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Best way to record service for CD distribution
We are converting from tapes to CD for our church services and I am trying to find the best way to record the services.
We purchased a Tascam CD-RW900SL and a Behringer AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 to record with but now I am not sure we made the right choice. (We have not started using them yet and we have a 30 day return option)
I seems that the only advantage of this setup is that you can have CDs available immediately after service. But you can't edit anything and if the service goes longer than the CD you have to swap and miss part of the service.
Recording to a computer or digital recorder would give the ability to record everything then edit out the singing if the sermon was longer or even split the sermon onto multiple CDs in necessary. We wouldn't have CDs available until later but that has never been a big deal, and someone would have to edit and burn the master later.
Currently we use 90 minute tapes and put a small amount of the worship on them then the sermon, but sometimes have to use part of a second tape. (Maybe 6-8 times a year)
Just looking for some pros and cons from others who have experience with CDs.
We don't record directly to CD-ROM for the reason you described (service too long to fit on a single CD-ROM).
We record to cassette tape, MINIDISK and computer (multichannel ADAT link directly from disgital LS9-32 mixer desk & Audacity). The MINIDISK is our 'belt' in case the PC dies (never happened yet though) and the cassette tape is the braces(!) We have eight simultaneous channels available to us in the recording:
(2) are 'directs' from the congregation mics.
(2) are direct feeds from the instrumentalists and vocalists
(2) are direct feeds from the service leader(s) and preacher(s)
(2) are what is sent to FOH
This gives the off-line editor a bit of freedom to perform a mix for the recordings and also overcomes the A/V guy's mistakes as the majority of recording channels are directs.
We then off-line edit to make the CD-ROM and fit as much on as we can - after we have deleted the silences, noisy kids, clicks, bumps, coughs ...
We haven't quite got there yet - but the plan is to MP3 the 'raw' service directly from Audacity and to put it onto memory sticks for the Sunday school teachers to pick up at the end of the service. We currently use CD-RW disks and recycle them - but the teachers only get them a week after the event!
Hope this is of some help.
We have a CD recorder in our setup, but we never use it. It is just so much easier to grab it from the computer. "Easy" is relative... what I mean is: it is a little more work afterwards (to burn it from the computer), but it is less work during the service (IE: remembering to tell it to record, press the record button at ...just... the right time to create a new track before and after the sermon... etc.).
The two benefits to recording to CD are:
less work afterwards
it is ready quicker
I don't mind working a little more afterwards if it means less work during the service, and we don't need them ready right away afterwards. As it is, we have our 10 weekly copies ready an hour after the service. So, our CD recorder just sits there doing nothing.
We record to a TASCOM SS-R1 Flash recorder. We don't provide CDs immediately after service but you could by pulling the chip from the recorder and using a PC and media reader to get the MP3 file and burn it to CD. We mostly podcast our sermons so we have the following scheme
1) Record service onto the SS-R1
2) Pull the flash card from the service out of the device.
3) Put in the "other" flash card that we have (We alternate cards so we always have one in the recorder)
4) Take the card home
5) Pull it into a PC using a USB-based media reader.
6) Open the file using a sound editor (Audacity), extract the sermon and save the file in a podcast friendly size (A typical 20-min sermon is about 10MB +/-)
7) FTP the file onto our website
Post the entry to our sermon podcast blog.
9) Burn to CD if needed.
This scheme has worked well for us for over a year now. Prior to this we were on cassette tape. Podcasting in that environment was much more of a pain, but we did it.
You can listen to our podcasts at http://www.whbconline.org just find the Sermon Podcast blog
We do record straight to CD - also to the Tascam. It isn't perfect, but most of our services fit easily enough onto a single disk. We often pause the recorder if we suspect we're going to go long; cutting bits that don't work well on the recording. But we also record to mp3 - currently to a Creative ZenV, soon (as soon as it arrives) to the iKey RM3 recorder. And then I use Audio Cleaning Lab to trim & post online.
We find that the benefit of having copies available at the end of the service is a big plus for us; you just have to decide what is important. I guess most folk will find that recording two different ways helps.
If you do return the Tascam, there are other options - Marantz do a great little CD recorder with built in hard drive, that will record up to 5 hours, and then burn as many CDs as it takes!
We send one of our sends to the USB thumbdrive port on our Yamaha LS9.
After service, we move the MP3s to the computer and burn a master CD and archive the MP3s.
Milton SDB Church
"...if we are to glorify God fully, we must engage our mind in knowing him truly and our hearts in loving him duly." - John Piper, Think
We've got the Marantz CF recorder. It's great. Much easier than having to record to a PC - and less crash prone. I take the recording, dump it on to my laptop, do some editing and dynamics processing, and put it on the web(we don't hand out CD's)
Evanston Bible Fellowship
How we record the Service
We record to an older desktop computer using Audacity. We keep a written log as each event begins. At the end of the service, we quickly use the log to divide the recording into tracks, then burn a master CD. We then pop the cd into our duplicator and CD's are available within 15 minutes of the pastor saying the benediction.
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']The computer that we are currently recording on is either 750 or 800 mhz. I believe it has 512 mb ram. It has a primary hard drive with windows XP pro of 20 GB. The second hard drive is a 300 GB. and is partitioned for saving the files. [/font]
We have the Microboard CopyWriter Live and a Microboards 10-bay DVD/CD Duplicator. We print the CDs before hand with a Mircoboards GX-1 Duplicator/Printer(had this before the above setup). The CopyWriter Live is a Dual Disc unit with a span mode. If the Service runs over 79:30 the other drive will start recording at 79:00. I've only had to use this twice(guest speakers both times). If I feel like it's going to be a long service, we average 45-60 mins, I will put it in Span mode. Otherwise I run in Twin mode making a master and a copy for the Youth Teachers. I start recording at the end of Praise & Worship while pastor is praying and stop at Altar Call. This gives me about 5-10 mins of time to start the duplication.
From there the master goes into the duplicator where the pre-printed CDs are already loaded. 5-10 minutes later the discs are in paper sleeves and off to the bookstore in the lobby.
We found a little known trick with Audacity many months ago. You can create a label track and press a keyboard key whilst recording an audio track to create unnamed markers on the label track. I can't remember what the key combination was - but it wasn't too easy to remember - so we changed it to <f12> by using the Audacity key mapping feature. At the end of the service you can quicky return to the unnamed labels and create named labels - deleting the old unnamed ones (if that makes sense). You can then use Audacity to split up the audio between the labels into files with the names of the labels.
If anyone wants further information I will happily dig it out for you.
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