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Author Topic: TASCAM DR-60MKII - which recording input gain range for a live gig recording?  (Read 430 times)

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Offline Barney

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Hello,

I've just purchased a Tascam DR-60MKII. I'm planning to use it to record a live gig in a couple of weeks, using a Rode NT4 on a stand, 60/40 feet from PA, near the board. I have done DAT and multitracks for 10+ years, havent done this for a long time... But I have a question for Tascam DR-60MKII users.

What input range do you use to record live gig?
Let's say rock music with calm and loud parts, indoor amplified music, in venue of about 500-1000 people with a modern PA system.

There are 4 input range on the Tascam:
  • LOW
  • MID
  • HIGH
  • HIGH PLUS
Why am i asking?
Due to schedule issues, I wont be able to assist to the soundcheck. There is no opening act. So, as soon as I am in the venue all I have for reference is the crowd noise, then the show will start.

I know about the dual ST mode, that could save my recording in case of overloads, but I'd rather use that in case my main recording has small parts of overload not constantly overloading.
I also want to avoid moving the gain knobs during the performance as there are audible level steps when you do so.
Recent tests showed that LOW with knob at max is higher than MID with knobs at min. It looks those input ranges overlap.

I'd be interested to know from people who have experienced the Tascam DR-60MKII in live (loud) music recording.
Thanks.


info: I usually target the -18dbFS area with peaks at -12dbFS. This will be recorded at 96Khz/24bit.


Offline goodcooker

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Use the LOW gain range for amplified music in a venue with a big PA.

Don't know how sensitive the Rode NT4 is but if you get levels lower than you expect you can boost the levels in post.

I run my DR60 on low almost all the time. I regularly have to add 15dB later to normalize and don't suffer any ill effects. Gear nowadays is so quiet that you don't have to worry as much about amplifying hiss or input noise so you can run with much more conservative levels.

The gain ranges overlap - low on max is higher than mid on minimum.
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Offline dallman

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Use the LOW gain range for amplified music in a venue with a big PA.

Don't know how sensitive the Rode NT4 is but if you get levels lower than you expect you can boost the levels in post.

I run my DR60 on low almost all the time. I regularly have to add 15dB later to normalize and don't suffer any ill effects. Gear nowadays is so quiet that you don't have to worry as much about amplifying hiss or input noise so you can run with much more conservative levels.

The gain ranges overlap - low on max is higher than mid on minimum.
I'd echo your comments exactly. I run on low, and I find on my DR60d that I tend to be more conservative than I need to, and that is perhaps because the meters are a bit different from other Tascam decks I run. The bottom line though is that I have had no additional noise added when I added gain of usually 6db up to 15dB in post, and if the show is really loud I have had no distortion or compressed feeling in my sound at all.
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Offline Barney

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Hi guys! Thanks for the info!

When you say you set your Tascam on LOW, do you adjust the levels with both L/R (1/2) gain knobs? Or do you just set them both at max?
Also, where are your peaks at?

Offline goodcooker

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Hi guys! Thanks for the info!

When you say you set your Tascam on LOW, do you adjust the levels with both L/R (1/2) gain knobs? Or do you just set them both at max?
Also, where are your peaks at?

I try to avoid running any gain stage at max on the knobs. Not sure why maybe superstition or a hold over from the old days when max gain meant added hiss or noise. I use low gain and usually have the knobs somewhere around 3 o'clock (75%) for a loud show. Generally peaking around -12 to -6 dB. Different every time though.

You may have to run on MED and use the lower range of that gain setting depending on your mic and the music. From what I've been able to assess the lower 25% of the MED setting is about the same as the upper 75% of LOW.
MK41 > PFA > Aerco MP2/RAD MS2 > DR60d/DR2d
MBHO KA300 > Naiant PFA > SD MixPre6 (currently under construction)

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Offline willndmb

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I use medium most often on my 60d "1"
It doesn't have four options, just three so the amounts of gain that can be added is slightly different for each range compared to the version you have.
I also pref to run hotter, I try and target -12 overall. If you are targeting -18 I would go with low

Not that you want to but if you had to, you can change the settings while recording if you really had to
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 09:10:37 AM by willndmb »
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Offline Benderman11

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Hi guys! Thanks for the info!

When you say you set your Tascam on LOW, do you adjust the levels with both L/R (1/2) gain knobs? Or do you just set them both at max?
Also, where are your peaks at?

Use the low setting then adjust gain knobs to achieve around -12db.  You'll notice a small triangle on the meter at that target level.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Please forgive me if I'm out of line in bringing this up, but one of the best things you can do for yourself with the 60d is to put fresh AAs in it as backup, but power it with a decent size  external cell phone battery.  Maybe an anker or Ravpower around 10,000 mAH.  This is going to give you plenty of recording time and important to you if you have to start your 60d running some time before the show or it's a long show. 

I don't have a Rode NT4 but suspect it's similar to Rode NT5s which have respectable output.  You'll probably want to be conservative with your gain setting--especially not knowing how loud the music is going to be and once it's clipped, there's really no coming back from clipping. 


Offline Barney

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I will use a 20.000mAh powerbank. During my test, it provided 15 hours of power on the unit. 3 hours of recording, and the 12 hours of stand-by rec.
I'll see about putting some AA's in it, just in case the usb cable get out...

Thanks all for sharing your experience on this device.
I know I have to options: MID with both knobs set to min, and a safer one : LOW with knobs at 12 to 2 o'clock.

I just hope an unannounced opening act will play, so I can set my levels.
 ;)

Offline bombdiggity

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Even when noises from click stops come into play after the first song you can adjust levels before the next song if you find you're way off (assuming it's not a continuous or long song program). 

A click/pop fix function in editing can also smooth out those issues during music if it is an emergency (too high).  I doubt you'll be set too high though. 
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Offline Barney

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On a different subject, I know we can track files while recording.
As I plan to record 96Khz/24bit, I'm limited to 1 hour of recording... Instead of cutting in the middle of a song I plan to track inbetween.
Have you noticed a step/click/gap between files when doing so?

Offline dallman

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On a different subject, I know we can track files while recording.
As I plan to record 96Khz/24bit, I'm limited to 1 hour of recording... Instead of cutting in the middle of a song I plan to track inbetween.
Have you noticed a step/click/gap between files when doing so?
File splits are seamless.
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Offline Barney

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File splits are seamless.

Good news, thanks!  ;)

 

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