my new 722!

YES!!!!! I’ve been waiting quite some time for this, and similarly to owning a good mic I feel like I have gained a new limb. Late last week while in Auckland I visited Sound Techniques and finally replaced my long dead Fostex FR2 with a Sound Devices 722 hard disk recorder. Pictured with its two best friends, my Sanken CS5 stereo shotgun mic and Sennheiser HD25 headphones.

Why replace the FR2? Well it was fine while it lasted but in the end it had a flaw: it died! As in died a death that was going to make me spend more money than was worthy, especially knowing I wanted/needed a recorder that (a) had an internal drive and (b) if not 4 track, could at least be linked up to a clone & record as though it was 4 track….
Why do I need 4 tracks? three immediate answers & many non-obvious soon to-be-discovered: (b1) recording vehicle onboard FX: stereo interior mic + exhaust mic + engine mic (b2) ambiences ie capturing environments in quad (b3) combining contact mic with acoustic as in stereo room mic + contact mic (mono) + close up mic; dynamic or my neumann KMR81 depending how LOUD ‘it’ gets…. All three instances ideally require phase coherent sync. And with the included cable I can borrow a 722 from a friend & do exactly that….

Maybe one day I will write a proper review of the 722, but it won’t be for a while – I have two films back to back that need a lot of new material and besides that, I want to live with the 722 for a while & discover its quirks. But when I do I will be sure to record some test material with the Zoom H2 running alongside, just to compare how close the US$200 H2 comes to a mic/recorder setup that costs roughly twenty times that…

One issue I had when using the 722 previously was with regards to metering. I found I was often under-recording, purely based on the meters. But Stephen at Sound Techniques quickly showed me how to access the meter setup & I really need to get used to the 722 meter ballistics, and set them up so they make sense. There is nothing more annoying than worrying you are clipping the inputs to a recorder and then get home to discover everything is under recorded. Onwards!

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