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Bill DiPietra

Nagra question...

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What is the difference between the Nagra 4.2 and the Nagra IV-L...?


Here ya go, bud. everything ya ever wanted to know about Nagras but were afraid to ask... Oh what a minute, you did ask, anyway here it is- www.nagraaudio.com/pro/pages/informationFaq.php#pro24 . B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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Bill, here's some advice I got from the guys at recording.org when I asked about Nagras over there. I hope it will be helpful:


Well the same rules apply for analog tape as they do for digital. Get as hot a signal as you can without clipping. People using digital seem to think this rule does not apply to them because the noise floor is so low, but background noise and preamp noise are all still there. If you have to gain up a lot to get good signal and its noisy, re mic! You have to get good saturation on that tape. You should know the scene as well as the actors. So If the scene goes from a whisper to a scream, you can adjust levels accordingly. Remember, you are credited as a mixer, not a recorder. There is a certain amount of fader riding you have to do. Don't just set for the loudest level of sound and forget it. Get the mic as close to the hole, that makes the sound, as framing will allow. My on set mixing experience is limited, but I have gotten enough bad on set sound to know whats going wrong. Keep asking questions.


Hello Captainvideo,

Quantegy is the only maker left and they make a good product. Use Quantegy 480 on 7 inch reels. I know that Trewaudio.com had several overstocked cases listed on consignment, give Skylor a call. They also have used Nagras if you don't have one. If you already own one what is the model?


I would recommend a Nagra 4.2 since it is self resolving. The stereo time code nagra is not and would require another reel-to-reel unit to play it back in sync.


Feel free to email me directly at pvs@sonic.net


I missed your posting of the model IV-L. That recorder can be trouble some. As for buying the 7 inch upgrade kit it is expensive and I would recommend against buying it. Sell your recorder and buy a 4.2 that someone else has upgraded to for 7 inch reels. Make sure that any recorder you buy has been serviced by an authorized Nagra service Technician in the last 2 years that that all recommended repairs where made. Buying a used recorder without this knowledge could cost you more than what you paid!


You can of course take the cover off of you recoder and use 7 inch reels. You will just not have cover for it.


The recorder you get or use must have pilot tone, not all do.


You should consider who you are going to work with the audio after you have recorded it. Are you going to digitize it, and with what equipment?


There is always the choice of getting someone to recorde the audio for you. There are many starting sound people out there that can be bought cheaply


<<Well the same rules apply for analog tape as they do for digital. Get as hot a signal as you can without clipping.>>




That rule was used by everyone BUT production mixers!!!

At the risk of overshoots, analog production guys would record low, I mean we're talking dialog at -10 to -15 VU, VU as in analog VU. Hence DrSound's mention of tape hiss.


That rule was actually an analog rule, that was passed on to digital, which is very much abused these days. But thats an argument for a different day.


The Nagra 4.2



Product description

The NAGRA 4.2 is a portable mono full track 6.35-mm (¼ inch) analogue audio tape recorder designed for radio, cinema and television applications.


This recorder has three speeds: 38, 19 and 9.5 cm/s (15, 7 ½, 3 ¾ ips), NAB or CCIR standard. Two mic. inputs, switchable to dynamic, T or P (48V) condenser. One voltage or current line input. One direct mixer input, 4.4V or 1.55V balanced line output, depending on the transformer installed.


The NAGRA 4.2 contains separate recording and playback heads for confidence playback, built-in monitoring speaker switchable to source or tape, a reference generator, modulometer, alarm indicator for power supply and tape transport. It also has high-pass filters for recording or playback and a switchable automatic level control and limiter.



The machine can be fitted with an optional NEOPILOT 50/60 Hz sync system with a built-in quartz generator and may also be powered from either an external supply (ATN-4) or internal batteries B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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