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Professional-Grade Audio Recording With A PDA

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the it'll-cost-ya dept.

Portables 205

matt-fu writes "For a long time, live recording has been consigned mostly to the realm of DAT recorders, Minidisc recorders, or laptop computers. On one hand you have subpar sound quality, on the other you have a bulky rig with a big 'steal me' sign attached. Thanks to the folks at Core Sound though, mobile recording is about to take a huge leap forward with their PDAudio project. By using a hardware card that allows recording via S/PDIF onto Compact Flash, you will be able to use your iPaq or Zaurus alongside a decent A/D converter to portably get field recordings at up to 24bit/192kHz. The site includes WinCE screenshots, and there are Linux clients in the works as well."

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I Can see it now (3, Funny)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722695)

Miss Cleo: I'm seeing high quality concert bootlegs in the future, along with a good chance of RIAA lawsuits. Be prepared as the death card is also in your future.

Re:I Can see it now (3, Informative)

Read Icculus (606527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722750)

There are plenty of uses for this besides piracy. Such as legal taping of concerts, like on http://etree.org/. Hopefully the linux version comes around soon as I'm looking foward to trying this out.

Re:I Can see it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723005)

As a musician, it bothers me that any technology that might help me make better recordings of my own creative works is generally considered fair game for suppression by people who do not consider such uses. When the recording capabilities are limited to preserve the rights of one person, when do they abridge my rights to make quality recordings of my own?

Re:I Can see it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722785)

Nevermind the death card, beware of the happy squirrel!

Re:I Can see it now (1)

Spyffe (32976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723149)

That's Miss Clio [pinaxgroup.com] or Miss CLI± [sonystyle.com] to you!

First Audio Post (-1, Troll)

billstewart (78916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722696)

href="tada.wav"

1st? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722697)

hmm?

Thanks a lot. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722703)

Now we can expect a special music piracy tax on PDA's as well.

The last step before release (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722705)

RIAA endorsement

More Lies, Lies, Lies. (0, Troll)

Mohamm3d Al-Sahaf (665651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722711)

They are like a snake and we are going to cut it in pieces.

Our estimates are that none of them will come out alive unless they surrender to us quickly.

They think we are retarded - they are retarded.

We are surrounding them and pounding them. The whole trend has changed and we are going to finalize this very soon.

Size Limitations (2, Interesting)

shepmaster (319234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722719)

So, who would be interested in nothing more than a high-quality sound bite? Most CF and similar products are small, and audio recording is big. Or are there multi-gigabyte flash cards in the making?

Re:Size Limitations (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722771)

I wonder if they're going to include some form of lossless compression (like flac) on the sound to squeeze more bits out of the 4GB CF card mentioned in the article. As it stand, you can only get about an hour of uncompressed 2 channel 192 Kilosample 24 bit audio on there. With compression it should be easy to get 2 hours out of the card. If you use a lossy compression (like ogg) it should be trivial to get many many hours on a 4GB CF card.

Re:Size Limitations (1)

use_compress (627082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722861)

You could swap a few Secure Digital [cnet.com] cards in between songs... On the Axim and iPaq you are able to read from a CF card and an SD card simultaneously.

Re:Size Limitations (1)

tapin (157076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722893)

I wonder if they're going to include some form of lossless compression (like flac) on the sound

Unless I'm mistaken, lossless audio compression can't be done realtime, even with fast processors. The reason lossy compression can be done realtime is because it's actually dropping data based on an acoustical model; if something comes in that's outside the model, drop the unnecessary stuff right there.

On the other hand, lossless compression uses the entire span of the audio clip to figure out what to compress. Perhaps they could come up with some sort of automatic five-minute-chunk lossless compression, but I have no idea if the amount of saved space would outweigh the additional processing hassle.

Re:Size Limitations (1)

BlackListedCard (588042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722905)

192khz sampling and compression do not fit together. The Hi-Fi people already hate mp3 and other such compressed formats. The last thing they want to see is a 24bit/192khz sample compressed to shit. Its already a very heated discussion with hi-fi people. Now this is just gasoline to the fire.

Re:Size Limitations (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723216)

No, lossless compression does not at all need to use the entire audio clip. It's block based.
You made that up.

Re:Size Limitations (3, Insightful)

mattkime (8466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722896)

you'd only use one channel anyway. how could one person record two channels of audio at a concert in the crowd? they'd both sound the same

Re:Size Limitations (2, Interesting)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722934)

How far apart are your ears?

Can you hear two channels of audio at once?

Re:Size Limitations (0)

Comen (321331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723047)

Thats correct I think there is a way of recording named after the placement of mikes as if it were your ears, it is useually better to listen to it back in headphones i think. But if the 2 mics are placed in a way that they do pick up from different directions it does matter, and comes out sounding better and fuller than 1 channel. For years at live concerts I have seen people with stero boom mics etc...

Re:Size Limitations (1)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723090)

I read an article many years ago about making live binaural recordings by placing microphones in the ear canals of a fairly anatomically accurate soft plastic head. According to the article, the effect when listening with headphones was dramatic. But having never heard such a recording, I can't say first hand.

Re:Size Limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723057)

yeah, and both your ears hear pretty much the same sound except with a phase difference.

there's really no point in recording two channels unless you have a stereo microphone, which is pretty useless for concert bootlegging purposes.

Nah (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723072)

Even two normal mics with a cardiod pattern will produce some sensation of stereo if they are right next to eachother. However, they make mics specifically for this kind of thing. They have two capsules that face away form eachother and a pickup pattern such to give good stereo from one unit. The recording studio on the university has one like this, I don't remember what kind it is. Sounds just gorgeus for stereo drum kit recordsing. You just hang teh thing over the centre of the kit and it gets good stereo.

Re:Size Limitations (1)

leitec (640055) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723196)

That's what you'd think. Your ears aren't very far apart, either. Still, you get different sounds into each ear. With some clever binaural tricks (putting mic capsules in your ears, for example), one could make some great recordings. You can get good-sounding omni mic capsules for about $20. Furthermore, you wouldn't use 192kbps, that is ridiculous. For a concert, 24bits, maybe, but certainly no higher than 44.1.

Re:Size Limitations (3, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723250)

Actually, some mikes that are used in audience concert recordings have different cartridges to change the reception pattern of the mike (cardiod, hypercardiod, shotgun, etc ). Why? For better stereo seperation at different distances from the stage.

A good stereo audience recording sounds excellent. They really have that "there" feeling. I've actually jumped listening to a recording when a balloon popped near the mikes!

Some people have meantioned using minidisc for shows. I have never had a recording come from a minidisc. I've seen "tapers" use minidiscs, but there not considered tradable, they are for personal use only.

Regarding the recording of music on PDAs in general, I don't see this happening. There isn't a need. A minidisc is about as small as your gonna get, if size is what your after. Also, many of the current tapers have a dat deck, a good A/D converter, and some even have separate preamps to give gain from the mics to the a/d converter.

Trust me there are plennty [etree.org] of excellent recordings out there for many taper friendly bands. Many of the recordings have detailed lineage of the source. For example:

FOB B&K 4006 omni's (in hat, 36th row left of center) > Lunatec 316> Panasonic SV-250 by Marc Nutter; Transfer: Sony DTC-A6 > Dio 2448 > SF 4.5 @ 48K, Resample, add fades> CDWAV> SHN

This is from a recording 8 years ago, taping is almost godlike now!

Re:Size Limitations (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723093)

I would not that you are probably going to go for, at most, 96kHz 24bit. It's not real likely you are going to be able to get a A/D, preamp, and mic high enough quality to exhaust even 96kHz. This is live work we are talking about here.

But yes, it wouldn't be hard to add some simple losless compression to double your space, giving you about 4 hours of stereo audio, which isn't bad.

Re:Size Limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722776)

There are multi-gigabyte (around 4GB) available now. It mentioned this on the site as well.

-AX

Re:Size Limitations (1)

bullestock (556584) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722779)

The site linked to mentions that 4 GB media are readily available. I think that'll do nicely.

Re:Size Limitations (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722998)

The main thing this does is actually let you connect standard professional-grade microphones (and other audio input devices) to a PDA. Even at relatively low bitrates, you can get much better results from a good microphone than from the microphones that you get get with cellphone or PC headset jacks.

For that matter, this will let a band playing at a club get a soundboard recording on their PDA. If you're in a band with no recording equipment, this is a pretty big advantage, even if you don't get better than ogg quality, because it's a single step from professional audio equipment to stuff the band has.

Provessional-Grade Video Recording With A PDA (3, Informative)

Spyffe (32976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722722)

This is really cool, but there are good solutions (MiniDisc, etc.) already for audio recording. This may have advantages over them, but there is still a significant installed base out there which will make adoption slow.

Perhaps a video version of this could be developed, holding DV video? One of the difficulties of Mini-DV, just as DAT, is its linearity, which makes editing a chore. Combined with the LCD display on the PDA, a DV version of this tech could enable basic editing on the fly. It could do for video what MiniDisc did for audio.

Re:Provessional-Grade Video Recording With A PDA (2, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722820)

I do a lot of field audio recording on a minidisc with a Rode NT4 Stereo mic. The biggest problem is that you have to play the recordings back. You can't just transfer them off the discs like a file. That is a pain, and this device might solve that problem.

The other problem is that using the internal mic battery versus the phantom power there is a difference. Phantom power makes the mic sound better. And if you can record at 96Khz, thats even better. Better sound quality, etc, etc.

I'm a little skeptical about this product. My minidisc is real durable, and it works, and it's a small rig to take places. The pictures on core's website looks like a lot of gear to carry around....

Re:Provessional-Grade Video Recording With A PDA (2, Funny)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722841)

This is really cool, but there are good solutions (MiniDisc, etc.) already for audio recording.

No no no, this is completely different! It replaces the fragile, expensive MiniDisc recorder with a... PDA... oh wait...

Re:Provessional-Grade Video Recording With A PDA (4, Informative)

van der Rohe (460708) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722844)

Minidisk uses ATRAC compression, however, so it's not the same quality as DAT for example, which can record at CD quality (16 bit, 44.1 kHz.)

This PDA solution appears to provide high-quality sampling rates/bit depth without relying on compression.

Wrong (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722863)

This is "professional" grade audio by the standards. S/PDIF is not *professional grade*. AES/ABU on a 110 ohm cable is. S/PDIF is considered "consumer" grade. No XLR cables, no pro... that's how it goes.

Re:Wrong (4, Informative)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723023)

This is "professional" grade audio by the standards. S/PDIF is not *professional grade*. AES/ABU on a 110 ohm cable is. S/PDIF is considered "consumer" grade. No XLR cables, no pro... that's how it goes.
Not necessarily. They are only two different ways to carry the same digital signal. (AES/EBU is balanced signal, S/PDIF is unbalanced.) Yes, you want AES/EBU for longer cable runs to keep data loss to a minimum, but S/PDIF is perfectly suitable for short distances. Such as: From the Mic preamp in one jacket pocket to the PDA in the other. No need for balanced signal for that short a distance.

Yes, I Am An Audio Technician (IAAAT).

Duh. Hello? *CELL PHONES* are the killer app ... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723039)

... here.

Re:Provessional-Grade Video Recording With A PDA (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723164)

24 bit, 192 kHz linear and 10:1 compressed ATRAC are not meant for the same markets. It's not an either/or scenario, each are tools optimized for different applications.

Good! (3, Insightful)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722726)

How many great concerts have disappeared into the ether because no one recorded them?

A LOT!

And artists - if you are concerned that pir8's will swipe all your material remember that piracy makes the pie bigger and the bigger the pie the bigger your slice, and that the Grateful dead encouraged this sort of thing and they had the second most lucrative tour after U2 and that the pir8s are in fact working for you for free - all you have to do is grab their best stuff and publish it yourself ala Zappa in Beat the Boots.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722878)

the grateful dead had one top 40 hit-touch of grey. many other bands that allowed taping later in their careers (eg pearl jam and u2) have outsold the dead many times over.

i'm not saying that tape trading can't help the overall recognition that a band receives through buzz, college campus word of mouth, and general excitement, but it will hurt your record sales if people think of you as a 'live act' instead of a 'studio band'.

Re: your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722931)

Your comprehension of contractions in the English language is as good as your comprehension of politics.

Phish doesn't mind (Re:Good!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722982)

Phish [phish.com] actually sells their concerts online. They also don't mind if you swap concerts -- as long as you're not trying to making make money off of it./p.

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723051)

If record companies were smarter, they'd record all the concerts themselves. I mean, you already have a full audio setup for sound reenforcement. With just a little extra effort it could be setup to do a good job recording, or for 0 extra effort a DAT can by plugged into the main output and that captured.

Then, sell it all on your website. Let fans buy, either through download or purchasing custom burned CDs, all the songs from concerts they want. If they feel like getting a particular performance of a particular song, they can and you make money on it.

Of course this is all WAY too high tech and progressive for the record companies so it won't happen.

Re:Good! (4, Informative)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723106)

If record companies were smarter, they'd record all the concerts themselves. I mean, you already have a full audio setup for sound reenforcement. With just a little extra effort it could be setup to do a good job recording, or for 0 extra effort a DAT can by plugged into the main output and that captured.
Already being done by most bands, but only as a reference tape used to judge the quality of their performance.

Have you ever heard a 'board tape', as these are called? The mix is usually terrible because the show is being mixed to sound good for the paying audience, not the tape. Mixing a live concert and mixing to tape are two very different things. Real 'live-recordings' are recorded on separate consoles located away from the arena, at great added expense.

(Why are board tape mixes bad? Mixing a live show involves combining the sound coming out of the PA with the sound coming off stage (Huge guitar stacks and expensive snare drums are the worst offender in this regard.) The board tape is only getting half of what the audience heard.)

(Yes, I mix live audio for a living.)

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723114)

The record companies don't typically own the performances of any non-manufactured artists.

Re:Good! (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723191)

How many great concerts have disappeared into the ether because no one recorded them?
Britney Spears was near here a couple of months ago. What a shame we missed this valuable chance to record a quality concert such as this.

Obligatory joke WARNING WARNING! (0, Redundant)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722728)

Yeah,
But does it support OGG Vorbis?

And more importantly can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of PDAs all pirating music at a concert? Truely a sight to behold.

Great (4, Insightful)

Flunitrazepam (664690) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722732)

With this, and cell phones the size of postage stamps that can stream live video, we are reaching a point where people are going to have to assume they are being recorded or filmed at all times.

Re:Great (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722757)

"we are reaching a point where people are going to have to assume they are being recorded or filmed at all times."

You mean you don't already? This is truely a great age for the exhibitionist.

I only take off my tin foil cap when I'm in the shower because the steam blocks the NSA GPS signal they implanted in all of our heads. PDAs all have this signal emmiter too, why do you think every business owner is required to own one?

Re:Great (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723187)

Yep, nothing says efficient surveillance like 24 bit, 192 kHz PCM stereo. My advice would be to invest now in Seagate, Maxtor and WD. The next order from the Department of Homeland Security will have their factories running three shifts for years.

Shouldn't that "bulky rig" ... (3, Funny)

DogIsMyCoprocessor (642655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722737)

have an "I'm bootlegging this concert" sign attached instead?

Re:Shouldn't that "bulky rig" ... (1)

jokell82 (536447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722925)

Not many people will bring a laptop to a show that doesn't allow recording... I record onto my iBook, and I bring it to every concert I go to.

And bootlegging a concert isn't really the best way to describe it. Bootlegging is illegally selling the concert recordings. I have yet to meet a taper that does this, only people that get copies of the recordings and try to sell them after the fact... What we do is called taping.

Re:Shouldn't that "bulky rig" ... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723229)

I record onto my iBook, and I bring it to every concert I go to.

At clubs or larger venues? Where do you live?

Every place I go (music or sports) the policy has evolved to: you bring in nothing. A cell phone or a PDA would get by but for the number of peanut butter sandwiches I've had confiscated, and the number of backpacks I've seen other people lose, I'd be very reluctant to show up with a laptop at anything I was really hoping to attend.

So where are the weapons of mass destruction? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722774)

independant.co.uk 13 April 2003

They were the reason the United States and Britain were in such a hurry to go to war, the threat the rank-and-file troops feared most.

And yet, after three weeks of war, after the capture of Baghdad and the collapse of the Iraqi government, Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction - those weapons that President Bush, on the eve of hostilities, said were a direct threat to the people of the United States - have still to be identified.

Many influential people - disarmament experts, present and former United Nations arms inspectors, our own Robin Cook - have begun to wonder aloud if the weapons exist at all.

The public surrender of a senior Iraqi scientist could yet backfire against the US and Britain. Lieutenant-General Amer Hammoudi al-Saadi, who handed himself over to US forces yesterday, continued to proclaim that Iraq no longer holds any chemical or biological weapons. He should know: the British-educated chemical expert headed the Iraqi delegation at weapons talks with the United Nations.

The few "discoveries" trumpeted in the media - the odd barrel here, a few dozen shells there - have not been on a scale that could reasonably justify the unprovoked military invasion of a sovereign country, and in most cases have been proven to been no more than rumour, or propaganda, or a mixture of the two.

It could still be that, as American forces advance on Tikrit, Saddam's home town, chemical or biological weapons may be discovered, or even deployed by diehard Iraqi troops. But if the casus belli pleaded by George Bush and Tony Blair turns out to be entirely hollow - and it should be stressed that we can't yet know that - what does it say about their motivations for going to war in the first place? How much deception was involved in talking up the Iraqi threat, and how much self-deception?

As Susan Wright, a disarmament expert at the University of Michigan, said last week: "This could be the first war in history that was justified largely by an illusion." Even The Wall Street Journal, one of the administration's biggest cheerleaders, has warned of the "widespread scepticism" the White House can expect if it does not make significant, and undisputed, discoveries of forbidden weapons.

Before the war, American intelligence officials said that they had a list of 14,000 sites where, they suspected, chemical or biological agents had been harboured, as well as the delivery systems to deploy them. A substantial number of those sites have been inspected by the invading troops. Evidence to date of a "grave and gathering" threat: precisely zero.

Much of what has been unearthed points to something we knew about all along: the weapons programmes that Iraq ran before the 1991 Gulf War, before sanctions, before regular US and British bombing raids in the no-fly zones and before the UN weapons inspection regime that ran from 1991 to 1998.

US troops have discovered a few suspect barrels here, a sample bottle of nerve agent there, stacks of chemical suits and some drugs typically used to counteract the effects of a chemical attack, such as atropine and 2-pam chloride. According to many military experts, these finds suggest the vestiges of a weapons programme that has been dismantled, not one that is up and running. The US government argues that the weapons have been deliberately dispersed and hidden - a claim that would have more merit if there were any evidence of where the materials might have gone.

In his State of the Union address in early February, President Bush was quite specific about the materials he believed Saddam was hiding: 25,000 litres of anthrax, 38,000 litres of botulinum toxin and 500 tons of sarin, mustard and nerve gas. These days, he does not mention weapons of mass destruction at all, focusing instead on the liberation of the Iraqi people - as if liberation, not disarmament, had been the project all along.

The administration has shown its embarrassment in other ways. On day two of the war, Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence, said finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction was the invading force's number two priority after toppling Saddam Hussein - itself a reversal of the argument presented at the UN Security Council.

A week later, Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokeswoman, pushed the issue further down the list, behind capturing and evicting "terrorists sheltered in Iraq" and collecting intelligence on "terrorist networks". Now we are told that hunting for weapons is something we can expect once the fighting is over, and that it might go on for months before yielding significant results. "It's hard work," a plaintive Ms Clarke said last week.

Nonsense, say the disarmament experts. "It's clear there wasn't much," said Professor Wright, "otherwise they would have run into something by now. After all, they've taken Baghdad." Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector who spent four months badgering the United States and Britain in vain for reliable intelligence information about the whereabouts of lethal weapons, now says he believes the war was planned on entirely different criteria, well before his inspection teams went back into Iraq in December.

"I think the Americans started the war thinking there were some [weapons]. I think they now believe less in that possibility," he told the Spanish daily El Pais. "You ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things they did to try to show that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like the fake contract with Niger."

Anxious to find a "smoking gun", a team of US disarmament experts has been set up to question Iraqis involved in weapons programmes, while others comb sites and analyse samples in the field using mobile labs.

The move has alarmed the weapons inspectors at the UN, where Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, pointedly said last week: "I think they are the ones with the mandate to disarm Iraq, and when the situation permits they should go back to resume their work."

The US team has attempted to lure some of the inspectors, who are recognised as the sole legitimate international authority on Iraq's weapons programmes.

The latest theory being touted in Washington by the usual unnamed government sources is that the Iraqis have moved their weapons out of the country, very possibly into Syria. This claim appears to have originated with Israeli intelligence - which has every motivation for stirring up trouble for its hostile Arab neighbours - and has been bolstered by reports of fighting between Iraqi Special Republican Guard units and US special forces near the Syrian border.

Disarmament experts do not give the claim much credence. After all, any suspicious convoy or mobile laboratory would almost certainly be spotted by US planes or spy satellites and bombed long before it reached Syria.

But the notion does provide the hawks in Washington with a compelling plot device not unlike the McGuffin factor in Alfred Hitchcock's films - a catalyst that may or may not have significance in itself but that gets the suspense going and keeps the story rolling.

If the Bush administration should ever seek to turn its military wrath on Damascus, the weapons of mass destruction it is failing to find in Iraq might just provide the excuse once again.

Stop trolling (1)

BigBadBri (595126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722938)

I agree it's important, but this is a tech site, so please keep on topic.

Try indymedia if you wish torepost articles from th'independent...

new editor Jaime (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722777)

has anyone seen pics of her yet? does she have big titties?

jaime, please post some pix of yourself so i can jack off

Re:new editor Jaime (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722826)

Did you see the site she links to? It's Slashdot in the language of the spics, from what I can discern. Those fucking jackasses. I bet she's fat.

Hello? A to D converter? (4, Interesting)

PhyrePhox (218873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722789)

This is not an all-in-one solution. You'll still need an encoder, and frankly, a portable DAT or MD recorder is: smaller; a single finished piece; designed specifically for this purpose; and (at least in the case of the MD recorder) much cheaper than a iPaq/A-D converter/this funky card.

Re:Hello? A to D converter? (1)

DMaster0 (26135) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722952)

Perhaps smaller... but stealthier?

You can't smuggle in a DAT, get caught with it, and fake anything. You're toast.

Take an Ipaq into a concert and nobody will flip you more than a glance. You can even say you're writing down the setlist during the show. There's nothing worse than the dead giveaway of the blue backlight of a DAT recorder at a concert while you check your audio levels. If you know what you're looking for, you can always spot who's taping from the balcony. The only reason more people don't get busted, is because venue securities don't usually care, and band security is typically worried about the band during the show and has to assume that venue security catches tapers at the door, which they don't usually.

And most people don't really consider the preamp to be part of the "recording" solution, as it's mostly for the mics. People have different tastes in preamps and they're really more dependant on the mics than the recorder, so having a built in A/D converter would only limit the audience. Generally, if you record stuff, you don't use the mic-in on a DAT, you run it through a preamp first anyway, so this isn't exactly new ground.

this looks cool (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722810)

Though a minidisc recorder is fine for your bootlegging needs. This PDA thingy might be good for bands who are recording their own shows straight from the deck, etc. Less bulky than a laptop.

While we are on the subject, any of you cats know about any loop-based composition software for the Zaurus? Just something to play around with. I've seen Nanoloop for the gameboy, and something else for the iPaq, but nothing on the Z....

What about an Archos (3, Interesting)

toxcspdrmn (471013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722813)

I can do pretty much the same with my Archos Jukebox Recorder [archos.com] and an amplified microphone. With on-the fly VBR MP3 encoding direct to a 20GB hard disc, space is not an issue. And it fits in a pocket.

Re:What about an Archos (2, Interesting)

delta407 (518868) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722867)

Do you honestly think that audio professionals store data in 160-kilobit VBR MP3s?

Besides which, can your Archos do 24-bit/192 KHz sampling? Professionally, very, very few people use 16-bit/44 KHz for anything serious.

Re:What about an Archos (1)

toxcspdrmn (471013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722932)

I take your point and IANAPSE (Professional Sound Engineer) - but I was thinking along the lines of recording live concerts without a permit, where you are likely to have the microphone sticking out of the cuff of your jacket, or clipped to your t-shirt, rather than taking a line level signal from the sound engineer's mixing board.

In that situation, does it really help to have a 24-bit/192 KHz recording of you clothes rustling and your neighbour's coughs? :-)

Re:What about an Archos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723232)

yeah. since if you are doing it for the people helding the concert it really doesn't matter if you got a laptop or a pda there, saved space under mixer board..

Re:What about an Archos (2, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723034)

Professionally, very, very few people use 16-bit/44 KHz for anything serious.
Just every single CD audio disk mastered in the world. Damn professionals.

(It's 44.1 KHz, BTW)

Re:What about an Archos (2, Insightful)

delta407 (518868) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723174)

Right, of course, the final product is almost invariably 44.1 KHz, two channels, 16 bits per sample. But this is the difference: it's downsampled to that, after EQing and lots of other DSP. Except for some live stuff, very few professionals use such low quality initial recordings, choosing instead to have greater precision through the entire mastering process until it is discarded (actually, dithered and filtered away rather than truncated) at the end.

Then again, I have seen some audio equipment capable of higher sampling rates advertised at Best Buy recently. Of course, it was claiming that 96 KHz would make everything sound better and clearer and grander than before despite limitations of speakers, acoustics, and the listener's hearing... nonetheless, the future of audio is sounding better.

Re:What about an Archos (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722924)

you = teh fagot [bakla.net]

nice (1)

Capt. Beyond (179592) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722819)

This will be nice for future batches of pdas. The current batch of pda processors, almost certainly cannot handle this high of quality of audio.

Re:nice (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722859)

If you'd actually read the article you would know that because this is a hardware addition, there are quite a few PDAs listed that will work fine (i.e. PDAs that have already been released and don't just exist in the future.)

This PDA give a use to this wireless HD (1)

computer_saskboy (665667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722828)

Remember this story? [slashdot.org] It looks like this PDA gives high tech pirates a way to record uber-amounts of concert data. The RIAA may finally have some high-quality competition.

Bullshit (1)

sevensharpnine (231974) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722835)

Professional-grade recording requires at least six-figures worth of high-end equipment, in addition to numerous skilled sound engineers. A single quality microphone runs thousands of dollars alone. Does this PDA offer good recording quality? Maybe. But don't start throwing around PR bullshit just because it runs Linux.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722877)

There's nothing technically stopping you from connecting your thousand dollar mic to this.

It's just a S/PDIF interface for PDA's, which seems like a very stupid idea to me. It need to have integrated A/D and D/A converters to be of any real portable use...

Re:Bullshit (1)

BlackListedCard (588042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722880)

Really???!!! Well I can build a tube amp with just some resisters and caps. It will not look like a million dollars. It will blow the shit out of your low, middle and some high end gear. I have an original Dynaco ST tube amp. It will make your $50000.00 sound like something which was purchased at Future Shop. Good design will always win. Not expensive sperm filled caps.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723041)

Well I can build a tube amp with just some resisters and caps. It will not look like a million dollars. It will blow the shit out of your low, middle and some high end gear. I have an original Dynaco ST tube amp. It will make your $50000.00 sound like something which was purchased at Future Shop. Good design will always win. Not expensive sperm filled caps.
The original poster's not talking about simply reproducing the sounds, he talking about capturing it and putting it on tape. Reproducing sound is a piece of cake compared to that.

BTW, where ya gonna get the output tranformers for that home-made tube amp?

Re:Bullshit (1)

DMaster0 (26135) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722902)

recording quality depends on your microphone kiddo, not your recording device.

And professional grade recording costs less than $2000, if you know how to shop and what to buy. We're talking field recording, which for the price of a DAT ($500) and a good set of microphones ($1000 will get a great pair of binaural mics, excellent for recording a concert) will get you going just fine.

I assume your "professional" runs the same as the people who pay for Monster Cable and assume that because it costs more, it has to be better.

Re:Bullshit (1)

sevensharpnine (231974) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723032)

I think we have a misunderstanding of what constitutes "professional". Professional recording is not what happens at your local county fairgrounds by dropping a few cheap mikes in front of a P.A. system and plugging everything into a fancy iPaq. This [czechphilharmonic.cz] is a professional recording environment.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723062)

And professional grade recording costs less than $2000, if you know how to shop and what to buy. We're talking field recording, which for the price of a DAT ($500)...
Any DAT recorder that's that cheap is gonna have crap for a mic preamp and A/D converters.
and a good set of microphones ($1000 will get a great pair of binaural mics, excellent for recording a concert) will get you going just fine.
Why would you want two stereo mics, or is 'binaural' just some buzzword that felt good at the moment?

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722947)

Hey, we're talking about the kind of pap that angst-ridden Slashdot readers record here, not anything that has to sound good.

If the music sucks, take stronger drugs. It's always worked well for the deadheads...

Re:Bullshit (3, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723049)

Ummm... sorry to burst your pretty bubble, but 'professional grade' field recordings of concerts *can* be done with sub-$1000 microphones, well rigged to a portable system such as described here.

There's nothing that says "Pro = digital multitrack with multiple busses from the house mix".

Bootlegs (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722850)

Cool now when I goto a concert I don't have to have an obvious tape record/mini-disk etc. Just have my PDA and if anyone ask I'm just checking my email :)

Rus

Re:Bootlegs (1)

DMaster0 (26135) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722915)

exactly my thoughts!

I've never been caught, but I've always wondered what the hell to say to any security if they caught me. "Uh, it's my DAT Walkman, I jog with it, really". or "It's just a minidisc, no I forgot my headphones" or whatever.

PDA? Just show 'em some DopeWars or stocks, assuming they even ask, which I really doubt they'd bother since everyone knows those people who carry their PDA with them everywhere on their belt with their cellphone.

This takes half the problem away from stealthing at a show, definitely. I can't wait.

This could become something much bigger (2, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722854)

I have to say I'm impressed with what appears to be a very good product for handhelds.

I can't wait to start seeing micro-editing and remixing suites available as well, I'm sure it will only be a short time before we have the ability to DJ or Master Music on a handheld as we do on a laptop today.

Also, what about effects?
It shouldn't take much doing to convert that application into say a reverb or delay peddle. An all in one solution for applying Delay/Distortion/Flange/Phaser/Reverb/EQ would quickly find itself in virtually all performers eqpt bag in a heart beat.

Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5722858)

24kbits*192KHz*2channels = 1.152 MB a SECOND. If you compress it, then whats the point of having such high fidelity anyways? Your 512M CF card is going to hold 7 minutes of audio data.

Why not just buy a portable minidisc recorder, which is smaller than a PDA, cheaper than a PDA, would probably have 10 times the battery life of this PDA-based monster, and has media that costs $2 a pop? Add to that the media lasts for a 74 minute recording at a quality that will definitely blow that PDA solution out of the water and you've got a complete waste of time.

I can't understand why most geeks would lambast the general public for falling for the Megahertz Myth, and yet they get all starry eyed when someone starts throwing preposterous specs out at them. Do you honestly think that you can get an appreciable difference between 16/44 and 24/192 outside of a professional studio?

This product is targeted at clueless audiophile wannabes. Unless you are one, move along.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1)

eric434 (161022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722942)

"Do you honestly think that you can get an appreciable difference between 16/44 and 24/192 outside of a professional studio?"

Yes. It's called SACD. Pick up a copy of Stereophile if you feel like it; the difference is pretty extreme, AS LONG AS YOU'RE WILLING TO SPEND MONEY ON IT. For Joe Slashdot, no he probably can't hear the difference through his "multimedia" speakers. But, say, Bob Audiophile, with his $20,000/pr Martin Logan electrostatics fed by a $10,000 monoblock Krell amp from a passive transformer attenuator preamp and Sony XA777ES SACD player - SACD wins HANDS DOWN. No contest. Bob's redneck cousin would probably be blown away if he hadn't been already blown away in a "hold my beer and watch this" stunt involving a firecracker and a plugged toilet.

Hell, you don't even need to spend upwards of a few grand, if you get a decent system. You'll save even more if you skip the speakers and go with headphones... ask on Head-Fi, but off the top of my head, a HeadRoom Little ($260) feeding some Sennheiser HD600s (~$350 from HeadRoom, ~$200 from Meier Audio) and a Sony NS-500V (~$130 when they were still new, check eBay) will give you DAMN good sound with ASTRONOMICAL bang for the buck. But beware - you'll get upgraditis... "Headphone Hi-Fi: First hit's free."

Head-Fi: http://www.head-fi.org
HeadRoom: http://www.headphone.com
Meier Audio: http://www.meier-audio.com

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1)

eric434 (161022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722958)

* note that SACD is a different format, called DSD, and is not technically 24/196 in the fashion the original poster intended (PCM). You can, however, get upsampling DACs that do indeed show an impressive improvement (even though they shouldn't) when converting 16/44.1 PCM to 24/196 PCM [a company called dCS makes a DAC that converts the 16/44.1 to DSD/SACD, if you're curious], and the DVD-A format if I remember correctly is in 24/196 PCM. I haven't heard it, though, so I couldn't say anything about the sound quality.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723249)

Upsampling dacs show an improvement through allowing the use of gentler filters, rather than really steep "brickwall" cutoff filters at 42Khz.

They shift quantization noise way higher up in the spectrum so you can filter it out more gently.

The only other reason they provide better sound is because gear that accepts 24/196 tends to have better analog components all around.

SO yes, tehre are reasons for upsampling to sound better.. but none of them have to do with what comes to midn at first: The increased detail available at higher rates. Absolutely none.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723107)

I think the original poster meant recording, not playback.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722954)

Do you honestly think that you can get an appreciable difference between 16/44 and 24/192 outside of a professional studio?

Outside the studio is actually when greater bit depth is more important. It lets you capture a quality signal without riding the meters right up to distortion.

A 24-bit signal recorded peaking at -48dB still uses 16-bits of data to capture the audio. Try that with a 16-bit signal, and you'll only be capturing 8 real bits of data.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (2, Insightful)

jokell82 (536447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722956)

First, MDs suck for live audio recording. Why? Because it compresses the audio in a lossy method (just like mp3's). The MDs are the last in the line of quality, and this solution (although I don't think it will ever see the light of day, as it is Core Sound that's releasing it) would be much better than MD any day of the week.

And second, yes, you can tell the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/192. Try listening to a SACD or a DVD-A and tell me they don't sound better than a CD.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (2, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723092)

Um, I don't agree with that. I use a minidisc all the time to record groups that I play with. It works great. What really decides on how good the recording is going to come out is the microphone and microphone placement. I invested in a Rode NT4 stereo mic about a year ago. That with my minidisc player/recorder has resulted in many high quality recordings. They sound at least as good as recordings made with a pair of house mics (Neumanns I believe) going to a mixing board. Actually, they usually sound better.

I don't think this solution, a PDA and an interface, is going to boost the quality any more. And it looks less portable.

What I'd really like to see is something like a recordable iPod [apple.com] .

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723117)

The real question should be can you tell the difference between 44.1/24 and 192/24. That difference is much more subtile. It's there, but you need much better equipment to appreciate it at all, and even then it is small. The big improvement is the increased dynamic range, not so much the increased frequency range.

Well, at 44.1/24 space requirements are quite a bit lower, and lower still if they do some on-the-fly lossless compression.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723167)

"Try listening to a SACD or a DVD-A and tell me they don't sound better than a CD."

What you're hearing is probably 99% mastering differences, not some appreciable difference on the resolution.

When they decide to produce something for DVD-A or SACD, I'll bet you anything that far more time is spent mastering it than the original CD version. Now if you took the improved master copy and put one on 192/24 and the other on 44.1/16, I'll bet 99% of the people could not tell the difference.

It's a scam. They need something new to soak you for and people fall for the numbers.

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (3, Insightful)

DMaster0 (26135) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722980)

personally, I'd rather have a fully-digital device that can do 44.1/48 (which this can) and not have to deal with Minidisc, DAT's or anything at all that you have to transfer in real-time.

The potential is there though with this device, to work very well into the future as media gets cheaper and prices go down. 5 years ago, would you have assumed you could get a DVD-R for $2? 512MB of RAM for $50? 200gb of hard drive space for $150?

Of course not, with your thinking.

It's a shame so many people think that what exists now is the only thing that matters, and when someone shows you something that will likely be great a long time from now and is built with the expectation of advancement in technology, you say "bah, what is good now will always be good and who needs progress".

Re:Woo! 7 Minutes of audio on a 512M CF! (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723125)

Yeah, I agree. You might want to look into a Marantz Portable CD recorder [marantzpro.com] or something.

Pro-Quality Audio? Sure... (4, Informative)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722875)

You can have SPDIF, DAT, you name it....but if the mic sucks....so will the audio

This has been already done, but smaller is cool (2, Informative)

anarchivist (664076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722894)

Well, it all depends on what you consider professional grade. There are already digital four track recorders (the thing indie rockers usually know for their cassette eating tendencies) that use SmartMedia cards. Plus, on "high fidelity mode," the Zoom MRS-4 gets 17 track-minutes of 24 bit audio with a frequency response of up to 32 kHz on a 32 meg card.

too little too late (1)

cheesyfru (99893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5722988)

Back in the 90s, DAT was where it was at for professional-quality live recording. If PDA recording had come back then, it'd have been great. But now you can spend $90, and get a MiniDisc recorder (including shipping) which gives great sound quality, and is much better on batteries than DAT decks, and writes a removable and archivable medium. I leave my DAT deck at home these days.

Re:too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723105)

minidiscs use lossy compression, mr 'audiophile'.

this is one of those times (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5723079)

that a portable dat, which is smaller, and 1/4 the price of this rig, and can record 20 times as much, is much more sensible.

just because you *can*, it not a good enough reason.

This looks like a perfect application for a Visor (1)

Kickstart70 (531316) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723096)

So why does the add-on port on the Visors get ignored so often?

Nomad Jukebox III (1)

Archerkit (123970) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723188)

I used to record live shows (that meaning, taper-friendly bands) with Minidisc. True that it's portable and convenient. BUT it's compressed, and there is no DIGITAL way to get data back to the computer.

NetMD (Sony) let's you push data from computer to MD, not vice-versa. On a large home deck, you might have optical out. But in most cases, your stuck with sending compressed audio over your analog sound card.

With a Nomad Jukebox III (even the 20GB version) I can record full uncompressed WAV. About 30 hours worth as far as space goes. With an outboard A/D converter, you can even go optical in. Then drag several hours worth of shows over Firewire, in just a few minutes.

Ummm... (2, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5723199)

So you use an s/pdif input card and record the data digitally on your pda... WHOPIE.

You still need, as it says, a DAC. Got a really small high quality dac? High quality mic? Got enough storage capacity for high quality recording on your pda?

A portable DAT recorder is still way better.

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