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Author Topic: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?  (Read 793 times)

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Offline vermouth

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I was looking into gear like Church Audio mics and a battery box to use with my DR-40 to tape rock concerts, but I found a recording straight off the DR-40's onboard mics and it sounds better than most recordings I'm hearing by tapers with external mic setups.
https://archive.org/details/tsp2016-04-19.flac16/tsp2016-04-19t07.flac

The shows are going to be outdoors in big venues like the Hollywood Bowl. Taping isn't allowed at some of them, so a simple setup is ideal.

If I plan to just use the onboard mics, could anyone recommend the settings I should use on the DR-40? I have never done this before so any help is appreciated. I plan to wear the DR-40 on a lanyard.

I do own a Rode Lavalier mic (professional MiCon lav), is that useful? I have an XLR adapter and used it for interviews with the DR40.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 12:34:34 AM by vermouth »

Offline hedfro

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Hi,
Lanyard is not a good idea, cause you have to point the mics towards the speakers, not the ground with your lanyard...
Tascam DR-40X, Tascam DR-2D (x2), Roland R-07 (x2).
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Offline mountainhop

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DR40 is fine but i assure you the mics are no better than any others. what you are hearing in that recording is location, location, location

the best way to get in spots like that that sound good is with smaller gear where mics arent a part of a larger recorder you dont have to hold up toward the PA

in addition, smaller gear is easier to get inside a venue, which is a growing concern

Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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DR-40 may be tough to get in. Can't be passed as anything other than a recording device.
Mics: AT 3031; AT 853Rx (c, o); CA-14(c); Naiant X-R (h); Studio Projects C4 (c, o, h); Nak 300/Tascam PE-125/JVC M510 (cp-1, cp-2, cp-3, JVC M510 superdirectional caps)
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Offline vermouth

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. Is there a much smaller but comparable handheld recorder that would give similar results to the DR-40?

Lanyard is not a good idea, cause you have to point the mics towards the speakers, not the ground with your lanyard...
I have a camera d-ring swivel mount on the DR40, so it can hang and face forward toward the source.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 02:24:10 AM by vermouth »

Offline hedfro

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Roland R-07, Sony A10 are small devices
Tascam DR-40X, Tascam DR-2D (x2), Roland R-07 (x2).
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Offline Twenty8

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I was looking into gear like Church Audio mics and a battery box to use with my DR-40 to tape rock concerts,
Good place to come.  Welcome!
Quote
but I found a recording straight off the DR-40's onboard mics and it sounds better than most recordings I'm hearing by tapers with external mic setups.
We will approach this later.
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The shows are going to be outdoors in big venues like the Hollywood Bowl. Taping isn't allowed at some of them, so a simple setup is ideal.
Whether indoors or outdoors, it sounds like you are looking for a stealth setup.  Your first sentence is spot on: small mics > bat box > recorder --- ALL CONCEALED.
Quote
If I plan to just use the onboard mics, could anyone recommend the settings I should use on the DR-40? I have never done this before so any help is appreciated.
The DR40 was my first deck 5 years ago.  I don't remember the settings, but as with my soon-to-be-departed DR680mkii I would imagine line-in and turn the gain on each channel all the way to the max.  Bump it down a couple clicks and you should be at a decent starting point.  Quieter music... besides not having a great deck for quieter sounds, perhaps mic-in would be your best starting point, but the levels would have to be tamed as well.  You will have to pay close attention, but line-in will be the way to go in a loud rock concert situation and you will need more gain than the mic-in setting.
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I plan to wear the DR-40 on a lanyard.
Wait?  What?  I thought you said the venue did not allow taping... We will bundle this with the second part of your first sentence.
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I do own a Rode Lavalier mic (professional MiCon lav), is that useful? I have an XLR adapter and used it for interviews with the DR40.
Its usefull.  However, to properly record at the quality you want you will need two microphones as a stereo pair.  Just like the on-board DR40 mics - one left channel, one right channel.

The DR40 will do what you want... with caveats.  If you plan on having the deck on a lanyard, you are open taping.  You are now openly recording in a venue or with a band that forbids it.  You may get caught.  You will miss the show and might lose venue access.  This is why another member (and myself and 20 silent readers) are telling you to drop this idea.  Unless this is how you want to OPEN tape, this is not a solution for one of the scenarios you mentioned in your post.  It may have worked in the past, but its ill-advised going forward.

From the exact same position in a venue, using the on-board microphones on any of the decks you read about on this board will produce a lower quality recording as that of a mic > power > deck set-up.  You may feel differently and that is the joy of taping and that is the love of subjectivity.  However, going with your first thought of CA mics > batt box > deck is a better, more proven successful way of making a high quality recording that you are uploading for the universe to hear.

As a new member of this board, there is a WEALTH of information for you here.  Our search function rocks.  Find more on what you would like to accomplish by spending time reading this board.  Pages of it.

Also, more technical detail on what you are asking is sometimes dealt with private messages when talk gets deep.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 09:56:27 AM by Twenty8 »
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Offline roffels

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Echoing the above. Trying to pull a good tape stealth with onboard mics sounds like a really difficult task.

I've heard a few tapes from dimeadozen with onboard mics used similar to the way you described, aside from having a historical record of what was played, they're pretty unlistenable. You can sort of hear the music, kind of like listening to music at a block party that's several streets away. I don't mean that in a snobby way. If you had a good way of aiming the mics and concealing it, I'm sure that would work better.

Offline nulldogmas

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To add to what Twenty8 and Roffels said above: Even aside from external mics generally being better quality than internals, being able to place them where you want — on your shoulders, the sides of your head, the sides of your friends' heads — and point them independently is going to be a huge benefit in making the best possible recording.

Offline vermouth

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Thank you all for the great advice, and thanks to those who messaged me. I'm definitely rethinking things.

Since I already have a DR-40 and Rode Pro Lav, adding one more Lav to make it a stereo pair would be cheap and streamlined. Would there be a world of difference going that route vs CA mics and a box?

The concerts I'll be taping will be pretty loud at all times, even the acoustic sections get amplified pretty high. So I'm planning around that as a starting point vs one rig that can handle everything from cafes to stadiums, if that makes sense.

Offline mountainhop

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2022, 04:55:17 PM »
is it this one?

https://rode.com/en/microphones/lavalier-wearable/lavalier

the 110 dB max SPL is a little lower than what we would typically use in that situation. it says it needs 2-5V. hard to say if a 9V battery box would improve that, or cook the mic. rode's support isnt awful, maybe email them ans ask if the mic can handle higher spl with a battery box and what the max recommended voltage is.

if you have their ear, ask them for a frequency plot as the published specs dont really tell us if its good for music, a lot of these lavs are designed for voice with mid-high frequency lift and steep bass rolloffs

Offline vermouth

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2022, 05:08:21 PM »
Yes, that's it, mine is the old MiCon type that is now usually called the "Professional". I power it via the DR-40's 48V phantom using the Rode XLR adapter.

Offline opsopcopolis

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Offline unidentified

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2022, 06:12:16 PM »
I would not use omni mics to record events in stadiums. Cardioid mics would be much better suited.

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2022, 06:44:00 PM »
CA-14 cards + battery box with your existing recorder should get you a good-to-excellent recording in most circumstances, for no more than the cost of a single second Rode mic. No need to roll the dice here on what voltage level may or may not lead to a disaster.

Offline vermouth

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2022, 07:12:06 PM »
Great point.

I just took a 180 from the original plan and bought CA14 cardioids, a CA1000, and Roland R07 from a member. I think the advice here probably saved me from blowing my first couple shows next month.

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2022, 08:11:31 PM »
I would not use omni mics to record events in stadiums. Cardioid mics would be much better suited.

I've used omnis in stadiums/arenas and the results aren't really any different than you'd expect from a smaller space, if anything still a little more forgiving than cards. If they were going on a stand I'd agree, but my body acts as a natural baffle, helping to reject anything I consider to be "off axis"
« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 08:14:39 PM by opsopcopolis »

Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2022, 08:29:04 PM »
Great point.

I just took a 180 from the original plan and bought CA14 cardioids, a CA1000, and Roland R07 from a member. I think the advice here probably saved me from blowing my first couple shows next month.

Great choice! Really nice full sound from the little CA-14s.
Mics: AT 3031; AT 853Rx (c, o); CA-14(c); Naiant X-R (h); Studio Projects C4 (c, o, h); Nak 300/Tascam PE-125/JVC M510 (cp-1, cp-2, cp-3, JVC M510 superdirectional caps)
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Offline u2_fly_2

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2022, 02:52:52 PM »
Good luck and welcome to the world of taping!  :)
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Offline vermouth

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2022, 04:23:01 AM »
Here are my first two shows with the new setup, thanks to everyone who gave me advice.

2022-11-16 Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
Smashing Pumpkins: https://archive.org/details/tsp2022-11-16.aud1
Jane's Addiction: https://archive.org/details/JA2022-11-16.aud1

Offline Thierry

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Re: Tascam DR-40 onboard mics for a concert, advice for a first time taper?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2022, 05:39:22 AM »
Here are my first two shows with the new setup, thanks to everyone who gave me advice.

2022-11-16 Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
Smashing Pumpkins: https://archive.org/details/tsp2022-11-16.aud1
Jane's Addiction: https://archive.org/details/JA2022-11-16.aud1

Excellent sound! Great job!

 

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