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    olympus ls-100 - first handy field and multiutrack recorder


    It looks that we will have first handy field recorder with multitrack option (2-track recording, 8-track playback).

    http://www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/2581_digital-recorder_ls-100_25231.htm

    Found some pre-release test (with sound samples and comparison) here:
    http://www.audiotranskription.de/olympus-ls-100
    Website is in German, but you can go through it with google translator.

    Should be available in January/February 2012.

    The price is high (depending on region, it will be somewhere between 400 USD to 450 GBP), but for good quality, 8-track multitrack option and phantom 48V for external mics - why not?

    The only multitracks (with at least 8-tracks) today - are Boss Micro BR-80 (unfortunately - according to Roland you can't mute active input monitoring while recording in order to hear only what you have recorded), Tascam DP-008 (unfortunately - according to reviews this one has performance issues when mastering audio and exporting files to PC - is very slow; but is very nice with all these knobs) and crappy solutions for idevices (if you wish to have stereo line in on them).

    So I'm very curious about this Olympus when it's available.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    I asked the company to if there will be possible to mute/unmute input monitoring while multitrack recording, so that you can hear only other tracks during current recording, and they confirmed.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    Olympus LS-100 is online, I received my unit few days ago. First impressions - I'm really impressed. This is a "must have" dream device for everyone who needs portable multitrack functions: 8 channel playback plus file reassignment - so you can take even more paralel sounds per project, max 2 channel recording at once - internal or external, works with phantom 48V mics too. Works as USB soundcard (can even play sounds from computer via internal small speaker) and storage at the same time, which was not possible with zoom H2. Menus are well organized and easy to use. Had not much opportunities to check the noise levels, but sounds very clear and noiseless, both internal and external. Sound quality of internal mics is great, but Sony PCM D50 is still best in this area. Works with rode windjammer (the same that works with sony), however placement seems to be not so stable as I would expect (or maybe it's just my impression). The device is solid. It uses it's own li-ion accu instead of AA batteries, but so what? Olympus accus are not so much expensive, so you can buy another one. Does not works in "charging mode", so it works only on accu - this can be considered as a downside. But according to specs - it works for over 10-12 hours (a half when phantom is used - check in the manual), so it is not so bad. Another downside could be - the fixed mics setting (90 deg), but you can use external mics too. Device can be charged from PC USB, and as far I understood - can even record audio CDs using external USB recorder (not tested, but this is interesting).

    I'm considering it as a great companion for my Sony PCM-D50, not replacement. But if I had to choose another companion for Sony... well... there is no any. Maybe tascam dp-008, although I heard that it is a problematic device when you wish to transfer files to PC (it uses its own format and must do reconversion; LS-100 stores organized wave files, and you just copy them). Instead of selecting tascam I decided to wait for a few months, and it was worth waiting.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    " Had not much opportunities to check the noise levels"

    Pre-amps tested here

    http://www.avisoft.com/recordertests.htm

    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
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    I'm still impressed (-;

    Built in metronome could work in multitrack mode too. But you can either make a sync track in recorder mode and then use it in MTR (so no metronome is needed), or you can just record your own beats and copy them to MTR project folder, where from you can assign them to one of the tracks.

    Built in tuner could be wider than +/-5Hz, because some folks use A at 432Hz (or even bit lower) or at 448Hz; but this is a cosmetics for me.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    I just discovered something, that can be considered as a serious issue, but not for everyone. Because I'm using this device as a multitrack recorder or for binaural recordings - I don't require live monitoring to be turned on. But yesterday I turned it on, to check something and to my surprise - it seems that there is a small delay (latency). Just found, that this has been reporded by others too, so probably this is a general problem:

    click here to read

    Hopefully they fix it with the new firmware (if this is a matter of firmware). But as mentioned before - if you are using it with in-ear mics or if you use playback during recording - then the live monitoring isn't something that you would really need. Actualy, because this is rather a directional device (fixed 90 degree setting) - you probably will use it for fixed recordings (one checkup setups), and not stereo (120 deg) field recordings.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    My Zoom H4n has multitrack recording in two ways, either as two separate mono files or as each side of one stereo file.

    How is this device different? Am I missing something?

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    Oly records at once either 1 stereo track (1 wave file) or two separate mono tracks (2 wave files), but for playback - there are 8 x mono or 4 x stereo tracks available. Plus - these mono tracks can be stereo panned between left and right for playback needs in MTR mode. While 4-track multitrackers are easier to find, 8-track devices are more desirable.

    Other thing could be sound quality (noise levels). I don't know how H4n performs, but selecting between old H2 and H4 - I decided for H2, because both were noisy and H2 was twice cheaper, and less hissing (more filtered?) for what I needed. Oly seems to perform better.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    ayamahambho wrote:
    Oly records at once either 1 stereo track (1 wave file) or two separate mono tracks (2 wave files), but for playback - there are 8 x mono or 4 x stereo tracks available. Plus - these mono tracks can be stereo panned between left and right for playback needs in MTR mode. While 4-track multitrackers are easier to find, 8-track devices are more desirable.

    Other thing could be sound quality (noise levels). I don't know how H4n performs, but selecting between old H2 and H4 - I decided for H2, because both were noisy and H2 was twice cheaper, and less hissing (more filtered?) for what I needed. Oly seems to perform better.

    The preamps in the H4n are pretty good, not fabulous, but pretty excellent for quiet things like footsteps and the like.  I upped the quality of my recordings by a significant factor when I added a Sound Devices MixPre II and a custom attenuator cable (-25dB or so) which I made with instructions from the internet.  A custom attenuators cable is needed because the H4n's 'line in' isn't, it's about 20dB more than it should be.  With attenuation the H4n's levels need only be set to 17 or so, which is too low for the preamps to kick in.

    Here's a wee snippet I recorded with that setup.

    I was in the middle of doing a how-to for the cable for publication on my audio blog, but I've been recovering from an injury which left me unable to sit or type easily (using an iPad for this).  Hopefully I'll be better soon and finish it already!

    And right, playback, the H4n has a capability of playing back only 4 mono tracks at once in MTR mode so that was the memo I was missing, thank you.  smile

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    (-:

    I wish you good health and quick recovery.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    ayamahambho wrote:
    (-:

    I wish you good health and quick recovery.

    Thank you very much!

    Me too, I've got a growing list of recording projects I can't do til I recover and it's driving me a bit nuts.

    (yes, I know, what do I mean, 'driving', aren't I already there yet tongue )

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    Meanwhile - maybe try some audio programing in exchange?
    (-;

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
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    ayamahambho wrote:
    Meanwhile - maybe try some audio programing in exchange?
    (-;

    I'm sorry, I don't understand, audio programming? What is that? By whom? For what? In exchange for what? With whom?

    I'm really sorry, I'm so confused, I can't parse your message at all.

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    Audio processing instead???

    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
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    It's a joke and not joke (-;

    Doing field recordings requires that you are in the field, fully functional, fully operational, and so on and so forth.

    Writing audio applications requires only your typing skills; you can type on forum, then you can use computer anyway.

    Audio processing on the other hand is also not so bad idea, if you checked my bandcamp link.

    (-;

    Last winter, having no way to do the field recordings - I moved to the development of proprietary audio processing techniques. This winter, having no way to do the field recordings - I moved to modular environments (following old advices of some FS folks) for audio and... right now I'm finishing my first big app (-:

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences

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