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Author Topic: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player  (Read 7665 times)

George Friedman-Jimenez

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Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« on: November 10, 2012, 02:34:21 pm »

I am a musician who does our own sound, often from the stage. Looking for a rackmount CD player to play CDs between sets on live gigs, to play backing tracks for live performances, and for use in a home rehearsal/recording studio. Backing tracks are sometimes variable quality home-burned CDs with WAV or MP3 files. Yes I have considered other media, but I still need a CD player. Requirements are:
1) Very reliable for portable performance use
2) Excellent CD transport that will not damage CDs even with frequent playing
3) Good resistance to vibration and skipping
4) Logical menu/software with reasonably quick loading
5) Excellent converters and sound
6) Remote control
7) Plays CD-DA, CDR, CDRW, and WAV or MP3 on CDR, good at reading variable quality home-burned CD backing tracks

I have had reliability issues with the Tascam CD-01U Pro and am considering the Denon DN-C635, Tascam CD-500B, Tascam CD-200IB.

Playing other media (eg, DVDs, SDHC cards, USB devices, iPod dock) besides CDs would be nice. For example, capability to play DVDs would be a great addition as long as it would not sacrifice reliability or ease of use playing audio CDs in return for the video capability. I have considered the Tascam DV-D01U or another 1 or 2 RU DVD player, but am not sure how well they meet the above requirements for audio CDs, my main priority.

Any recommendations for players on or off my current short list?
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John Livings

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 06:20:13 pm »

Hi George,

Thought I would throw this out;

We play our Backing tracks and our break music (in addition to announcements and Ad's) thru a Mac Laptop.

Everything is placed into a "Playlist" and we can see the whole show on one screen, all numbered, timed and in order.

This reduces the chance of getting "lost" on a CD, Playing the wrong track.
After the playlist is selected, all the media is taken to an editing program (in our case FCP).

With the waveform visible in the time line we are ready to start editing

There we add "Handles", In FCP we use "Slugs" which are a way to fill space/time with no sound on the track.

We then add the handles to the front and end of the song, this is added to the beginning and end of the song, And is in addition to any fade-in and fade-out you may want.

If the intro is to long on your song, reduce it.

The handle is used to Que up your song, we use 10 seconds in the beginning and 10 seconds at the end this allows for the time to set up and not be to rushed at the end of the song (any number may be used).

It has taken you longer to read this than it will take you to do it.

Regards,  John



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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 07:46:01 pm »

Thanks John. Makes a lot of sense, but I am not sure how it would work in the (my) real world. The singer who is on next walks up to me, hands me an unlabled CDR her "producer" just threw together in ProTools and says "third track". Assuming there really are 3 tracks on the CD and they are in WAV, MP3 or other standard file format, I have 2 questions for you:
1) how long would it take to do what you are recommending on the fly and play the right song at the right loudness?
2) what are the chances, compared to a good dedicated CD player, that it would not work? In other words how do Mac or other laptop CD drives compare with dedicated CD players reading any of the different CD brands, and very variable quality of home-burned files and physical condition of CDs?

Of course with the luxury of a pre-show sound check or rehearsal with each of the performers, things could be a bit more orderly but some of the gigs I do are largely improvised like this.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 07:59:59 pm »

Thanks John. Makes a lot of sense, but I am not sure how it would work in the (my) real world. The singer who is on next walks up to me, hands me an unlabled CDR her "producer" just threw together in ProTools and says "third track". Assuming there really are 3 tracks on the CD and they are in WAV, MP3 or other standard file format, I have 2 questions for you:
1) how long would it take to do what you are recommending on the fly and play the right song at the right loudness?
2) what are the chances, compared to a good dedicated CD player, that it would not work? In other words how do Mac or other laptop CD drives compare with dedicated CD players reading any of the different CD brands, and very variable quality of home-burned files and physical condition of CDs?

Of course with the luxury of a pre-show sound check or rehearsal with each of the performers, things could be a bit more orderly but some of the gigs I do are largely improvised like this.

To paraphrase an old saying, "A lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency for me."

IOW, it's up to them.  There's just as much chance for error with one delivery system or another in such a scenario.  I've had pro level CD players spit discs out for bad media, unfinalization, etc, etc.  Sometimes a cheap Discman type player will do a better job than my Tascam or my Denon.

Computers can sort things out better in general.  Having multiple players at your station will help.  You can try to preview things while someone else is on stage.  I would hope that you could at least institute a policy where they'd at least have to report in with enough time to proof the disc on a "cue" machine first.

 
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Need reliable way to play show files
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 08:19:27 pm »

I have 2 questions for you:
1) how long would it take to do what you are recommending on the fly and play the right song at the right loudness?
2) what are the chances, compared to a good dedicated CD player, that it would not work? In other words how do Mac or other laptop CD drives compare with dedicated CD players reading any of the different CD brands, and very variable quality of home-burned files and physical condition of CDs?

1) it will take the same amount of time. How is the CD player in a laptop different than one in a dedicated chassis?

2) I have had many more problems using dedicated CD players than in my laptop.

I use iTunes for pre-show music, and when I don't use my Instant Replay, I have Q Cart for situations when there is time to load up the files. When there is no time to pre load I play the CD in the laptop using it as a CD player.

Mac
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John Livings

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Re: Need reliable way to play show files
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 12:20:06 am »

Hi George,

In addition to what Mac and Dick stated we also use this setup to run our DVD projector images (static and active).
We can switch a camera(s) to the projector if that is wanted (close up of someone).

All off the same laptop and playlist, backup is another older laptop and burned copy's of CDs and DVDs.

It sounds like planing time may present an issue, however if you used two laptops, one to run the show and the backup to edit/arrange, maybe?

Almost anything plays on the laptop, not so with some of my set top players (no pro players).

We just finished a Talent Show, 50+ acts and if we had not arranged things in advance, it would have been a mess.

One CD had 70 minutes of music on it with 15 songs and only 1 track, I was told it was the third song. This was put in FCP and within a few minutes we were able to pull out the correct song, cut it, add handles and add it to the playlist in Itunes. Of course I had time to prep all this.

As far as bringing the sound to the proper level, when we hit the play button I know exactly when the music should start (as I have already queued the song up)  and bring the fader to a pre-determined level and adjust from there.

As we do mostly Children's Theater with Consumer/Prosumer gear, this works for us.

An open mic night would present its own challenges but should be doable.

A couple year old Mac laptop can be had for a couple of hundred dollars (don't expect to run the latest software) and will do both Audio and Video.

Regards,  John
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 12:37:34 am »

My experience has been that if a CD can be played a laptop can play it. VLC for Windows/Mac OS/Linux tends to play anything that you throw at it(audio and video). With the laptop you can have the "between performances music" on the hard drive in iTunes(or whatever program you like) and use the CD drive and VLC for the performer's discs.

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2

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Craig Hauber

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 01:39:08 am »

Use a DJ type player.  A Pioneer CDJ-1000 or the newer equivalent will play anything in the worst conditions.

I am not a DJ and hate having to recommend DJ gear, but over many years of fighting with rackmount chassis, the CDJ's just work, can load a disc and be cue'd up the fastest, can put up with severe abuse and seem the most forgiving of "iffy" media.  I think the newer model can even do USB memory stick playback directly too along with discs.



I am a musician who does our own sound, often from the stage. Looking for a rackmount CD player to play CDs between sets on live gigs, to play backing tracks for live performances, and for use in a home rehearsal/recording studio. Backing tracks are sometimes variable quality home-burned CDs with WAV or MP3 files. Yes I have considered other media, but I still need a CD player. Requirements are:
1) Very reliable for portable performance use
2) Excellent CD transport that will not damage CDs even with frequent playing
3) Good resistance to vibration and skipping
4) Logical menu/software with reasonably quick loading
5) Excellent converters and sound
6) Remote control
7) Plays CD-DA, CDR, CDRW, and WAV or MP3 on CDR, good at reading variable quality home-burned CD backing tracks

I have had reliability issues with the Tascam CD-01U Pro and am considering the Denon DN-C635, Tascam CD-500B, Tascam CD-200IB.

Playing other media (eg, DVDs, SDHC cards, USB devices, iPod dock) besides CDs would be nice. For example, capability to play DVDs would be a great addition as long as it would not sacrifice reliability or ease of use playing audio CDs in return for the video capability. I have considered the Tascam DV-D01U or another 1 or 2 RU DVD player, but am not sure how well they meet the above requirements for audio CDs, my main priority.

Any recommendations for players on or off my current short list?
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Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 01:51:02 am »

Thanks, guys, great advice. Sounds like a consensus that laptops are better than dedicated CD players with regard to successfully playing CDs of varying quality and condition, and having a second player to try if one fails is even better insurance.

Mac, with regard to speed and ease of use for CDs, it seems to me that putting a CD in the drawer or slot of a CD player, hitting the track number on the remote, then play would be hard to beat with a laptop. My laptop takes about 17 to 20 sec from inserting the CD to hearing music, with attention required. Maybe I could cut down a couple seconds with better software to automate and expedite playing CDs, but most of this seems to be hardware/OS time.

My old Marantz PMD325 CD player takes 6 or 7 seconds total to load a CD and start playing music, and 3 seconds to eject. The CD player takes less attention and is less of a distraction when onstage than the laptop. If I were a DJ or only doing sound and not playing too, this would be no problem, but as a musician doing sound from the stage, the added simplicity and speed make a difference, especially with my aging eyesight. On the other hand, the laptop offers much added flexibility to do many other things including playing DVDs and other media.

I have never used a DJ CD player, will look into them as well as the Tascam CD500B, Denon DN-C635, Tascam CD200BI, and any others that people suggest. The DJ units are nice and compact, although the scratch feature scares me. The last thing I want is for wannabe DJs in the audience to come up and want to do their thing while I am playing CDs.

I think I will start using a laptop for CD playback at most gigs, replace my failed CD player with another (different) one, and use that for some gigs requiring quick response, and the rest of the time it will do double duty in my rehearsal studio. It is great to be able to just put on a CD in a few seconds during rehearsals and practice sessions without booting up a computer. The cross-room remote is simple and convenient as well, harder to do with a laptop.

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 08:22:36 am »

Use a DJ type player.  A Pioneer CDJ-1000 or the newer equivalent will play anything in the worst conditions.

I am not a DJ and hate having to recommend DJ gear, but over many years of fighting with rackmount chassis, the CDJ's just work, can load a disc and be cue'd up the fastest, can put up with severe abuse and seem the most forgiving of "iffy" media.  I think the newer model can even do USB memory stick playback directly too along with discs.

Yes, and if you have both a computer and a dual-CD DJ player you're pretty much covered.
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Re: Need reliable CD or CD/DVD player
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 08:22:36 am »


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