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Tascam DR-40
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  • @JDN

    MixPre-D is all fine, but not suitable for fast documentary stuff.

    All that is required is simple small recorder with XLR. DR40 is smallest and as far as I see with acceptable quality.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev, can you provide any pictures of the mic?

    I know the DR-40 lets you select between 48v and 24v phantom, so that can be tested to see which works/sounds the best. If there's any distortion, try turning down the gain. If it still distorts, you may need a specialty cable like the sescom's.

  • Also, if the mic is mono, you'll need that mono to stereo adapter to get anything

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    I joined just to give you the heads up on this recorder. It is nice. It does XLR and 1/4 inch line/phantom at 24v and 48v (if you find your mic specs can run on 24v then you will save battery by setting it to that). Just be sure to be careful changing settings while the device is on / mic is plugged in. Phantom is powerful stuff and mics are sensitive.

    The problem you are experiencing is that the mics with 3.5mm mini-plugs run on different voltage which is not supported by the DR-40. I looked into getting the Roland CS-10EM Binaural Mics to work:

    Alas they don't because they require 2 to 10 volts. I think this range of voltage mics appeared with minidisc and portable DAT recorders that only had 3.5mm mini-inputs and were powered by two AA batteries. Today in this price range only the ZOOM has BOTH XLR Phantom and the ability to supply the correct voltage for the 3.5mm mini-input for a electret mic. If you only want mics with the 3.5mm mini plug to work, Roland has a nice recorder without balanced XLR / 1/4" phantom which is much more compact:

    I love my DR-40 though because it is compact and with the firmware update I can adjust channels separately. The best part is that I can record two sets of two tracks at different volumes so that in case I have distortion I have a fall back level. No other recorder is providing that functionality. This is really important when recording live shows for musicians or other "live" settings. Also what was stated above about changing a mono signal to stereo with a cable is not required with the DR-40. You can select mono input in menu and just plug into one channel so no need for a splitter.

    But I started to research and found a DYI solution to start hacking electret mics for the DR-40:

    Hope to contribute more soon. Nice community here.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev I guess it depends on the usage but for me it works great run and gun. When the mix pre d is in my little portabrace bag and gh2 on my steadicam with vest or shoulder rig, I can look down and see levels in any light, immediately with my mix pre d -- large, 20 LED display gives me a good idea where its at and if someone gets overly animated, or BG noise changes, adjusting one level individually is a quick and easy knob turn away, without putting down the camera. For me, its perfect for run and gun -- but I understand how for ultralight setups and low profile work would not be desirable at all. But I really like it (paired with the DR-40). They make a nice, ultralight, ultraportable professional quality solution.

    For web delivery dr-40 is more than enough but for broadcast or theatrical, I'd strongly recommend a mixer. But my two cents and realize it may not be for everyone.

  • Ok, i plug one XLR mike in one channel and I tried the electret mike with a 3,5" to xlr and a 47 kohm reststance in the xlr hack, but I have an ssssssssss sound on that channel. Do I still need to switch to mono? I want to record one mike in each channel. I tried 24 V and 48v phantom, all the same. I seitched the l r sides for the mikes with no result. I have ordered a dynamic head mike with 6,3 jack mow, that does not need phantom power. I hope that solves the problem.

    What format or bitrate is suggested for recording an interview?

    Thanks for any input

  • @AKED

    I don't think it is possible to turn on phantom for just one channel on the bottom inputs. So try to have the microphones match in terms of what phantom power they require. The 3.5mm mic voltage is called "plug-in power" and it is very different from phantom. It might be possible to design a circuit to adapt but not sure if a single 47 kohm resistor will do it. Haven't tried it yet. I am just using matching microphones but am looking to build a binaural pair eventually using the directions I posted before because I haven't found those with XLR. Here is a discussion link that might be relevant to your adapter woes:

    Good luck but don't phantom fry any mic (as bad as a scratched lens or blown speaker)!

  • @posit

    First, no one asked to turn on phantom power on one channel.

    We used simple circuit from:

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    Oh, I'm sorry. I think I may have inferred wrongly what @AKED wanted to do. @AKED mentioned he is plugging the XLR in one channel and then wrote about Phantom power so I assumed you already had the XLR Phantom powered microphone. Then @AKED mentioned ordering a dynamic head mic that does not need Phantom power. This is where I probably assumed wrongly that you will use both the XLR which I assumed needs Phantom power and the new mic @AKED ordered which doesn't at the same time. My point was that the microphones plugged into the bottom of the DR-40 must match their Phantom power requirements. That is all.

    That is a great link BTW. Did not see that before. I will try the approach of getting the mic capsules wired for Phantom and not adapt to line.

  • My point was that the microphones plugged into the bottom of the DR-40 must match their Phantom power requirements.

    What do you mean under this?

    We just plug one dynamic mike (all of balanced dynamic ones work fine with any phantom power) using XLR and want to connect small electret using same dynamic power (of course by dropping voltage).

  • Since I bought a DR40 to use as a bit bucket I thought I'd chime in.

    What sold me was: price, 2 XLR/TRS with lock, +4 input, battery life (18hrs claimed), and ability to record safety track (-6 to -20dB down)

    After using the absolute resource hog Tascam DR-2d (we're talking barely an hour of 24/48 recording using the line input!!!) it was nice to get a unit that you could run for the better part of a day without changing batteries.

    However, the pre-amps suck ass (less hiss than something like the GH2 but still unacceptable and a pain to remove in post) and the safety track is not clean. I noticed after running a test what seemed like a mid-high frequency bump. A simple nulling test proved this correct. The safety track is NOT an identical copy X Db's less than the original.

    However, with an external pre amp this unit works fine as a line in recorder and the limiter is a nice feature to have.

    For those looking for a cheap DIY preamp I posted a schematic on another thread that works fantastic on two 9V batteries and is very quiet. If you're just using one microphone I recommend you get a preamp and a smaller unit like the DR-08 (doesn't need to be Tascam) with a 3.5mm line in. No need for the extra expense and bulk of the larger recorders since ultimately all you need is to record a clean signal on a memory card.

  • @spacewig

    Thing that amazes me is that this guys are not making good preamps in all this recorders.

  • @spacewig I got very confused when you called it a bit-bucket and went back to look at the I/O. It does not offer any form of digital input (SPDIF/Coax or optical, Lightpipe, etc.) so it cannot be used as bit-bucket. No matter what you do, you have to make use of the analog side of it. :)

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev For the life of me I cannot understand this either but am not willing to dismiss the engineers of all these very well established companies as idiots. This must be a decision being made by marketing executives. I mean the THAT 1512 mic preamp chip that is featured in extremely clean and quiet preamps like the Grace M101, and costs around $3/unit, just has got to be known to these people. Why they insist on making these devices with sub-par elements at a critical juncture in the signal chain is just baffling.

  • @thepalalias My apologies for incorrect use of the jargon. what I meant is that in line in mode the pre's do not figure in any significant way and so the unit basically acts as a pure recording device, i.e. whatever effect the components in the signal path impart on the sound are basically negligible.

  • Hi guys,

    I need some advice.

    How shall I record the sound with the Tascam?

    Possible Formats: BWF 16 bit, BWF 24 bit with Sample 44.1, 48k or 96 kHZ

    WAV 16 bit, WAV 24 bit with Sample 44.1, 48k or 96 kHZ

    MP3 32k, 64k, 96k, 128k, 192k. 256k or320k Sample 44.1k or 48k?


    I am not a sound guy. Please let me know which is the appropriate Format and sample rate to record the GH3 interview.

    Thanks in advance


  • @Aked I'd say WAV 24bit 48k, but I'm not a sound guy either.

  • I shoot on WAV 24bit 48K. Sounds great with my 416, as long as the boom operator gets the damn thing in the right place!

  • @vicharris

    Question was conserning future delivery via vimeo and youtube. Looking at the guidlines (see links in our Photokina wiki) it seems like 44k 24bit can be better.

  • Didn't see that in the question. Ok. go for 44.1 and avoid any hassle.

  • OK, rechecked guildlines, 44k is for Vimeo. Google prefers 48k instead.

    So, 48k/24bit will be the choice.

  • OK, to sum it up: I record in WAV 24 bit Sample 48 k


  • I've read that uploading footage from 48k to 44.1k hurts the audio but I really can't tell the difference. I'm sure some sound engineer might be able to notice.

  • 48Khz has been the standard since DAT and MINI-DV. 44.1Khz is a CD standard. I always choose 48Khz since the cameras I use also use 48Khz for sound. I have seen reports that it is possible that sometimes when not matching the sample rate between camera and sound recorder it can lead to synchronization issues during editing. That is why I always use the 48Khz for production and post and then worry about conversion at export / compression. Good luck!

  • Thanks, i stay with 48 Khz then