B&K, Millennia & Recorder?

Discussion in 'Digital Recorders' started by rmccam, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. rmccam

    rmccam Guest

    Hi Everyone,

    I am a studio guy, and have primarily worked in Rock/Pop. However, as of late I have been getting a lot of classical work (usually baroque - small string section, and a loud soprano), and I'd like to do more, so I'm looking at getting some more appropriate gear (I'm currently getting by with loose ends from my studio - Focusrites ISA's and Neumann KM184s). Here are my questions:

    1) I have the opportunity to buy a pair of B&K 4007's for $1600. Thoughts?

    2) Millennia M2-B versus HV-3C?

    3) What is everyone recording to? I'm getting really tired of taking out my Pro Tools HD rig.

    Thanks Everyone!
  2. drick

    drick Active Member

    Dec 30, 2001
    Home Page:
    These are really intended for close miking. The usual choice for classical work is a 4006 pair, which have a lower noise floor. Also, since the ones you mentioned are marked B&K, not DPA, they probably do not have the sonically superior transformerless preamp board. You can can have them upgraded, but the cost is significant.

    I'd probably choose the HV-3C. First, because I use them and like them, and second, because I don't like moving tube equipment around on remote gigs. Millennia's M2 preamp was designed by Fred Forssell. If you are interested in something like that, you might want to consider his FetCode preamp, a newer hybrid design with a lower noise floor.

    Direct to DAW running Samplitude/Sequoia, with a SoundDevices 744t as a safety deck.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Adding to David's info -

    Don't dump the ISA yet in favor of the more expensive Millennias. While I have and use on a regular basis the HV-3D 8, the ISAs are quite good as well. (I have the 428 with the AD board and find it VERY useful.) Spend the extra money on the mics. FWIW, I've just gotten a pair of Sennheiser 8040s and find them to be a BARGAIN.

    I record straight into Sequoia using an RME Fireface 800 (using either built in AD or external AD depending upon situation). My backup recorder is a Korg MR-1000.

  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    For the kind of work you're talking about - live remote work in the field? - I've got several pairs of DPA 4006's (one of them is the original B&K 4006 model, WITH the output transformer. They're second ONLY to tghe newer transformerless 4006's, but not by much, honestly.) Various other DPA, Neumann, AT and other nice mics with various patterns for the jobs at hand. (Even some not-so nice mics, too, as long as they do the job. ;-) ) I just don't take out the really old/classic/vintage stuff if I can avoid it. My RCA ribbons have to stay at home, safe and sound.

    It's really a blend of reliability, cost factor, and of course - most important - the SOUND (or lack of colorizing) of the mic itself, esp with classical and acoustic music.

    Pre's on the high end are Grace m802's and on the low end (but still quite nice) are the Mackie Onyx series with A/D Firewire cards. A/D converters include RME Fireface 800's and other assorted gear (some MOTU, etc.) You have to pick your battles carefully, and assign (or triage!) the gear to the job at hand, esp if you have several events going on at the same time, on the same day.

    Everything here these days runs via Firewire into one of several Sony Vaio laptop PCs running VISTA and Sequoia or Samplitude V10. (Still using Win XP SP3 on some machines back at home base, but they all play together very nicely. The overal better networking with Vista is worth the upgrade path alone, IMHO.)

    External hard drives are Western Digital (now moving towards the ubiquitous SATA format, vs the ever harder to find IDE drives). Data flows in/out of these via USB 2.0. (Finding it better to keep the incoming recording data on Firewire, and the outgoing storage data on USB 2.0).

    I run a CDr for the client or my own anal-nerdy safety concerns, and on top of that to cover all bases, I run a 2-track 24bit safety mix out the SP/DIF ports on the RME Fireface 800 to my M-Audio MicroTrack II with a 4 gig storage chip for ultimate backup.

    FWIW, I have stopped lugging UPS's around, since if the power goes off in the building, EVERYTHING stops, not just my mic pre's, and the laptop has a battery to finish the file-saving activity, ditto for the MicroTrack II. Fortunately, it's pretty rare if it happens at all, at least here in the big city. With the cost of gas these days, it's one less thing to haul around.

    Live/remote monitoring is usually done with Sony MDR-7506 headphones (rarely is there an iso room for this sort of thing, and although there's a lot of better HP's than these, I know what they're giving me). Other monitors are JBL control 1s, some KRKs, and/or a powered pair of Focals. Otherwise, 90% of the time it's headphones.

    Most of all, it's really important to capture everything as cleanly and as accurately as possible out on location, then do the mixing & sweetening back in the studio, where you can hear things better, etc. etc.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    I stopped as well. Then, one fateful day (Christmas Eve last year...), I was recording a Soprano/Organ holiday recital/concert and the closest plug was in a day-school attached to the side of the church. Some little kid decided the plug was in his way while they were being read a story so he yanked the plug.

    Down went the pres, the AD, the computer (now using a laptop - built in battery backup...), the external HD, etc.

    Now I have an even BIGGER UPS. In fact, the UPS I carry around can power my Millennia, the FF800, the external monitor, backup recorder, external HD and HP amp for just under 30 minutes at full tilt. In fact, I've used it to provide power to my tube mics for an entire 2.5 hour concert when there was no outlet close enough by...

    Yeah, it sucks to lift it, but it beats that alternative...

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