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Author Topic: 6 channel recorder  (Read 1454 times)

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Offline Karl

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6 channel recorder
« on: October 21, 2020, 02:08:01 PM »
Hi guys. I have been doing 2 track recordings for quite some time. Want to do more 5 or 6 channel recordings. Need feedback on a deck.

I am looking for something semi-portable.

$500 or less.

Ideally 5 or 6 XLR inputs with Phantom Power capability.

These look close to what I need: Marantz PMD-706 and Tascam 701-D

My portable rig:

AT853>Tascam DR100 mkii

Offline heathen

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 02:47:23 PM »
Scrounge up $75 more and get that Zoom F6 in the Yard Sale!
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 03:30:42 PM »
^ I'd do that.

Even less is Tascam DR680, an older design but an easy to operate solid performer.  Phantom on all 6 balanced inputs, 1-4 XLR, 5-6 TRS, also digital in/out which can be used to record a total of 8 channels.
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Offline IMPigpen

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 06:54:26 PM »
Hi guys. I have been doing 2 track recordings for quite some time. Want to do more 5 or 6 channel recordings. Need feedback on a deck.

I am looking for something semi-portable.

$500 or less.

Ideally 5 or 6 XLR inputs with Phantom Power capability.

These look close to what I need: Marantz PMD-706 and Tascam 701-D

Tascam 701 only has 4 inputs (4 XLR w/ phantom or 2 XLR and 1/8" input).
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 08:31:22 PM »
I have two DR680's. For the price used, you can almost afford 2 at your budget (I place current market value of a mkI DR680 at $250-300). If you don't need super HQ pre-amps, it is solid. Foot print isn't too large. Easy to power from USB power banks (internal AA's) Gets my vote.
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Offline Karl

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 10:01:52 AM »
Zoom F6? I record a lot of local orchestras. I dunno, thing just looks goofy.

If I can find DR-680's easy enough I will probably scoop one of those up.

Let's shift the conversation to 4 channel with 4 XLR inputs with Phantom. What are the best options for that? I would *like* super HQ pre-amps, but not a must-have.
My portable rig:

AT853>Tascam DR100 mkii

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 10:12:13 AM »
More options for 4 channels.

Zoom F4
Used Roland R44 (an Ode Mod'ed version for improved quieter preamps) these pop up in the yardsale
Several Tascams (would not expect far different preamps from DR680)
others..

Edit- Yes F6 has an odd form factor, yet folks seem to really like it.
F4 is a more typical form factor, basically a smaller F8
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 10:18:38 AM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline vanark

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 10:17:27 AM »
4 channel - Tascam 70D as long as you are using approved media.
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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 05:02:09 PM »
You could probably find a Mixpre6 legacy version for $600-650!  If you want quality preamps you might want to look in that direction.  4 preamps and you can run an extra 2 channels through the 1/8 input.
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 07:48:29 AM »
I'll throw in Panatrope's Second Law of Recording - the number of channels you need is one more than the number of channels you have.   So if you think you might need 6 channels, you probably shouldn't think of 4.

Offline Karl

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2020, 03:33:01 PM »
The more I look at these the more I get excited about the Tascam 701D. The nice pre-amps will be helpful when I record Orchestras. Looks like I can even find it used easily for about $300.

Thoughts on the 701D? Pros? Cons?

I'm confused about how many tracks it can record....can it do above 4 discrete tracks?
My portable rig:

AT853>Tascam DR100 mkii

Offline darby

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 04:16:30 PM »
The more I look at these the more I get excited about the Tascam 701D. The nice pre-amps will be helpful when I record Orchestras. Looks like I can even find it used easily for about $300.

Thoughts on the 701D? Pros? Cons?

I'm confused about how many tracks it can record....can it do above 4 discrete tracks?

only 4 plus mix tracks
the 701d and Zoom use about the same preamps
otherwise go with a first gen MixPre

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2020, 04:22:07 PM »
With classical in mind, I was going to question how good the 701d preamps really are (not being intimately familiar with it). I fully trust darby's assessment. 

IME for classical (as compared to most taping discussed at TS) low noise is key, and much depends on the sensitivity and self-noise of the particular mics employed.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 06:21:28 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Karl

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2020, 05:11:35 PM »
The more I look at these the more I get excited about the Tascam 701D. The nice pre-amps will be helpful when I record Orchestras. Looks like I can even find it used easily for about $300.

Thoughts on the 701D? Pros? Cons?

I'm confused about how many tracks it can record....can it do above 4 discrete tracks?

only 4 plus mix tracks
the 701d and Zoom use about the same preamps
otherwise go with a first gen MixPre

Like the Zoom H6?

As far as pre-amps go....you are saying 701d, Zoom use about the same pre-amps. Would 680mkii be in the same ballpark? Does anything in the sub-$500 blow those pre-amps out of the water? (I will look into the first gen MixPre's)
My portable rig:

AT853>Tascam DR100 mkii

Offline darby

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2020, 06:11:16 PM »

Like the Zoom H6?

As far as pre-amps go....you are saying 701d, Zoom use about the same pre-amps. Would 680mkii be in the same ballpark? Does anything in the sub-$500 blow those pre-amps out of the water? (I will look into the first gen MixPre's)

NO... F6 or F8n are about the same as NEW gen Trashcan, I mean Tascam (701d/680mkii)
the older Zoom had issues with overloading the input stage
I did not like the limiters on the 701d, and have not used an 8n personally, but have heard good things about them
the Sound Devices are Class A preamps, but I didn't like the limiters on the MixPre gen i either compared to my USBPre2 or old 702t
that's why I went with MixPre gen ii that utilizes 32bit Float and NO LIMITERS
if you record orchestras you might like the ability to not have to ride your levels thru dynamic transitions
otherwise you will need to spend some $$$ on a proline Sound Devices (664/688/833/888/Scorpio) to get better preamps and limiters for 24bit

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2020, 06:36:18 PM »
I moved from DR680mk2 to F8, primary to get 8chs with preamps and phantom.  I find the Zoom F8 preamps superior to those of the DR680, but that's only assessed by ear and use, not by measurement.  Not boutique grade, but I've no complaints. I do actually use the "advanced limiter" on the F8 as is is sufficiently transparent to my ear, unlike the "standard limiter" and those of the Tascam.  I don't find them necessary for my classical stuff, but SoundDevices provides true analog limiters if limiting is especially important to you.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline darby

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2020, 06:47:52 PM »
I moved from DR680mk2 to F8, primary to get 8chs with preamps and phantom.  I find the Zoom F8 preamps superior to those of the DR680, but that's only assessed by ear and use, not by measurement.  Not boutique grade, but I've no complaints. I do actually use the "advanced limiter" on the F8 as is is sufficiently transparent to my ear, unlike the "standard limiter" and those of the Tascam.  I don't find them necessary for my classical stuff, but SoundDevices provides true analog limiters if limiting is especially important to you.

you own the gen1 F8 don't you?
I think the limiter capabilities alone would make it a better choice than Tascam, which I did NOT like
used F8s may be closer to $500


Offline Karl

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2020, 10:22:13 PM »
I have never and don't plan on using any limiters. Or auto gain control.

The mics I use are Rode NT5 and AT-853.
My portable rig:

AT853>Tascam DR100 mkii

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2020, 03:25:11 PM »
you own the gen1 F8 don't you?

Yes.  2nd gen (F8N) allows for line-in through XLR, phantom over TRS, and increases powering voltage range somewhat.  Otherwise F8 and F8N are identical AFAIK.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline voltronic

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2020, 06:25:16 PM »
Karl, I am a 100% classical recordist and the F6 is now my primary recorder.  Use it in 32-bit float mode and you never need to set levels nor do you need to use limiters.  The preamps are very quiet in my experience.  Highly recommended.  I am happy to share samples if you like. 

Heed the advice of others here and avoid the H6 if you want a 6-channel recorder for serious classical recording.  The preamps are much lower quality, the limiters are not great, and only 4 of 6 inputs are phantom-powered.  Zoom's F-series are much higher quality units than the rest of their line.

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Offline Karl

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2020, 11:33:29 PM »
Thank you Voltronic!
My portable rig:

AT853>Tascam DR100 mkii

Offline Scooter123

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2020, 01:36:51 PM »
I own the H6 and agree that the preamps are noisy.  The XLR jacks are really close together so if you want to use a snake in tight quarters, then 90 degree jacks will be necessary.  I hate mine.  Its only use is stealth, and quite frankly two Dr2ds for four channels makes a better recording, although I have to time synch the tracks. 
Regards,

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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2020, 04:10:29 PM »
I own the H6 and agree that the preamps are noisy.  The XLR jacks are really close together so if you want to use a snake in tight quarters, then 90 degree jacks will be necessary.  I hate mine.  Its only use is stealth, and quite frankly two Dr2ds for four channels makes a better recording, although I have to time synch the tracks.

Why would you need TWO DR-2ds to do four channels????  One DR-2d recording with mic and line in gives you four channels synced.  Church audio and Naiant make four channel preamps that will feed it and power the mics.

Jeff

Offline Scooter123

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2020, 12:30:15 AM »
1 dr2d = 2 stereo channels

2 dr2ds = 4 stereo channels

Regards,

Scooter123

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2020, 10:05:21 AM »
OT, but FWIW, I've used two DR2ds (each capable of 2 stereo channels / 4 channels total) for recording 3 stereo channels (6 total) in a way that makes sync'ing easier by mult'ing one channel pair with a 'Y' cable and sending it to both recorders.   That way one pair on each machine is identical, so syncing the files from both is more straightforward than it typically is when combining recordings from recorders that don't share the same clock. Also considered mult'ing a single channel, which would achieve 7 seperate channels in total.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 11:14:39 AM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Online jb63

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2020, 10:58:34 AM »
OT, but FWIW, I've used two DR2ds (each capable of 2 stereo channels / 4 channels total) for recording 3 stereo channels (6 total) in a what that makes sync'ing easier by mult'ing one channel pair with a 'Y' cable and sending it to both recorders.   That way one pair on each machine is identical, so syncing the files from both is more straightforward than it typically is when combining recordings from recorders that don't share the same clock. Also considered mult'ing a single channel, which would achieve 7 seperate channels in total.

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2020, 11:19:21 AM »
I might be willing to part with my Gen 1 Mixpre6, and I'm looking to upgrade to the new one before live music starts up again. Please be in touch...
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Offline Scooter123

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2020, 10:43:42 PM »
OT, but FWIW, I've used two DR2ds (each capable of 2 stereo channels / 4 channels total) for recording 3 stereo channels (6 total) in a way that makes sync'ing easier by mult'ing one channel pair with a 'Y' cable and sending it to both recorders.   That way one pair on each machine is identical, so syncing the files from both is more straightforward than it typically is when combining recordings from recorders that don't share the same clock. Also considered mult'ing a single channel, which would achieve 7 seperate channels in total.

I may be a little dense tonight. 

The 2nd dr2d (the one with the duplicate feed) is still running off a different clock.  Is the concept that one would align the duplicate feed with the other duplicate feed and the the third channel will automatically be aligned to the first?  Just line up the wave peaks? 
Regards,

Scooter123

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mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2020, 10:00:16 AM »
That's it.  Still need to align, and maybe shrink/stretch as they do not share clock.  Its just that doing so is made easier because the channels from both recorders that share identical signals are used to do the alignment.  The waveforms match each other precisely so they are easy to match up.  Besides making it easier it also allows for close to perfect alignment, preserving the phase relationships.

When I did it I was playing around with extending my standard 4 channel baffled omni setup (Left/Center/Right/Back) by adding a fig-8 coincident with the Center omni to form a Mid/Side pair.  I needed the second DR2d to record the figure-8 Side channel. I used the Center omni (Mid) channel as the common signal sent to both recorders.   In that way I was assured that my standard 4 omni recording to the first recorder would not be compromised in any way, and that having both Mid and Side channels on the second recorder would preserve the critical phase-relationship between that pair.  If for any reason I couldn't achieve absolutely perfect sync, any time smear would manifest only between the other omnis and the M/S pair.

As it was it lined up near perfectly and required no stretching (~hr long classical performance).  I could have done a null test to confirm sync, inverting one copy to see how closely the two cancel out, which would be a good check if I did this regularly, but I didn't bother since that was unnecessary for the purpose of my test.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline edtyre

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2020, 01:49:50 PM »
The 701D does 4 channels along with a stereo mix of the 4. It has a single menu
that you can easily navigate to get to all the settings. Baby simple pretty much.
I had a Mixpre3 and in my opinion the 701D sounds better, it doesnt have all the
pretty lights and touch screen, but i only care about one thing...the sound.
Runs off a small USB battery all day with 4channel phantom power.
Just my opinion
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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2020, 05:10:47 PM »
thats not surprising. my DR100 mkiii outperforms both the zoom f6 and mixpre6 in distortion in my measurements. These prosumer multichannel units all seem to be a compromise to squeeze all the features and channels in
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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2020, 08:14:31 PM »
thats not surprising. my DR100 mkiii outperforms both the zoom f6 and mixpre6 in distortion in my measurements. These prosumer multichannel units all seem to be a compromise to squeeze all the features and channels in
I have a DR-100 too and i love it, but only use digi-in. So the analog in sounds great too, good to know.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: 6 channel recorder
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2020, 08:33:33 PM »
thats not surprising. my DR100 mkiii outperforms both the zoom f6 and mixpre6 in distortion in my measurements. These prosumer multichannel units all seem to be a compromise to squeeze all the features and channels in
I have a DR-100 too and i love it, but only use digi-in. So the analog in sounds great too, good to know.

I was all set to buy one of these, and then the F6 came out and its 32-bit float recording swayed me in that direction.

If I needed something more compact and was shopping today, I would seriously consider the DR100.  Those AKM DACs are supposed to be excellent.
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