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help with SD card player for live performance after using minidisc for years


SusieP
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Hope everyone is ok.

 

Haven't posted for ages, but you guys always helped me in the past so I am hoping your knowledge and experience can help me again............

 

I use backing tracks - real piano, light drums and double bass for my jazz act.

I have been using Tascam MD 350 to play them on minidisc.All are recorded as wav. All are originally on a master CD and saved into my PC as wav files.

I mainly play restaurants and in small spaces so I am almost on top of the mixer and disc player rack and it has always been easy to just use the scroll/jog knob to move from track to track.

My players have given me excellent service - 3-4 gigs a week over 18/20 years.

Now I am starting to get TOC reading slowly and sometimes refusing to read at all,

the occasional disc error and once recently a track paused itself mid song. Embarrassing.

I have kept the lens clean and I swap to new discs after a while.

Tascam repair say my lens unit on one player needs replacing and the other is on its last legs. The repair will be approx £250

 

So, as minidiscs are no longer made and I am a little tired of being restricted to a limited amount of tracks on each disc I have bought Tascams SD -20M to play my backing tracks on instead.

Cheaper than repairing the MD's.

I've only got the player today and haven't read all the manual yet. So I don't know if I can just copy and paste each wav track from my PC onto the SD card and push it in and play - but

 

my first concern is the display.

It is very small and not as clear as the minidisc displays.

 

So I want to pick everyone's brains regarding the Tascam remote control RC-10 and the footswitch RC-3F which are made to be used with SD-20mM

 

I will need to pause my track at the end of performing the song, but the pause length will differ depending on whether i chat between tracks etc. I will need to go to another track and have it paused ready to start.

So - would this recommended footswitch be better or would the hand remote thing be better?

Both approx £38-45 to buy.

Anyone using any of these models?

And what do you use to clip them to your mic stand or music stand pole, please?

I thought maybe a Tablet holder with a clip to rest the remote on - but would love to hear from anyone using this kit and learn about their experiences.

Thanks in advance.

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I'm with Florida Frailer, if it's not too late to take the Tascam back... rendering your .wav files into mp3 at a higher bitrate (128 kbs is normal; i use 192 and i think i can hear a difference) and using a mobile device has MANY advantages:

- large, configurable display

- easy backup

- self contained (eliminates shuffling through the box of SD cards)

 

AND when you get old like me, it'll show you the LYRICS!

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Hi Susie nice to see you back. Re your post got agree with the above. It feels like someone coming on and asking about where to get a good replacement loose leaf folder for their lyrics. 😁

MP3 all the way.

 

I'm only just moving on from Minidisc, remember, so I'm still in the Cretaceous period!

Loose leaf folder is highly advanced to me!!!!!

 

Budget's a bit tight now I just bought this SD card player.

I've bought the Tascam now, so I'm stuck with it.

I play Standards [Ella Fitzgerald stuff] and usually play only 2 x 45 minute sets.

So we're looking at approx 80/90 tracks which are the repertoire mainly used.

 

They'd all be on one SD card - and of course I'd have a couple of back up copy SD cards with me.

I'll probably divide the 80/90 into folders on the card, so I wouldn't be 'shuffling through' a box of cards.

 

The foot pedal Tascam sell looks like the same kind of idea as the Airturn daddymack just mentioned. So I think I'll go with their foot pedal.

 

The display on the deck is tiny though - so if it becomes a nightmare and I have to think again, what Tablets do you recommend, please?

 

I'd rather avoid Apple if possible.

Is there an alternative that you guys recommend?

 

I wouldn't need the tablet as an autocue, just to trigger the tracks from.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've been using a laptop for 12 years which means you don't need a brand new laptop for music playback. I always take being able to see song titles into consideration when buying stand alone mp3 players. And yes, pausing between songs is absolutely needed. I just hit the space bar to pause.

 

Sorry, I don't know anything about the Tascam.

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most android tablets will work, but get teh 10 inch [i tried a 7 inch and it was just too danged small to read from at any distance, but okay when I was right up close...but that isn't how my solo show works...I'm usually fairly animated. I've been tempted to use my laptop...my netbook proved too small as well [sux being old and too vain to wear glasses onstage] ;)

So guess who is still using a book? :wave: Actually, I have a setlist, and then some pages where I'm liable to forget verse orders...only a few...but I prefer to work with a safety net as a solo.

Solo work has slowed again, but I am planning a new tablet and an airturn, but I'm piecing together a new project, which is a revamp of an old duo, but as a band.

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Thank you Gentlemen.

The Tascam basically is like a Tascam minidisc deck - rack mounted - but uses SD card instead of minidisc - and therefore you don't have to keep switching from one minidisc to another if the track you decide to play isn't on the disc you have in the player at the time because the SD cards hold tons more..

It has a scroll dial - like the minidisc - but the display is a wee bit smaller. It may be ok in a gig situation but looking at it at home - it might be a problem.

 

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tablet which I just use for personal stuff but maybe I could use that?

It only has a tiny socket - not a big and meaty USB though.

No room for a laptop [thanks Bob Dey - hope you are well]

 

So how do you cable your tablets via your mixers then, please?

 

PS - Im currently getting all the volumes of the tracks as equal as I can [well, a friend is doing that for me] ready to put onto the SD cards.

So I haven't tried the new player yet.

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Definitely try loading your songs to the Samsung. You can play them back with itunes or similar app. You can use the headphone jack to connect to your mixer with a 3.5mm (minijack). If you get the Samsung and Tascam both working, you'll have a back up in case either goes south.

 

You'll probably need to connect the Samsung to a computer to upload songs. You'll have to find out what USB cord fits the Samsung. Wishing you the best Susie

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Thanks guys.

I have copied and pasted tracks onto the Samsung.

I connected it via headphone socket to the mixer and it sounded very low volume. I only ran it through a little monitor [not the full PA] but I also ran the SD card through the same set up and the tracks sounded louder. Monitor volume was at the same setting for both formats.

 

Will try all through the full PA soon.

As Bob says, I can use the Tablet as a back up in case there's a prob with the SD player..

 

I have patiently gone into the 'Properties' of every track I will use for gigs and retyped the titles in Uppercase letters before I copied and pasted them to the SD card.

That's made a big difference to the display. It was time consuming but so was filling a new minidisc with tracks.

 

And I found a magic little button that displays two tracks at a time in larger letters.

 

I also had a closer look at the Remote control and the foot switch - and they only allow me to move one track at a time backwards or forwards - so they are a waste of money because they only do what the jog function on the deck does. If only they had numbers 0-9 on them!!!

 

What I have decided to do is to divide my songs into Folders on the SD card. each folder has only 10 or 12 tracks within it. So jogging forwards within a folder won't take long, and switching from one folder to another takes less time than it would to eject a minidisc, insert another disc and wait for it to read its TOC.

So, I think I have sussed the thing out.

 

The problem that remains is the annoyingly tiny display screen.

But I do like having the player in the rack under the mixer.

 

 

Thanks again all for your help.

 

I do love coming to this Forum to get the benefit of your combined wisdom and expertise.

Edited by SusieP
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Hi Susie. Gonna sound like a broken record here, but Music Folder Player is the app to get. It has adjustable fonts, adjustable EQ and depending on your tablet is hard to crash. I am using the inexpensive Galaxy Tab E. I have tried 25 to 40 (or maybe more) players and Music Folder Player is the only one that easily stops the track after playback (musician mode) and has all the bells and whistles - like reverse display (white on black, very easy to read). My display font is set to is huge, because I have coke bottle glasses and don't wanna wear them on stage. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate&hl=en

 

This app has saved the day for me. I have over four hundred MP3's in current rotation and it's easy to get to them all.

 

Mixer: again I'm like a broken record but the Mackie ProDX8 is more manna from heaven. Assuming I have my tablet charged I just Bluetooth everything; mixer, and MP3's. No wires from my tablet to anywhere. Bluetooth with this devices is usually very robust, depending on your tablet. It is aimed at solo artist who normally don't have a ton of PA experience. Many solo artists have made favourable comments regarding my Mackie - and I don't normally like like Mackie. But FX, GEQ, compression L/R and two auxes, what's not to like? Plus you can save up to three scenes for repeat gigs. https://mackie.com/products/prodx-series

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Thanks shaster.

I have already bought the SD card player - so obviously I will use it.£200 so it didn't break the bank.

 

I'm still steadily getting the volumes of all the tracks as equal to each other as poss.

Mounted it in the rack today in readiness. It looks really neat.

 

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab E as well - so as advised, I can eventually use that either instead of the SD player or as a back up.

I have bookmarked the Music Folder Player app - thank you.

 

 

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Glad you're getting back to your usual state of gig readiness. Obviously you'll be busy with your main player for now, but when you get a chance, using your Tab E as back-up would be a good idea. You might even find it becomes your main rig - just depends. Check out the Mackie mixer as well. You can download the app for free and run it in demo mode to get a sense of what it does. I find not having to turn around or to the side to adjust the mix, makes for a way better show. In my case at least, no one wants to see my back side!

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  • 1 month later...
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Hello gentlemen,

just checking in to see how you are all doing.

 

I'm not one to rush into things, so I am still using my minidisc player whilst getting ready to use the SD card player and/or Samsung Tablet.

I have downloaded the Music Folder Player App recommended by Shaster. I've found the 'musician mode' so I can have each track stop after playing so I can scroll within each folder to whatever song I want to perform next.

 

It's getting each track to be approximately equal volume that is time consuming, but my friend is helping me with that - he works in a recording Studio and can do them in a batch.

So he's doing that during his down time in the studio and hasn't charged me any money for doing this.

I now have all the tracks I want to use at [hopefully] the same volume.

 

The SD card player is now mounted in my rack above the minidisc player and I will soon remove the M/D and use the SD player instead.

Then I'll have the Tablet as back up - or................... I may even surprise you all and use the Tablet as first option and have the SD card player as the back up.

 

Nice to have a choice.

 

 

Then when I'm all ready to let go and wave bye bye to my beloved minidisc players, I will hopefully be able to sell them on ebay to some other dinosaurs unwilling to let them go!!! :lol::D

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My friend and associate Craig Anderton has a thread in his SSS forum [wayyy up top of the page] regarding LUFS [Loudness Units Full Scale] metering...as opposed to dB metering.

here is an article explaining the reason to consider LUFS... may be worth a look.

https://transom.org/2015/the-audio-producers-guide-to-loudness/

Edited by daddymack
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The tracks my friend has done for me have been put onto a USB stick for me and they all have LUFS before the song title - so I'm wondering if that's what he's actually done?

He used an Adobe thing that the studio he works in has installed.

May well be.

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I can't ever get all tracks the same volume. The best I can do is get them close enough. Part of the reason is each song has different dynamics. Some start out soft and get louder etc. Another factor is the number of instruments used. Some of my tracks are just bass and drums while some others have a lot more instruments. I've also been using some karaoke files which all have different EQ settings. :bangheadonwall:

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Tested the tracks my friend has done for me [ he used Adobe Audition I think] and they are pretty much the same volume.

I'm very pleased with them.

Gonna use the minidisc player till it dies.

Have got the SD card player in the rack with it and am just getting the tracks onto the Samsung Tablet.

Will test that next week.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
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using a limiter between the player and mixer will smooth out the volume differences between songs. Dont use a compressor, a limiter smooths the peak loudness without squishing the track. then soft songs will be increased and loud songs will be limited. a little goes a long way. I barely have it on and it keeps the songs volume even so i dont have to adjust every song.

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