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Mixing to minidisc
Old 25th January 2013
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conanb's Avatar

Thread Starter
Mixing to minidisc

Just reading an old interview with Omar S (here: Blowing Up Your Spot )
where he says that he is recording all his stuff to minidisc. Now, he talks a lot of **** (which he freely admits to in the interview) and I'm just wondering is this more of him having a laugh or is there an advantage to recording a live performance through your mixer and onto minidisc? I remember hearing something about minidisc having advantages over CD's when it came to sound quality back when they were in common use but I can't be arsed looking it up and I'm sure some GS will be able to fill me in better than google anyway. So, minidisc, what's the story?
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Guru
Yoozer's Avatar
ATRAC compression is still lossy compression, CD is lossless.

No advantages other than that the discs look cool and will probably be the next hipster thing in 5 years (currently it's cassettes)
Old 25th January 2013
Gear addict

I know, that he was recording to a Roland VS machine..maybe in the old days he used minidisc..and maybe today a usual computer with audiointerface..
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
I mix through my VS2480 to my akai Z4 all the time. I haven't proven this and it may be crap but I think the vintage samplers do something within the sampling process that effectively compresses the sample.

All I know is it sounds better when I mix to my Z4 than when I mix the tracks down to a stereo track on my VS then export.

Old 26th January 2013
Gear Nut

It's not off limits necessarily but I wouldn't do it as a matter of course. I use MiniDisc a lot in my work, but more as a barebones sampler with a unique character rather than something that I demand the utmost quality out of. I've never tried tracking a stereo mix down to MD but a lot of popular artists have and it might do something cool to your sound if you're willing to experiment.
Old 26th January 2013
Lives for gear
blinky909's Avatar

I master to minidisc. I love the compression. Been doing it this way since 1999
Old 26th January 2013
Naw, that **** is not techno, that **** is bull****. Kerri Chandler was sweet as ****, you know what I’m sayin’?
Funny interview I would love to see a video of this...

BTT: All my mini-discs got read errors over the years so i sold my recorder.
Old 26th January 2013
Lives for gear

Kind of related.. But some of my favorite tracks we have done were recorded direct to minidisc (a portable one).

Excluding the fact that it's all in realtime, there is a sonic character / tone that I find pleasing.. An 'open-ness' to the sound.

It may have to do with the data compression.. I seriously don't know.
Old 26th January 2013
Lives for gear
These days you might be better off hunting down an old Roland VS....
Old 26th January 2013
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synthguy's Avatar
I'm surprised some here actually remember MiniDisc. I happen to like the sound, but then I do have a couple of the better recorders. It's far better than tape, though tape doesn't have read errors either.

I found that mastering to MD is somewhat like mastering for mp3, but not quite. ATRAC and the converters do something kind of sweet in its own way to the sound. It's more like compressed CD, if that makes sense. Maybe medium quality mp4. I haven't done it for a while, but then I haven't worked on my own material for a while, but this summer, might have to dust off the ol' recorder.
Old 26th January 2013
Lives for gear
My friend had a MiniDisc multi-track.. everything he did on it sounded great... and he made music very DIY. Water jugs.. crunchin on carrots.. singing... etc.

Great stuff... but cassette can overdrive where MiniDisc really can't.
Old 26th January 2013
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conanb's Avatar

Thread Starter
I still have my minidisc recorder so I'll have to dust it down and record dome stuff straight to it from my A&H mixer and see what happens. I'll just run the DRM1 and Minitaur sequenced by the MPC and see if some magic happens. Any requests? I could bang out some Hall & Oats if u like?
Old 26th January 2013
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conanb's Avatar

Thread Starter
See the comment from that thread about no compression? That's what I was talking about above. I knew I remembered hearing that there was less compression on MD's than CD's and that must have been what I was remembering. The later MD's didn't compress. That's the type I have. I'm pretty excited about recording something straight from the mixer with no computer. I do not want to open a can of worms here... so I'll just leave it there.

(I'm convinced dithering ****s with my mixdowns. There. I've said it.)
Old 26th January 2013
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blinky909's Avatar

Old 26th January 2013
Lives for gear
conanb's Avatar

Thread Starter
Sounds fantastic. I'm not in the studio so I've just got it in my head phones but I'm gonna check it in the monitors asap. How's it sound to you compared to stuff you record and master in the computer?
Old 26th January 2013
Gear interested

guys, registered to reply to this.... (got caught by my MD google alert)

a high-end MD setup will record at nearly 20bit resolution, and 48khz sample rate, so it makes a better than CD sound if you're not offended by compression. Type-R or better roundtrip's will introduce very little in terms of audible artifacts. (I wouldn't personally recommend using an ATRAC chip less than v 3.5) For the time this was a very nice recording system.

anyhow i'll be interested to see what you guys who are dusting off the equipment think.


Edit 1: I believe I meant less than v 4.5 (it was a long time ago!)
Edit 2: I think was right the first time, don't go less than 3.5 :-)
Edit 3: gah, after a trip down memory lane it seems the encoded sample rate is the typical 44.1khz

Last edited by speakxj7; 27th January 2013 at 07:14 AM..
Old 26th January 2013
Lives for gear
ionian's Avatar
I was a long time minidisc user through the 90s. Before portable digital recorders came out, these were awesome compared to tape! For a working musician? I used these to record broadway pits for when I had to sub, rehearsals, song ideas. It always sounded good to me. I still have boxes under my bed with like 300 minidiscs in them. Add that little sony battery powered stereo mic? Without equal. In fact, I don't know a single professional musician who didn't have a little minidisc recorder in their gig bag.

I still think that songs ripped and dropped on minidisc sound better than iPods. But again someone else who knows about such things told me that Apple has long used substandard op-amps for the headphone outputs on ipods and that minidisc walkmans use better op-amps so what I'm hearing is the higher quality op-amps in the minidisc player instead of the cheaper, cost cutting ones Apple uses in ipods.

I still think it's the compression if you ask me!

Old 26th January 2013
Gear interested

yeah the ADC, DAC, and amp's were generally very good, i read one review a long time ago that said buy <x md deck> for the ADC/DAC, and the MD capabilities are just a bonus.
Old 27th January 2013
Lives for gear

There are some digital clipping like artefacts in your wav file.
(I don't have bat ears but I've got a nack for those details.)
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