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Author Topic: LDC with PCM-M10  (Read 1224 times)

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Offline SDAdam

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LDC with PCM-M10
« on: February 20, 2016, 05:16:11 AM »
Welcome Tapers!

I've been a lurker in this forum for quite a while and I finally registered to ask a question.
The topic of an external mic for PCM-M10 has been discussed to death, but mostly in the context of a shotgun mic (lots of AT897 and NTG-2 topics).

But I haven't been able to get a specific answer to a question of using an LDC mic such as a Rode NT1 (the new one) with PCM-M10. My main goal for which I got the PCM-M10 is low noise, but the built-in omnis while suitable for recording ambiences (I'm also looking at EM172 pair to build a baffled boundary setup for grater stereo, but that's another topic), I'd like to use an LDC (Rode NT1 is supposedly a very quitet mic) it to record point effects in the field. I'm producing sound effect libraries (mainly synthesied, but I need some Foley type sounds sometimes).

Here are a few thoughts of mine which I'd like you opinion on:
1. Shotgun mic would probably do this, but I'm worried about the self-noise (a noise tail audible while the effects tail dies out) and NT1 is much quieter then say an NTG-2 and I don't have the money to invest in a very high end shotgun. Second matter is that I maily record these effects in closed reflective spaces (such as scrap metal hits in a warehouse etc), that's why I need directionality, but a shotgun will probably color the sound of reflections due to the interference tube. Am I correct?
2. From what I understand a battery box will not be enough (as it would be with an electret condenser) and I'd need a full-blown phatom power supply (such as Rolls PB23 - it's said to be a decent PPS, does it add noise?).
3. If I power the NT1 with a PPS and use a XLR to mini-jack adapter cable, will PCM-M10 mic input be enough to get good clean gain?
4. If the above (a PPS) is not enough then I should probably get a Sound Devices MP-1 (in place of Rolls PB23) for the job? Then I would run the signal into the Line In of the PCM-M10.

I know that getting low noise means high price, but since PCM-M10 is quiet, Rolls PB23 is probably good quality, NT1 is quiet (and if needed SD MP-1 is also quiet) then this setup should get me what I want without having to but a $1000 recorder and $1000 mic. My main question is would the Rolls PB23 and PCM-M10 mic input preamp be enough or do I need the MP-1?

Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 03:32:14 PM »
M10 is a great recorder...but to run the LDC I think you would be best served by picking up a used Tascam DR-60...it has Phantom Power and all the gain you need...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TASCAM-DR-60DMKII-Portable-DSLR-Recorder-Mint-Condition-/191810469622?hash=item2ca8cb7ef6:g:pigAAOSwa-dWs7w3

Short of that a external Preamp would be needed....I have no experience with just a Phantom Power unit and using the gain in the M10 with a condenser microphone...not many folks here on TS have gone that route...
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Offline StuStu

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 11:54:31 PM »
For the type of recording you described, noise seems extremely important. Most of us here mainly do fairly to extremely loud PA recording. While noise is important, we don't have as many issues with noise/white noise like yourself. For phantom powered mics, you will often have best results using the gain of an external pre for phantom powering as apposed to a recorder's. Sound Devices preamps are very quiet and produce a nice clean sound. All-in-one recorders are indeed an option. However, recorders with phantom power are certainly not all created equally. If you go that route, I highly recommend checking the specs and searching for feedback here or elsewhere about each specific recorder. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out. Welcome to TS.
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Offline adrianb

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 09:03:00 AM »
I've just built a pair of mics using the EM172 capsules for ambient recording, and I've been really impressed by them. Very low noise floor.

Offline SDAdam

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 10:51:24 AM »
@adrianb Thank you, good to know. I'll probably buy the assembled Clippy ones for recording nature this spiring, could you post some samples of very high gain with these in a quiet room?

I could probably sell my PCM-M10 and get a DR-60DMkII for the same money, but does anyone have any idea, if this will improve the noise floor with an external mic, how good are the preamps (some say that they improved from MkI)? (I'm not a Tascam fan, had a DR-100 and it was very noisy).

http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable-recorder-noise.html

Here they performed tests with NT1-A and a Rolls PB224 PPS through the mix input of the PCM-M10 and it seems to be a little better then built in mics in terms of noise, it also seems that the noise is in the low frequencies and could probably be EQed for the sounds I need to record, so I'll look into that.

edit: At the moment I'm leaning towards the NT1 (probably not A) and a Millenium PP2B power supply (lots of good reviews and cheap), judging from the link above it should work. One thing came up. Since I need to plug into M10's stereo mic input then from what I've read I need a XLR to double-mono cable which is ok, but the power supply output is balanced XLR and the link here http://beat-net.blogspot.com/2011/09/millenium-pp2b-mod.html describes that I need unbalancing transformers mod to match these connections. Anyone has any ideas, if this is indeed needed (I could solder that in, no problem, just wondering)? I could probably just use a passive-DI the other way around (bal to unbal)?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 05:01:44 AM by SDAdam »

Offline SDAdam

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 03:37:11 AM »
anyone?

At the moment I'm pretty convinced to go the Millenium PP2B route with the transformer mod, could somebody comment on it? I don't want to change my recorder to the Tascam and Sound Devices MP-1/MM-1 is twice the price of the recorder, so this is not something I'd like to do.

Offline weroflu

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 04:18:27 AM »
Some ideas...

Denecke phantom power supply - looks smaller than your millenium and battery powered

Naiant tiny or littlebox (used) - great preamp plus phantom power

Oade modded tascam recorder- very good preamps, phantom power all in one

The M10 is very quiet but the preamps are in the 'good+' category imo, not great, and using a lot of gain from the M10 will increase noise.

I think you should bite the bullet and get an all in one solution, or a two box solution (phantom and preamp in one box / separate recorder)

Or maybe look into some low noise battery powered microphones so you don't need a phantom supply.

Also for foley, not that I ever did it, but this might be a situation where 192khz actually is worthwhile. PCM-D100? very good preamps, very good conversion, 192khz, mics are supposed to be very good but only for nature type recording, they can't handle loud sources from what I hear.

Those NT1's are obscenely low noise, but unless your whole chain is  low noise it won't matter. A very low noise preamp with a moderately low noise microphone might serve you better.









Offline SDAdam

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 01:46:09 PM »
Thank you. I cannot think about any LDCs that take batteries, only shotguns and these have higher noise and a worse response.

The things you suggest are significantly out of my budget. I guess I'll risk a $100 for the modded Millenium and see for myself. I'll post here once I do.

Offline chinariderstl

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 04:58:16 PM »
Here ya go ...

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=176523.0

The Tascam DR‑70D has XLR inputs and provides 48V phantom power.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086798-REG/tascam_dr_70d_4_channel_audio_recording.html

You could pick up a Naztech PB15000 external battery and power that thing for days. ;)
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Offline SDAdam

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 02:14:02 PM »
Thank you. Any idea how DR-70D compares to DR-60D MkII? (not taking into account the built in mics and a third XLR). Just preamps and noise level? Maybe the second edition means better pres in the 60D MkII? (there is no 70D MkII, right?)

I'm from Europe so trade with US would be difficult (any experiences, anyone? customs problems?), but thanks anyway for finding that offer.

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: LDC with PCM-M10
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 01:48:47 PM »
There is a huge 6-part thread on the DR-70D (beginning HERE).  Not having the time or inclination to go through it all right now, my recollection is that the preamps between the DR-70 and DR-60 were found to be fairly close to each other in terms of quality and noise; if someone has more concrete references, I'm happy to be corrected.  I also feel that either one would be a step up, slight or otherwise, from the Sony M10 in terms of the preamps.  Good reference page here from Avisoft, no listings for DR-70 and DR-60 but I think the rumor was that they are just as good as the DR-680 preamps. > http://www.avisoft.com/recordertests.htm
I'm really not a fan of Tascam as a whole but I bought a DR-60D(mkI) on a lark when I found a deal too good to pass up.  I don't do the type of low-noise effect and foley work that you do, SDAdam, but I've been pretty happy and pleasantly surprised with the DR-60. 

A caveat that you should be aware of with the DR-70 is that it can be very finicky when it comes to SD cards; Tascam maintains a list of supported cards and contends that the recorder will only work well with the ones on it.  There are many pages in the aforementioned threads dealing with this aspect of the deck.  While some users find that they get exemplary results with the DR-70, there are others who are at wit's end with its idiosyncrasies. 

Finally, comparing the Sound Devices products with anything else mentioned in this thread is an apples to oranges scenario.  SD gear is built like a tank for professional applications (with a price tag to match) while the other brands and products discussed here are pro-sumer at best; not that they're bad, just in a different league.  FWIW, for what you would pay for a brand new MP-1, you could probably find a used MP-2 or MixPre on eBay, here in the Yard Sale, or elsewhere. 

Good luck and keep us posted on what route you go.

 

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