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ballsdeep
2011-12-04, 02:19 PM
picked one up, used, for the price of a new one (a hunnert bucks, but I haven't paid him yet...SCHWING!!!), and I've got to say, the recordings I've pulled with it with the stock mics are pretty fucking impressive, both fidelity and richness-wise...and the variety of the artists (Mastodon/DEP/Red Fang/Guns N Roses/Crystal Method on the heavy end, and the Jayhawks/Tesla acoustic on the lighter side)

as this is clearly the "entry level" model, has anyone used the ones further up the chain (the ones with 4 mics+), and/or what do you think?


just the high end repro vs. the Edirol with the Sonics is really amazing, though I've noticed that the hi-end on the Edirol can be very saccharine at times...still need to test it in a truly acoustic setting, doing Big Bad Voodoo Daddy next week should be another good test of what it can do.

and how it can simultaneously record the mics to one track, and the internals to another, or how you can record a "hot" (near 0db) master on one track and then a -6 to -12db track simultaneously so that you never overload, that's pretty cool.

definitely time to look at new recorders again...and I'm an idiot.

discuss:

tonebloke
2011-12-05, 12:22 AM
Hey bd. :wave:
Looks like your enjoying your new toy. My interest is piqued by this "double recording" function. I'll have to do some research as to whether I should upgrade to a Tascam. :hmm:

P A U L
2011-12-05, 03:30 AM
IMO, the most important thing is the mic's & pre-amp. I've heard some pretty badass recordings w/ the Zoom H2, which is a cheapie.

Here's a good primer:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/newsLetter/Digital-Audio-Recorders-Buyers-Guide.jsp

AAR.oner
2011-12-05, 07:38 AM
i've used the HD-P2, nice field recorder for sure...in general, Tascam products are geared more toward the pro market, so the guts of it are gonna be better quality than Edirol which is probly what yer hearing

stepping up the pre's in whatever model is gonna give you even more clarity and depth

Ghostwheel
2011-12-05, 08:42 AM
my buddy toaster has one of these. it's great, i will finally be upgrading from my microtrack 1 to one of these for stealth shows very soon. the double recording feature is great and if you're using core sound mics like me & him do, you won't need an attenuator cable anymore.

ballsdeep
2011-12-05, 09:33 AM
i've used the HD-P2, nice field recorder for sure...in general, Tascam products are geared more toward the pro market, so the guts of it are gonna be better quality than Edirol which is probly what yer hearing

stepping up the pre's in whatever model is gonna give you even more clarity and depth


and I've never even used a "pre" before.

don't get me wrong, I can still pull great Edirol recordings, however, that deck is going to become the "playback" unit, and I'm seriously thinking about that $1000 Tascam model somewhere down the road...which brings me to the "mod" guys.

not to be a dumbass (even though I am), but can someone Cliff Notes the Oade/Bussman (or whatever that other guy is) reasoning in 2 simple ways:


1. why doesn't Tascam (or other mannies, for that matter) use parts that aren't subpar?

2. which is better between the two? (HA!, I'm sure there's loyalists on both sides)


I'm not really into "nature" (at least recording-wise), so that isn't much of a concern.



listening to the Crystal Method show from Sat night right now (yeah, they came to Fairbanks TWICE this year...they love rocking out in our 400 seat bar up here for some reason), and it's fucking AMAZING, what's cool is the May show was recorded with the Edirol (which also sounds amazing), it'll be fun to 'side by side' 'em and see if there's much difference.



so Aaron, you're saying it's more the guts and the ability of the guts to capture the depth/definition/richness of sound vs. the microphones used?

P A U L
2011-12-05, 05:38 PM
http://www.oade.com/Tapers_Section/index.html

Do I need 16 or 24 bits ?
As a general rule of thumb the microphone is much more important than the use of 24 bits so if your budget is tight, spend more on the mic and less on the deck and storage. Simply stated the recording cannot possibly achieve better quality than the microphone is capable of delivering.

The other significant consideration is the mic preamp. Many preamps for popular 24 bit machines use chips and capacitors that have artifacts that are down only 85dB to 95dB. If the signal you are recording is from a microphone, it is typically down 40dB to 50dB so the resulting dynamic range is 85dB to 95dB less 40dB to 50dB or not very good ! A 16 bit A/D chip has a dynamic range of 96dB, more than enough for these preamps. You want as much of a difference between the desirable signal and the residual noise and distortion of the preamp as possible. With an input signal down at -40dB to -60dB you need microphone preamp artifacts to be as low as possible as the preamp amplifies both the desirable signal and the undesirable artifacts. We use preamp chips with THD+N down from 110dB to 130dB that cost as much as 50 times what the stock chips cost.

The result of low grade parts in a mic preamp is performance that is not even 16 bits, this makes 24 bits with a poor preamp of questionable value. A typical 24 bit machine's preamps Spurious Free Dynamic Range is no where near the 144dB dynamic range of 24bits and most do not even achieve 16 bit quality. Even some of the best op amps, the chips used in digital recorders, have no more than 120dB SFDR and most stock machines typically use chips that have a SFDR of less than a 96dB.

AAR.oner
2011-12-06, 07:16 AM
so Aaron, you're saying it's more the guts and the ability of the guts to capture the depth/definition/richness of sound vs. the microphones used?

no, mics are definitely important in regards to that [arguably the most important aspect along with placement]...and its not that the manufacturers are using "sub-par parts", just a different quality level [better parts, bigger cost]

given the same mics/location&placement/sound source/etcetc, there will be a major difference in yer final recording when using the stock built-in pre on one of these compact field recorders vs running through say an Avalon or Neve or Focusrite pre-amp [all of which have their own distinct "sound" as well]

as for the mods folks like Doug Oade or the Busman guy etc are doing, its not only the pre's which are getting upgrades, also the signal paths [lowering the noise floor] amongst other parts...for some it may not be worth the cost, guess it kinda depends how "audiophile" one is and personal taste...hell, some folks think 128 mp3 sounds fine :lol:

avand18
2011-12-13, 10:44 PM
People still bitch and moan and debate for hours, but I supply nothing but 48v phantom power to mics that can handle it, because I find that the sound is less likely to get muddy during "busier" parts of a song. In other words, the mics become more sensitive and can "sort out" detail at higher SPLs.

For this I use a Tascam DR-100 which is about the combined cost of a 48V supply/preamp + standard SD recorder, and is about the size of a Sony DATman. I think the DR-100 has the same on-board mics as some smaller models. The only limiting factor is the current draw of your mics, as your battery life will significantly decrease, but most smaller size ones like Audio Technica will get you an easy 3-4 hours out of the lithium+AA's. The real challenge is finding much good to tape around here!

This said, that FET mod from Oade for this sounds GREAT but $225 bucks??? EHH....