Audio field recorder advice

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Jim DeLuca

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Audio field recorder advice

PostTue Jul 30, 2013 7:34 pm

I'm looking for a seperate audio recorder and so far the Tascam Dr-60d is in the lead for me, but I'd love some opinions on compariable recorders.

I would just go with one of the riggys, but I want that option of having someone boom for me when its not slaved to the camera.

With that being said, what really matters most to me is the signal to noise ratio. I've used one of the sound devices system before and thats great but out of my price range. What I'm really looking for is something BETTER than the H4n with signal to noise.

So how would you think the Dr-60d compares to the H4n and howay it compare to the h6 coming out, in regards to signal to noise? Or is there something else even better around the $300-$500 range?
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rick.lang

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostTue Jul 30, 2013 8:57 pm

Jim DeLuca wrote:I'm looking for a seperate audio recorder and so far the Tascam Dr-60d is in the lead for me, but I'd love some opinions on compariable recorders.

I would just go with one of the riggys, but I want that option of having someone boom for me when its not slaved to the camera.

With that being said, what really matters most to me is the signal to noise ratio. I've used one of the sound devices system before and thats great but out of my price range. What I'm really looking for is something BETTER than the H4n with signal to noise.

So how would you think the Dr-60d compares to the H4n and howay it compare to the h6 coming out, in regards to signal to noise? Or is there something else even better around the $300-$500 range?


Jim, take a look at Frank Glencairn's review today of the Juiced Link BMC366 mixer. It's not a recorder but can feed balanced audio into the BMCC. He also mentioned the Tascam recorder:
"... the Tascam DR-60d – that is a nifty tempting little device for the money – but they make a clicking sound on your recording every time you turn them [the volume knobs], and render the whole thing useless for recording on set. I was really close to buy a DR-60d as additional standalone recorder, but that clicking was a deal breaker."

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Dmitry Kitsov

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostTue Jul 30, 2013 9:24 pm

I am extremely happy with the tascam d60. I work a lot with students and many of them are not really good with level settings. Tascam has a feature when it makes two files one of them is padded up to -12db. This allows for extra safety net with gain levels.
I haven't had any issues with the clicks when moving gain knobs, but then again I am doing narrative and very little documentary style where a continues recording would be needed. Sounds soooo much bett then h4n. I do have a relatively good mic though, rode ntg8
Dmitry Kitsov
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Jim DeLuca

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 12:13 am

Thanks guys!

Yes I'm aware of the clicking, and there are always trade offs, but having a separate recorder is really key for me, to have a boom op on a no budget short film is key in this situation. I really do like the riggy though, so maybe in the future I will add it on to my seperate recorder, to really have a nice, basic, field recorder.

But for now I'm really looking at what's the best in terms of signal to noise. Just like how Dynamic Range was the main reason for me getting the BMCC, even with other trade offs, the signal to noise is the main thing right now for me, that I have to battle with cheaper recorders than even the h4n. As long as it has that and at least to XLR's, I'm good!
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Jim DeLuca

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 12:15 am

Dmitry Kitsov wrote:I am extremely happy with the tascam d60. I work a lot with students and many of them are not really good with level settings. Tascam has a feature when it makes two files one of them is padded up to -12db. This allows for extra safety net with gain levels.
I haven't had any issues with the clicks when moving gain knobs, but then again I am doing narrative and very little documentary style where a continues recording would be needed. Sounds soooo much bett then h4n. I do have a relatively good mic though, rode ntg8


When you say it sounds better, is that in terms of signal to noise, or just the quality of the sound, or both? I'm looking to get the Audix SCX1/HC Hypercardiod to start with for indoor dialogue, as the supercardiods for outdoor seem a lot easier and cheaper to rent :>
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Nick Smith

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 12:18 am

The H6 is coming out next month. It's supposed to be better than the H4n, so maybe hold off until reviews of just how much better come through?
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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 1:28 am

Jim DeLuca wrote:
Dmitry Kitsov wrote:
When you say it sounds better, is that in terms of signal to noise, or just the quality of the sound, or both? I'm looking to get the Audix SCX1/HC Hypercardiod to start with for indoor dialogue, as the supercardiods for outdoor seem a lot easier and cheaper to rent :>


It's like it sounds more transparent. I guess signal to noise ratio.
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Jim DeLuca

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 1:37 am

Nick Smith wrote:The H6 is coming out next month. It's supposed to be better than the H4n, so maybe hold off until reviews of just how much better come through?


Yeah I was looking at the h6 as well. A little more money, but I'm more worried they put their efforts into more xlr inputs than the pre-amps. We shall see!
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 1:48 am

Jim DeLuca wrote:
Nick Smith wrote:The H6 is coming out next month. It's supposed to be better than the H4n, so maybe hold off until reviews of just how much better come through?


Yeah I was looking at the h6 as well. A little more money, but I'm more worried they put their efforts into more xlr inputs than the pre-amps. We shall see!


Let's hope!

If they put an AES-EBU input on it, that would rock :)
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 6:29 am

Jim DeLuca wrote:Thanks guys!

Yes I'm aware of the clicking, and there are always trade offs, but having a separate recorder is really key for me, to have a boom op on a no budget short film is key in this situation. I really do like the riggy though, so maybe in the future I will add it on to my seperate recorder, to really have a nice, basic, field recorder.


In this case you can have the cake and eat it.
Here is what works for me.
I always keep the cheap little Zoom H2n around, since it does excellent mid-side-stereo atmo recordings.
But I also use it for voiceover recording or as a separate dialog recorder, by using the Riggy as a pre-amp.
They play really nice together and the s/n ratio and audio quality is surprisingly good.
So all you would need is the BMC266 and a H2n and you are all covered, if you don't mind, having two separate devices. But on the other hand, boom operators have exactly that - a pre-amp and a recorder - both in a bag since donkeys years.

Frank
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I told you so :-)
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ungovernedreason

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 6:41 am

I use an h4n that a sound guy can use and I am still considering getting yhe bmc366.
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Louis Kreusel

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 6:46 am

Hey Jim,
I've had good luck with the Marantz PMD661. The preamps are good, better than the H4n.

I used it to record this scene and we had almost zero time to tweak the levels etc.



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John Bartman

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 7:03 am

Yes i can agree that the Marantz is great in that price range, better preamps, great clean sound with good external mics, however the internal mics sound the same as the competition, a little noisy.
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Jim DeLuca

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:
Jim DeLuca wrote:Thanks guys!

Yes I'm aware of the clicking, and there are always trade offs, but having a separate recorder is really key for me, to have a boom op on a no budget short film is key in this situation. I really do like the riggy though, so maybe in the future I will add it on to my seperate recorder, to really have a nice, basic, field recorder.


In this case you can have the cake and eat it.
Here is what works for me.
I always keep the cheap little Zoom H2n around, since it does excellent mid-side-stereo atmo recordings.
But I also use it for voiceover recording or as a separate dialog recorder, by using the Riggy as a pre-amp.
They play really nice together and the s/n ratio and audio quality is surprisingly good.
So all you would need is the BMC266 and a H2n and you are all covered, if you don't mind, having two separate devices. But on the other hand, boom operators have exactly that - a pre-amp and a recorder - both in a bag since donkeys years.

Frank


Great idea! I actually have the even more basic H1n, which I only use on simple corporate interviews, and it's been OKAY (at best). So I'm thinking of going with the Riggy Micro 222, because it has phantom power, where I don't think my h1n has it, but still using the H1n as the recorder.

The Marantz looks good too, I was checking it out the other day, but if this Riggy and Recorder combination will give me the best Signal to Noise, I'm all for doing that!
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sean mclennan

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 3:00 pm

I have the marantz 661. It's big and heavy. For a boom operator using a bag, no problem. However, I've found it a pain adding it to my rig. It's also one of the largest recorders on the market (in the portable segment)

Frank, showing us his age...he still remembers when they kept time with donkeys! ;)
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 8:10 pm

Jim DeLuca wrote: So I'm thinking of going with the Riggy Micro 222,


As a BMC owner, you should really consider the BMC366 over the 222.

http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/201 ... c-cameras/
http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

I told you so :-)
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ovcharski

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 8:34 pm

Just to a mention one deal.

If you buy ANY Zoom Portable Recorder from B&H you will get a free copy of PluralEyes 3 ($179.10). The offer is valid till 10/31/2013
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Jim DeLuca

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 9:44 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:
Jim DeLuca wrote: So I'm thinking of going with the Riggy Micro 222,


As a BMC owner, you should really consider the BMC366 over the 222.

http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/201 ... c-cameras/


I already went ahead and got the 222 :> I'm trying to keep the cost down across the board because there is a lot more I need on the audio front. Also until the BMCC has metering, the only thing I currently own is my recorder, I don't have an external monitor with meters or anything. For complicated shoots I always plan on hiring a location recordist with proper recording gear. This is really just for simple situations like single interviews, or short films where I can control the variables.

Thanks for the help though!
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Justindfox

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Re: Audio field recorder advice

PostWed Jul 31, 2013 10:00 pm

I work as a production sound mixer and if your looking for something that can be used for a boom but have a cheap price with fairly good audio, go with the H6. I used a big beastly Tascam HS-P82 for two years and I can say the sound coming from the H6 is great but not as warm as the HS-P82. One thing that I see alot is what kind of mic an operator is using, the lower the price typically the lower the quality. A great solid mic I would look into getting (especially if you have a boom op) would be the Sennheiser MKH50 (The sound is damn near perfect with the right pre-amps AND right sound mixer). I just got my H6 the other day and I love it compared to my old H4N (which I used on a bunch of my first timer shoots haha). One thing that is especially great is the controls in which you can mix! NO MORE CLICKING AND MIXING BOTH MICS AT ONCE!!! I highly suggest getting the H6 if your looking to have something small and portable that can detach easily and attach to a boom op. If anyone has any sound questions feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to help you out!

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