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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Old School Tech: The Mini-Disk (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chezaday
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Inner circle
Naperville, IL
1670 Posts

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Yes, I don't give up easily on something I like. My sound rack includes a Sony Mini-Disk deck. I've been using this for well over ten years with no problem .. until the other night.

For some reason it simply wouldn't read the disk. I fiddled with it and it worked for a bit. As a back up I always carry a portable Mini-Disk player .. and we managed to get through the show. For some reason the levels are just not the same with the portable, it has a very weak output.

When I returned home, sure enough the MD deck was working just fine. So .. do I trust it? Should I carry another rack? Do I replace my deck? What would you do?

I can't carry two of everything ..

Steve
g0thike
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722 Posts

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Steve,

What did you plug it into. Be specific......

G0THIKE
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1815 Posts

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Steve,

Did you try the deck with more than one disc? The discs can fail. If you have trouble with multiple discs, then it's the player. If it was just with one disc, try others in it. If they work consistently, it's probably the original disc.

You are quite correct about the levels in the portable players. In order to battery life (at least that's what I've read), Sony really backed off the levels on those. My two portable MD players only use a single AA battery and definitely do not have the output that my home deck does. I usually put them into mic input in my amp rather than a line input because of this.

Michael
Chezaday
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Inner circle
Naperville, IL
1670 Posts

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I know my sound set-up pretty well .. I've been at this for a while. First the MD deck goes directly into a Samson Power Mixer via RCA cables. No problem there, the deck was having trouble reading disks. Yes, of course I tried other disks with the same results. Maybe it was simply a particle of dust in the deck. I'm not even sure if these things get cleaned.

Right now I've got the rack set up and I test it periodically .. and it's fine. My little portable MD player has a 4.5 volt transformer with it so, I'm not using batteries with the unit. I'm not giving up just yet on the deck .. I do have a few spares I've accumulated off eBay. What would we do with out it??

Steve
Lou Hilario
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Inner circle
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I'm also old school, I am using a portable mini-disk till now. It has never failed me. I also use the same disk all the time.
But my 2 MD racks have passed away long time ago. It started when they could no longer record.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
hugmagic
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7438 Posts

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Count me as old school also. The mini disc is just so much more durable than anything else.

I have a full sized recording deck and several portables. In fact, I am taking one with me this weekend to LA. I makes a great recorder.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Chezaday
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Naperville, IL
1670 Posts

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I though you were still using cassette tapes Richard. We had a cassette single fore each routine. They were even numbered to match the case the prop went into.

Now that's old school ...

Steve
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Cassette tapes?, how about 8-Track and reel-to-reel tape! Vinyl anyone? I still remember my 45 RPM Automobile Record player. Yes they did exist!

BTW electronics do wear out, dust is a killer to light emitting devices.
Dennis Michael
Chezaday
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Naperville, IL
1670 Posts

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You could play records ... in a car?? Come on .. I've never seen or heard of that.

I do remember the 8-track tapes, in the car as well. All the kids are reading this and calling us old dudes .. great!

Steve
keithmagic
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375 Posts

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Steve,

It's so funny you mention MiniDisc and people think it's "old". If anyone has studied audio compression and the newer formats, why there is the big push to go mp3 or related formats is beyond me. The audio quality of these new fangled digital formats SUCK compared to MiniDisc. It's still the only way to go if you are plugging into any PA larger than a 100w cheapie (besides some of the high end DAT systems).

Keith
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
miscoes
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Allariz, Spain
94 Posts

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I still carry a portable minidisc player in my bag, just in case overything else fails.

I started with a portable and a wireless transmitter inside my jacket pocket... Not the most confortable but it worked OK.

Also, "new" minidisc players with USB connection to PC made my life easyer (not instantaneus transfer and no transfer from minidisc to PC but it way way faster than recording via Line In jack)
Regan
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U.S.A.
5699 Posts

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I love my minidisc also! I just cannot bring myself to switch.....yet.

Steve, I hope you get your problem taken care of. Keep us posted,

Regan
Mister Mystery
Jeff Haas
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917 Posts

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OK, I had to look up the car record player...here it is!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9687999-1.html
silverking
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The ATRAC audio compression scheme in the original MD hardware release is pretty bad, it permanently throws away an awful lot of audio information on playback.

Newer MD recorder/players can record and playback in linear PCM, which is the same quality as a CD at 44/16.

If you've got an older MD player with ATRAC, you're playing back audio with a terribly compromised quality level.........enough that most people, when asked if they can tell the difference between an ATRAC MD and a CD can do so instantly.
keithmagic
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Hi Silver,

While there is compression in ATRAC, I have to disagree with you in calling it "bad", even in the early versions. Early versions of the ATRAC codec recordings are still by and large much higher quality than mp3 units being hawked all over the marketplace today.

But yes, I do agree with you, the latest ATRAC version released in 2006 is pretty insane in its capability to reproduce seemingly near uncompressed audio.

Keith
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
silverking
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Inner circle
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"Bad" is just a word, and in this case it's my subjective word.

Having said that, psychoacoustic lossy compression schemes are (by design) throwing away massive amounts of audio information.
Once that information is gone, it's gone for good.

If you like to listen (or playback during your show) music that's basically only half there, and it works for you......then it's all good.

Personally, I can't stand MP3's, ATRAC, or any other lossy compression scheme.

It would be different if there weren't other options that use either non-lossy compression schemes, or simply use uncompressed audio........but there are so many more options that offer such far better sound.

It's long been my opinion that any music in support of a live performance should use as a benchmark 44/16, and even then they should use that as a minimum.
Many artists I work with today who use pre-recorded music in performance now use 24/96, which is essentially impossible to differentiate from a mic'd performance featuring live musicians.
knightmagic98
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Regular user
Frisco, TX
142 Posts

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I have a ton of old MDs if anyone wants them. Make me an offer, and pay shipping - they are yours!
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