I concur with many of the things in this message thread (which I have
left intact). I, too, have a Sound Devices 722 and a Zoom H2. I
completely agree with Tom about the fussiness of the H2 for setup. I
have tried to leave the same setup on the same card and change setups by
changing cards. That works at the church for almost everything while for
me, I find I'm squinting at the tiny LCD to make certain I didn't change
something I'd regret.
The Sound Devices 722 has good preamps, but I was surprised at the
subtle, but noticeable, improvement offered by the preamps in the RME
Fireface UFX as compared to the 722. The Fireface's are more open and
have better imaging. That is not to say that the 722 is a slouch, it's
just that if I were recording something vitally important and could fuss
with bringing a UPS and the Fireface--and finding an AC outlet--I would.
It is my understanding that the mic preamps in the 788T are better than
the 722. I have not compared them to the Fireface.
The better equipment becomes, the harder it is to differentiate and the
more subtle the differences become.
As to the Zoom H2, it makes recordings that are far better than its
price tag gives it a right to. In fact, my Sound Devices and a bag o'
Danish, German, and Australian mics does make better sounding
recordings, but in at least two instances I've felt that the imaging for
parts of a recording were superior on the H2 files than on what I got
with the 722. That was mostly due to mic choice and placement and I
purposely placed the H2 in a different location to optimize the one
element/section of the event that I knew was not well-covered by the
Sound Devices and the two connected mics. The joy was that in both the
change between the Sound Devices and the Zoom is essentially
transparent. There is no glaring change in quality. In fact, the Zoom
segments sound better and more pleasing than the SD version of that
segment would have.
As to the H2n that David mentions, I have no experience with it, but I
suspect, as an overall, general-purpose recorder, with it's M-S front
trio of mics it would perform a tad better for oral histories than the H2.
In the two instances mentioned above, I had used all four mics/channels
in the H2 to record quadraphonic-single-point which provided yet
additional choices. I think in one instance, I took the rear pair and in
the other instance the front pair.
One of the two instances was the most recent in a series of readings by
Leslie Huggett (patriarch of the 60s/70s Canadian/English musical
family, "The Huggett Family" who did two albums with George Martin)
where his partner in the music studio played flute for one segment of
the musical portion of the reading backed by a recorded electronic
soundtrack (composed and recorded by Leslie's son, Andrew Huggett)
reproduced through a pair of Altec Lansing 50s era home speakers that
still sound great. Because the Neumann TLM-103 was on the piano and the
Sennheiser MKH-416 was on the podium for Leslie, I had no good choice
for the short flute/CD piece, so the H2 which always runs as backup
during these sessions and had never been used, was re-positioned
slightly to capture the flute and tape and it worked like a charm.
The other event where the H2 track was used was my father's memorial
service where the rear stereo pair sounded more realistic than the
single DPA omni connected to the SD. While I used the Neumann KMS-105
for the podium in the final recording, the congregational singing came
from the Zoom's rear channel--the front was a backup on the podium.
I have only one of my original DAT machines left, a Sony D8 DAT
Walkman--and I have not used it for years. I did use it as a backup when
I was recording direct to PC for a while--and needed it more than once.
The Fireface UFX is its own digital recorder via a front-panel USB
connection--just don't use "thumb drives". SDHC cards in a USB
reader/stick and USB-connected spinning disks both work fine.
On 2012-09-26 6:23 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> I have a Zoom H2. Impossibly small screen, menus required to do just
> about anything, etc. Not impressive, although it makes good recordings
> for the price.
> Sound Devices thing costs more than most DAT machines did, but I agree
> it's highly impressive, has real-deal meters and can be used easily
> and quickly in dim light or under stress conditions where tiny
> buttons, dim tiny LCD displays and menus won't do.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Goren" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:10 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hold the rotten tomatos -- does anyone record
> to DAT anymore?
>> The Sound Devices 722 is a Flash/Hard Drive recorder which retains
>> the old school form factor, has great mic preamps, and excellent
>> metering. I like a recorder that I can hide in a bag and operate by
>> feel as I chase a sound source down the street and the 722 fills the
>> bill. Yes, it's a bit pricey but entirely worth it.
>> That said I like the Zoom H2N too, a nifty little deck for $200 and
>> it fits in my shirt pocket.
>> On Sep 25, 2012, at 8:13 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>> Hi Karl (and Rafael):
>>> I would say that the DAT was the "user-friendliest" digital recorder
>>> in that it worked just about the same as the long-known tried and
>>> true cassette recorder. You see the incoming audio levels on
>>> well-known meter types (with actual lights as opposed to images on a
>>> dim LCD screen), you hit Record to record and tape moves past heads.
>>> You rewind, hit play and hear back what you recorded. The flash
>>> recorders have gotten more user-friendly, but I think many of them
>>> have unreadably tiny "screens" and then require menu-driven command
>>> sequences that require you to read the tiny screen. Furthermore,
>>> since there are no moving parts, it's hard to know if recording is
>>> really going on. Mic preamps seem to be a major place to cut corners
>>> on the lower-end models, but that was the same with cassette recorders.
>>> There are many downsides to DATs, and I sure don't miss them, but I
>>> do think that the traditional recorder form-factor and user
>>> interface was a big plus for the format, especially with older users.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Karl Miller"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:59 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hold the rotten tomatos -- does anyone
>>> record to DAT anymore?
>>>> The man who makes the recordings of the Welte, recordings that we
>>>> issue on our
>>>> label, still uses DAT. Coincidentallly, I just had both of my DAT
>>>> repaired. The man who makes those recordings is in his 80s and is
>>>> afraid that he
>>>> would find any other recording device to be "too complicated." I
>>>> have tried to
>>>> convince him otherwise...but no luck. I should add that he refuses
>>>> to have a
>>>> computer in his house. He has six telephones in his house,
>>>> including one with a
>>>> rotary dial and not too long ago bought a cell phone...but no
>>>> ----- Original Message ----
>>>> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Sent: Tue, September 25, 2012 3:43:42 PM
>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Hold the rotten tomatos -- does anyone record
>>>> to DAT
>>>> Are there any DAT holdouts left? Sound-for-picture? On-tour
>>>> recordings? Audio
>>>> mastering? Transfer work?
>>>> Just curious ...
>>>> -- Tom Fine
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.