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Thread: Newbie with a Sony minidisc recorder

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    Angry Newbie with a Sony minidisc recorder

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    Hi -

    Let me prefice this by saying that I am a total novice when it comes to recording. I wanted to be able to record my band's stuff, for the purpose of making demo CDs to send to places who might want to hire us. My little Radio Shack tape recorder just wasn't cutting it, quality wise. So I wanted to make the next step, without spending a lot of money. So...

    I just purchased a Sony Net MD Walkman MZ-NF810, which allows for an external mike for doing the recording, thinking that I would be able to transfer stuff I recorded from the minidisc to a CD. You can imagine my surprise and dismay when I realized that Sony does not allow transfer from the MD to my computer, to copy to a CD. (My friend got the same Walkman setup, and was told by the place we both purchased these things, that you would be able to copy stuff to a CD - liars) Now, I e-mailed Sony, who told me that "Audio recorded to the Net MD Walkman recorder via a microphone, radio etc, can only be recorded to a computer via an analog connection. In order to record from the MiniDisc player to the computer, one could connect an adaptor cable between the headphone jack on the MiniDisc player to the line in jack on the computer. .... As long as your computer has the proper card and inputs, for recording music from the MiniDisc, you will be able to transfer the live recordings 'from' your MiniDisc to your computer. Once the songs have been transferred to your PC, you will be able to open them for playback through your favorite media player." Now, I am trying to decipher this whole e-mail, and hoped someone here might be able to help me.

    I take this to mean that if I were to get an analog cable, I could connect via the headphone jack on the Sony (which has not only a mini-plug, but also a rectangular block of pins which also has to be plugged into the jack when I use the headphones), and then take the cable and plug it into a Line In jack on my Creative sound card. Or would I have to get a special sound card to accommodate the signal? Would the Creative software that came with my computer be able to deal with the file that comes in from the MD player?

    Or is there some other sort of set up for recording a single track cut, no multiple tracks necessary, of my band that I can then copy to a CD on my computer? In which case, I would send back the Sony minidisc player/recorder.

    Man, now my head aches from trying to explain this coherently lol!

    Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

    Julie
    Julchek

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    The "analog" way is the only way, I understand, pretty much as you describe it.

    I ordered a Sony MD from J&R Music World for pretty much your purpose (to record practices so I could play along later). I expected to copy files from the MD to a computer's hard drive, and pull from my own practice library and burn CDs in performance order. Didn't work. J & R was nice enough to take the unit back. When I called them about it, the rep on the phone heard what I wanted to do, and said that Digital Recorders are the answer. Go to Guitar Center, he said, and check out the Pro Audio section. Boss, Fostex, new names to me. They cost a lot more than an MD. (There are a couple of Asian manfucturers that make MDs that can copy.)

    I have my eye on the new Boss (864?), but in the meantime I am contining to use my analog recorder.

    So, two punch lines:
    One: Sony has configured their MDs this way to combat piracy. So we can't pirate our own music!

    Two: My ever-thoughtful wife found a Sony MD on e-bay, and got it for me for Father's Day. So I'm got the unit, even though it doesn't really answer my problem.

    Take it back if you can (especially if the salespeople gave you the wrong info), and save up for a Digital Recorder.

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    Thanks for the info, onlyfingers! J & R is the place we both purchased the Sonys from, so that's good to know that they will take the units back. I guess we'll have to save up for the Digital Recorders.

    I appreciate your response on this.
    Julchek

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    The consumer portable recorders to not have digital out, but some of the home decks do, including Sony's, and these can often be found at reasonable prices on the used market. They also generally sound better -- recording and playback -- than do the tiny portables. If there is no portability issue, maybe you just want to get one of these and a low cost mic preamp and record to it through its line in.

    Also, for your purposes you might be pleasantly surprised that the quality you can get doing an analogue transfer from an MD is perfectly adequate (at least if your sound card is up to the task). I don't know what analogue recorder your referring to using in the mean time, but analogue copies of MD recordings probably beats virtually all cassette decks in sound quality, plus there's the superior functionality, battery life, etc.

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    Yeah, I would agree that there is certainly plenty of purposes which the MD will come in handy. Recording practices, environmental sounds, interviews, lectures, etc.

    Consider the MD to be sort of a vastly superior version of the portable cassette recorder/player and you will find many satisfactory uses.

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    just go to radioshack and get a 1/8 inch stereo plug and and plug that into your headphone jack. don't worry about that rectangular block part. thats actually just for a remote, or volume control that sony offers on some headphones. then just go into the line in of your computer.

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    Our band does this all the time. If you are going to be just recording your band with a mic plugged into the minidisc then the analog transfer to your soundblaster will be fine. Its not like the sound quality from a live recording will be so good that you will lose anything with an analog transfer. I was kind of pissed off I couldn't do a digital transfer when I first got my MD, but in practice its not a big deal at all. You probably will have to get a special mini-condenser mic for the minidisc, one of the plug in power types. A regular mic (SM57 etc) won't work.

    Hope this helps.

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