Minidisc Recorders

Posted by Rick Brown 
Minidisc Recorders
May 18, 2005 08:39PM
I posted a request for portable minidisc recommendations a while back and didn't get much response. I am looking for a small unit that is suitable for traveling with, and pulling out at a moments notice to capture audio/location sounds. Sharps were suggested, but there seem to be only "Japanese" models availble. And what about all those Sony models? Their software is prominently stated to be Non-Mac, but do I need it? Can I still use the files on my Mac?
Greg Kozikowski
Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 18, 2005 10:06PM

<<<didn't get much response.>>>

And from, I believe the next to the last time somebody posted, nothing short of a thermonuclear blast will get MiniDisk files into FCP.

I believe it was the group's consus that the headphone cable and an A/D converter was the way to go.

Someone will correct me.

Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 18, 2005 11:34PM
I have a HHB porta disk field recorder but I don't record into FCP I record into PTLE using the optical outputs

there is software with the HBB that allows you to copy to a Mac but I find it easy to just record it into it
you should be able to record into FCP using a audio input device using OPTICAL or S'pidf

David at Movies Rock in Toronto
Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 19, 2005 07:26AM
for portablity and ease of use, i'd sugest a small Hard Disk recorder.

two that i;ve found:



havent used either, though.


I use the HHB Pro Minidisk MDP 500. It's a very versatile, rugged piece of kit that produces excellent clean sound with a sanken cs1. Very pleased. Its good to travel with, a little bulky but the sound quality more than makes for it.
Great for location work
All the best
Hi again
Kos, I go from minidisk into Peak 4 through USB and from there into FCP. No issues at all. All I had to do was plug it in and change the sound input in preferences. Good audio transfer,
Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 20, 2005 06:38AM
is that a file transfer, Chandos, or a real-time digital audio transfer?


Hi Nick
Yes, it's real time digital audio transfer. I just press play on the portadisk and record in Peak and I end up with a digital file which I then store and load later into FCP. it's good.
Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 20, 2005 06:51AM
Okay wait, are you guys saying a minidisc recorder can't record files that can be imported directly into FCP?
Well I don't want that then do I?
Did i misread K. Monahan's book about his using MD recordings? I was thinking he recommended that.

So is there another option of ANY format that can be carried in a vest pocket or small gadget bag which I can use to capture sound which can ultimately be imported into FCP? Its the small size of the MD that really impressed me.

And is "HHB" a band name or abbreviation?
Chandos, where can I find some specs on the model you use? Sounds like you are getting good results.

Nobody wants to comment on the Sony models?

Thanks folks
Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 20, 2005 06:57AM
thanks, chandos.

Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 20, 2005 07:28AM
hard to believe, i know.

a quick search ("minidsk into mac"winking smiley didnt show any hopefull results

this had more links:


i checked one.. not promissing.


Hi Rick
I went down the route of mini disk on the back of Kevin's book. You can always ask him stuff on this subject at his website:
I just took it a stage further. I wanted pro audio jacks for better recording signal and because somebody told me the consumer models were incompatible with macs. Still not sure this is true.
Anyway, HHB, it turned out, recommended theirs because they are more rugged and reliable in the field and having used mine in several muddy fields, and dropped it in one, have had no problems.
I like the ruggedness of this piece of kit and the fact that it was developed for professionals.
It comes out at twice the price of a consumer model but the sound is so good I'd pay it all over again.
This links into the Mac by USB. Then you need 3rd party audio - but Peak 3.3 is part of the FCP bundle - I just upgraded mine to version 4.
Not sure whether FCP 5 and Soundtrack Pro will supercede this
Best wishes
Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 22, 2005 06:23PM
Jay Rose in his book "producing great sound for digital video" recommends a Sony minidisc regorder for sound effects (his book, which I can't give you the page refs. for because comeone BORROWED it; you all know how that goes).

Jay's stuff can be found here:


All minidisk sound is compressed, though, I recall, so personally I would only use one for fx.

The little Edirol that Nick mentioned is good, and it records uncompressed sound to a compact flash card.


It weights 8 oz!!!

I used a Marantz PMD-670; larger, but excellent quality. Uncompressed 16bit 48KHz is one of the recording options. If recording stereo, that's about 1.5 hours on a 1G CF card.

Downloading the audio is a matter of transferring the files from the CF card; I use a card in the PCM-CIA slot of the PowerBook for this. I used to use a DAT, but needed to download that in real time, via the Mbox.... so too clumsy and slow.



Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 23, 2005 11:04PM
Yes, but what about timecode!?
I used a hard-disk based unit before for a live event, and couldn't get the audio to sync at all. After about a minute, it would drift terribly. I thought you absolutely needed timecode if you wanted to sync to your video. (this is excluding stand-alone audio recordings such as the above-listed special effects, etc.)

Re: Minidisc Recorders
May 23, 2005 11:38PM

My understanding was that we were talking about voice over, which usually does not need sync with action video/film.

If you need to sync for in-vision dialogue or (in your case) live music, then usually you will need TC, and none of the solutions mentioned in this thead will do, unless the grabs are relatively short and/or you're prepared to spend time sling and re-syncing periodically.

You will need one of those Fostex recorders (FR-2?), with the very expensice TC module!


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