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thebeatcatcher
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#1
31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
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2 or more channels?

I am in the market for a portable field recording setup to record remote nature sounds as well as local/urban samples and ambiances. I plan to use a shotgun, stereo LDC, stereo SDC pair, and contact mics, but not necessarily all at once, which leads me to my dilemma (I'm looking to spend $2000-2400 on the recorder):

1) get an SD 702

2) get two used SD mixpres into a DR 680

The recorded material is for my own artistic purposes only, no video/film stuff, and I'm not sure where creative juices will take me. I am leaning toward the quality of the SD 702, but I...

A) don't want to regret not having more channels, and

B) an SD mixpre into the DR 680 might sound just as good.

I'm not recording bands or large performances, just sampling for personal use in compositions. I realize mics play a huge role too, and I'm thinking of getting an ntg-3 or senn 416, an AT BP4025 stereo LDC, a matched pair of RODE nt55, and a contact mic. I know there are better mics out there, but thinking long term it's more likely I'll have around $1k for better mics here and there than >$2k to upgrade the recorder. I'd rather make the best decision on the recorder for now.

The ultimate question is, how can you be sure 2 channels will be enough? I really wish the 744T wasn't out of my budget! I would be thrilled with 4 channels. (maybe I can get lucky on ebay)

First post, tried to do some searching, any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
#2
31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
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One of our members did well for years with a 702 and a mixer. It is exciting to do the mix live.
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thebeatcatcher
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#3
31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
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If I got the 702 I wouldn't be able to afford or need a field mixer, and for what I'm doing I want all channels iso. I would use the 702 as a standalone recorder. I just don't know how to decide if I'll I end up wanting more than 2 channels, because I want the quality of the 702, but am attracted to the multichannel flexibility of the mixpre's > DR 680. Plus, you can always use little boxes like the mixpre's for regular recording with the computer in the bedroom. I keep going back and forth.
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31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
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polytope is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeatcatcher View Post
If I got the 702 I wouldn't be able to afford or need a field mixer, and for what I'm doing I want all channels iso. I would use the 702 as a standalone recorder. I just don't know how to decide if I'll I end up wanting more than 2 channels, because I want the quality of the 702, but am attracted to the multichannel flexibility of the mixpre's > DR 680. Plus, you can always use little boxes like the mixpre's for regular recording with the computer in the bedroom. I keep going back and forth.
Check out Roland R-88. Some people here have had experience with it doing TV/film work.
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2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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Due to the emergence of the SD664 there are a lot of 744t's on the used market in the 2K price range.
IMO 4 tracks (plus) opens the door to so many more possibilities. I think you will regret the 2 track option.
Also, as a Sound Devices owner I am not afraid to say that it is not the "BE ALL" of recorders. There are other options I much prefer depending on application.
What SD does well is make a reliable quality product, purpose built for certain applications.

The R-88 looks interesting.
thebeatcatcher
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#6
2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Chaser View Post
There are other options I much prefer depending on application.

The R-88 looks interesting.
What would you recommend for hiking/backpacking? (not rugged, no mountains, 80-90 deg F weather). The R-88 looked cool, but a little bulky and heavy.

I am still seriously considering the mixpre > DR 680 route. Plus, it looks like I'll still need a preamp to even use the other two channels on a 744T!
#7
2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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The SD702 is a wonderful simple device that faithfully records in all climatic conditions and has amazing battery life
Its pre s are transparent and are suited to SDC mics
With MKH series it will render the most inhospitable conditions ,the cans amp is beefy and the menu simple
They can be found used for about a thousand quid in the UK
In sophisticated surroundings it matches well with an exterior mixer of worth and then becomes much more flexible
Im a proud Nagra VI owner now but keep the 702 for those dodgy/ultra light jobs that sometimes appear.
Its a Swiss Army device.
Roger
#8
2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeatcatcher View Post
I am still seriously considering the mixpre > DR 680 route.
I have done recordings with precisely this combo. But lately, I'm just using the DR-680 alone. More than enough for archiving school concerts.

BTW, MixPre-D is not that light.
#9
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
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Johnmack is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeatcatcher View Post
What would you recommend for hiking/backpacking? (not rugged, no mountains, 80-90 deg F weather). The R-88 looked cool, but a little bulky and heavy.

I am still seriously considering the mixpre > DR 680 route. Plus, it looks like I'll still need a preamp to even use the other two channels on a 744T!
If you want light weight for hiking, have you considered the Zoom H6. You can leave the heavy mic capsules at home and you'll have four phantom powered XLR inputs and four track recording, with very useable preamps.

It uses standard AA batteries, I've had 7 hours run time out of a set of Eneloop re-chargables, with two phantom powered mics.
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