[bct] Re: Question for Neal on the SD 722

  • From: "Neal Ewers" <ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 15:10:52 -0600

Let me know if I should take further discussions on this off list which
I will be happy to do.  I just thought that others might learn from this
as well, but I don't like cluttering up the list if people don't want

Dan, it sounds like the 722 might be an overkill, but I'm all for
getting the best quality recordings I can get so I understand if that is
the way you want to go.  Let me play devils advocate for a minute.  What
if you bought one of the Olympus recorders that has been talked about on
this list.  I own the dm20 that only records to DSS or WMA files.  The
ones that record in MP3 would certainly be better.  The recordings I
have made and the podcasts that Larry has done suggest that one can get
rather good quality from these recorders and the files are easily copied
from the recorder to the computer.  On my Olympus, and I suspect this is
true of others, I can get around the need for two mikes by switching
between dictate and conference mode.  The microphone is omni
directional, but in dictation mode, the mike is at a lower volume and
you could use this for recording podcasts without picking up a lot of
unwanted noise.  In conference mode, the mike is louder and will pick up
people in the room very well.  Now, here is a possible problem.  As
Larry has alluded to, editing an MP3 recording and then saving it again
as an MP3 file will even further compress the file leaving you with a
diminished quality recording.  The question is, how good a recording are
you looking for.

Here is another thought.  The Ederol r1 does record Wave files and so
there would be no degradation of the original file.  The only
compression used would be when you saved the files recorded to MP3
files.  I believe the R1 records in 24 bit, but as Rob said in his
interview, it doesn't matter because the noise of the mike preamps is
too loud for you to realize the difference between 16 and 24 bit anyway.
And, of course, this is the problem you will have with any inexpensive
recorder including the Olympus models.  It just depends on how quiet you
want the microphones used in the recording to be.  And then there are
the microphones themselves.  If you get the 722 and purchase a
microphone that is noisy, you will have defeated the purpose of having
the 722 right from the beginning.  In my opinion any mike that has a
signal to noise ratio of less than 75 DB will render recordings of
distant sounds along with a good deal of hiss that may or may not be

So, where does that leave us?  Sony is coming out with a recorder that
is about the same price of the 722.  I think it will be out in December.
I know very little about it, but I do not believe it has a hard drive.
I could be wrong.  And that brings up another difference between the 722
and the other recorders mentioned earlier.  The 722 comes with a 40 GB
hard drive and also can use flash cards up to 4 GB.  So, you can get 10
times the recording time on the hard drive than you can get with the
biggest memory card.  If you don't always have time to copy all of your
files to the computer before you exceed the 4 GB size, than having a
recorder with a built in hard drive might be the way to go.

The bottom line, If you want to get the 722, you will have as nice a
recorder as there is on the market.  Your choice of mikes will be almost

And let's talk more about mikes for a minute.  If you are interviewing
clients, there are several ways to go.

1.  You could get an omni directional mike and put it on the table in
front of you.

2.  You could get a boundary microphone which is designed to use the
flat surface of a table or some other large flat area to deflect the
sound in all directions and thus it will pick up just about anything you

3.  You can do a variant of the boundary mike by using an omni
directional mike and hanging it in such a way that the microphone is
pointing down toward the table and is a few inches above the surface.
This does much the same thing by using the table as the surface which
directs the sound in all directions.  The boundary mike is, however, a
lot less obtrusive.  Most of them lie flat on the table and are not
placed in front of people's faces.  Often, people forget they are being

4.  You could use a figure 8 mike which has both the front and back open
such that it will pick up people on both sides of the mike.  Thus, you
could be on one side and your clients could be on the other.  The
microphone pickups are cardioid, so if you're dealing with a very large
group, this may not work, but if you are dealing with two or three
people, this could be nice because while you are getting the direct
sound from both sides of the mike, you will get much less ambient room
noise than you would with an omni directional mike.

5.  You could use lavaliere microphones.  Of course, you have to have
one microphone for each person and this won't work if you have more than
two, but it is very unobtrusive.

Now, what about the mikes for your podcasts.  Depending on how much you
want to spend for two microphones, you might consider getting a multi
patterned microphone that has omni, figure 8, cardioid and hyper
cardioid.  Or, you could do what you suggested and get two different
microphones.  As for the one you use for podcasts, there are some very
good professional head-worn microphones out there.  I'm not talking
about the ones you would buy for the Iriver.  I'm talking about those
you get from a high end professional audio store that may cost you a
couple hundred dollars but they have the advantage of allowing you to
move around without varying your distance from the microphone.

Well, have I totally confused you?  I doubt it, but there a lot of

If you have comments on any of this or additional questions, let me
know.  I'm sitting at home today while the contractors are putting in a
new driveway so I won't be going anywhere.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Scarlet
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 2:04 PM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Question for Neal on the SD 722

Thanks Neal.  Let me describe my use for the sd 722 and you can hazard
opinion if I am heading for the right machine.  I do have some audio 
engineering in my background, was a first phone back when that meant 
something and have done studio work back in the Ampex is king days.

I am now a financial planner and need to record client meetings.  It
not work to sit there typing on my pc running JFW when interviewing 
clients, recording and transcribing important info is a better idea.  I 
also intend to put together a series of podcasts on personal finance, 
investing and estate planning.  I want one machine for both and the 722 
seems like the ideal machine for that, though these applications will
different microphones...an omni for the client interviews and a 
supercardioid for the podcasts.

Thanks for any thoughts,


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