area that aren't hung up on God's music, and you've enticed them to sing a few ditties that they were ashanmed to admit they knew, but figuring you were a foreigner maybe you wouldn't tell on them.

So the batteries died out while you were recording and the speed control was terrible, so C varied from 256 to 264 Hz. Those disks prove most valuable to the economy. Restoring them to intelligible songs requires the experteze of highly intelligen and highly paid professional electronic engineers (for noise filtering by Fourier transform, to a specturm, filtering the transform to get rid of a lot of the noise, then transforminb back to an audio signal). At this stage you need the experts on resorting original timing so C stays the same instead of wandering all over the place, because of WOW, POPs (Fourier transforming didn't get rid of all of their effects), and Flutter. Getting this all done requires professional fund raisers for noble causes, and they take their cut of the funds they convince someone or some noble cause to commit to restoring our magnficant heritage. You won't get much in the line of a recording, but just look at how much money you got redistributed in the econonmy, and how many people were kept employed by it. What a great achivement!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 02:15 PM

Guest, I have to admit I am ignorant of the story on James Madison Carpenter. I do know that he was an American who collected songs and folklore in Great Britian during the early to mid 20th century. Your note hints at issues with his work... could you give some additional information? I am very curious.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 03:10 PM

The Library of Congeress holds the master wax cylinders, but there are copies in England at EFDSS, and apparently at Leeds, where Julia Bishop is in charge of getting the recordings salvaged as near as possible. At my prompting she gave a generalized statement about progress in the restoration project about 6 months ago on a subscription newsgroup in England. Malcolm Douglas, here, has obviously heard some restored recordings that I know nothing about.
A JPG of Julia Bishop, and Jennifer Cutting of the Library of Congress
Folklore Archive, displaying some of Carpenter's discs can be seen at the bottom section, Images, at www.erol.com/olsonw. I am certain that Malcolm can tell us more, if he will.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 03:31 PM

While I was writing the above note something came into my email box
from the JISC ballads group, on the Carpenter collection.
Carpenter
collection catalog
I hope it will help you.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 03:35 PM

Well, Sheffield is in England too, so I didn't miss too far on Julia Bishop.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 03:41 PM

Guest, thank you for the above information.

I am still curious because your original note hints at problems with fundraising and ownership. I am very curious as to the story. If you prefer, you can send me a private PM - Ron Olesko.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 03:53 PM

I don't know what the situation is in England. A private conversation several years ago (when I actually got to listen to a tape copy of a Carpenter collection disc) with Joe Hickerson, then head of the Folklore Archive at the Library of Congress, make it clear that the Library of Congress had in-house expertize to do it the clean up job on the Cappenter collection discs, but there was no way the Folklore Archive could afford their services. Internal expertize doesn't mean you get if free, you've got to get a patron to supply the funds, and the costs can be enormous when experts have to be paid (even Civil Servants).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 07:51 PM

Reading the fine stuff with poor eyes- Among the reading glasses at a drugstore I found 4X glasses. Used with one of the little Maglite flashlights (batteries last a long time), I don't have problems with fine print and dim sites.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Snuffy
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 08:41 AM

Folktrax have two CDs (FTX141, FTX142) of Carpenter's shanty recordings. Hard work to listen to, but immensely rewarding.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 11:46 AM

Downloadable forms to use in documenting field recordings:

UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 11:53 AM

Be careful of the the cow-pats - they can really screw up your recorder if you drop it in one !


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice On Field Recording Please.
From: moocowpoo
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 03:43 AM

yes, cow pats, they're certainly a hazzard.
I'm raising my hoof in support of MD, what's good about em?, all of the above and the fact that you can re-record a disk without loss of quality(the manufacturers say 500 times, but they're playing it safe because of the process MDtechnology uses for imprinting info, theoretically you can re-record indefinitely, not that you ever would).


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