Field Recorders – Pt 4

Last time we looked at a recorder that was listed at around $1300. The next step up is:

Field Recorders above $1875.

In the highest price range is the Sound Devices 7 series.

From their website I quote the following:

7-Series Family of Digital Audio Recorders

The high-resolution 7-Series family of digital audio recorders shatter the size, performance, and feature-set paradigms of all previous generations of audio recorders. They are the next generation – replacing digital and analog tape-based portable recorders with far more powerful file-based digital recording devices. The two-track (702, 702T, 722), four-track (744T), and eight-track (788T) recorders write and play audio files with either 16 or 24-bit depth at all professional sampling rates, up to 192 kHz (48.048 kHz on the 788T). Multple storage mediums, analog/digital I/O, and high-speed computer connectivity make all 7-Series recorders stand out as world-class products.

This series of recorders from Sound Devices has taken the industry by storm and is acknowledged as being an excellent field recorder.

There are five models available depending on how many channels you desire and whether it comes with Time Code and hard drive included.

702 – $1,875 – 2 channel – CompactFlash only
702T – $2,495 – 2 channel – CompactFlash, with Time Code
722 – $2495 – 2 channel – CompactFlash, internal hard drive
744T – $4095 – 4 channel – CompactFlash, internal hard drive
788T – $5995 – 8 channel – CompactFlash, internal hard drive

The manufacturers website:

Sound Devices 7 series

The user’s manuals can be found at:

702 Users Manual
702T Users Manual
722 Users Manual
744T Users Manual
788T Users Manual

Excellent reviews can be read at:

The Transom Tools Column

F7 sound and vision

Pro Audio Review

Forums discussing this recorder are:

Sound Devices Forum

The Taperssection Forums

Recording media – uses 3 types of recording media
- Compact Flash – currently 32GB is the largest available
- Internal Hard drive – I had a 160GB installed
- External Hard drive – firewire connection to external hard drive

Maximum recordable time
-

FlashCard – Using a A-DATA 32GB Speedy CompactFlash card the record time in .wav at 44.1kHz 16bit CD quality mode is 12 hours 27 min.

Internal hard drive – record time in .wav at 44.1kHz 16bit CD quality mode on a 160 gig hard drive is 252 hours 21 min.

External hard drive – unlimited

Batteries
– uses Sony NPF970 L Series Camcorder Battery – about 8 hrs record time, I use an external battery supply

Recordings -

Black-billed Magpie

Cassins Finch

Green-Tailed Towhee

Hermit Thrush

Microphones – the best omnidirectional microphone made today for field recording is the Sennheiser MKH-20 – Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone listed at $1,395.95.

Conclusion – I have been recording with the 722 for 2 years now. It has been proven to be an amazing field recorder. It is fairly easy to use, extremely durable and of superb sensitivity to very weak and distant sounds.

Pros
- excellent pre-amps
- superb sound quality
- best field recorder on the market

Cons
- very expensive
- heavy, 2.6 lbs without battery

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