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Thread: Home recording

  1. #1
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Home recording

    I have a little Tascam DR-07 MK II that I tried out yesterday, and I am not really happy with it.
    I used the internal twin mics on it yesterday, and I also picked up a Shure Beta 57 last week with the XLR cable, and an adapter to take it down to 1/8" stereo to plug into the Tascam, but it has tons of noise.
    Sound guy at work says it probably needs a preamp for it.

    Anyways, I am looking for something of better quality to mic my amps and record directly to to a device.
    I have been eying the Zoom R16 as of late, and it looks pretty decent as a stand alone device that can handle up to 8 mics.
    http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/r16
    It will also interface with a computer and, and the unit has built in amp modeling and effects, but I am not interested in those since I am mainly looking for a good unit to mic a real amp.
    It also comes with Cubase LE4 for software.

    Anyone have any experience with this unit?
    Something better out there than this for simple home use that I can use the Shure mic with?




  2. #2
    I own a Tascam DR-1 and recently upgraded to the Tascam DR-100mkII. The difference in sound quality is huge.
    The DR-100 feels (aluminum body) and operates in a pro manner compared to the DR-1.

    I use it for rehearsals, gigs, lessons, recording performances etc. Where ever a stereo recorder is appropriate.

    The built in mics sound great and don't overload and distort so easily like it's little brother.
    The best part is, the DR-100 has stereo XLR ins with selectable phantom power!!
    Attach whatever mics you want with no adapters, mixers or phantom power devices.

    It can even overdub while preserving the original track. All the Tascam devices can do this I believe.
    If you want to multi-track, you are better off looking at something else.

    If all you want is a solid, stereo recording device, check it out.




    Last edited by t.shamone; 05-26-2013 at 08:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Along those lines, I have a Zoom H4n. I used it a ton at the last few Experiences to record stuff - worked really well with the built-in mics (they're sensitive enough that I have to turn the input level almost off when Greg Granger plays on the big stage - the snare just overpowers it). I use it to capture ideas at home. I've even just stuck it on the floor and recorded acoustic guitar with it - it was almost usable like that.

    If the newer Tascam addresses the mic issues, you should be golden.
    Alan

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  4. #4
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Thanks guy's.
    I found the bigger Tascam at Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/DR-100mkII-2-C...cam+dr100+mkii

    It mentions Phantom Power, not really up on that.
    Does that need to be used with the Shure SM57/Beta 57 mics?

    This unit looks a lot more portable than the bigger Zoom R16 one, but of course it does less too.

  5. #5
    The Zoom does a lot more and is a multitrack plus more.

    The Tascams built in mics are higher quality and like you said the device is portable.

    They both have phantom power which you do not need for the mics that you want to use.

    The Tascam also runs off a rechargeable LIon battery instead of disposables.

    Figure out what you need. If you don't own a multitrack or DAW, go for the Zoom.

  6. #6
    Phantom power is used to provide power to polarize the diaphragm of a condenser mic. The Shure mic you have is not a condenser mic. It's a dynamic mic.

    A condenser works on the principle of the light plastic or metal diaphragm moving from sound wave pressure, and the backplate is electrically polarized. As the diaphragm moves in relation to the polarized back plate, it generates the signal. Because the backplate needs to be charged, power is sent to the mic via switching on phantom power that's sent through the cable.

    A dynamic mic has a diaphragm with a coil that moves around a magnet, generating an electrical signal. Because it uses magnets and a coil to generate a signal, much like a guitar pickup, it doesn't need to be charged electrically, and thus doesn't need phantom power.

    Frankly, there shouldn't be noise with even the small Tascam unit. Its fidelity may not be as great as the more expensive stuff, but noise is another matter. So something's most likely wrong with how you've got it set up. Or perhaps you're overdriving its built in preamp. A guitar amp puts out a very loud signal, and it's very easy to overdrive even a good mic preamp, let alone an inexpensive one.

    If you're overdriving the preamp, it will sound ratty and crackly. The solution is to turn down the input level, or to move the mic further back.

    Also, are you sure the noise isn't simply coming from your amp, and being reproduced by the recorder?
    Last edited by LSchefman; 05-26-2013 at 12:32 PM.
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  7. #7
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Thanks again guy's.
    Les, that Tascam I have I do not think it was meant for a mic like the Shure.
    The sound guy at worked loaned me a cheap PC mic with 1/8" jack, and it sounded regular when speaking into it.
    When I plugged in my new Shure with this adapter, voice playback had lots of noise, and did not sound good.

    The bigger Tascam has the XLR inputs and looks like it would work much better with the Shure.
    I am torn right now between the Tascam DR100 and that Zoom R16.
    DAW, I take it that is the software you install on a PC?
    The Zoom comes with Cubase, but an older version from 2007 it looks like.

  8. #8
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    It may be the input sensitivity. The Shure is likely more sensitive than the PC mic. There should be an input setting on the Tascam you have - if you can find that, roll that down and your noise may go away.
    Alan

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  9. #9
    Member dmatthews's Avatar
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    I have the Zoom R16 and have used it for our whole band. I used all 8 inputs simultaneously.
    Three vocal mics, two mic'd guitar amps, one direct in for bass guitar, and two mics for drums (one high, one low).
    I found the unit ridiculously easy to use (intuitive). I bought a 32gb SD card for miles of space. You can grab the SD card out and jam it in to your PC if you want to drag/drop in to tracks in your fav DAW. You can use it as your recording/playback/audio device with your DAW. It is light as a feather, runs on batteries if you want, and has built-in stereo mics in the handles if you just want to plunk it down and capture the room sound and then run away. All 8 jacks are combo XLR/1/4" and two of them provide phantom power.
    Obviously the A/D is not as good as a pro device, but for $250.00 used you cannot go wrong.
    The only con I had is that getting the inputs soaked enough without over saturating was fun.
    Awesome piece of gear.
    Last edited by dmatthews; 05-27-2013 at 01:17 AM.
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  10. #10
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    The more I read about the R16, the closer I am getting to ordering one.
    It gets lots of good reviews on both Amazon and Sweetwater.

    I found out there is a more advanced model being the R24, and watched a YouTube video, but that is a little more advanced, and more moola.

  11. #11
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Wait, your adapter to go from XLR to 1/8" minijack, does it go down to a mono connection (tip/sleeve) or does it have a "stereo" connection (tip/ring/sleeve)? You're plugging a mono microphone into what's likely a stereo input. half your noise is probably one of the two left/right channels buzzing away not getting any signal whatsoever. It's sort of like the sound you get when you have a guitar cable plugged into an amp and then you touch the tip of the cable - buzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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  13. #13
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Okay, yeah, that's probably your issue. Most TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) cables are used for stereo sound, where the tip is the hot of one channel (left I think), the ring is the hot for the other channel (right I think) and the sleeve is ground. Some external microphones for use with consumer grade camcorders and stuff will be a stereo microphone and use this kind of connection. I have some right here at my work.

    However, when you're talking pro audio gear including a Shure Beta microphone, TRS cables are used for balanced audio connections. The three prong XLR cable is used for a balanced connection and your TRS 1/8" cable there instead of having left/right/ground (like the Tascam unit wants to see) has the balanced mono signal which is "hot"/"cold"/ground and it just doesn't work the same way, which is why you're getting so much noise. Someone much more well versed on the matter might be able to chime in more specifics and the whole science behind it, but it will never work correctly the way you'e trying to run it.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
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  15. #15
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I don't know why you're showing signal there, I'm not a super duper expert on this stuff. I just know the balanced signal coming from the Shure is different than a stereo signal coming from a stereo mic or other source which is likely why you're hearing noise.

    I read the description of that particular cable you linked to more carefully and it says:

    Product Description


    A Hosa Cable which was designed for certain Stereo Microphones that use a single XLR as output for both Left and Right signals.
    So, this doesn't sound like it's the correct cable for a mono balanced signal like your Shure.

    Instead there is this cable which says:

    Product Description


    The Hosa XVM Female XLR to Right Angle TRS 1/8" Cable cable is designed to a connect a microphone with an XLR output to a mini stereo phone input. It is ideal for connecting a pro mic to a DV camera or portable audio recorder.
    That sounds like the cable you're looking for.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
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  16. #16
    Member dmatthews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    Thanks John for the info.
    Now the weird thing is when I hooked up the Shure via the adapter to the Tascam and spoke into it, both the left and right bars lit up and moved like it was in stereo.
    I'm coming in to this a little late, but that seems to be an expected result. The mono mic is being fed to both the left and right of your recorder physically by that adaptor cable. If you only want that signal on the left or right side can you "pan" it on the Tascam?
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  17. #17
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    I do not think with this Tascam.
    Maybe a higher level one.
    That other adapter would be better.

    Been reading a lot of reviews on the R16 and the bigger R24 over at Amazon.
    Some like them, some hate them.

  18. #18
    Member dmatthews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    I do not think with this Tascam.
    Maybe a higher level one.
    That other adapter would be better.

    Been reading a lot of reviews on the R16 and the bigger R24 over at Amazon.
    Some like them, some hate them.
    Here's a link to a recording I did with the Zoom R16 captured as in my previous post. This was raw and done in one take, no dubbing. A little post effect and panning only. It should give you a very small idea of results that are obtainable.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...e%20Sister.mp3

    Like I said before, this is hardly a "pro" unit as far as the pre-amps etc but we're not talking about trying to run a studio with it...
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  19. #19
    There is no reason why your unit should give less than great results.
    Looking at the manual, you are able to choose mono or stereo from the menu screen.
    Try setting it to mono and listen to the results.

    Your mic in is capable of supplying some type of phantom power, menu configurable.
    If this is set to on, your dynamic mic could be damaged or giving you a lot of noise.
    Factory default is off.
    Make sure that all these settings are correct. You can restore to factory settings if you are not sure.

    I do agree that an outboard mic pre will improve things but it shouldn't be necessary.

  20. #20
    Member dmatthews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.shamone View Post
    There is no reason why your unit should give less than great results.
    .
    This is absolutely true. It's a high quality device to be sure, and Tony knows what he's talking about!
    :>)
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