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Offline leehookem

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Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« on: April 26, 2015, 05:32:11 PM »
Here's Part 1
Here's Part 2

Tom Duffy from TASCAM, "site rep"

And thanks to voltronic, for putting together a FAQ page with recommended settings.

http://tascam.com/product/dr-70d/overview/

-Compact, professional-grade audio recorder designed to be used in combination with a DSLR camera
    -Uses an SD/SDHC/SDXC card as recording medium (up to 128 GB)
    -High-quality recording inputs through Tascam original High Definition Discrete Architecture (HDDA) microphone preamps
    -NE5532 operational amplifiers for even higher audio performance (also used on DA-3000)
    -In addition to ordinary stereo recording, simultaneous recording of up to four channels is possible
    -Four channels can be mixed down to a stereo signal
    -Recording levels can be adjusted independently for inputs 1–4
    -Dual recording function allows two files to be recorded simultaneously at different levels
    -Recording at 44.1/48/96 kHz, 16/24-bit, linear PCM (WAV format)
    -Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) supported as WAV recording format
    -Two built-in omnidirectional microphones
    -Four XLR/TRS combo inputs can provide phantom power (+24V/+48V)
    -+24 dBu maximum input level (20 dB headroom)
    -Additional unbalanced input for channels 1 and 2 (stereo mini jack) supports mics that require plug-in power, allowing the input of video mics and other high-output mics
    -Switchable low-cut filter conveniently reduces low-frequency noise (40 Hz, 80 Hz, 120 Hz)
    -Switchable limiter to prevent clipping
    -High-quality audio can be output to a DSLR camera for recording
    -Camera input enables convenient monitoring of audio from a DSLR camera
    -Selectable mid-side decoding for use with MS microphone setups
    -Slate tone functions (automatic/manual) to simplify synchronization of video files when editing
    -Pre-recording function allows the unit to record the two seconds of sound before recording is activated

    -Auto recording function to start start and stop recording by input level
    -A new file can be created during recording (manually or by file size)
    -Self-timer function to start recording after a set period of time
    -Jump-back function allows the last several seconds of the currently played file to be replayed again by simply pressing a button
    -Selectable delay to eliminate time lags caused by differences in the distances of two input sources
    -QUICK button allows easy access to various functions
    -Mark function convenient for moving to specific locations
    -Equalizers for playback, and level alignment function to enhance the perceived overall sound pressure
    -File name format can be set to use a user-defined word or the date
    -Resume function to memorize the playback position before the unit is turned off
    -Line output and headphones output with individual level controls (3.5-mm jack)
    -Dedicated remote control jack for use with RC-10 and RC-3F (sold separately)
    -Hold switch to prevent accidental operation
    -Low-noise buttons
    -128 x 64 pixel LC display with backlight
    -USB 2.0 port
    -Stand adapter (¼ inch) on bottom side to attach the unit to a tripod
    -DSLR bracket for easy camera attachment and removal
    -Hot shoe mount (accessible when not using the DSLR bracket)
    -Handles on the front left and right sides protect the screen and can be used to attach a shoulder belt
    -Operates on four AA batteries, an AC adapter (sold separately: TASCAM PS-P515U), external battery pack (sold separately: TASCAM BP-6AA) or USB bus power





« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 06:53:25 PM by leehookem »
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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 07:49:43 PM »
I got my unit last week, but finally put it through its paces this weekend.  I discovered a slight annoyance that won't affect me because I won't be using the settings that this is an issue for, but nature recordists will DEFINITELY have a problem with, unless the issue is unique to my unit.

The basic problem is that there's diginoise present when adjusting gain knobs 1 and 4 at the highest gain settings.  The good news though is that noise doesn't exist when the knobs aren't being moved.  Also, the noise doesn't exist on knobs 2 and 3 at all.  It only exists with the input gain setting on MIC and the basic settings either high or High + Plus.  It's the same with both knobs 1 and 4.  The issue isn't present when any of the channels are set on the input setting to LINE.  The issue is present 100% of the time I move the gain knob on knobs 1 and 4...in other words, it's not intermittent or sporadic.  So to summarize...

Gain knobs 2 and 3 - No issues on any settings

Gain knobs 1 and 4 - Digi-noise is present when...

Basic - Low, Input - Line, No noise
Basic - Low, Input - Mic, No noise
Basic - High, Input - Line, No noise
Basic - High, Input - Mic, YES NOISE
Basic - High + Plus, Input - Line, No noise
Basic - High + Plus, Input - Mic, YES NOISE
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 07:56:32 PM by tonedeaf »

Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 08:03:56 PM »
I got my unit last week, but finally put it through its paces this weekend.  I discovered a slight annoyance that won't affect me because I won't be using the settings that this is an issue for, but nature recordists will DEFINITELY have a problem with, unless the issue is unique to my unit.

The basic problem is that there's diginoise present when adjusting gain knobs 1 and 4 at the highest gain settings.  The good news though is that noise doesn't exist when the knobs aren't being moved.  Also, the noise doesn't exist on knobs 2 and 3 at all.  It only exists with the input gain setting on MIC and the basic settings either high or High + Plus.  It's the same with both knobs 1 and 4.  The issue isn't present when any of the channels are set on the input setting to LINE.  The issue is present 100% of the time I move the gain knob on knobs 1 and 4...in other words, it's not intermittent or sporadic.  So to summarize...

Gain knobs 2 and 3 - No issues on any settings

Gain knobs 1 and 4 - Digi-noise is present when...

Basic - Low, Input - Line, No noise
Basic - Low, Input - Mic, No noise
Basic - High, Input - Line, No noise
Basic - High, Input - Mic, YES NOISE
Basic - High + Plus, Input - Line, No noise
Basic - High + Plus, Input - Mic, YES NOISE
Weird.  When you say this only happens when the input is set to MIC, does is also occur when the input is set to MIC+PHANTOM?  (For those that don't know, that's how you enable phantom on the 70D.  MIC is the setting one would use for dynamic or ribbon mics.)

Besides testing with and without phantom (at 24 and 48V), the other test I'd be curious about is if this occurs with and without mics connected.
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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 08:41:57 PM »
Weird.  When you say this only happens when the input is set to MIC, does is also occur when the input is set to MIC+PHANTOM?  (For those that don't know, that's how you enable phantom on the 70D.  MIC is the setting one would use for dynamic or ribbon mics.)

Besides testing with and without phantom (at 24 and 48V), the other test I'd be curious about is if this occurs with and without mics connected.

I won't be able to test it with mics + phantom since I don't have any mics that run off of 24V or 48V phantom and I don't have any line input devices to test it with other than mics.  Sorry.

Offline H₂O

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2015, 09:02:00 PM »
This noise is also evident on the HS-P82 (which the preamp > AD arch in the 70D seams to be based off of) and only evident when you adjusting gain above around 60-70% gain when the PRE's are engaged - to note I have only tested with the -25 db pads enabled on the p82 and this would only come into play with very quite sources such as nature recording.

People have complained but Tascam hasn't come back with any fix
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 09:29:26 AM by H₂O »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2015, 09:33:51 PM »
Weird.  When you say this only happens when the input is set to MIC, does is also occur when the input is set to MIC+PHANTOM?  (For those that don't know, that's how you enable phantom on the 70D.  MIC is the setting one would use for dynamic or ribbon mics.)

Besides testing with and without phantom (at 24 and 48V), the other test I'd be curious about is if this occurs with and without mics connected.

I won't be able to test it with mics + phantom since I don't have any mics that run off of 24V or 48V phantom and I don't have any line input devices to test it with other than mics.  Sorry.

Well all of my mics require phantom so I can try this at some point.  I didn't realize your CMMT's couldn't take phantom power - My Schoeps experience is limited to CMC5/6 and KCY>VMS, but I've never gotten to use any of the older models.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2015, 10:18:32 PM »
Well all of my mics require phantom so I can try this at some point.  I didn't realize your CMMT's couldn't take phantom power - My Schoeps experience is limited to CMC5/6 and KCY>VMS, but I've never gotten to use any of the older models.

CMT 30 F, CMMT 30 F and AF all originally ran at the older -12v Phantom power - One pair of Steve's CMMT's where modded in France to run at +12V Phantom and 2 are original -12V  (his 5th is unknown as of yet)

I also have a pair of modded CMMT's that run at +12V.  I will be modding to run at +48v - as right now they will run at +48V but pull 11.5mA which is far from ideal and only one pre-amp I have offers +12v Phantom.

The original -12 V CMT 30 F and CMMT 30F (not AF) can be modded somewhat easily to run at +12V or +48V but you do need to swap out all the NPN transistors with PNP transistors and flip a bunch of caps and diode's around (also some re-wiring in the head of the CMMT).   The circuits are very similar to the newer CMC series.

The AF is a different bird though

« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 10:22:56 PM by H₂O »
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 08:32:46 AM »
Someone mentioned lower output mics (like the Nak/TEAC/Primo family) - that's been the biggest challenge with this deck. More imperative to make soundcheck to pick the right gain range!

Last week for Yarn (dfc - 25 feet from stage) - my Sony ECM999PR Stereo Mic was at LOW on channel 3/4 - but I had levels cranked to max...maybe once I hit -12db. Should have used the HIGH setting.

My AUDIX M1280s, also on LOW, were closer to 2-3 o'clock...(more typical expectation of condensers)

Another time with my Altec 626s in our theatre - back of the room, maybe 35 feet from stage, country music - I needed the HIGH mic setting to get good gain.

First deck I've had where too low a input level has been an issue.
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 08:52:17 AM »
One other problematic feature is that gain knobs go all the way down to nothing - no gain.

This is a pain when you're fighting "too high" levels.

When you get to the bottom range of the knob - you face an "all or nothing" scenario.

Being able to accidentally shut off all gain makes the backup recording feature less useful...it would be nice to be able to back the knobs all the way down and know your backup tracks will be ok.

It seems like the upper 2 gain ranges should pass some gain at minimum knob setting. Maybe not totally linear (relative to the LOW setting) - but it would be nice if there was some overlap and some gain passed at minimum knob.

Only the LOW setting should go to no gain.
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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 09:20:22 AM »
The biggest thing that people need to realize with this deck is that the Low, High, and High + Plus settings from the Basic menu ARE NOT the only settings that you need to use to set your gain structure.  You also want to pay close attention to the gain setting on the input menu and set it to LINE or MIC.  LINE gives you less gain and MIC gives you more. 

So generally speaking, the louder the recorded content (loud rock and roll concerts)  the more likely you'll move towards LINE on the input menu and LOW on the Basic menu...the quieter the recorded content (bird calls in nature) the more likely you'll move towards MIC on the input menu and HIGH + PLUS on the the Basic menu.

Most will probably default to setting this to MIC since they're recording with microphones, but based on my earlier message, I will always be using the LINE setting since I get the digi-noise I mentioned earlier on two of the four gain knobs.


Offline jmerin

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 10:01:17 AM »
The biggest thing that people need to realize with this deck is that the Low, High, and High + Plus settings from the Basic menu ARE NOT the only settings that you need to use to set your gain structure.  You also want to pay close attention to the gain setting on the input menu and set it to LINE or MIC.  LINE gives you less gain and MIC gives you more. 

So generally speaking, the louder the recorded content (loud rock and roll concerts)  the more likely you'll move towards LINE on the input menu and LOW on the Basic menu...the quieter the recorded content (bird calls in nature) the more likely you'll move towards MIC on the input menu and HIGH + PLUS on the the Basic menu.

Most will probably default to setting this to MIC since they're recording with microphones, but based on my earlier message, I will always be using the LINE setting since I get the digi-noise I mentioned earlier on two of the four gain knobs.

Did any one figure out the difference between line 1 +2 stereo and 1+2 external power? Those are two choices if you are using a mini plug source.
Thanks
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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2015, 11:08:59 AM »
Did any one figure out the difference between line 1 +2 stereo and 1+2 external power? Those are two choices if you are using a mini plug source.
Thanks

I'm not real sure what you mean, but I think you're asking about the last setting on the Basic menu.  I was also initially confused by that, but figured it out.

Under Input 1/2, there are three choices;

- XLR/TRS, this is the choice most of us will use most of the time...that's means your inputs are from XLR 1 and 2 jacks
- EXT_STEREO, this means inputs 1 and 2 will record the signal from the 1/8 ext jack.  This is the default because, remember that the DR70D is designed to be used with a digital camera.  Use this setting the same as you would 'Line In' jack on the typical handheld recorder.
- EXT_POWER, this is the same as EXT_STEREO only with PIP turned on.  Use this setting the same as 'Mic In' jack on the typical handheld recorder.

When you move through the menu to inputs 3/4, the choices are different than they were for inputs 1/2;

- XLR/TRS, again most of us will use this choice...this is to record the mics connected to XLR 3 and 4.
- MIC, this is the default and it records the internal mic onto Channels 3 and 4 instead of the XLRs.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 11:27:04 AM by tonedeaf »

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2015, 11:19:50 AM »
The biggest thing that people need to realize with this deck is that the Low, High, and High + Plus settings from the Basic menu ARE NOT the only settings that you need to use to set your gain structure.  You also want to pay close attention to the gain setting on the input menu and set it to LINE or MIC.  LINE gives you less gain and MIC gives you more. 

So generally speaking, the louder the recorded content (loud rock and roll concerts)  the more likely you'll move towards LINE on the input menu and LOW on the Basic menu...the quieter the recorded content (bird calls in nature) the more likely you'll move towards MIC on the input menu and HIGH + PLUS on the the Basic menu.

Most will probably default to setting this to MIC since they're recording with microphones, but based on my earlier message, I will always be using the LINE setting since I get the digi-noise I mentioned earlier on two of the four gain knobs.

Did any one figure out the difference between line 1 +2 stereo and 1+2 external power? Those are two choices if you are using a mini plug source.
Thanks

I think 1/2 stereo is a consumer -10db line level input - and 1/2 ext power is mic level+Plug-in power.
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 11:33:09 AM »
The biggest thing that people need to realize with this deck is that the Low, High, and High + Plus settings from the Basic menu ARE NOT the only settings that you need to use to set your gain structure.  You also want to pay close attention to the gain setting on the input menu and set it to LINE or MIC.  LINE gives you less gain and MIC gives you more.

Have to check this - I just fired mine up and set 3/4 to the built-in mics(MIC) in BASIC - gain LOW (and then again with HIGH same result)

Then in INPUT - I made Input Gain MIC on channel 3 - and LINE on Channel 4 - and I can't see a difference...at least when it comes to the built in mics.
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Re: Tascam DR-70D 4-channel audio recorder (Part 3)
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2015, 11:49:45 AM »
Did any one figure out the difference between line 1 +2 stereo and 1+2 external power? Those are two choices if you are using a mini plug source.
Thanks

I'm not real sure what you mean, but I think you're asking about the last setting on the Basic menu.  I was also initially confused by that, but figured it out.

Under Input 1/2, there are three choices;

- XLR/TRS, this is the choice most of us will use most of the time...that's means your inputs are from XLR 1 and 2 jacks
- EXT_STEREO, this means inputs 1 and 2 will record the signal from the 1/8 ext jack.  This is the default because, remember that the DR70D is designed to be used with a digital camera.  Use this setting the same as you would 'Line In' jack on the typical handheld recorder.
- EXT_POWER, this is the same as EXT_STEREO only with PIP turned on.  Use this setting the same as 'Mic In' jack on the typical handheld recorder.

When you move through the menu to inputs 3/4, the choices are different than they were for inputs 1/2;

- XLR/TRS, again most of us will use this choice...this is to record the mics connected to XLR 3 and 4.
- MIC, this is the default and it records the internal mic onto Channels 3 and 4 instead of the XLRs.

I dont think there are any real gain selections there  - other than the EXT switch from line to mic. Those are just source selectors.

I think the INPUT menu is where it happens - if your using MICS+PHANTOM - that's your only choice - you cant choose LINE (or MIC) there or your mics wont work.

The menu is poorly/confusingly named - INPUT > INPUT GAIN
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 12:03:56 PM by Life In Rewind »
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