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Author Topic: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?  (Read 5509 times)

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Offline hi and lo

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2016, 01:46:13 AM »
I agree that it is likely the 4060s overloading. For stack taping, 4061s or even 4062s are a good idea.

Okay, close stack taping may reach a level where 4061 are required.


the 4060's should be AOK when powered correctly, the specs for the 4061's are 144 dB SPL Before Clipping, 4060's are 134dB SPL  :drummer:


It's not nearly as difficult to overload these mics as you would think. DPA specifies 134 dB max SPL, but that's not an RMS A-weighted rating.

Here's DPA's explanation (LINK):

Quote
In many recording situations it is essential to know the maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL) the microphone can handle. Please note that in most music recording maximum peak SPL's easily supersede the RMS value by more than 20 dB. The RMS value indicates an average SPL and will not show the true SPL peaks.

If you're taping on the stacks and a traditional SPL meter reads 105 - 110 dB (usually measured at the board), peak SPLs at low frequencies can easily approach and exceed 134 dB.

In this situation, a preamp is not needed. In fact, I would say it's borderline suicide. You would be much better off with a battery box and the adjustable gain of your recorder's line input. I'm not familiar with the CA-9100s circuitry and what it's doing on various gain settings, but can only assume it's passing the signal through more circuitry than needed.

A simple 9v power source w/ good quality dc blocking capacitors is all that is really needed and more akin to a 'straight wire.' Adding a preamp device with moving parts, higher current drain, etc. can only create more points of failure. Without question, I think a simple battery box is the better tool for this specific task.

I have run into brickwalling issues running line in to my DR-2D using Schoeps MK4 and RBox twice.  The RBox runs a hotter signal than the NBox which has never had the issue.  The gain on your pre-amp may be the culprit.

Finally, we do need to consider the recorders maximum input level. I don't think it's the gain on the preamp because you mention it only distorts on the bass / kickdrum, but Daspy's experience here is correct. A 'hot' signal can definitely overload the DR-2D input.

Luckily, we can discuss a recorder's maximum input leve in exact voltages and compare it to other recorders. From the DR-2D Manual:

Quote
LINE IN jacks
Connector: 1/8” (3.5 mm) stereo mini Input impedance: 22 kΩ
Nominal input level: –10 dBV (0.32 V)
Minimum input level: –22 dBV (0.08 V)
Maximum input level: +6 dBV (2.0 V)

In terms of input overload resistance, +6 dBv isn't bad, but could be exceeded if an external preamp is used. I'm not going to go into huge detail on this, but let me compare to the line inputs of a few other recorders.

Sound Devices 7xx Line input: +26 dBu (+23.78 dBv)
Roland / Edirol R-44: +24 dBu (+21.78 dBv)
Sony PCM-M10: +6dBv (listed as "Rated input level: 2 V" in the manual specifications)

You'll notice a pretty big difference with the two 'professional' recorders with balanced inputs, but the DR-2D is on par with the venerable Sony M10, which is pretty touch to overload. It's not fun, but I can run a fixed gain pre like the PSP-2 (or Nbox) in front of the M10 for most shows. Dinosaur Jr, perhaps not, but most are fine.

This is in contrast to some handheld recorders with much, much lower input clipping levels. For example, the original R-09. I can't find the exact specification, but it was much lower than +6 dBv and would easily clip with an Nbox.

Huge bummer that the seller mistakenly sold you 4060s. I have no doubt they are the cause of your stack taping woes.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 02:23:29 AM by hi and lo »

Offline aaronji

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2016, 05:28:04 AM »
Sound Devices 7xx Line input: +26 dBu (+23.78 dBv)
Roland / Edirol R-44: +24 dBu (+21.78 dBv)
Sony PCM-M10: +6dBv (listed as "Rated input level: 2 V" in the manual specifications)

guysonic measured this on the M10 and found it could handle +24 dBu.  The mic input could take ~ 2 dBu; Dsatz also measured the mic input, and found the same thing (~ 1 V).  It's difficult to overload that thing...

Offline fandelive

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2016, 11:52:14 AM »
Huge bummer that the seller mistakenly sold you 4060s. I have no doubt they are the cause of your stack taping woes.

I really think the seller could be misinformed about the products he sells.

I sent him a PM more than 3 weeks ago now, explaining the issue and how you can visually tell the difference between 4060's and 4061's.
I consider him liable for selling me the wrong product, so I asked if we could find a deal.

He never replied so I sent him a 2nd PM 3 days ago.

I don't think he's going to reply anyway. His ebay seller name is usedaudiogearuk.

I started a thread over the Ebay and 3rd Party Sales subforum : Ebay ads selling DPA4060 for DPA4061.

Because they are expensive, I spent alot of hours looking for information about those DPA4061 on taperssection.
I've talked to a bunch of tapers who were using them to get feedbacks (4060 or 4061 for my needs ?).
I listened to alot of audience tapes gathered from several websites just to help me making up mind on whether I'd buy a pair or not.

All of this just to finally get fucked by an asshole who doesn't know a shit about the items he's selling.

Also I have to disagree about 4060 not handling loud SPLs.  They go up to 134 dB - please tell me that nothing you're recording hits those levels. :drummer:

I first taped with MM-HLSC-1's (Sennheiser MKE 2's - max SPL: 138dB so not alot more than DPA4060's) and had to made them 4.7k modded to achieve non-brickwalled results.

At this time, I was running MM-HLSC-1 > SP BBox (flat) > Edirol R09-HR (line in).
It was ok for moderately loud rock acts like Jet (Australian rock band), David Gray, but bands like Skunk Anansie or Nickelback were definitely much too loud for those mics.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 12:14:36 PM by fandelive »
Mics : Sony ECM-717, SP-BMC-12, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

Offline aaronji

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2016, 01:21:40 PM »
^ I am pretty sure that the (omni) MKE2s were used for the MM-HLSO.  If I recall correctly, the MM-HLSC also had Sennheiser caps, but cardioids.  Not sure what model.

Offline fandelive

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2016, 01:54:26 PM »
^ I am pretty sure that the (omni) MKE2s were used for the MM-HLSO.  If I recall correctly, the MM-HLSC also had Sennheiser caps, but cardioids.  Not sure what model.

That's exact. Both HLSO and HLSC needed 4.7k mod to handle high SPLs.
Mics : Sony ECM-717, SP-BMC-12, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2016, 02:47:29 PM »
I first taped with MM-HLSC-1's (Sennheiser MKE 2's - max SPL: 138dB so not alot more than DPA4060's) and had to made them 4.7k modded to achieve non-brickwalled results.

That's not a meaningful comparison.

I'm familiar with the Sennheiser MKE2 but not familiar with it's wiring scheme.  However, it must be an unbalanced 3-wire low-voltage design because the 4.7k mod is one a way of adapting a 3-wire microphone to work via a 2-wire connection.  The manufacturer's specifications assume the intended 3-wire connection.  Senn's 138dB max SPL specification is only meaningful if using that intended 3-wire connection.

The microphone works when adapted for a 2-wire connection, but some specifications such as sensitivity and max SPL will change.  Adapted without implementing the mod, the sensitivity is going to be higher and the max SPL lower than if implementing the 4.7K mod. 

I do not know if a 2-wire 4.7k modded MK2 has a higher max SPL than a 3-wire connected MK2 or not.  I do know that a 2-wire MK2 with the 4.7k mod will have a significantly higher max SPL than a 2-wire MK2 without the mod.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 03:23:13 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline ilduclo

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2016, 03:02:11 PM »

In this situation, a preamp is not needed. In fact, I would say it's borderline suicide. You would be much better off with a battery box and the adjustable gain of your recorder's line input. I'm not familiar with the CA-9100s circuitry and what it's doing on various gain settings, but can only assume it's passing the signal through more circuitry than needed.

A simple 9v power source w/ good quality dc blocking capacitors is all that is really needed and more akin to a 'straight wire.' Adding a preamp device with moving parts, higher current drain, etc. can only create more points of failure. Without question, I think a simple battery box is the better tool for this specific task.
 

yeah, kind of what I was saying. I have some friends with 4060's and they don't have a brickwall problem at loud shows, either

Offline fandelive

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2016, 03:03:45 PM »
I'm familiar with the Sennheiser MKE2 but not familiar with it's wiring scheme. [...] The manufacturer's specifications assume the intended 3-wire connection.  Senn's 138dB max SPL specification is only meaningful if using that intended 3-wire connection.

Would it be the same for the DPA's ?
Because I got them originally terminated with 3 pin LEMO connectors. But I now use a pair terminated with one single stereo mini jack (3.5)...

A simple 9v power source w/ good quality dc blocking capacitors is all that is really needed and more akin to a 'straight wire.' Adding a preamp device with moving parts, higher current drain, etc. can only create more points of failure. Without question, I think a simple battery box is the better tool for this specific task.

yeah, kind of what I was saying. I have some friends with 4060's and they don't have a brickwall problem at loud shows, either

Now that you say this, I looked over my collection of audience tapes (not only my masters) and found out a couple of hard rocking performances taped with Coresound HEB (DPA4060 version). No brickwalling. Taped from 10ft back; directly in front of right stack on 8ft. stand.

But I know, for example, that CoreSound HEB have 3 pin connectors. Can you remember what kind of connectors did your friends DPAs have ?
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 03:25:33 PM by fandelive »
Mics : Sony ECM-717, SP-BMC-12, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2016, 03:50:59 PM »
No, the miniature DPAs are all 2-wire to begin with, and the 4.7k mod does not apply to them.  When terminated to a 3-pin plug, only two of the pins are used, unless the plug also contains adapter circuitry for using the mic using a 3-wire powering device (such as a 3-wire battery box, preamp, or wireless transmitter).
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2016, 03:51:19 PM »
We first ran into this problem 15 years ago. It's not new. Properly powered 4060s (both HEBs and stock versions) couldn't handle most Tool shows on the lateralus tour. Always low frequency distortion, but those were the biggest stacks I've ever seen and they were on the stage floor rather than hanging.

Then we tried 4061s with a much higher success rate, but still had one show with subtle distortion.

4062s are the only bulletproof solution for the loudest of shows.

I think the real problem here is the anecdotes. I don't think anyone here is on the same page as to what "loud" is. Everyone always thinks they've been to "the loudest show ever," but all that really matters here is the max / peak energy in the very low frequencies. That's not something the human ear is actually tuned for, so discussing it anecdotally is going to be misleading. Re: DPA's quote about max spl.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 04:06:26 PM by hi and lo »

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2016, 04:28:51 PM »
In this situation, a preamp is not needed. In fact, I would say it's borderline suicide. You would be much better off with a battery box and the adjustable gain of your recorder's line input. [..snip..]

A simple 9v power source w/ good quality dc blocking capacitors is all that is really needed [..snip..] I think a simple battery box is the better tool for this specific task.

^
This is good advice.  Try a battery box rather than a preamp if you haven't done that yet.  Although 4061 is far more appropriate for your use than 4060 (and I sincerely hope you get the situation squared to your satisfaction with the ebay seller) this could end up be a workable solution for more of the shows you do.  It's worth a try at the very least and will determine if it is indeed the preamp and/or recorder which is distorting. 

Two very important caveats-

1) The Line-input of the DR2d has a very limited range of usable input level adjustment and will not offer much control over setting levels.   Input level for line-in must remain between 95 and 100 to avoid overloading of the input-stage.  If the meters are peaking and you try to compensate by reducing the line-input level to a setting lower than 95, the meters will no longer show overloading, however the input stage of the recorder will be distorting - classic "brickwall distortion" as it is commonly referred to here at TS.  That's the recorder's analog input stage overloading from an overly hot input before the signal reaches the ADC.

2) If levels are still going over with the line-input set to 95 and using battery box, you'll need to attenuate the signal between the battery box and the input of the recorder.  You can use an in-line attenuation cable to do that.  I suspect you are going to need one.

An attenuation cable won't solve the limited useful adjustment range of the DR2d's line-input by providing a means of adjustment (it only reduces the signal level by a given amount), but may allow you to make an undistorted recording.  If the resulting levels on the record is in an acceptable range (say peaking somewhere between -20 and 0dBFS), you can normalize the level of the finished recording later on the computer.

I can tell you that using 4060s for what you are recording you certainly will not need or want any positive preamp gain, and you'll likely need some attenuation.  I use 4060 > CA-UGLY(preamp) > DR2d, and these days I don't record much super loud stuff nor am I up close to the stacks if and when I do.  I use the preamp mostly as a way to power the mics, buffer the signal, and fine-tune the signal level out to the recorder.  In my use, I basically have the preamp set to near unity gain, which means it is neither amplifying nor attenuating the signal level from the microphones, or even to slightly negative gain, meaning it's acting as an active attenuation stage.  I'm more or less using the preamp as a fancy battery box.  And since that's a comfortable level for much of the stuff that I record, there is no way it's going to work for what you are recording. 

« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 05:00:01 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2016, 05:21:56 PM »
To recap:

First try 4060 > battery box > DR-2d line-input, with the input level set to 95.  If that does the trick you've solved the problem. 

But if the meters on the DR-2d indicate overload, then use an attenuation cable with sufficient attenuation between the battery box and the input of the DR-2d to reduce the signal level enough so that the meters no longer indicate overload.  If that does the trick you've solved the problem.

But if you are still getting bass distortion (and it's not the PA itself which is distorting), then you are safe in concluding it is the microphones themselves distorting and you'll need to move to 4061 or perhaps even 4062.

I'm sure you are aware of severe and permanent hearing damage caused by such insane sound pressure levels. You'll need to use extreme hearing protection if wearing the mics in those situations or standing anywhere near them, and I sincerely hope you are taking precautions to protect your hearing!
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2016, 06:12:04 PM »
As a long-time 4060 user, one thing I can state with certainty is that the output from these mics can definitely overload consumer-level inputs.  I also know that there are shows ridiculously loud enough (especially as you get really close to the stacks) to overload the mics themselves (although I think this is pretty atypical).  In addition, it is worth noting that audible distortion will occur before the mic actually clips (same SPL as the 4061, though).  That being said, this is a pretty borderline case.  At 134 dBSPL, the mics will output about 8 dBu (5.8 dBV), which is very close to the maximum input level on the recorder.  It could actually be that either the mics, the recorder, or both are overloading here...

I'm sure you are aware of severe and permanent hearing damage caused by such insane sound pressure levels. You'll need to use extreme hearing protection if wearing the mics in those situations or standing anywhere near them, and I sincerely hope you are taking precautions to protect your hearing!

At those levels, probably something on the order of 25 dB attenuation in the plugs would be smart...

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2016, 06:20:19 PM »
Huge bummer that the seller mistakenly sold you 4060s. I have no doubt they are the cause of your stack taping woes.

I really think the seller could be misinformed about the products he sells.

I sent him a PM more than 3 weeks ago now, explaining the issue and how you can visually tell the difference between 4060's and 4061's.
I consider him liable for selling me the wrong product, so I asked if we could find a deal.

He never replied so I sent him a 2nd PM 3 days ago.

I don't think he's going to reply anyway. His ebay seller name is usedaudiogearuk.

I started a thread over the Ebay and 3rd Party Sales subforum : Ebay ads selling DPA4060 for DPA4061.

Because they are expensive, I spent alot of hours looking for information about those DPA4061 on taperssection.
I've talked to a bunch of tapers who were using them to get feedbacks (4060 or 4061 for my needs ?).
I listened to alot of audience tapes gathered from several websites just to help me making up mind on whether I'd buy a pair or not.

All of this just to finally get fucked by an asshole who doesn't know a shit about the items he's selling.

Also I have to disagree about 4060 not handling loud SPLs.  They go up to 134 dB - please tell me that nothing you're recording hits those levels. :drummer:

I first taped with MM-HLSC-1's (Sennheiser MKE 2's - max SPL: 138dB so not alot more than DPA4060's) and had to made them 4.7k modded to achieve non-brickwalled results.

At this time, I was running MM-HLSC-1 > SP BBox (flat) > Edirol R09-HR (line in).
It was ok for moderately loud rock acts like Jet (Australian rock band), David Gray, but bands like Skunk Anansie or Nickelback were definitely much too loud for those mics.

If seller doesn't respond open a case on EBay.  You will get your money back.  I ordered a "new" DR-2D.  I had contacted seller when I did not receive shipping confirmation 2 days before the last date on the delivery window.  No response.  Contacted again on last possible delivery date, no response.  I contacted seller to cancel, no response.  I opened an ebay case.   A week later I get a Dr-2D wrapped in one layer of bubble wrap in a manila envelope left by usps outside.  It was raining so package was wet.  I contact seller again but the next day ebay credits me due to seller being unresponsive.  Two weeks later seller contacts me and I tell them I received a wet DR-2D but never heard back.  The unit seemed new and works fine but it wasn't as ordered. 

Offline fandelive

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Re: Brickwalling with DPA4061 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2016, 05:41:45 PM »
If seller doesn't respond open a case on EBay.  You will get your money back.

Many thanks for suggesting this. I just sent a complaint to both ebay and paypal to get my money back.
I'm pretty happy with the 4060's for moderately loud shows. But most shows I attend are ear-bleeding loud (and don't worry Mr Gutbucket : I always wear a pair of professional ear-plugs ;)).
Mics : Sony ECM-717, SP-BMC-12, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

 

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