Thread: Marantz PMD 706 is now shipping at last. The new ultra low budget recorder of choice?

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  1. #1 Marantz PMD 706 is now shipping at last. The new ultra low budget recorder of choice? 
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    I just got emailed a notification that finally this is in Stock at B&H:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...cording/BI/E15

    This might *maybe* just perhaps replace the Tascam DR70D as the best recorder at this price point for film shoots, as they are both priced the same at a teeny bit under US$300.*

    Who is going to be brave an order one first? :-D

    (not me, I already have an F4! But I might start recommending this to people starting out, once I've seen some reviews)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNXvJd9p3Xc

    Last edited by David Peterson; 11-19-2017 at 07:23 PM.
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  2. #2  
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    No timecode: fail.

    I don't see the point using a $300 audio recorder with a $20,000-$40,000+ camera like the various Reds. Hell, a good microphone costs more than $300.

    I wouldn't have a problem with this being used for radio interviews or student films. But good luck with sound sync on a non-timecode audio recorder. They're gonna drift over time.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    No timecode: fail.
    Yes, I agree it is a pity TC is missing. But adding TC probably would also have added a couple of hundred dollars to the price.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    I don't see the point using a $300 audio recorder with a $20,000-$40,000+ camera like the various Reds.
    Not every one on reduser is using the latest red, or even any red at all!

    And heck, even among those who are using $20K+ RED kits, some of them have shockingly bad sound kits with them! Of which at least a Marantz PMD-706 would offer a step up at almost no cost (and then finally their H4n can be retired!).


    So yes, obviously the Marantz PMD-706 can't compete with the "big boys" (or even the new kids on the block: MixPre6/F8/F4), but I feel the Marantz PMD-706 is still likely to find its place in the market as an extremely affordable multi track recorder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    I wouldn't have a problem with this being used for radio interviews or student films. But good luck with sound sync on a non-timecode audio recorder.
    There is always the old fashioned way of using a slate. Or PluralEyes.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member William Long's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Marc on this - timecode.
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    Senior Member Ryan Sauve's Avatar
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    Would this be a worthy upgrade to the Zoom H6? For my corporate stuff, not having timecode hasn't been a problem. Premiere has made it easy for me to synchronize to the scratch track. Just wondering if sound quality wise, this would be a worthy upgrade.
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    Tricky to say without reviews out, aside from in one area it is obvious: massively preferable to have this in a bag than an H6! (handheld form factor? ick!! But depends on what your usage case is, I'm saying all my comments from the perspective of being a PSM, and not as a cameraman)

    But if I owned an H6, then I'd skip this anyway and just get a Zoom F4 (especially if doing anything with a budget, as Tascam DR70D / Marantz PMD706 / H6 / etc, is more for the non-budget guy or novice starting out). There is more reasons than just TC to get a Zoom F4. (such as metadata entry, outputs, file structure control, sound reports, output options, F control panel, and more)
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Peterson View Post
    There is always the old fashioned way of using a slate. Or PluralEyes.
    I used manual slates for more than 20 years in post. I've had to sync up more shots than you can possibly imagine -- millions and millions of feet of film, at least 20 thousand hours of material on the low side. (My joke is that more than half of the shots in Scorsese's Shine a Light concert documentary film were synced-up completely by eye, a lot of them by me. No slates, no nothin', just gut instinct and time and luck. 300 hours of material for a 2-hour film.)

    The trick is, a shitty recorder is going to drift over time, and no amount of syncing at the beginning is going to stop that. In other words, if you sync it to a clap stick at the beginning, it could be out a frame in a minute or two, 5 frames in 10 minutes, and more than half a second in 20 minutes. It looks and sounds like crap. Any unlocked non-synchronous sound recorder will do this.

    It's far wiser to user an actual sync recorder with timecode, and there are affordable ones out there. You can rent a decent one -- I'm thinking like a Sound Devices 633 -- for maybe $75 a day. Is that really a lot of money to get reliable sound that will stay in sync even if you have a half-hour take?

    The other advantage of getting a good sound recorder is, if it gets dropped or bumped, chances are it'll keep on working. Good luck dropping a plastic, piece of crap $300 recorder 3 feet onto the ground. (I have the same low opinion of most Zoom recorders.)

    Sound is always the bastard stepchild of filmmakers with no money, and I'm very sad at people who try to promote stuff like a cheap $300 sound recorder as if it's a benefit that will help people out there. There's a point where you just gotta spend the money or find a way to beg, rent, or borrow a real machine to get the job done. And again, it's the microphones and accessories that will make or break the production -- the recorder is the easiest part.
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  8. #8  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    I'll back Marc on the timecode sentiment. The cost savings alone on a week long shoot make it incredibly worth it and it's of course an industry expected standard on any shoot.

    This is a very budget minded field recorder that can be used to feed camera sound if needed. That's mostly where it starts and stops for me. There's other stuff out there around this price point. Some of the possible timecode workflow is to feed tc into another channel, but that juice is quickly not worth the squeeze.

    For anybody, especially indi minded shooters, investing in cameras in the $5K+ range I'd strongly recommend something like the Zoom F8 (most affordable option currently) or Sound Devices MixPre-10 which punch way above their weight and feature timecode generators.

    I own a host of recorders from Sound Devices, Zaxcom, Marantz, and Zoom. At the moment, the SD MixPre-10 is pretty much the most appealing solution when it comes to cost, size, features, and sound quality IMO.
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    I was ready to get the Mix-Pre 6 or one of the Zooms when the Mix-Pre 10 was announced. Now, I am going for the 10 ala Phil's reasoning and the Mix-Pre 3. The 3 is the smallest lightest time code capable recorder out there. There are a few different, small, very lightweight, reasonable T.C. options available, and should be pretty easy to camera mount- with 2 Rf's and shotgun. And, the 3 is a great little ADC/DAC/Headphone puck.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Steve DiMaggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott devitte View Post
    I was ready to get the Mix-Pre 6 or one of the Zooms when the Mix-Pre 10 was announced. Now, I am going for the 10 ala Phil's reasoning and the Mix-Pre 3. The 3 is the smallest lightest time code capable recorder out there. There are a few different, small, very lightweight, reasonable T.C. options available, and should be pretty easy to camera mount- with 2 Rf's and shotgun. And, the 3 is a great little ADC/DAC/Headphone puck.
    I have the 3, it kicks ass, Im more of an audio guy than a video guy and I have to say, I am 100% pleased

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