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Author Topic: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)  (Read 872 times)

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Offline RobBain

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Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« on: July 27, 2020, 10:06:04 AM »
Hi Tapers

My interest is field-recording, but I've been reading your forum recently with great interest.

Correct me if I'm wrong.  You folks generally take a nice hand-held recorder and externalise/upgrade many of the key functions: you externalise the mics (real nice mics), you provide separate power for your mics and you externalise the preamp (real nice preamp).  Is that the general approach?

So the onboard mics become redundant as does the onboard preamp?  So how long before you move away from off-the-shelf hand-held recorders (as your start point) to a really nice, high quality, stripped-down unit with basic (but high quality) recording capabilities - to which you attach all of your externals?

Apols if I'm missing something.  I'm very keen to learn.

Many thanks,

Rob (UK)
PCM-A10 + Sennheiser MKE 600 or LOM mikroUsi's
Sony PCM-A10 | Sennheiser MKE 600 / LOM mikroUsi's / Clippy EM172s

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 11:12:51 AM »
Approach to gear use varies, but most common is the use of external microphones.  Beyond that the most significant division is recording with the microphones mounted to a stand or clamped to something.. or mounted to oneself.

There is a wide range of approaches, ranging from folks using the internal mics of handled recorders to folks running multichannel microphone arrays and complicated gear-chains.

It used to be more common to find recorders with digital inputs which were often used as 'bit storage devices' fed by external converters and preamps, but as the quality of Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) and microphone preamplifiers built into recorders has improved over the years, more and more tapers have moved away from using outboard units dedicated to those specific functions.  As a result, current high-quality rigs tend to be much smaller, lighter, less complex and more reliable than they tended to be a decade or two ago.

What never changes are the most important fundamentals: well behaved microphones placed in an optimal location and used in the most appropriate configuration for the situation.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 11:15:28 AM »
Howdy Rob and welcome!

In very broad general terms most tapers fit into one of two categories where the gear itself is concerned (or one of the subcategories of which there are many, not all represented here)

1) Full size condenser mics, external preamplifiers/AD converters, multi channel recording decks. I'm in this category and use 2 or more mics, a mic preamp and a 4 channel recorder often mixing a soundboard feed with a pair of mics. This typically requires you to be doing your thing out in the open. Being from the UK this doesn't happen for you guys as often as it does in the US but we have some members here who get recordings in the open with permission from the UK/EU.
 A) All in one recorders - improvements in design and size have led many people to switch to recorders with on board preamps that are fine quality reducing the need for power supplies and cabling.
 B) "Active" mics - lots of folks use mics that the capsule can be used remotely from the preamp or "body" as is often used here. Again to reduce size and weight but often to be able to fit mics into scenario 2.
  i) PFA - you will see this mentioned often when discussing active mic setups. It's a phantom power adapter built into an XLR connector that allows remote capsule use with the appropriate capsule connector eliminating the need for the microphone body.
  ii) Nbox - a member here created a small battery powered power supply/preamp combo unit that can be used to run high quality micrphones using only the unit and the custom made remote capsule cables.
 
2) Wearable/hideable/miniature setups - lots of folks use lav style/miniature choir overhead style mics in conjunction with a battery box power supply/miniature preamp and a handheld recorder. Often this is used to conceal the gear but also just to make the gear wearable so you can get in the sweet spot for the best sound when using a stand/mounting clamps and rigging gear is impractical.

This is all very general and doesn't always apply to every use case. There's lots of people here on the forum using gear from multitrack rigs in road cases all the way down to rigs that fit in a shirt pocket.

Welcome aboard. Check your wallet at the door.
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Offline heathen

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 01:10:20 PM »
So how long before you move away from off-the-shelf hand-held recorders (as your start point) to a really nice, high quality, stripped-down unit with basic (but high quality) recording capabilities - to which you attach all of your externals?

Luckily these days there are plenty of off-the-shelf, reasonably priced, recorders that one can use until they break or become obsolete.  For just one example, someone could get a Tascam DR-70D and as long as it has all the features they need it would be more than adequate to use with even really high end mics, without the need for an external preamp.  Because quality recorders are available readily and (relatively) cheaply, a smart buyer could buy one recorder right out of the gate and not need to think about it again for quite some time.
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline mnm207

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 03:18:54 PM »
Rob, I'm more a field recordist than a taper but enjoy the wealth of knowledge here on TS.

Below are some links that you may find of interest if you've not already come across them. Plenty on equipment, but also lots on process and purpose.

• Paul Virostek's Creative Field Recording blog (https://www.creativefieldrecording.com -- check out the 2016 community favorites and kits post); there's an extensive list of field recording and sound design resource links available as well. 
• George Vlad's Mindful Audio blog (https://mindful-audio.com/blog).
• Transom.org has a general radio angle but touches on field recording and process. 
• The r/fieldrecording Reddit sub is relatively active with equipment questions and samples.
• If you're interested in nature recording, there's the Nature Recordist group (https://groups.io/g/Naturerecordists)
• The London Sound Survey has lots of listening material from that city (https://www.soundsurvey.org.uk/)
• Cities and Memory is another interesting archive along with remixing/repurposing of recordings (https://citiesandmemory.com/)
• Radio Aporee is a world wide archive of field recordings and collections of recordings, some more interesting than others (https://aporee.org/)


Offline RobBain

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2020, 03:38:37 PM »
First off, many thanks to Gutbucket, goodcooker and heathen for your earlier replies.  Very interesting.

And mnm207, thanks indeed for the links.  I know a number of them already (I really like George Vlad's work) but not all, so I'll have fun with those.

I have a couple of questions about my rig (PCM-A10) but I'll make that the subject of a separate post.

Thanks again, everybody.

Regards,

Rob
Sony PCM-A10 | Sennheiser MKE 600 / LOM mikroUsi's / Clippy EM172s

Online DavidPuddy

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2020, 03:58:13 PM »
First off, many thanks to Gutbucket, goodcooker and heathen for your earlier replies.  Very interesting.

And mnm207, thanks indeed for the links.  I know a number of them already (I really like George Vlad's work) but not all, so I'll have fun with those.

I have a couple of questions about my rig (PCM-A10) but I'll make that the subject of a separate post.

Thanks again, everybody.

Regards,

Rob

There is a thread regarding the A10. Many of us use this recorder extensively.

https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=192371.0
Mics: nbobs/480+ck61/62/63; C568EB; MKE2
Recorders: MP6; A10

Offline heathen

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2020, 05:28:35 PM »
First off, many thanks to Gutbucket, goodcooker and heathen for your earlier replies.  Very interesting.

And mnm207, thanks indeed for the links.  I know a number of them already (I really like George Vlad's work) but not all, so I'll have fun with those.

I have a couple of questions about my rig (PCM-A10) but I'll make that the subject of a separate post.

Thanks again, everybody.

Regards,

Rob

I haven't used the A10, but from what I can tell it seems totally competent for concert recording as long as one is okay with running just two channels (and a separate power source for external mics).
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline voltronic

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2020, 07:41:40 PM »
Hi there Rob!  I too am not really a 'taper' but I record classical / acoustic concerts. You might want to check out the Gearslutz Remote Possibilities forum as well.  Many of those people are professional classical recordists, but I have learned a great deal there also.

How to you like those LOM microUSIs?  I came across them a while back, and they seemed like a decent alternative to the DPA 406x mics that Gutbucket, myself, and many others enjoy using.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2020, 10:58:34 PM »
Just as with playback, the transducer and the way it is placed in the room defines most of the "sound," that is in your control.

There are marginal gains to be found in ad converters and preamps to be sure, but marginal nonetheless.

I prefer to use the best microphone capsules in conjunction with inexpensive cabling and powering, and an integrated Pre/AD/Recorder, the Sound Devices Mixpre6. Its converters and preamps sound fine. As it only has 4 preamps, I use a schoeps outboard preamp.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline RobBain

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2020, 03:12:03 PM »
Oh dear.  A newbie - and rumbled already!  Despite ordering the mikroUsi's 5 weeks ago (!) they have yet to turn up.  They're for an A10-based drop rig that I'm really keen to try out, so I'm waiting patiently for postie every day.  I got a little ahead of myself when compiling my signature.  Apols.

On a more positive note, I'll be happy to post to the forum when I (finally!) get a chance to try them out.  Warning!  Expect the dawn chorus, rain and trees swishing from me, not Slipknot (although I am a - albeit elderly! - fan).

Regards,

Rob

BTW: many thanks for the Gearslutz pointer, voltronic.

Hi there Rob!  I too am not really a 'taper' but I record classical / acoustic concerts. You might want to check out the Gearslutz Remote Possibilities forum as well.  Many of those people are professional classical recordists, but I have learned a great deal there also.

How to you like those LOM microUSIs?  I came across them a while back, and they seemed like a decent alternative to the DPA 406x mics that Gutbucket, myself, and many others enjoy using.
Sony PCM-A10 | Sennheiser MKE 600 / LOM mikroUsi's / Clippy EM172s

Offline voltronic

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2020, 03:34:08 PM »
On a more positive note, I'll be happy to post to the forum when I (finally!) get a chance to try them out.  Warning!  Expect the dawn chorus, rain and trees swishing from me, not Slipknot (although I am a - albeit elderly! - fan).

I will be thrilled to hear the dawn chorus if you share.  We need more recordings like that, especially now.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 // KRK Rokit RP5 // Sennheiser HD 650

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Offline mnm207

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2020, 04:50:46 PM »
voltronic--are you in NYC? I've got a pair of mikroUsis (terminated to 1/8" for PiP) that you're welcome to borrow for a test drive.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2020, 07:45:41 PM »
voltronic--are you in NYC? I've got a pair of mikroUsis (terminated to 1/8" for PiP) that you're welcome to borrow for a test drive.

I am not, but thank you for the kind offer.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 // KRK Rokit RP5 // Sennheiser HD 650

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Offline RobBain

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Re: Hi Tapers (from a fellow field-recordist)
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2020, 10:35:52 AM »
Hi Gutbucket

I've read a lot and have taken a lot of advice recently, but this one-liner of yours really struck a chord (and still does).  Many thanks, Rob

...

What never changes are the most important fundamentals: well behaved microphones placed in an optimal location and used in the most appropriate configuration for the situation.
[/quote]
Sony PCM-A10 | Sennheiser MKE 600 / LOM mikroUsi's / Clippy EM172s

 

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