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[gear] one-bit field recorders from Korg

Subject: [gear] one-bit field recorders from Korg
From: "oryoki2000" oryoki2000
Date: Sat Oct 7, 2006 8:38 pm (PDT)
A message appeared on the Tapers Section forum today noting that Korg
is offering two new field recorders.  The fellow who posted the note
saw the recorders at the Korg booth at the AES show in San Francisco.

The first machine is the MR-1, an iPod-size handheld with a pair of
Message: 3.
Subject: 5mm inputs, and a single 3.5mm TRS analog output. Data is recorded
on a 20GB hard drive.  Data is transferred via a USB 2.0 port.  The
MR-1 runs on an internal lithium battery.  Estimated price is less
than $800.

The second recorder is the MR-1000, a model designed to be carried
from the shoulder.  The MR-1000 has a pair of XLR and phone plug
inputs, and XLR or RCA outputs. The hard disc is also reported to be
Message: 20GB.  
Subject: USB 2.0 is used to transfer data. Power is from a set of AA
batteries.  Korg describes the MR-1000 as having studio-quality
preamps.  Price is expected to be around $1200.

The machines shown at AES had durable metal cases and high quality

The most interesting aspect of the Korg recorders is their ability to
record audio as a "one bit" data stream as well as a broadcast WAV file.  

One bit delta-sigma modulation is an alternative to pulse code
modulation (PCM) used in virtually all other recorders.  The Korg
units are the first one-bit recorders I'm aware of that are designed
with battery-powered field use in mind.

The online documents I've looked at this evening indicate that one-bit
recordings have a lower noise floor and generally sound better than
PCM recordings made at rates lower than 24/96. At 24/96 and especially
at 24/192, PCM sounds as good as one-bit.

Fortunately, the Korg machines allow you to choose if you want to
record in one-bit format, or in PCM at sample rates up to 24/192.  So
you can decide which format you prefer.

Included with the Korg recorders is software for Mac or PC that
enables you to convert one-bit recordings into standard PCM formats.

The 20GB hard disc is necessary because the one-bit data stream is
very large.  An hour of two channel recording takes 2.5GB of storage!

Korg plans to release the new recorders in Spring of 2007.  It will be
interesting to explore the features and performance these new machines
provide to the field recordist.


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