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Moving to CD Recorder to record sermons
Our church has been recording sermons to cassette tape for many years but we have a tape duplicator that is on its last legs, the demand for cassettes has dropped so we are considering dropping doing cassette tape recordings and instead move to recording on a stand alone CD Recorder. I have searched and read thru many of forum threads on CD recording both to PC and a standalone CD Recorder device and would like to ask some questions with regard to getting and operating a standalone CD recorder.
I realize there are some who prefer recording to a PC, some who prefer recording to a standalone PC recorder, and some both but if possible I was hoping to ask that responses be generally limited to the scope of my standalone CD recorder questions if possible.
Just as background we currently have a cassette recorder hooked up to the tape out from our mixing board and the sound system operator does the cassette recording of the sermon. We are proposing replacing the cassette tape recorder with a CD recorder.
Now to the questions if I may:
1) I have seen mention of many CD Recorder models such as a TASCAM CDRW750, DENON DNC550R, HHB CDR830 Burnit, etc. professional level equipment with price ranges in roughly the $500 to $700 price range. But is it possible to start out with lower priced consumer CD Recorder models and still get the job done?
ie, such as this model:
cheaper Sony CD Recorder
Has anyone been successful using lower priced consumer models or what are any negatives to using these?
Any other recommendations on models to consider?
2) Many postings about CD Recorders discussed the advantage and flexibility of features such as defining tracks manually without having to pause or lose any of the recording, automatic track insertion at user programmable times, instantaneous start of recording, and fast finalization times. Are there any other features we should be looking at?
3) Some of the CD Recorder units mention having XLR inputs. We currently take the tape out from our Mackier 24.4 mixer board and feed it into the analog L&R on the back of our cassette recorder unit. What is the advantage of these XLR inputs and where would they come from of of our sound board?
4) The backup factor. I have seen discussion about the need for backup recording methods due to factors such as bad CD media, accidentally tilting CD recorder messing up recordings, loss of power, etc. I am not to worried about the power issue but was curious how likely it could be to have CD recordings fail for reasons other than loss of power or operator error?
Depending on the likelyhood of this we could either keep our current cassette recorder or buy a CD recorder that also has a cassette recorder to do both?
5) Is some CD media better than others for doing the master recording on the CD recorder or is any CD now adays ok?
Any other perspectives we should keep in mind?
Last edited by techgeek; Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Add more info.
We use the HHB Burnit 530 (not the Plus with the XLR jacks). My only problems is when I was testing with cheap RW discs. Our CD duplicator did not like the RW as a master...
We use the HHB Burnit Pro unit. It has never had a problem in recording when it is properly set up. We do not have a backup recorder. If you haven't had the need for a backup recorder while using cassette tapes, I don't see why you would need one while recording to a CD.
The only times that we have not gotten a good recording from a CD was when an untrained person tried to record a CD. They thought that a CD recorder would operate identically to a cassette recorder. They inserted the CD, pressed record and play simultaneously and thought it was recording. They did not realize that a CD recorder takes a little more setup in order to start the recorder and did not realize that a CD needs to be finalized in order to end the recording. After this episode, I made up a laminated "Steps to Record" instruction sheet that is kept on top of the recording equipment rack. This problem has not recurred since I made up the short instruction sheet.
We just use as inexpensive standard 52X recording media as we can find. I have not had any problem recording to this media. I believe that the last media we purchased was about $0.10 per CD-R. We use 52X media because the duplicating tower we use has seven 52X burners in it. The higher speed media allows us to make copies more quickly. We use the same media for the original recording and for the copies from the CD duplicating tower.
Why are you buying a dated technology and delivery device? Do you have mostly older people in your church? I would be thinking about delivering MP3s. MP3s are the primary listening format now. You will not have to buy media and worry about compatibility. There are plenty of FREE hosting services like sermonaudio.com that will save you the hosting expense.
I'm looking to replace our CD recorder with this. We haven't had a request for a CD in over a year and we could burn one after the fact if we had to. We upload our sermons to sermon.net.
I would say no to the Sony unit though regardless. It is a consumer grade home recorder and while you might get decent sound from it, the shelf life of it will tend to be less than expected. This is the CD recorder we are replacing... One big negative is that you have to use Sony, and only Sony MUSIC CDR's. We learned the hard way that errors ran rampant with other brands. @ Staples a spindle of 30 costs about $20 so you'll have more money sunk into that in the long run.
If you have to have a CD recorder for your context you'll be very happy with this. It's a bit more money up front but you don't have to use music cdr's. You can use the discs that you can get a 100pk spindle for $10. This is about the least expensive that I have found a decent recorder.
We too do the MP3 web thing. A computer records the sermon and dumps the sermon out to the web for listening (and another computer does the same for video). It's very rare that we get a request for a CD (or DVD), maybe five a year on the high side. In the nearly five years I've been at this church, we've never had an audio cassette machine. We rarely even use an audio CD player.
For anyone using a CD recorder, I offer this up from experience. Occasionally we get all the way through recording the service and hit the finalize buttons and get an error and the CD will not finalize. The unfinalize CD will not read in normal players or computer software. (Oddly enough, the CD player in my old truck would still play them.) Anyhow, t here is a free program called ISOBuster which will extract the audio files from the unfinalized disc. There is a paid version with more features but the free version does this job just fine.
pdc said - "Why are you buying a dated technology and delivery device? Do you have mostly older people in your church? I would be thinking about delivering MP3s. MP3s are the primary listening format now. You will not have to buy media and worry about compatibility. There are plenty of FREE hosting services like sermonaudio.com that will save you the hosting expense."
MP3 is a nice addition to a media ministry but how do you walk down the street and hand out an mp3 to someone? At our church we certainly do record MP3s but we still do cassette and CD heavily. We record the service and then hand out a copy immediately after the service on both CD and tape to everyone so that it can be distributed in our community. We also have fishbowls set up in local shops that we fill every week with our services. Also using professional equipment is critical...a cheap cd recorder could fail to record your message and what if the one person that needed it failed to get it because of the poor equipment? Also pro equipment has better tracking features so there is not one single hour long track on the cd. Frustrating to listen to imo. I strongly feel that cd, tape and mp3 are all equally important.
that sony RCD w500c
we're STILL using it, 5 years later, its never failed us, very good product,
just make sure you use
CD-R MUSIC cds nothing else, and make sure you finalize the CD
once again, great product, for only 300 bucks.
Here is how we do it at our little church.
We record the sermon with an audio card and PolderBits audio recording software.
By the time I got to the church that's what they were using. As a multitrack snob I scoffed at that software but have since grown to love it for what it does in a church setting and it's power yet simplicity.
It has the lame mp3 encoder in it and can save as more compression formats that you can need.
We make two files on the hard drive of the sermon once our pastor in finished. One is smashed pretty good and goes up to our web site for download. The other is encoded for burning on a master CD.
The master CD is then handed off to our head Deacon who's ministry is CD duplication.
We have recently acquired a CD printer / duplicator that makes 50 or so discs at a whack. We used to use a 6 CD duplicator with pre printed CDs.
Works like clockwork.
We still have a cassette deck for those who dare bring in an old hissy version of something but have long scince ditched it as a recording format.
Visit the new Worship Him!
Software Users Forum at forum.mtrecording.com