Differences between Sony TCD-D8 and D5

greenspun.com : LUSENET : To Hear Ourselves As Others Hear Us : One Thread

Here is a forward of an exchange on this question - but, as with each smidgen of information, it has led me to yet another question. > Elly Ball wrote: > > Dear Mr. Boyk, > > This summer at the annual convention of the National Flute Association > I purchased a copy of your book, "To Hear Ourselves As Others Hear Us" > . I am really happy with the book - it is so well organized on a need > to know basis - I know that I will use it for reference over and > over. > > My queestion is this: in my effort to upgrade my school's studio I > have been recommending the Sony TCD-D5 as you do in your book. I find > that now the TCD-D8 is available and wonder what the difference is and > what your recommendation is in regard to these two recorders. > > Hope this isn't too inconvenient to you- > Thanks, > > Elly Ball > Director of Outreach > Hoff-Barthelson Music School > Ball5555@msn.com >

Thanks so much for writing. I'm *very* glad that you find the book useful. I've started a web forum for precisely such questions as these. If you go to my home page, at http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk , you'll find the link to the forum under "What's New," right at the top of the page.

If you have any further questions about this issue, I'll very much appreciate your posting them there where the answers can benefit others. You may even wish to post this message and response there. Meanwhile, the story is that the Sony TCD-D8 is a cute portable digital machine using DAT (Digital Audio Tape) cassettes. I'm familiar with it and unfortunately cannot recommend it. It has several defects, including:

*Noisy microphone inputs.

*Further noise added to the tape when the display backlight is on (and you need the light on when in dim surroundings).

*very un-"flat" frequency response when using the 'hi-gain' microphone input. (Lack of 'flatness' means the recording will not be tonally neutral.)

*DC voltage across the microphone inputs. Intended to power certain Sony mikes, it may possibly damage other, better, microphones.

In addition, the actual quality of the TCD-D8's digital sound isn't particularly good. So even though it's cute, and DATs record for two hours on one tape... as a musician, I feel you'll get better musical worth from the TCD-D5, even though it uses 'old-fashioned' analog cassettes.

Do get yourselves some good microphones, too!

By the way, where is your school? Can you tell me a bit more about it? I will be traveling this spring and doing some master classes based on the book -- MIT, Longy School, etc. If you're not too far off my route, I could stop and visit -- if you'd like.

Again, thanks for writing, and good luck! Do please post on the forum any and all experiences you've had using the book. I'm very eager to get a broad-based discussion going of these techniques.



James Boyk Pianist in Residence Lecturer in Music in Electrical Engineering Director of the Music Lab Auditioning Facility California Institute of Technology

** Coming up in Alive with music!

Wed. 11/18 Unique Improvisation! RICHARD GRAYSON, who must be unique in the Universe in his mastery of improvisation in a wide range of styles, returns to amaze, amuse, inspire and instruct. Get ready by thinking of a tune and a style to challenge him with. Or just come to listen.

*You* are welcome to play for one of these sessions. All levels, styles & instruments are welcome!

These FREE, informal, serious-but-not--solemn sessions of music and talk are held every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in beautiful Dabney Lounge. All are welcome. CALTECH STUDENTS are specially invited. Arrive late or leave early as your schedule dictates. More info and pix at http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/alive.htm . To be put on an email list, send your request and e-address to boyk@caltech.edu. **

Now, my question is: Have you any new recommendations or informative tips in regard to microphones since you wrote the book? Thanks again for your prompt response! Elly

-- Elly Ball (Ball5555@msn.com), November 14, 1998


No new microphone recommendations. The ones in the book stand up pretty well still, I believe.

It ought to be possible to make an inexpensive microphone that would be acceptable for our purposes. No one seems to be doing this, however, so maybe I'm wrong; but I'm working a bit on this. However, it will be a few months before I have anything.

Do let us know how things go.

-- James Boyk (boyk@cco.caltech.edu), November 14, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ