ode to the minidisc

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shedshrine
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Post by shedshrine » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:18 pm

couple more pics:

first ad campaign
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current mini rig configuration
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http://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?t=14194
Quote from "Wilhelm"

MiniDiscs are fascinating media because they seem to be a hybrid of multiple formats. The recording layer is sputtered, similar to that of rewritable CD and DVD discs; but instead of a semi-metal alloy, the coating is terbium-ferrite-cobalt. It is magnetic, but the magnetism is not read with a magnetic head. The MiniDisc uses a process known as Magnetic Field Modulation in which a laser uses high power (6.8 milliwatts) to heat the terbium-ferrite-cobalt layer to its Curie point (185 C./365 F.) from the bottom up while a magnetic head does the recording at the surface of the disc. This process simulates that of TMD (Thermo Magnetic Duplication) used to record VHS chrome pancakes at high speed. The magnetic recording records a digital data pattern in the magnetic layer, and that pattern remains as the surface immediately cools beyond the laser.

For playback, the process uses the laser at much lower power to read the magnetic patterns according to the Kerr effect, which causes a polarization of laser light when played across different magnetic orientations. This is the process used in magneto-optical discs, but the MiniDisc was the only consumer version of this method of recording/playback.

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Sony MDS-W1

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"Features: ATRAC 4.5. Provides 2 independent MD drives that allow recording to one MD while editing another, or recording from two different sources simultaneously. Seemless (uninterrupted) playback and recording from one drive to the next. Unusual "Inter Disc Move" function will move a song from one disc to another at 4 times realtime, defragmenting the copy and deleting the original. The move is done losslessly in the digital domain with raw ATRAC data. Sampling rate converter. Digital recording level control (-inf to +12dB). Large, 140 x 40 dot matrix display shows graphic information to simplify editing. Wide Bit Stream (uses block floating calculations to create an effective 20bit dynamic range). Includes built in timer that can control its AC outlet for connecting a tuner, etc. RM-D22M remote."

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Some cool designed blank disks:
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Issued minidisk lps:

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Link to a currently available HI-MD (lossless) Onkyo deck. Darn, no keyboard input.
Last edited by shedshrine on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 8 times in total.

RefD
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Post by RefD » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:26 pm

what's that thing on top of the Digitech pre?
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

dave watkins
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Post by dave watkins » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:29 am

i'm completely love/hate with MD's

good lord i must be the only person on earth still using these things professionally on a fairly daily basis. i actually just ran a show tonight (and have been all week) off a bunch of minidiscs.

full disclosure: i work for a ballet company where the production director is absolutely convinced that CD's (no matter if the decks have a skip protection buffer or not) will skip and MD's won't. so i have been stuck transferring all of my performance music to minidisc for the past three years that i have worked here. i've got a whole slew of tascam and sony decks here, it's almost absurd. i'll take some pictures for yall soon.

but the upside is yes they are really really hard to get to skip, are editable in the field, and because they have that crazy floppy disc type housing, they do not get scratched up, which is priceless on tour. oh and auto pause/cue/ready what have you is really handy for running dance and theatre gigs.

damn and now that i think about it i used them for all of my theatrical scene design work in college too, since my school refused to by decent cd players or computers or anything sound related to make all the shit they wanted in their shows happen. but we had MD decks with autopause so thats what we used and it worked well.

but i will put up with having to spend a great deal of my on the clock time transferring stuff to MD because, i get a free recording/practice space/space with interesting sounding rooms and lots of pianos/space where i can turn an amp up to 11 at 3 in the moring without pissing anyone off out of this job ...so i will put up with pretty much anything. :D

and with solidstate drives and sd players and stuff starting to proliferate and become affordable, i'll probably be able to move to a new playback format soon. hopefully. but i''m sure i will sort of miss the niftyness of MD.
the tape is rolling, the ones and zeros are... um... ones and zeroing.
http://www.davewatkinsmusic.com

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shedshrine
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Post by shedshrine » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:16 am

Great stuff guys!
AstroDan wrote:The only downside was you and I were the only ones who had one.
Now, now. We can see there were at least, um, seven.
RefD wrote:what's that thing on top of the Digitech pre?
That?s my Sony MZ1 minus its cover.
I hadn?t used in over a decade and in a fit of nostalgia plugged in the ac adaptor and put in a disc. Sounded fine, and playback benefitted from the recording having been made on a newer unit. Then I tried to eject the disc. I?d forgotten my MZ had an issue with that function. The two flaps that alternate to say Disc Inside and Insert Disc jam up, so I took off the faceplate and manually ejected the disc.

DJ_LBP wrote:Maybe it's just nostalgia for that time in my life, but MD was really important to the beginning of my home-recording bug. I would give any piece of gear I own to have those MDs back.
Nothing compared to your loss, but I bet lots of folks who had gotten good zipping around the controls editing up a storm inadvertently hit Erase All. Hmm.. maybe it was just me. I remember throwing that little grey Aiwa to the floor once in a desperate attempt to stop the TOC edit from occuring and losing a once in a lifetime solo with borrowed gear. Too late. Didn't learn about hacking it back into existence til after I'd re recorded on that disc.

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;ivlunsdystf
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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:44 am

Love it. I had a consumer MD Sony deck starting early 1998. I used it for mixdown (digital out of VS840) for about five years. I became really handy with the editing buttons and dial on the front. Of course I still have it because it's now worth maybe 10 bucks (only reads certain discs now) and I still use it about once every 26 months to get something off an old disc.

Great photos.

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;ivlunsdystf
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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:46 am

The mere sight of the words "TOC edit" on my screen send me into a minor low-level flashback of rage.

kayagum
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Post by kayagum » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:09 am

shedshrine wrote:Great stuff guys!
AstroDan wrote:The only downside was you and I were the only ones who had one.
Now, now. We can see there were at least, um, seven.
RefD wrote:what's that thing on top of the Digitech pre?
That?s my Sony MZ1 minus its cover.
I hadn?t used in over a decade and in a fit of nostalgia plugged in the ac adaptor and put in a disc. Sounded fine, and playback benefitted from the recording having been made on a newer unit. Then I tried to eject the disc. I?d forgotten my MZ had an issue with that function. The two flaps that alternate to say Disc Inside and Insert Disc jam up, so I took off the faceplate and manually ejected the disc.

DJ_LBP wrote:Maybe it's just nostalgia for that time in my life, but MD was really important to the beginning of my home-recording bug. I would give any piece of gear I own to have those MDs back.
Nothing compared to your loss, but I bet lots of folks who had gotten good zipping around the controls editing up a storm inadvertently hit Erase All. Hmm.. maybe it was just me. I remember throwing that little grey Aiwa to the floor once in a desperate attempt to stop the TOC edit from occuring and losing a once in a lifetime solo with borrowed gear. Too late. Didn't learn about hacking it back into existence til after I'd re recorded on that disc.
Make that 8! :D

Seriously shedshrine, between the minidisc and the 238, were our studios separated at birth?
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." ~ Erica Jong

"No one wants advice ? only corroboration." ~ John Steinbeck

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shedshrine
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Post by shedshrine » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:17 am

kayagum wrote:
Make that 8! :D

Seriously shedshrine, between the minidisc and the 238, were our studios separated at birth?
It's looking that way. But will they diverge in the next chapter?

*stands by for someone to post a Mackie 1604 with an adat nostalgia thread..

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Ryan Silva
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Post by Ryan Silva » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:54 am

Weren?t some of those early Multi-track units only tracking at 16/32?
"Writing good songs is hard. recording is easy. "

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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:54 pm

Had an old Sony that I bought used back in 2002 or so. I took it to London and recorded a gig and a ton of Field samples in early 2004, tons of friends' gigs, band practices, demos, etc. I must have like 50 discs to go through. It still works, but the internal rechargeable battery is dead. If I remember correctly it was having issues recording but still plays back fine.

I replaced it with an M-Audio Microtrack in 2006 and I've never looked back. Love that thing, and I demo and field record at 24-bit now.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

LowG
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Me too!

Post by LowG » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:45 pm

I still have and use mine quite a bit. I was looking for a little portable recorder around the time just before a lot of the the solid-state-type-portable-recording devices came on the market. I ended up getting a Sony MZ-RH10 HI-MD player/recorder.

It'll record to 1GB discs at 44.1 and sounds good to me. I use it to record some of my band's performances - I just bring a little 2 channel mixer with phantom power, a stereo pair of Rode NT5's, and the MiniDisc recorder. It'll connect to the computer via USB and will import the audio moderately fast.

I also use it as a portable music player and it's kept me from getting an IPod this whole time.

One of the good things about this model is that it has a sidecar removable battery compartment that uses 1 AA battery. The internal stopped taking a charge long ago, but I can still use it with much cheaper and usable rechargable AA's.

I'm sure someday it'll break down on me and I'll have to buy both an IPod AND a portable recorder - but hopefully that will be many years from now....

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Post by dave watkins » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:08 pm

wait for it....... BAM!

Image

that's right! a rack mount minidisc deck AND a 1604! this is what i have been running playback on all week! i know you are jealous. i would be if it wasn't for the fact that i get to use this sweet setup all year long. and dig those sexy colorful discs!

i've got more money shots on the way but i will post them slowly this week, i want to give everyone a chance to calm down and collect themselves after each one. :D
the tape is rolling, the ones and zeros are... um... ones and zeroing.
http://www.davewatkinsmusic.com

jckinnick
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Post by jckinnick » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:14 pm

Oh i thought this was going to be about those mini cds.

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shedshrine
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Post by shedshrine » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:47 pm

jckinnick wrote:Oh i thought this was going to be about those mini cds.
Confusing Terminology of the minidisc universe:



minidisc

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SCMS

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ATRAC

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A couple threads of possible interest for those who actually want to read (geek out) more about these darn things.

click here for the mission plan for minidisc from the SONY site archive

click here to allow the Quiet American to spell out for you the rise and fall of the minidisc

click here for MD Table of Contents (Directory) Hacking (from the minidisc community page)

Image
Last edited by shedshrine on Wed May 22, 2013 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shedshrine
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Post by shedshrine » Mon May 20, 2013 12:41 pm

Last edited by shedshrine on Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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