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At 4:51 PM -0800 2/7/05, loop.pool wrote:
I was heartbroken to have my Sony recording MD player break down, irrevocably, on me recently.
I did almost my entire live looping CD with that machine.

WHAT IS THE BEST LIVE RECORDING MEDIUM THAT IS INEXPENSIVE  (please don't say a laptop). I mean,  is there any elegant solution under $200?

"Best" is a pretty subjective judgement when coupled with "under $200." Back in 1977 most of my crowd considered the "best" low-cost recorder to be a Sony TCD158 It ran on eight D-cells, had a built-in speaker, and had a shoulder strap so you could schlep it around. As I recall it cost around $300. These days you'd consider it a "luggable" recorder, but back then we thought it was really liberating.

The Sony TC-D5 Pro was considered really deluxe, but at a cost of around $700 in late-'70s dollars. Then came portable DAT and its successors.

Minidisc is one of those media that fall into the "good enough" category for many people. It's popular in theater sound for effects and it's popular for field recording (soundscape art) and radio location recording. Most of these groups of users place a high premium on "cheap" and "portable" and they are less fussy about sound quality. We've all heard the expression GIGO (garbage-in/garbage-out), though that's a bit disparaging. Perhaps GEIGEO (good enough in/good enough out) is more to the point. After all, if you're recording a bunch of cheesy sound toys and environmental sounds then the artifacts of mp3 compression are likely to be inaudible.

I've flirted with buying one for a couple of years, but just couldn't get past the data compression issues and the lack of input volume control on most models.  I'm intriged by the new Hi-MD format, which allows 1GB disc capacity as well as linear PCM recording. There's even an entry-level model in your price range, the MZ-NH600D at $200.

I'm more attracted to the new Edirol R-1 ($439) and R-4 ($1595) portables.



Richard Zvonar, PhD      
(818) 788-2202