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field question

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by fnkyhd, May 24, 2011.

  1. fnkyhd

    fnkyhd Active Member

    I've got a sound devices 702 that i use for field recording but i'd like to get a multi channel interface or mixer that i can do live music with that has pre's that rival the two on the 702. i know we're talking bucks here but readiong lots of reviews suggests that price point may not be a good indicator of quality and by quality i mean something similar to the 702 in which the pre's are very transparent. thanks a lot, i'm a newb here. - alan
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm assuming you really do mean a mixer rather than an interface if you want to get from multiple input channels down to two channels for the 702.

    How many input channels do you need? How portable does it need to be? What is the maximum amount you are prepared to spend?

    However, even if there were a perfect device for doing what you asked, I'm not convinced that a mixer->702 is a good solution for most live music. It means you have to get the final mix correct at the time of recording, when all you have to monitor by may well be a pair of headphones in the live environment. I know the SD 702 is a really excellent recorder, but it is simply not designed for multi-track recording.

    Before spending any money on a mixer or whatever, think hard about whether what you need as your step up from two-track recording is actually multi-track followed by later mixing. Most of the field recordists on this forum either use a multi-channel interface going into a laptop computer or else a multi-channel dedicated hard disk recorder.

    One other factor is how you would go about capturing a live set, given that most performances would have a PA system. You would probably want to tap into the microphones that they use, which could involve taking direct outputs from the local sound board (using their pre-amps) or else getting them to agree to using a microphone splitter that you supply and taking one split to your own pre-amps.
  3. fnkyhd

    fnkyhd Active Member

    thanks, here's my line of reasoning: my idea is to capture a live set with something other than the sm57's & 58's that they all use, so i started recording people live using my own rig & my own mics. i close mic'ed each the amps and did an overhead/kick (3mic) set up on the drums (which i really like) and then split off the house vocal. i ran everything through a cheap multichannel firewire interface into a laptop. i feel the results were a magnitude better than just patching into the board...but now i want to retool a bit based on my previous experience. doing this work for half/deaf musicians is frustrating because they dont really care so much about the mix and i usually got it spot on using noise cancelling earphones on the set, and no one ever got my work mastered. instead they just paid a whole lot more money & went to the studio to make a far more canned & unrelaxed recording. the other thing is that the laptop setup is bulky and unreliable. if i had the same mics, the 702, splitters, cables & an 8 channel interface i could make excellent live recordings of a 3-4 piece band without all the extra work of mixing at home and the frustration of an unreliable laptop and fit everything in one case. it's not like they are paying me much and the post was always more labor intensive. i know there is equipment that will do anything i need, but this has to be worth my while at under $100 a gig, a $5000 unit is out of the question.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You talk again about using the 702 and an 8-channel interface, but with no computer to connect the interface to, it's not going to go anywhere. I can relate to your poor experience with live recording using laptops, and it's one of the reasons why I usually employ Alesis HD24XRs as recorders for live events.

    If you insist on using the 702 as the recording device, what you are asking for is a portable 8-channel mixer with top-notch pre-amps plus the usual pan and EQ controls so you produce a two-track mix in real time that you capture on the 702. All this for a low price - it's a tough ask.

    However, I think the Studio Projects SP828 may come to your rescue. The 828 is a good-quality 8-channel pre-amp with conventional outputs but also with 2-track mix capabilities. Individual channels can be panned into position in the 2-track mix. It does not have any EQ, however. The channel count and mixing can be expanded by adding further 8-channel units if required. It would suit your 702 recording, and using the conventional outputs could form the front-end of a future multi-channel recording system based on a recorder like the HD24XR or the JoeCo Black Box. The two-track output would then give you a live headphone monitor mix.
  5. fnkyhd

    fnkyhd Active Member

    i have a couple of studio projects mics that i like a lot. the lack of eq is a minor issue for me.

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