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Nagra Seven Channel Summing? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 16th March 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Nagra Seven Channel Summing?

I can’t seem to get a direct answer. Can I use the Nagra Seven’s two microphone inouts AND the AES Digital Ins all at the same time and dum the inputs giving me the ability to have 4 mics recorded (2 analog mic inputs and the stereo AES) in stereo L and R?
Old 16th March 2018
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Helena, on the Nagra Seven I don't think that you can record 4 channels at once because when the AES is selected that is what you get or if 48v mics is chosen that's all that can be recorded, it's one or the other. It's not a 4 channel recorder. Use the Nagra 6 for more channels or the Tascam if you decided to keep it. By the way a friend who uses the Merging Horus system and the best Prism ADA and mic pre's they make, just bought the Tascam HS-P82 and is totally amazed at how great the Tascam sounds.
Old 17th March 2018
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I found out both can be used and the channels summed! Its basically a four channel recorder stereo mixed. They should advertise it more.
Old 5th July 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
Nagra has really left the Seven owners out in the cold. They made so much noise about how it is software controlled and how that would allow for new features. But what new features have we seen? Practically nothing since the unit was released. The Ethernet port just sits there doing nothing, while the Seven could become a great device for doing live music streams. It could easily be made to record 4 discrete channels using both its AES and analog inputs, but noooo.

So unfortunate because it really is a lovely little machine. Beautiful mic pres, outstanding conversion. Speaking of which, a DSD module would be a nice addition. That would give the little Nagra a real differentiating feature. The only other decent portable DSD recorder was the Korg, which is now discontinued. As it stands, and especially with prices of Sound Devices’ excellent 7 series falling, and their other new recorders, I struggle to see in what way the Seven is still relevant in the market.

Someone should tell Nagra that it is 2018.

Last edited by bwanajim; 6th July 2018 at 05:23 AM..
Old 5th July 2018
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
Someone should tell Nagra that it is 2018.
They could also tell them 2017 was last year.... and 2016 was the year before! Many years have passed :facepalm :
Old 5th July 2018
  #6
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Plush's Avatar
The Nagra Seven is seen as a replacement for the Nagra V. (and IV-S).
So a two channel recorder. Never described by the company as more than that.

It has all the things that Bwanajim mentions except dsd.

It sends audio via 4G signals wirelessly, it can include an ISDN transmtter / receiver, it streams, it can use AES42 digital mics. So it does a lot.

I think that the machine's options are oriented toward reporters and broadcasters.

I use it and it sounds great. Often I'm old school and mix many mics to stereo on the spot.

For dsd, I use a Tascam 3000 machine. It sounds ok.

Send your suggestions for additional features to the new head of audio at Nagra, Matthieu Latour.
Old 6th July 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I have viewed the Nagra Seven as an eventual replacement for my Nagra V (ageing only in respect to battery life, basically irrelevant for me as it is mostly used now in close proximity to a power outlet). I have had it on demo a couple of times and its analog performance is as claimed.

However, there are a couple of enablers that would tip me over to replacing the Nagra V. One is support for AES-42 Mode II, to be able to configure an AES-42 pair from the machine (which allows most efficient use of the channel-summing feature being discussed). Some years back I was advised that the hardware is configured to do this, but the associated firmware was lower down the queue in terms of features required by a major client (fair enough). It does not seem to have advanced in the queue in all this time (nobody else making demanding noises for this feature? wind has gone out of the sails of AES-42? - probably a dead parrot).

The other was the mentioned live streaming feature via Ethernet. Disclosure - I come with a broadcasting sensibility. I do have alternative means to link via external devices, and why would I pay for built-in wireless connectivity, when the standards will cycle two or three times during the service life of the device? Operationally, I want the same broadcast capability as my now abandoned 1960's (Byer/Rola/Plessey) 77 Mk III recorder which I could use it to originate a live broadcast to line, and integrate pre-recorded content while in progress. I would prefer that capability in a reliable package that weighs a couple of orders of magnitude less, that also survives the rigours of the wicked world. All the while capable of acquiring music to the highest standard.

The reality is that I think the market has shrunk, the costs of development have continued to rise and there are many more contenders to carry out the above tasks. I would like to see the Nagra ethic continue to survive and elegantly provide features that support the endeavours of dedicated sound recording professionals, and I wish it success in charting a course through the present challenging waters. Maybe discussion in this forum is one way to achieve this.

Last edited by panatrope; 6th July 2018 at 05:15 AM..
Old 10th July 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
I think you're being much too kind. The Seven has been out since 2013, and yet little of its original potential has been realized. The ethernet port is still "for R&D use only". In the opening of the user manual, Nagra tout "AES42-ready" as a feature. Well, it doesn't matter much when you don't have software to control the digital mics, now does it? And don't get me started on the uselessness of things being able to edit and send via 4G. Any journalist today needing that sort of thing is going to have a computer, an iPad, or an iPhone, any of which far exceed both the Nagra's editing and connectivity options. What a waste of time building this stuff into the Seven.

As an aside, the Seven is really picky about what USB drives it will mount. It will not mount many common USB drives from Sandisk and the like. Think you an use that Sandisk iExpand USB drive to copy from the Seven, import into you iPad Pro and edit with Auria? Think again, the Seven won't mount it. By contrast, stick just about any FAT32 formatted Usb drive into the Nagra VI and it will mount, no problem.

I continue to believe that it is an abandoned product, rapidly becoming obsolete. The new Sound Devices recorders were the coup de grâce for the Seven. Maybe even Nagra recognize it and that is why they have chosen to let it languish.

Is it a wonderful-sounding 2 channel recorder? Yes, it is. And nothing more. My SD788 sounds just as good, has WAY more flexibility, runs on common Sony camcorder batteries, built much tougher, isn't much larger, and has 8 preamps/converters. I'm sorry, I just don't see the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
I have viewed the Nagra Seven as an eventual replacement for my Nagra V (ageing only in respect to battery life, basically irrelevant for me as it is mostly used now in close proximity to a power outlet). I have had it on demo a couple of times and its analog performance is as claimed.

However, there are a couple of enablers that would tip me over to replacing the Nagra V. One is support for AES-42 Mode II, to be able to configure an AES-42 pair from the machine (which allows most efficient use of the channel-summing feature being discussed). Some years back I was advised that the hardware is configured to do this, but the associated firmware was lower down the queue in terms of features required by a major client (fair enough). It does not seem to have advanced in the queue in all this time (nobody else making demanding noises for this feature? wind has gone out of the sails of AES-42? - probably a dead parrot).

The other was the mentioned live streaming feature via Ethernet. Disclosure - I come with a broadcasting sensibility. I do have alternative means to link via external devices, and why would I pay for built-in wireless connectivity, when the standards will cycle two or three times during the service life of the device? Operationally, I want the same broadcast capability as my now abandoned 1960's (Byer/Rola/Plessey) 77 Mk III recorder which I could use it to originate a live broadcast to line, and integrate pre-recorded content while in progress. I would prefer that capability in a reliable package that weighs a couple of orders of magnitude less, that also survives the rigours of the wicked world. All the while capable of acquiring music to the highest standard.

The reality is that I think the market has shrunk, the costs of development have continued to rise and there are many more contenders to carry out the above tasks. I would like to see the Nagra ethic continue to survive and elegantly provide features that support the endeavours of dedicated sound recording professionals, and I wish it success in charting a course through the present challenging waters. Maybe discussion in this forum is one way to achieve this.
Old 10th July 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
I guess it's not for you. Oh well, that's OK.

Very big with national news organizations world wide. They transfer the recordings by reading the SD card in a card reader.

When I was at the Nagra factory in January I saw shelves and shelves of QC'ed Nagra Seven machines ready to ship to customers.

For me it is indispensable. I'm a Nagra acolyte. The record company is releasing a beautiful new cd that I recorded onto the Nagra Seven last summer in 5 UK cathedrals. Used batteries and mixed on the spot.

I think it would be valuable to send your commentary to the Nagra factory in Switzerland. I know that they do listen to customer input.
Old 10th July 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
Thanks, Plush. I take your comments on board.

I have contacted them in the past through John Owens. But maybe it's time I put together a more organized email and sent it directly to HQ in Switzerland.

Like you, I am a Nagra fan. I do own a Seven, and a VI and my IV-S is at the service center now being maintained and calibrated. But isn't it sad to see such a company go from leading edge to being behind everyone else? The Seven in particular has so much potential and it's unfortunate that Nagra just leaves it to languish. Maybe they figure they are selling enough and as long as customers are buying them, why bother bother to fulfill its potential.

I'm with you on the sound, though. There's something special there, and a unique synergy with the MKH series mics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I guess it's not for you. Oh well, that's OK.

Very big with national news organizations world wide. They transfer the recordings by reading the SD card in a card reader.

When I was at the Nagra factory in January I saw shelves and shelves of QC'ed Nagra Seven machines ready to ship to customers.

For me it is indispensable. I'm a Nagra acolyte. The record company is releasing a beautiful new cd that I recorded onto the Nagra Seven last summer in 5 UK cathedrals. Used batteries and mixed on the spot.

I think it would be valuable to send your commentary to the Nagra factory in Switzerland. I know that they do listen to customer input.
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