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Marantz PMD670/Sound Devices 744t

Subject: Marantz PMD670/Sound Devices 744t
From: Rob Danielson <>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 10:50:32 -0500
Good detective work Jeremiah. A list of cc's on an email I got from
SD does have several film/video users. 99.99% of all field recording
is stereo or mono. SD has tried to get the most wanted features into
the recorders at a price where they can turn some volume.  Lang's
suggestions about ganged record levels are good but its not common
practice in field production. Their programable headphone monitoring
might be adapted for doing a quick calibration in the field.  Adding
an MP-2  preamp is not a lot of extra bulk in order to do 4 channels.
Yes, I'd rather not have another pair of xlr pigtails to fight but
the mic pre circuits account for a lot of the space and enclosing two
channels makes a very very small recorder that serves 90% of the
uses.  There are many ingenuous features in these recorders, one is
their battery solution which will cut down on a LOT of bulk/mess.
Pros enjoy paying extra money for gear that runs reliably in the
field for years and gets great results. If you spend many hours using
it, its well worth it. Here's a quote from their recent report to

"Numerous 744T "beta" units have been under test in locations throughout
the world for the last five weeks.  This last stage of development--a
step that is essential to the success of our products--has gone very
well.  In fact, it has gone so well that beta testing revealed several
problems, some minor, some significant.  These problems have been
corrected for production and production units are now in process.
However, several of these problems did impact the overall schedule,
which delayed the start of first production. As mentioned in my last
memo, it is essential to Sound Devices and our sales partners that
"7-Series models meet customer expectations for reliability and
performance out-of-the-box."  Quality product is our first commitment. "

Rob D.

  =3D =3D =3D

At 10:16 PM -0700 8/12/04, Jeremiah Moore wrote:
>  >The one thing that bothers me most about the 744 is that only two chann=
>>have mike preamp inputs. The other two require an outboard preamp. This
>>annoys me to no end and I'm sure I would never be happy with it if I boug=
>>it. Why didn't they add the additional preamps? I guess because they want=
>>the 744 to have the same footprint as the 722, which is quite compact to =
>Here's how I see it: It's typical in film and documentary production
>sound to record wireless lavalier mics which output line level hence
>needing no preamp, and it's rare enough to have more than one or two
>preamps needed (for primary and secondary boom mics).   SD is aiming
>the 744 squarely at the film/video production market, with the
>timecode features etc.  Having the extra preamps onboard would mean
>more weight/bulk, and would be rarely used in that application.
>As for reputation, the jury's out.  A lot will rest on the field
>usability.  It's a lot of features to cram into such a tiny package
>with such a limited interface.  We're all expecting them to do a
>great job, and hopefully they will!
>>For doing 4-channel recording under typical field conditions, one desires=
>>gang all four channels and use only one volume control. This is especiall=
>>important in the dark. And who wants to pay all that money and then have =
>>balance the channels by ear later in the studio??  Not me.
>>The 722, on the other hand, allows for ganging of its two channels
>>(important for stereo recording), and seems like it will be a marvelous
>>instrument that I would never want to upgrade (why bother, with those
>>incredible specs?). So I am thinking seriously about purchasing the 722.
>>Dangit anyway, Sound Devices should have put their marvelous preamps on a=
>>four channels in the 744. At least that's my opinion.
>>OK, I'll quit ranting.
>>Thanks for the replies to my questions on alternative
>>portable recorders.  Oryoki, yes the model he was
>>talking about was the CDR300. Thanks for the warning
>  >about its weight and other issues.  Also great to know
>>about he pre-roll buffers in certain devices.  Adam
>>and Don, thanks for mentioning the PMD670.  That
>>spurred a busy few days of researching some of the
>>other recorders out there.  I haven't read anything
>>bad about the PMD670, so it sounds like a solid option
>>(two puns there? sorry).
>>Rob D. also mentioned the 744t to me.  This is
>>obviously the most capable (and expensive) of what I
>>have been looking at so far (Marantz PMD670, Fostex
>>FR-2, Sony Hi-MD).
>>But I have a question about this unit.  It seems to be
>>of high quality with regard to electronics,
>>environmental durability, light weight/design, etc..
>>But my question to the experienced folks in this
>>group: does it seem to be the sort of device that will
>>last for years and continue to be something worth
>>using and keeping?  The Portadisc seems to have this
>>reputation.  People who use it love it and and use it
>>for years.  Does the 744t seem to have that aura about
>>it?  Are there any major features lacking which will
>>likely be addressed by another device within the next
>>year perhaps?  I don't believe it's even available
>>yet, so I know there's only so much that can be said
>>at this point.  But based on the specs and the
>>reputation of Sound Devices, what's the general
>>Thanks for any thought and insights here....  I'm
>>pretty much still just a lurker, but am always
>>impressed by the expertise here and fascinated by the
>>--- Adam Liberman <> wrote:
>>>   Jeff,
>>>   You might look at the new Marantz PMD670 as an
>>>   alternative to the Hi-
>>>   MD. It is designed for remote recording and records
>>>   onto memory
>>>   cards or a removable hard-disk.
>>>   - Adam Liberman
>>>   Liberman Sound
>  >>

Rob Danielson
Film Department
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


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