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Old 03-02-2007, 07:41 AM
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Genesius Genesius is offline
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Default NS-DV4G Line-in recording: Brief review & impressions Part 1

Having the ability to record direct into a small flash player still blows me away...and now that it's a feature I see more and more, its becoming a necessity...or deal breaker for me.

Before buying this unit, I was using an iRiver iFP-899. Its a great 1GB unit that direct records/encodes into .mp3 format, as high as 320k (!). It has worked flawlessly for a year and for 6 months, this was my primary music player as well. But, music only. No vids.

Enter the NS-DV4G. I bought this unit really for 3 reasons: expansion slot, video playback, and direct line-in record. What was a pleasant surprise was it gives the option of either .wma or .wav recording/encoding. I opted for .wav as I am recording a small 3-4 piece band (bass, organ, guitar, drums...weird, jazz/blues jam-band type improv) that I play in and prefer to work in the Land Of The Loss(less) when it comes to live sound, if possible.

My setup is very simple. One recorder and this stereo condensor mic:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...2&src=3SOSWXXA

For the money, its a hard mic to beat but for about $40 more bucks, you can go with the Nady CM-2S. My guitarist uses this mic and I've A/B'd them. They're almost identical but the Nady has slightly nicer mids and mid-highs. However, the Nady is larger in size. Portable yes. But not as small as the Sony. FYI, Our studio is a smallish room, and throwing up one stereo mic is not only good for reference, it produces some great results.

This unit was/is easy to setup to record. Plug in your mic (or audio source), select .wma or .wav in the sound section of the "settings" menu and your all set. You can adjust the quality but I always default to the highest. With almost NO music on this player it seemed to have about 3.5 hours of space for recording to .wav. Nice!

On a bit of sad note, the unit DID freeze once when I was stopping and starting a track. If I had waited, it probably would have come around, maybe, but I didn't have the time, so I just pulled the battery out and reset the unit, starting over. Oh well. Let's hope that doesn't happen TOO much. The other problem I encountered was a track just didn't go down. The display SHOWED it was recording but when listening back, I just got a hum. Turns out my mic cable had serious wear and probably shorted out that I didn't know about.

The 12+ minutes of live audio that I did get to record went down nicely. The record levels on this unit ARE NOT ADJUSTABLE which I find odd but nonetheless, it will help in the end as you general don't want to run hot. All you need to do is drag/drop your tracks into an audio editing or "gain" app and boost the gain +6 and you should be good to go. It will bump up the level considerably while not distorting. Also, your audio source into this unit will either have to be powered (phantom power mic, for instance) or come out of a unit with some "juice". Not sure what would result if you ran a headphone out from a source to this unit. I'd think it would be fine.

My initial impressions are positive. Due to mic problems, I'll need another recording "session" to settle on a conclusion. I will try and post a link to a clip next week.

Cheers,
David
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