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Author Topic: Tascam DR-2d recording levels are very quiet with low-sens mics  (Read 886 times)

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Offline fandelive

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Today I ran a very first test with my recently acquired Tascam DR-2d.
So I played a hard rock CD, put my mics in front of a speaker and turned the volume up loud (I needed ear-plugs to stay in the room - the sound at a rock show is gonna be louder thought).

My setup consists in :

DPA 4061 > SP Battery-Box (flat) > Mic-in (low) : recording level set at 68/100 (unity gain)
MM-HLSC-1 (w/4.7k mod) > Chruch Audio CA-9100 preamp cranked to the max > Line-in : recording level set at 96/100 (unity gain)

As a result, the DPAs barely reached the -21dB mark while the MM-HLSC-1s barely reached the -27dB mark.

When normalising the recordings to 99%, the listening experience is OK, but...

1. Am I not losing some crucial sound information, definition and clarity when recording at much too low levels and normalising in post ?

2. Is there a way to get a higher level while recording, especially thru the line input, because I'm already set close to the maximum gain (96/100) ?


And another question about using the Tascam : is there a way to change LINE-IN levels on the fly while recording in DUAL_LINE mode ?
I can't seem to find the answer in the user manual, so I guess the answer is "no"...

Thanks,
-fandelive
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 03:29:57 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 adrianf74

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Re: Tascam DR-2d recording levels are very quiet with low-sens mics
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 04:19:59 PM »
As far as those levels on the 2D go, you've got no issue running the 4061 higher on the mic input.  You can increase that with no issue.  The MM mic with preamp seems wonky if you had the gain on the deck up all the way.  Have you tried changing batteries on that?

Question 1 I won't touch because there are some people here who can better answer that.  Question 2, however, you stand correct.  You can't change the recording setting unless stopped.

Offline fandelive

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Re: Tascam DR-2d recording levels are very quiet with low-sens mics
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 01:36:23 PM »
The MM mic with preamp seems wonky if you had the gain on the deck up all the way.  Have you tried changing batteries on that?

Right, I didn't test with a fresh battery. I replaced it and reached the -21dB mark, which is still very quiet.

I played around with my gear today and finally found a satisfying combo :

* MM-HLSC-1 > SP Battery Box > Mic-in (med) @ 86/100
* DPA4061 > CA-9100 cranked @ 3 hours > Line-in @ 96/100 (unity gain)

Both levels then reached the -6dB mark.

Doing this way, I get equal levels and will still be able to add/remove gain on the fly for both mics.

I think the Mic-in setup will give me enough room if I still have to add more gain (+14).
I should probably crank the CA-9100 @ 12 hours (so less gain from the CA to start with) and set Line-in levels @ 100/100 so that I would get more room to play with if I have to add more gain. What do you think ?

Thanks
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 adrianf74

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Re: Tascam DR-2d recording levels are very quiet with low-sens mics
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 11:57:47 AM »
Sorry for the delayed reply. Not around anywhere as much as I used to be.

Those results are better. Aiming for -6dB is a little hot IMHO.  I like aiming for peaks around -12 to -10dB which allows headroom for loud "hits" during the show.  When recording in 24-bit, you'll be okay to boost in post. 

That said, to get to those numbers, I'd expect the 9100 would be around 1 o'clock (which was where I used to run it) with the 2D (I ran an M10 at the time I had a 9100 but have the 2D now).  I'd say around 75-78 for the mic input and you should be golden.

Hope that helps.

Offline fandelive

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Re: Tascam DR-2d recording levels are very quiet with low-sens mics
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 12:36:28 PM »
Sorry for the delayed reply. Not around anywhere as much as I used to be.

No a problem at all ;)

I finally found out there was a huge Tascam DR-2d thread with alot of information, and I also wrote a post there.
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=154697.msg2180967#msg2180967

Another taper adviced me to limit peaks at -12dB so I can save some headroom. I ran another test and here's what I got :

* MM-HLSC-1 > SP battery-box (flat) > mic-in (low) @ 100/100
* DPA4061 > CA-9100 preamp (set @ 12 o'clock) > line-in @ 100/100

Both peaked @ around -12dB. Way to go ;)

I'm gonna stay with this setup now and try to check levels tonight during opening act and first song of main act.

Many thanks for helping me out ;)
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 adrianf74

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Re: Tascam DR-2d recording levels are very quiet with low-sens mics
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2016, 04:13:14 PM »
Glad to be of help.  :)

 

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