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(longish) gearhoundism: MD/CD

This is long, but I hope useful and thorough and not too rambling...
> Just a thought. :)
Its a good thought.  In fact I tried this recently.  Guitar Center has a
bundle from Sony which includes MZ-R37SP and stereo mic, the ECM-MS907 for
around $200.  It seemed like a good deal with the mic.  All and all, I was
impressed with the potential for fun.  I love field recording and those who
integrate it with music (see a favorite of mine: www.quietamerican.org ).
The recorder looked as inconspicuous as a walkman, but was even smaller and
lighter and easier to carry.  Disappointingly, it didn't have a digital 
just a digital in, which I didn't test.  I think this limitation is the
attempt by the corporations to limit people's ability to make digital 
of commercial music, which is ridiculous since its so easy by other 
I've heard that almost no MDs have digital outs, which makes them less
appealing.  I'm not a total res-head but its nice to have the option, since
I later in the process I might have to go from D to A to D again, and it
starts to really not sound nice when you do that.  I suppose I could've 
used the analogue-only as an opportunity to run it through some nice tube
pre/comp to warm up the digital sterility a bit.  (In the market for a
hopefully tube dual-channel mic pre/dynamics unite for warming up digital
stuff...anyone have suggestions?).
    The mic seemed to introduce a slight white noise into it, but it wasn't
too bad, less than tape hiss, and probably seemed louder because of the 
all clarity of the MD.  People have slagged MD because it's a compressed
format.  Sure, I wouldn't use it to mix down on to, but it sounded fine to
my ears as a remote recorder.  A fraction of the price of a portable DAT, 
if it got lost, damaged, stolen, I could have a beer and regain my positive
mental attitude.  Anyway, I would invest in a different mic eventually, but
this one had a switachable 90/270 stereo polar pattern to make it more or
less directional and sounded good for starters.  One that interests me is
this guy in Portland who make supposedly really high quality tiny stereo
mics that you wear on your head and it looks not dissimilar to wearing a
walkman (discrete!) and successfully reproduces the psychoaccoustic effect
of your listening perspective.  See that link above, as he links to the
    The flexibility of the non-linear random-access HD-recording-like 
was great and super convenient.  Add index points, jump around instantly,
delete track 7 or part of it but keep everything else, copy, all the things
you can't really do with tape. I'm returning the bundle though.  For *one*
serious reason.  There is a user interface design flaw in my opinion.  It 
WAY too easy to erase the entire contents of the disk.  If you go through
the procedure of erasing one track and accidentally press "enter" twice,
there goes everything with w/ no chance of restoring.  Sure, I'm an idiot,
but this was easy too do while erasing a bunch of bad takes in a row; it
ought to be easy but idiot-proof.  This happened a couple of times and I
grew to hate the unit, as I'd gathered some interesting stuff...now just a
lost sock in the laundrymat of digital oblivion.
    Didn't know to try looping with it.  May get another soon if I can find
a cheap one that works better for my needs.
    Side note, has this list discussed CD-DJ-turntables?  I got a used
Pioneer CDJ 700s and its really fun.  This and a CD burner are a potent
combination.  This thing loops, does a granular time compress/expand (not 
extremes unfortunately) w/out pitch change, lets you dynamic jog-scrub
(would be nice if you could choose the segment time), gives you a cue point
that you can use like a sample trigger (would be nice to have multiple), 
of course lets you speed up or slow down.  I use it with the Korg ChaosPad
and I can sort of beat-juggle.  (No, I don't think I'm as cool Kid Koala or
Q-bert but I don't want to really imitate them.)  There is this guy Lesser
who plays with Kid 606 and Matmos in a group called Disk; he seems to find
random discarded CDs from the cultural detritus heap and creates improvised
scratching performances to create something new from this sonic trash.
    hope this is interesting or useful, Ben
> From: Todd Pafford <galen@erols.com>
> Reply-To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 09:11:33 -0400 (EDT)
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: Re: gearhoundism: cheap 'n easy samplers?
> Resent-From: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Resent-Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 09:13:09 -0400
> On Mon, 28 Aug 2000, Benjamin Furstenberg wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Sorry if this question has been discussed to the point of tedium, feel 
>> to tell me to check archives or elsewhere.  But I'm hoping to get 
>> current subjective takes and real-world experience while I'm comparing 
>> and eyeing the horizon.  I'm toying with getting a cheap and fun sampler
>> small enough to drop in my backpack to complement my set-up.  I have a
>> Kurzweil K2000RS which I'm still trying to get to know more profoundly, 
>> am not having that much spontaneous sampling fun with, despite its 
>power.  I
>> have a Kaoss Pad, which is fun but an unprogrammable toy. For the ref, 
>> have Nord Modular, Lexi MPX 1, JamMan, Vortex, R-8M, etc.
> Let me preface this by saying that I know next to nothing about samplers.
> :) 
> I'm wondering, though, if a portable minidisc recorder wouldn't be a good
> solution.  They have no specific loop features, but for grabbing sounds 
> a portable way I can't imagine a better tool.  They're small enough that
> you can carry both the recorder, disks, and a stereo microphone in your
> pockets.  When you get home you could just dump the tracks you recorded
> into your Kurzweil or whatever.
> I guess, though, if you're looking to create some sort of environmental
> music as you stroll down the side walk you'd need something else, but if
> you're just looking to grab sounds to play with later...well.
> Just a thought. :)
> ---
> "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear
> to man as it is, infinite."  -- William Blake
> Todd Pafford   galen@erols.com