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Topic: Marantz still top of the line?

Hi everybody,
I'm pretty new to this whole multimedia and slideshow thing (not to journalism and photography though) and would like to really get into it since I think that is the future of (multimedia) journalism. What I need is a good recorder and I was wondering if the Marantz 660 that Brian Storm recommends is still considered top of the line? Or do newer models like the H4 do just as well? I'm okay with spending $500 if that helps me to prevent comming home with sub-par audio. I have a good mic to start with but I was wondering about a good but affordable wireless mic kit. Storm recommends one for $2500 and I'm really not able so spend that much money right now. Is there anything cheaper you could get away with and still produce pro quality? I love the idea of being able to record and shoot at the same time but I was wondering how I would avoid to recond the sound of my camera's shutter? Would I have to use a blimp or a muzzle? Any insights greatly welcome.
Thanks a lot.
Best,
Matthias

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Re: Marantz still top of the line?

Everyone seems to have their own opinions, but I started with a Mircrotrak 24/96 and have switched to the new Edrol R09.  I believe you can start with these untis, addinga $100 mic for the Edirol, and you are good to go for 90% of your web sounslides jobs.

3 (edited by bmeeks 2007-11-02 23:32:19)

Re: Marantz still top of the line?

The Marantz 660 is still the workhorse giving you the best price for performance payoff.  But it's bulky to use, especially if you're trying to juggle both the audio and the photography yourself.  If you have the time and ability to record the audio separately, in a sound-friendly environment, then the 660 can't be beat for a device in its price range.

I have both the 660 and Microtrack 24/96 and I use them both.  I like the 24/96 because I can still capture great audio with it and its so small I have no  trouble carrying it around all day or on an extend photo shoot.  I'm headed to Nicaragua for three weeks and will be shooting and recording audio in some pretty out of the way places and I'm traveling with a bare bones set up and the Microtrack will certainly do me well in that situation.  Yeah, you have to learn it's quirks and deal with the fact that it's battery life isn't the best (and it's non-replaceable).  But I've developed workarounds for those things and can make it do what I need it to do.

As for shooting and recording at the same time; I think that's nearly impossible to do with any kind of consistency and quality.  I know for me, I've had to resign myself that being a one-man band is a compromise and so when I'm recording audio I know, just KNOW there will be shots I'll miss; and when I'm shooting I know, I KNOW there will be great sound bites that I know I'll miss.  And while it's tough to ever "get that shot" again, I find I can often get people to retell a story or explain something again and get as good or better a sound bite.

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Re: Marantz still top of the line?

mbwkrause wrote:

.... What I need is a good recorder and I was wondering if the Marantz 660 that Brian Storm recommends is still considered top of the line? .... I love the idea of being able to record and shoot at the same time but I was wondering how I would avoid to recond the sound of my camera's shutter? Would I have to use a blimp or a muzzle? Any insights greatly welcome.
Matthias

Even though it was a very limited time in grad school (a long time ago), I am thankful for having a little public radio experience. When I started to think about multi-media presentations, I looked at what the NPR and radio people where using. There was a variety of equipment, as would be expected. I bought the Marantz PMD 660, and it is one tough piece of equipment. I bought a Shure SM58 mic for its ruggedness. I decided not to buy a lavalier mic because of cost, and I didn't want that mic on my subject while I'm shooting. Any good mic will pick up the sound of a shutter, and the headphones that you will be using (yes, you need them) will reveal all those background sounds you didn't notice before.

Each story is different. As a writer and photographer, I like to take some photos, do the interview, and then take more photos that "reveal themselves" during the interview process. I may ask for more interview time. Since we're doing more to produce these stories, it's just going to take more time to collect the right information, and we need to find the right workflow for each story.

Brent

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Re: Marantz still top of the line?

mbwkrause wrote:

Is there anything cheaper you could get away with and still produce pro quality? I love the idea of being able to record and shoot at the same time but I was wondering how I would avoid to recond the sound of my camera's shutter? Would I have to use a blimp or a muzzle?

I've used the Sennheiser G2 system ($500), and it works very well. 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3 … eries.html

If I'm shooting stills, I only use a wireless in situations where I need to be physically distant from the subject. So I'm usually far enough away that the mic doesn't pick up my shutter.

I don't use a wireless if I'm close to my subject, mainly because I loathe seeing wireless mics in still photographs ... that and I'm pretty accustomed to interviewing "by hand" and choosing when to shoot and when to record.

The 660 is still top of the line in my mind, but it is bulkier than the other recorders.  I'm still waiting to see the Marantz 620 when it comes out.

-joe