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Author Topic: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder  (Read 65515 times)

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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2013, 05:04:08 PM »
Go to the web page, they show a picture of a discrete front end (surface mount transistors) plus a 4580 opamp!

Discrete front end is a great way to get low noise, but the sound quality (distortion) is unlikely to be as good as a proper opamp.  We see discrete front ends in a lot of gear, all the way back to the AD20.  It will never sound good for music unless designed by a competent engineer.  They are great for video or ambient sound (low) noise, and that is what most (video) people want.

For example, the best sounding recorder I have is the Sony PCM D50.  Someone here posted a schematic of the front end, and I saw ADA4841-2 as the opamp.  That part is designed to operate at low voltage and low distortion.

Now let's compare that to the Creative EMU 0404 USB.  This is an excellent very low noise USB device, with top converters too.  The problem is the discrete front end on the mic preamp (four surface mount transistors per channel).  This is great for low noise applications (eg., a dynamic mic input, far from the sound source), but it sounds noticeable worse than a TI INA163 instrumentation amp running at +/-15V.

So, after buying, modding, and sometimes ruining tons of gear, I recommend either buying a Sony D50 and putting phantom power in front, or buying an INA163-based preamp and putting analog output into a solid line-level recorder, Edirol R09 or whatever.  Save yourself the aggravation of using a cheap mic input...

Note: my comparisons of several interfaces are based on Countryman B3 mics in front of an excellent Meyer PA in a local night club.  I've tried numerous recorders including: Fostex FR2-LE, Edirol R4, Edirol UA5, Presonus Firebox, etc.  None of them touches the sound quality of an ancient M-audio Duo USB interface with INA163 preamps!  The problem is that the convertors are not great on this box.  So I may just hack it for a preamp only.

I've been poking around a lot. Older boxes use INA217.  Most current gear, such as RME Fireface use TI INA163   Now both Apogee and RME are moving to TI PGA2500, which is a programmable gain version of the INA chips.  There are some DIY projects working with the PGA2500, but the problem is you need a digital controller chip to set the gain.  The digital and analog parts have to be separated on the board to avoid interference.  Programming is also hard.  So, my recommendation is to build an INA163 preamp + phantom PSU.  Even something with fixed gain, like 20dB, would go a long way to making all of our portable recorders useful.

BTW, if Jon or someone else took this on, I would be interested in buying one.

  Richard


 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 05:16:42 PM by illconditioned »
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runonce

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2013, 05:30:28 PM »
Go to the web page, they show a picture of a discrete front end (surface mount transistors) plus a 4580 opamp!


 

Do you know if that is different than the 680?

runonce

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 05:31:43 PM »
What happens to the audio on "Camera In"? Is that just for monitoring whats happening on the camera?

tomuo

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 06:03:09 PM »
Quote
Tom, how many volts of plug in power?
Sorry, the exact voltage,etc are not specs we publish (don't know why, it's just a policy we have).

Quote
Go to the web page, they show a picture of a discrete front end (surface mount transistors) plus a 4580 opamp!
Correct, this is a new combination of parts we designed for the US-322/US-366.  It is different to the DR-680 and other DR series. We are proud of it.  We (with an additional team of ears we respect) spent a long time comparing the sound with different transistors.

Quote
What happens to the audio on "Camera In"? Is that just for monitoring whats happening on the camera?
For Monitoring:  From the manual :
When the Home Screen is open and the recorder is stopped, paused, in recording standby or recording, press the MONITOR SELECT button to open a pop-up where you can select which sound to monitor. Turn the DATA dial and select CAMERA IN.

The monitoring path also contains an auto-leveler/expander function that we call "level align", so that even if you record at low levels, you can hear what was recorded properly without needing to crank the headphone output.

Offline kenyee

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 06:06:18 PM »
Nice idea by Tascam.  Should be interesting to see how it compares w/ the DR-40 which most video people seem to have migrated to because it's cheaper than the Zoom H4n.  I like that you can mount it to your tripod socket.
Wish Roland would pay attention to DSLR video too...their R-26 needs a few tweaks for it to work better..

Offline Colin Liston

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 06:41:22 PM »
Just marking for interest
Occasionally....music mics record

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 08:03:14 PM »
I can't help feeling that aspects of the DR-680 monitoring are a bit like the Naiant monitoring mixer they built for me to my specifications to overcome the shortcomings of monitoring on the R44. In particular, the "camera in" monitoring facility corresponds with the provision on the Naiant device for monitoring a stereo backup recorder fed from the output of the monitor mixer (with variable output level just like the output to camera of this Tascam device).  I should have patented the design...  anyway, those provisions make the DR-60D very usable as the first of a two-recorder rig for those who can't bring themselves not to have a backup recorder running.

Which gives rise to a question to Tom - in that situation, the 60D feeding a backup recorder, obviously if there's a major failure of the 60D, the backup recorder (or camera) won't be getting any sound, but if the more likely scenario happens whereby there's a write problem on the memory card in the 60D, does the 60D shut down and turn off output to camera, or would it continue that output so you'd still come away with a recording?  These days, you run a backup recording chiefly to cover yourself against such a media failure (unless you use a mixer split to two independent recording devices).

Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 08:15:10 PM »
Regarding voltage specs for plug in power, it's a measurement that take seconds with a volt meter. However it's a spec that matters, especially to us. PIP Mics distort st high SPL unless they are supplied sufficient voltage. If this unit negates the need for an external power supply, it's a selling point for me.
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 08:51:57 PM »
Here's an idea, Tom, for which you can reward me with a free DR-60D in due course -

Clearly this device is intended to address the requirement of videographers using DSLR cameras.  So, it doesn't have built in mics like other small Tascam recorders, so it's not so suitable for people wanting a one-piece mic/recorder device.

The trouble with built in mics is that typically (if not invariably) the mics are inferior to the recorder.  It's actually refreshing to see a small recorder without those often useless appendages.

However, it would be quite easy to design an accessory kit for the DR-60D which would make it the ultimate one-piece recorder/mic combo, designed so that you'd bring you own mics.

The kit would consist of a short post about 12cm in length, perhaps shaped as a handgrip, which at the bottom would have a threaded socket to accept the screw on the top of the 60D - in other words you'd screw this handgrip onto the top of the recorder.

On the top of the handgrip would be a standard mic stand screw, allowing you to attach a mic clip (not supplied) above the hand grip, and of course you'd then put your mic pair (one piece ideally) into the mic clip.  In handheld use, the recorder below your hand would tend to counterbalance the mic above your hand.

I have a mental picture of my Sennheiser MKH MS mics mounted in this way - what an awesome handheld rig that would make!

In order to attach the recorder/mic combo to a mic stand, if desired, you'd include a suitable adapter from mic stand to camera thread in the kit, to attach to the bottom of the recorder.

You could also include in the kit a couple of short mic leads, say 30cm, for neatly connecting the mics to the recorder without having to deal with dangling wires.  And the handgrip could incorporate a trigger to toggle between record and stop when used handheld.

You read it here first.

runonce

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 09:20:56 PM »
I suppose we're all looking at that 1/8th inch input and wishing it would be switchable to accept a commercial line level...?


Scratch that - just re-read Toms comments on the last page...line level too!

Mic and Line level (-10dBV with 20dB headroom) compatible.  unbalanced

I can't quite tell from the photos - but is that an inner knob/outer ring setup there?

I was kind of sold on the 680 - but I will probably have enough challenges just going to 4 channels and 24 bits...my primary application, Im usually getting SBD RCA feeds - so the 1/8 input doesn't really scare me.

And the new preamps sound very interesting.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 09:45:16 PM by runonce »

Offline ArchivalAudio

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2013, 02:23:21 AM »
Tom, how many volts of plug in power?

looks like it can be USB powered (5v) or
Quote
Four AA batteries(Alkaline or NI-MH),
USB bus power,
Dedicated AC adapter(TASCAM PS-P515U, sold separately),
Dedicated external battery pack(TASCAM BP-6AA, sold separately)

6 AA  or 6 x 1.5 v = 9vdc
which could mean a dvd battery!

~ Archival Audio ~
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since 1986 & digitally since 1995

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Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2013, 02:34:34 AM »
Tom, how many volts of plug in power?

looks like it can be USB powered (5v) or
Quote
Four AA batteries(Alkaline or NI-MH),
USB bus power,
Dedicated AC adapter(TASCAM PS-P515U, sold separately),
Dedicated external battery pack(TASCAM BP-6AA, sold separately)

6 AA  or 6 x 1.5 v = 9vdc
which could mean a dvd battery!
PIP - mic power on the 3.5mm jack 
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M10, UA-5, US-1800, Presonus Firepod

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Offline ArchivalAudio

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 12:27:03 PM »
Tom, how many volts of plug in power?

looks like it can be USB powered (5v) or
Quote
Four AA batteries(Alkaline or NI-MH),
USB bus power,
Dedicated AC adapter(TASCAM PS-P515U, sold separately),
Dedicated external battery pack(TASCAM BP-6AA, sold separately)

6 AA  or 6 x 1.5 v = 9vdc
which could mean a dvd battery!
PIP - mic power on the 3.5mm jack

oops... nevermind sorry I did not fully read...
~ Archival Audio ~
Archiving Worthy Music
since 1986 & digitally since 1995

https://www.facebook.com/ArchivalAudio/

Main Mics: Milab VM-44 Links • Milab DC-196's (Matched  Pair)  • Line Audio CM3's
PreAmps:  Naiant LittleBox • Naiant [Milab VM44] TinyBox • Naiant PIPsqueak
Recorders: MixPre 10T •  Tascam DR-100 mkIII • Sony M-10 

macMini 3Ghz i7 16GB Ram 500GB SSD • MOTU UltraLite
Naiant MSH-2's •   TOA K1's • Beyer TG 153c's •  AT 853 (4.7kmod darktrain) • Countryman B3's (1 k mod)  + other assorted mics

tomuo

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2013, 07:59:43 PM »
Quote
... the more likely scenario happens whereby there's a write problem on the memory card in the 60D, does the 60D shut down and turn off output to camera, or would it continue that output so you'd still come away with a recording?  These days, you run a backup recording chiefly to cover yourself against such a media failure (unless you use a mixer split to two independent recording devices).
Good question.  I need to investigate what actually happens.  At first you'll probably see an error message "Write Timeout", and the recording will stop.  I'm not sure right now whether the output gets interrupted for a split second when the recorder changes states.  I'm hoping it doesn't but I can't be 100%.

Quote
PIP Mics distort at high SPL unless they are supplied sufficient voltage
True, but Plug in power is a combination of the supplied voltage and the impedance, so depending on the load, the voltage alone doesn't tell you if a particular mic is going to work well or not...   P48 phantom power has the impedance explicitly defined, not so for PIP, which is why it becomes a sticky point to compare two products with different PIP ratings...

Quote
I can't quite tell from the photos - but is that an inner knob/outer ring setup there?
Sorry, no, it's just a nicely contoured single piece knob.

Thanks to Ozpeter for his rig idea. I'm hoping that NAB will bring up some more ideas for accessories as well, as people start to put a mental picture together of how they are going to use it.

Tom.

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam DR-60D - 4 Channel recorder
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2013, 06:18:13 PM »
Quote
Good question.  I need to investigate what actually happens.

Perhaps testing what happens when the card fills up would be a relatively easy test to do (with a small capacity card) and hopefully valid for a write failure - not sure how you'd readily test for that, as you can bet that on the one occasion you actually want a card to fail, it won't!

 

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