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Author Topic: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)  (Read 39901 times)

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Offline ~Jon Stoppable

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2016, 07:25:28 PM »
I know that the impedances are all wrong

A headphone amp feeding a mic input is fine, you can always feed a low impedance into a higher impedance (for analog audio signals).

Offline aaronji

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2016, 08:09:57 AM »
I was on LOW - but was still getting more peaks than I was comfortable with - and I was already on the max low side of the knob without muting the channel.

Tascam says that the maximum input is 0 dBu.  Given the sensitivity of those Avantones, you'll need SPL around 128 or 129 dB to generate that voltage, so you will be OK most of the time, but you may not have the headroom to which you are accustomed. 

I guess I could see how you're missing the old low range, but wasn't it a bit unusual that it went that low in the first place?  Does any other recorder out there allow their input gain to adjust below 0dB without engaging a pad circuit somewhere else?  I would think that if what you're recording is that loud, then you'd expect to need inline pads / attenuators.  Still, a convenience for you that you didn't need them, until they changed the gain.

Marantz PMD620 (0 dB, -12 dB, -24 dB) and PMD661 (0 dB, -6 dB, -12 dB, -18 dB) are two.  There are probably others.  I doubt it matters a whole lot if you have a less sensitive input (= low) and add gain to get medium/high or if you have a more sensitive input (= high) and attenuate for medium/low.  For loud music, especially with sensitive mics, that low setting is essential...

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2016, 09:48:37 AM »
I was on LOW - but was still getting more peaks than I was comfortable with - and I was already on the max low side of the knob without muting the channel.

Tascam says that the maximum input is 0 dBu.  Given the sensitivity of those Avantones, you'll need SPL around 128 or 129 dB to generate that voltage, so you will be OK most of the time, but you may not have the headroom to which you are accustomed. 

I guess I could see how you're missing the old low range, but wasn't it a bit unusual that it went that low in the first place?  Does any other recorder out there allow their input gain to adjust below 0dB without engaging a pad circuit somewhere else?  I would think that if what you're recording is that loud, then you'd expect to need inline pads / attenuators.  Still, a convenience for you that you didn't need them, until they changed the gain.

Marantz PMD620 (0 dB, -12 dB, -24 dB) and PMD661 (0 dB, -6 dB, -12 dB, -18 dB) are two.  There are probably others.  I doubt it matters a whole lot if you have a less sensitive input (= low) and add gain to get medium/high or if you have a more sensitive input (= high) and attenuate for medium/low.  For loud music, especially with sensitive mics, that low setting is essential...

The low setting - and the fact that the knobs turn the signal OFF at their lowest setting (when you're running out of headroom)...is a HUGE problem.

I recorded Wild Adriatic a few weeks ago with the old firmware - the loudest show I've seen in a loooong time! - so loud even Jerry Joseph would be impressed...a real ear-ringer and...no headroom issues.

The PA this past weekend wasn't even that loud...not even close.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2016, 01:11:06 PM »
I've sort of lost track of some of this, but my recollection is that once you update the firmware, there's no going back? 

When you hit the dead spot on the pots, the meter still shows signal leading you into a trap of thinking you've got signal, but nothing is recorded?

Looking at the FAQ, it partly says: "Turning a gain pot full counter-clockwise until the stop will turn the channel input off.  It turns on at its minimum gain level when rotated clockwise past 8:00. (see Known Issues below)" 

I'm wondering if maybe the FAQ should have some red flags or some kind of huge warnings about these things if a) you can't go backwards on the firmware and b) the pots go get at full counterclockwise position, but the meter still shows signal???

It might also be worth pointing out in the FAQ that before upgrading the firmware, the higher gain range may not be appropriate for rockNroll with high gain mics based on some  user experience. 


Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2016, 01:17:30 PM »
I've sort of lost track of some of this, but my recollection is that once you update the firmware, there's no going back? 

When you hit the dead spot on the pots, the meter still shows signal leading you into a trap of thinking you've got signal, but nothing is recorded?

Looking at the FAQ, it partly says: "Turning a gain pot full counter-clockwise until the stop will turn the channel input off.  It turns on at its minimum gain level when rotated clockwise past 8:00. (see Known Issues below)" 

I'm wondering if maybe the FAQ should have some red flags or some kind of huge warnings about these things if a) you can't go backwards on the firmware and b) the pots go get at full counterclockwise position, but the meter still shows signal???

It might also be worth pointing out in the FAQ that before upgrading the firmware, the higher gain range may not be appropriate for rockNroll with high gain mics based on some  user experience.

The knob will control gain - until you go too far and then it's off...no meter...no signal...

There is no index or marking to let you know you're about to shut off the signal...

On a bigger knob - you might be able to work with this - but these knobs are too small for that fine control.

I knew I should have stuck with the old firmware!!!
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2016, 01:32:27 PM »
That's a serious problem.  It almost forces you into using attenuators.  Tascam ought to offer some utility to wipe the firmware and start over.

I pulled my 70d out just now.  The top two gain pots seem to physically reach the dead spot at a different spot than the bottom two.  I suppose it would be possible to use some hot glue to the case to limit the knobs from ever reaching the dead spot, but what a hassle. 

Offline audBall

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2016, 01:37:21 PM »
^^

You could try "Restoring the factory settings", according to the Reference Manual (page 34). That might revert to the original firmware version.

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2016, 01:45:35 PM »
^^

You could try "Restoring the factory settings", according to the Reference Manual (page 34). That might revert to the original firmware version.

Nope...just puts all the settings back to stock - no effect on firmware...
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 04:39:15 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone has tried downgrading the firmware, but Tascam has all the old ones on the downloads page which tells me you should be able to try whatever you want.
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 04:59:42 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone has tried downgrading the firmware, but Tascam has all the old ones on the downloads page which tells me you should be able to try whatever you want.

That's what I'm thinking, too...I'll report back...
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2016, 09:22:14 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone has tried downgrading the firmware, but Tascam has all the old ones on the downloads page which tells me you should be able to try whatever you want.

That's what I'm thinking, too...I'll report back...

Thanks for taking one for the team. ;D  I have always assumed that for devices like this, upgrading the firmware is essentially wiping and replacing the entire operating system that runs the thing, rather than an incremental patch.

Let us know what you find out.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2016, 10:00:30 PM »
Marantz PMD620 (0 dB, -12 dB, -24 dB) and PMD661 (0 dB, -6 dB, -12 dB, -18 dB) are two.  There are probably others.  I doubt it matters a whole lot if you have a less sensitive input (= low) and add gain to get medium/high or if you have a more sensitive input (= high) and attenuate for medium/low.  For loud music, especially with sensitive mics, that low setting is essential...

Wow, I didn't know the Marantz recorders went that low.  Are those pad level settings?
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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2016, 10:27:24 PM »
When you hit the dead spot on the pots, the meter still shows signal leading you into a trap of thinking you've got signal, but nothing is recorded?

Not sure what you're saying here.  When you hit the dead spot, the meter shows no signal because the channel has turned off, and you're recording silence.  If it was showing signal, that means you're not at the dead spot.

It might also be worth pointing out in the FAQ that before upgrading the firmware, the higher gain range may not be appropriate for rockNroll with high gain mics based on some  user experience.

Maybe, but I think before everyone has a total cow about this, someone else needs to verify my measurements and make sure my numbers are accurate.  As I said, those lower limits are not official, and are what I figured out through my own testing.  My basic math skills are known to be rather suspect at times. :P

The dead zone on the pots is a huge annoyance.  Again, everyone here needs to email Tascam customer support if they want to see any chance of this or other issues fixed.

If I had my way, I'd keep the 4 gain levels they went to in the newer firmwares, but lower them all by 10dB, making the max gain of the unit +53dB.  And this is coming from a classical recording person.  I say this for two reasons:
1. Once you get halfway through HIGH+, it's far too noisy to use for much of anything.  Jim Williams said on GS that that's when the input transistor noise dominates.
2. Anyone that truly needs +63dB of gain is probably doing so with a professional piece of equipment from Sound Devices, Zaxcom, Aeta, Nagra, Millenia, Benchmark, etc.
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2016, 10:35:33 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone has tried downgrading the firmware, but Tascam has all the old ones on the downloads page which tells me you should be able to try whatever you want.

That's what I'm thinking, too...I'll report back...

Thanks for taking one for the team. ;D  I have always assumed that for devices like this, upgrading the firmware is essentially wiping and replacing the entire operating system that runs the thing, rather than an incremental patch.

Let us know what you find out.

FWIW - You CAN revert firmwares!

I just went backward down the numberline...

Now running 1.02 - back to only 3 level choices.

Interestingly - you can keep all your firmware updates in the UTILITY folder - and load any you like.

So - you can still access the more recent formatting tools included in the newer frimwares.

I guess you really can have the best of both worlds!
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 7)
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2016, 06:23:57 AM »
I'm not sure if anyone has tried downgrading the firmware, but Tascam has all the old ones on the downloads page which tells me you should be able to try whatever you want.

That's what I'm thinking, too...I'll report back...

Thanks for taking one for the team. ;D  I have always assumed that for devices like this, upgrading the firmware is essentially wiping and replacing the entire operating system that runs the thing, rather than an incremental patch.

Let us know what you find out.

FWIW - You CAN revert firmwares!

I just went backward down the numberline...

Now running 1.02 - back to only 3 level choices.

Interestingly - you can keep all your firmware updates in the UTILITY folder - and load any you like.

So - you can still access the more recent formatting tools included in the newer frimwares.

I guess you really can have the best of both worlds!

Really? I might have to try that! I thought you COULD revert, and I guess you just confirmed it ;D Have you tried recording with the older v1.02 firmware though? I still worry about getting the "Write Timeout" error if using an older firmware than v1.13[even though I NEVER had a problem with older firmware v1.02>v1.13 using my old PNY Elite SD cards], so maybe I'll test it out :) Thanks a bunch for the info! I have every FW version saved on my PC and UL'd to my MediaFire acct, so I'm going to try going back to v1.02 on one of my 70d's and see if I have any problems recording to my newer SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card for my newest 70d :)

And I agree, the channel just turning OFF at fully counter clockwise is just ridiculous and silly IMO! Who da F**K thinks of this crap at Tascam designing/R&D? Just LMK where to send an email and I'll fire a couple off to Tascam as well ;D
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