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Old Oct 8, 2006, 03:11 PM   #1
e-clipse
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Who knows the best way to record 8 hours of speech

I have recently started working for a hotel convention audio/visual company that is responsible for providing and setting up the audio/visual equipment, such as mics, pa's, and powerpoint based projector setups. Most of clients wish to record the whole seminar. Unfortunately, I was using a dual deck cassette deck to capture the speeches and discussions.

I know you can capture up to three hours of audio with Garageband, when you have the BPM set to 40. That would suffice, if I split the audio into sepearate files in between the bathroom breaks or the meal breaks. There are also problems that could arise with using GB. GB could quit unexpectantly, though highly unlikely. Also, there might be a session that could go more than three hours without a break.

Who knows the best way to capture up to 6 or even 8 hours of audio?
If anyone has any product suggestions, please let me know.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 03:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-clipse
Most of clients wish to record the whole seminar.
yikes. any idea how many of them ever get around to doing anything with it?

what's the delivery format?
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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None of them most likely....it is for record keeping purposes. Or then again, it could be big brother listening in on employees or customers. The format in which they receive has been in cd or cassette format.

Setup is:
3 or more wireless lavaliers
10 or more stationary shure 58's
Mackie 16 track analog mixer
one projector
one screen
2 or more Dell Inspiron notebooks
my MacBook Pro
and for now, a dual cassette deck
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:29 PM   #4
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so you're doing a mix to two-track? i gotta say, if there's no demand for either separate tracks or digital delivery, cassette seems fine. it's cheap, reliable, doesn't require backup, and is sufficient for the task at hand.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:30 PM   #5
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Ah, scratch my post. I see you are just doing a stereo mix. Anything should work fine. Why not back up the main captured audio onto DVD discs? Almost 4GB/disc, if they want a raw archive of each session. Or just burn the stuff onto several CDs if that is fine with them. Cassette tapes are problematic when you need to make copies later.

As far as software, this is the kind of thing that Pro Tools is made for. Look at Pro-Tools M-powered or LE. Or Logic Express. If possible, record to an external firewire hard drive with journaling disabled. This would be the most stable setup.

Last edited by scottlinux; Oct 8, 2006 at 04:37 PM.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:34 PM   #6
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Yes is only two track (left and right) and high quality is not important.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:39 PM   #7
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Ah, scratch my post. I see you are just doing a stereo mix. Anything should work fine. Why not back up the main captured audio onto DVD discs? Almost 4GB, if they want a raw archive. Or just burn the stuff onto a CD if that is fine with them.
I thought about purchasing my own DVD writer for my gigs. I really don't like flippin' cassettes. Plus, I don't like giving the client a handful of cassettes. If I give the client Cd's, there is a lot of editing work involved. What a waste of time.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:45 PM   #8
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There is actually a hack for GB which allows for 99 hours of recording, but I do not wish to try it out. You edit applescript, set the BPM to 40, but the hack causes 40 BPM to equal 1 BPM, which would allow for the measures to play at a slower pace allowing more time. You would also have to change the time signature to 12/8.

I could also use 2 seperate recording software to capture 8 hours(deck 1(gb) deck 2(audacity)), but that is kind of annoying and risky.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 04:50 PM   #9
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Shouldn't anything like ProTools or even Audacity be able to accomplish this? If you record at even dual channel 48kHz, which should be overkill, you should not have space problems....
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 08:53 PM   #10
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Yeah, Pro Tools or Logic would be highly capable of doing this as long as you're recording to an external drive as well as using a firewire interface - I'd get a little worried about an mBox running on USB. Although the mBox 2 Pro is using firewire now....
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 09:11 PM   #11
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If none of the ideas mentioned thus far suit you, you may want to give sweetwater a call (www.sweetwater.com).

They have a pro sales staff, and they carry real pro gear (the kind that Guitar Center could never carry). They'd have a few good ideas, I reckon. They also have good prices (and are Mac friendly).

No, I don't work for them.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 02:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord patton
they carry real pro gear (the kind that Guitar Center could never carry).
have you been to the GC on halsted? chandler, ELI, manley, SSL, Great River, Adam, et. al. What real pro gear does sweetwater carry that you can't get from GC?

i'll answer my own question: GC couldn't order me a Heil mic. then again, neither could sweetwater. and gcpro.com has even more brands than the normal GC, like Coleman and Benchmark (which sweetwater do carry, fwiw).

i'd recommend mercenary.com for "real" pro gear purchases. once they went above and beyond with a mic pre that i didn't even buy from them! i was stunned.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 03:40 PM   #13
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zimv20 - I've heard nothing but great things about Mercenary. Although, e-clipse, the guys at Sweetwater, in my experience, are far more competant than the guys at GC (can't say anything about GC Pro though - not enough experience).
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 04:36 PM   #14
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QuickTime Pro + MPEG-4 encoding (preferences - recording options, encodes on the fly to save disk space). Very stable, very simple, very functional
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 06:14 PM   #15
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There's also a completely open source, free, professional grade DAW package, but I'm totally blanking on the name....
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 06:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschreppel
the guys at Sweetwater, in my experience, are far more competant than the guys at GC (can't say anything about GC Pro though - not enough experience).
at SW, i've dealt only with my rep, so it'd be unfair of me to extrapolate that into any kind of average there.

at GC, i do think it's rare to find someone who knows a lot about their area. the guy i deal w/ is gcpro (though he was there before that even started), and he's a good guy. but most spew just unbelievable crap; i've been known to pull a customer aside and let him know what he's just been told is a pile of rubbish.

one of my favorite GC anecdotes:
customer: what's the difference between a flanger and a phaser?
GC dork (in full pompous mode): flangers are analog, but phasers are digital.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 06:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mkrishnan
There's also a completely open source, free, professional grade DAW package, but I'm totally blanking on the name....
i reckon you mean Ardour.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 06:18 PM   #18
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i reckon you mean Ardour.
Yes! I remembered the JACK part but not what the actual Mac package was called. It seems very nice.
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Old Oct 15, 2006, 08:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by zimv20
flangers are analog, but phasers are digital.
Oh man, that's classic! Yeah, my SW rep is fantastic - always on the ball. I had a new mic that I was using in a session in July that was bought from SW and mid-session it crapped out from something that wasn't my fault. It was something related to the phantom power not being distributed properly in the circuitry.

Anyway, called my Rep. Sent me a new mic in two days along with a box for the old one -- and this was a weekend session!

And yes, the GC here in Boston is pretty horrible. The Berklee College of Music - where I'm about to finish my degree - is about a mile from the store. So naturally, students work there. It's hilarious to listen to the utter garbage that it muttered to customers. Almost as bad as a comment I heard once in a studio about someone "flanging the VU meters".
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 02:57 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cschreppel
"flanging the VU meters".
huh? :-)
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