M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

This subject has been raised recently; and it has been pointed out that the price of these two devices is now the same. I am currently trying out the Microtrack, and my first observation is that the built-in battery is inadequate. I lost a couple of days while I waited for a reply from M Audio to my questions about charging, and the extensive manual gives no advice.
The Edirol apparently uses replaceable batteries, but I don’t know if a rechargeable set is included.

Any observations on this, or other features, from those who have used one or both of these recorders?

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I have had a microtrack for about a good while now and haven’t ever had a problem with the battery (I do not use mics that need phantom power)./ I am very happy with hit.


In the manual Chapter "2 - Installation Procedure" says:-
"Before you begin using your new recorder, it is essential that you fully charge the MicroTrack 24/96 battery. Failure to fully charge the battery before first use can limit the capacity of the battery, lowering the total recording time of the MicroTrack 24/96. Connect the MicroTrack 24/96 to the USB power supply using the included USB cable to begin charging the MicroTrack 24/96. When done, ‘Charging Complete’ will be displayed on the MicroTrack 24/96 screen."

I took mine a good while to charge for the first time, which tried my patience since I wanted to get going with it!

Liam

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

How many hours recording time do you get? Does it change ast different settings?
Do you use the Microtrack for listening, e.g. downloaded tunes?

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I have the microtrack and have been very happy with it although the battery life is an issue. At sessions I keep it off until I need it and then I have to let it boot up and I’m guessing that it takes 25 seconds until it’s ready—an inconvenience, but better than leaving it on -not recording— but still draining the battery. Apparently there is a hacker site that has instructions for making an external battery that will last 15+ hours, or so I have heard. But for ease of use and it’s small size it is great. Currently I am using a 4 Gb CF and record in wave file. Sounds great and so easy to use with itunes.

Posted by .

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I intended buying a Fostex 4-track portable battery-powered digital recorder to use at sessions. It was pretty small, ‘bout the size of a VHS tape. However I got a present of a Fostex MR-8HD 8- track recorder. Its great for home recording as it has 40 gigs of memory but a little too big to bring to sessions. its the size of a laptop and AC- powered. I’d look like the guy from the local Radio Station if I showed up with it. It is a great recorder though and brilliant for demos.

Posted by .

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Lilt…. I Love the MR8HD…. wonderful little powerhouse, user friendly. Too big for most sessions for sure. I get recordings ALMOST as clear though, esp. after a bit of EQ later on computer, from the Sony Minidisc MZ10. Or the 100 is the light up version for $100 more. So I travel with both. With the little Sony stereo mike.

I even recorded through a PA onto the Sony and it was great sound. I also recorded a concert onto the MR8 via a sound system, crystal clear sound.

No real battery issue on the Sony, and they have that side contraption for switching to regular batteries. I have recorded many hours without using the regular battery up though.

I love the two machines. I wonder if you brought the MR8 and set it on a table and hooked in just one condenser mike on a table stand in the middle how it will do. I record our sessions at IAANJ but set up four decent condenser mikes in the center. We get some great music there, and the more you do it the better you get. It’s a lot of fun!

How do you edit after…..I use Audacity, it suits all my modest needs and is easy to use.

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Oldstrings asked "How many hours recording time do you get? Does it change at different settings?"
It does depend on the settings. I generally record to MP3 and can get many hours onto 1 GB card.
WAV files are much larger, and limit the recording time. MP3 recording can (I believe) be set to adjust the sampling rate and bit depth, so the file size is less predictable.
There is a table that shows what to expect at different settings in the manual (appendix)
http://www.maudio.co.uk/images/global/manuals/050906_MicroTrack_UG_EN01.pdf

I believe that a given recording cannot exceed 2GB (thanks Mr Gates), but I haven’t ever come close to that.



Oldstrings asked "Do you use the Microtrack for listening, e.g. downloaded tunes?"
I do, but the interface leaves a lot to be desired. No play lists. No ability to sort the tunes. It’s tough to find tunes. The "nav key" up/down means can mean either "next tune", "last tune", or even tune start depending on what you are doing (how dumb is that!!)
I usually just put a few tunes on it that I want to listen to rather than trying to use to hold every tune there ever was.

Let me also put in a plug audacity. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Note that it **does** handle two track stereo, and you can manipulate and mix any number of separate tracks down to two separate stereo tracks, or down to mono.

Liam

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I should have said :

MP3 recording can (I believe) be set to adjust the sampling rate and bit depth **dynamically** , so the file size is less predictable.

Sin in haste, repent at leisure.

Liam

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I have both. I get 3.5 hours on the internal battery of the MicroTrack, and about 7 hours on two AA NiMH batteries with the R09, and when they run out, I can easily replace them. Both are great recorders for sessions.

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I agree totally with you, irisnevins, about the MR-8HD. The recorded sound is so pure and clear. I love this machine. I dont use Audacity, never even heard of it till I came to this site. I just use 6 tracks to record on and bounce them to 7/8. Then convert to wav and copy to laptop. Then I burn the tunes to CD. Am gonna check this Audacity thing out though! One question is this, what happens when you have 100 tunes/songs recorded on the hard-drive? There seems to be space only for two digits on the counter! How is tune 100 or 101 accounted for? The hard-drive is huge and can cope with a massive amount of music.

Posted by .

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

The Microtrack is superb but the battery is a problem. I can record for about 3-4 hours on the internal battery, even though I followed the instructions about charging (I did turn it on first by mistake though - I don’t think I recorded anything though).

The sound quality is excellent though, and I love the machine to bits.

Posted by .

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I hatd WAY more than 100 tracks, wavs and audacity files on the program itself with plenty of room….problem was my hard drive was clogged to the rafters with no end in sight. I do burn a "master" for each session and another for a friend for safekeeping. I never play them. I can copy from them, or a duplicate of one of them. There is the slightest nearly undetectible degradations from the direct from the computer files…i THINK…. really can’t tell much.

Once burned to CD they become audio files, no longer wavs. You can rip the tracks to wav. again…. not sure if Audacity does this, I think I-tunes does, I use Diamond Cut for that.

In any case you can take the files as wav off the machine to another storage method. I am also saving them to DVDs as wav. files. I can load them back onto the computer if I wish to burn another run of CDs from them. You could also use zip drives or whatever other media you prefer.

basically I have them saved all over the place on other storage and clean Audacity and my computer out.

You can do further EQ and nice easy edits on Audacity. It’s free…have alook at it.

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Maybe this is obvious, but the microtrack can record while using the very compact mains charger, or when plugged into the USB port on a PC.

Liam

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

It’s nice to see a good report on the Fostex. After doing some research (just reading) I recommended it to a friend who hadn’t paid attention to home recording hardware since the advent of the 4-track cassette. It seemed to be the simplest of the lot. They all come with a lot more stuff than necessary, fancy effects and such.

I’d been considering the 24/96, then Mike Mullins of St. Louis got An Edirol R1 for session and concert recording and loved it. When the smaller R-09 came out, and has fewer effects and such in it (I don’t need ‘em), it really caught my interest.

I read reviews of the M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 at Musicians Friend
(http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-MicroTrack-2496-2Channel-Mobile-Digital-Recorder?sku=702520)

and at the Sweetwiter Sound site
(http://www.sweetwiter.com/store/detail/MicroTrack/)

and now I feel best about the Edirol R-09. BTW, both Musicians Friend and Sweetwiter also sell and have reviews of the Edirol machines, too. I don’t necessarily recommend buying from these vendors, but I’m happy to use their websites, which are good for reference, details and pricing information. Musicians Friend doesn’t always have great tech info on the stuff it sells … The prices on both sites are often a benchmark, as in ‘you can do better than this…’ <GG>

Batteries seem to seem to be a recurring subject in the reviews of the 24/96, as well as among you folks here…

I’m not interested in recording to compressed formats like MP3, and I’ve longed for a miniature recorder that would record full-bandwidth audio that can go right to CDs (or into a professional digital recording/editing program) without a lot of math or format changing.

In the few months that I’ve been looking at these little devices, the cost of the 1-gig and 2-gig CF memory cards has gone down by almost half, and some retailers have sold enough of these things that they had to make folks wait for resupply (tho not for very long). My point is that these devices will get more common, cheaper and probably better over the next couple of years, and that’s great. So great that I’ll probably go ahead and buy one at full price very soon.

All the best,

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

There is a good, and I believe trustworthy, review of the microtrack here http://www.core-sound.com/microtrack_2496/1.php

The review sections are shown in the window to the right of the screen

(The core sound site itself is well worth a look if you are into recording)

Liam

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Thanks for all the input. It appears I am not alone in my concerns about Microtrack battery life.
Microtrack’s "help" dept. is conspicuously hesitant about addressing my questions.
Having suffered battery problems in the early days of cellphones (when I NEEDED one for work), I am somewhat leery of repeating the experience.

But where are the Edirol owners, to criticize or commend their gadgets???
Michael Eskin: ("I have both")
Can you offer any further comparisons?

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

i need to get one of these for my summer camps/sessions.

i’m leaning toward the R-09, although i’d love to have the Fostex for the hard drive and other capabilities.

~sean

Posted .

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I have had my new R-09 for a couple weeks now and I love it.

I first recorded a rehearsal (original music, guitar/voice, dobro/mandolin/bass/fiddle) in a living room with it at 16bit/44.1k (cd resolution) with it and it sounded fantastic.

I’ve recorded a bunch of Irish sessions and other live performances with it and it has come thru in aces each time.

I have some 1-gigabyte chips and one two-gig chip for it and I transfer the files onto a hard drive and edit them in ProTools.
Great stuff, and I don’t have to do anything to the files other than cut them to put in CD start IDs.

The 1-gig chips cost under $50 and the 2-gig under $75.

Wonderful.

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

i was thinking of getting the r-09. how many hours of recordings can you save on it before you have transfer them to a computer? if i’m at a festival or instructional camp, i may want to make several hours worth of recordings without having access to a computer. is this possible?

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Lanny,
Of course, the storage space depends on the file size. I’ve been making mp3s at various resolutions and I get hours and hours and hours on a one-gig chip.

At 16 bit, 44.1kHz, a 1 gigabyte chip will hold 1 hour and 37 mintues. There’s a chart on the Edirol website (sorry I don’t have that right now, maybe it’s in one of the links I put up earlier in the thread) with the recording times for the various compression rates of the mp3s and the 16- and 24- bit .WAV files at 44.1kHz and 48kHz.

I’ve been really down on mp3s until I got this thing. My ProTools system converts the mp3 files to 24-bit files very nicely, so I’m able to work with the recordings very well.

In short, this thing is genius. I’m very happy. The "secure digital" memory chips are dropping in price and I’ve heard from other Edirol users that there are firmware updates in the works that may accomodate even larger sd chips than the
current 2gig limit.

I got two 1-gig chips for around $40 each and one 2-gig for less than $60 and I’ve been told that prices are well below that now. Very good.

Thanks

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

And, How do they compare to the Zoom H4 sound quality ?
I read that one is better and cheaper, but much bigger

Posted by .

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I’m considering buying the R-09, but I have one question. The only analog output I see is the headphone jack. Are there any problems with feeding the headphone output into a stereo aux input? Is it close enough to line level?

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

I do it all the time, with different bits of gear. It depends on the resistance of the input [ohms]and the strength of the signal. [watts] Im no electrician though. The streength of the headphone output is likely a bit more than line level, best not to run any gear on max volume, will stress the components more than is ideal.
I have the zoom, excellent piece of gear, and the SD cards are
cheap on ebay i have half a dozen for cameras PPC MPs players and the zoon. Handy enough.

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Okay, so now there’s a new M-Audo Microtrack II. Any opinions on it vs the Edirol?

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

And now I see this new Sony unit - the PCMD50. It looks sturdier, has 4 gig of on-board memory and a slot for another 4 gig memory stick. It appears to be more of a pro-oriented unit than the Edirol and Microtrack. The price is about a hundred bucks more than the Edirol.

Re: M Audio Microtrack vs. Edirol R 09 portable recorders.

Here’s a bit of a caveat on the Edirol R-09. The ads imply that the optional mic stand adapter will attach the R-09 directly to a mic stand, but in fact you have to also buy the optional case and mini-tripod (list price 79.99 USD) and attach the case to the mic stand. So, if you just want to attach the thing to a mic stand, be prepared to spend around 80 bucks or more beyond the price of the R-09. Or rig it up yerself.

Dontcha hate deceptive advertising?