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Thread: Tascam DR-05x or Zoom H1n or something else?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbrubaker View Post
    I've been considering the Tascam DR-05 as well, but would it be better to plug in a pair of external microphones? (Can you even plug external mics into a DR-05?) What mics would the experts recommend, bearing in mind that I don't want to spend more than a few hundred dollars for them?
    External mics will sound a lot better but generally a handheld like the TASCAM won't supply enough power. You would need an external pre-amp or 9 or 12 volt battery box to power the mics using the 3.5 mm plug on the DR05.

    My own low profile rig is uses Church CA-14 cards > Church CA9100 pre-amp (or CA-BB 9v battery box) > Sony PCM-M10 (but the DR-05/zoomHx/roland r07/etc or similar would work as well).

    The main alternative to the CA-14s are Audio-Technica at853a mics (or successor copies). These have interchangable caps to switch between cardoid/omni/hypers/etc where the CA14s are hardwired to either card or omni so not quite as flexible. The biggest issue here is that the CA14 mics have a 3.5 mm plug while the 853s usually have a mini-xlr plug and 20 feet of wire if they haven't been cut down to a shorter length/changed the plug.

    Overall, if you want a low cost rig with decent performance, a set of CA14s and a 9v battery box are about as low as you can go.


    If you want to take the Red Pill and go down the rabbit hole:

    Taperssection.com - website devoted to all things audio recording. It's been around a long time so there's a lot of information. Once you become a member, there is access to the Yardsale where people sell their excess equipment. Right now there is a posting from a guy refurbishing CA14 mics and selling them for $120 shipped in the US but will send to the EU.

    church-audio.com - Chris Church makes his own mics/battery boxes/etc. Decent quality for the money but be warned he can be extremely slow on shipping. I've bought a couple of things from him without incident but many people on Taperssection have issues with him.

    Soundprofessionals.com - carry a lot of sound equipment from low to higher end. They carry original AT853 mics and make their own interchangeable version (SP-CMC-4U).

    Ebay - if you go the at853 route, you can sometimes get a set for a good price if you have patience or luck. They'll generally come with a cardoid cap so you might end up spending if you want omnis as well.
    "You're my family and I love you. But you're terrible, you're all terrible" - Bob's Burgers

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    I bought a pair of church-audio mics (CA-11's) in 2011. Just used them again last month. Decade of service. I'm not by any means an authority on taping, but I'd advise against using internal mics on just about any device. It never sounds that good in comparison to external mics + preamp. Plus, if you're already down the taping road you might as well do it right.

    For a capture device, I have a Sony PCM M10. They look a bit pricey nowadays but back in 2011 it was about $180. Solid, small machine. Built like a tank. These things resemble smartphones in your hands to a typical security guard. Just pocket them and don't worry about it.

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    I have an extra set of CA14 omnis that I can loan out, just PM me if interested.
    "You're my family and I love you. But you're terrible, you're all terrible" - Bob's Burgers

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    Thanks for all of the info, it's a lot to take in. Back in the day, I used to tape a bunch using a D5 and Nak 300's. I don't want to get back to that level of complexity, because honestly it makes it hard to appreciate the show (at showtime). I ended up buying the DR-07x and we will see how it does. The Gilmour Project is coming and I have tickets, so I figure that's my first chance to see how this thing does in a live setting. If it's unlistenable, then I'll figure a different path going forward.
    Off surfing with Linda, of course!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aybesea View Post
    Thanks for all of the info, it's a lot to take in. Back in the day, I used to tape a bunch using a D5 and Nak 300's. I don't want to get back to that level of complexity, because honestly it makes it hard to appreciate the show (at showtime). I ended up buying the DR-07x and we will see how it does. The Gilmour Project is coming and I have tickets, so I figure that's my first chance to see how this thing does in a live setting. If it's unlistenable, then I'll figure a different path going forward.
    I completely understand, I never meant to get into it that much either but we all know how those things go. I just found an untouched set of Nak 300s and then also a set of chopped Naks over the last couple of months. Will finally get to try them out in out in June.
    "You're my family and I love you. But you're terrible, you're all terrible" - Bob's Burgers

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    I got a Tascam DR-40X for field recordings (authorised ones rather than sneaky ones). It's possibly a little big for a shirt pocket, but the advantage is that it can take 2 XLR inputs and provide phantom power if you're using e.g. condenser mics. It also has a feature where it makes 2 stereo recordings simultaneously, one at a lower recording level than the other in case you end up setting the levels too high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackstrat01 View Post
    I got a Tascam DR-40X for field recordings (authorised ones rather than sneaky ones). It's possibly a little big for a shirt pocket, but the advantage is that it can take 2 XLR inputs and provide phantom power if you're using e.g. condenser mics. It also has a feature where it makes 2 stereo recordings simultaneously, one at a lower recording level than the other in case you end up setting the levels too high.
    The mics in the A/B position work nicely in a club setting if you don't want to drag in a bunch of equipment.
    "You're my family and I love you. But you're terrible, you're all terrible" - Bob's Burgers

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and comments everyone. I'm finding it difficult to locate external mics (and the necessary power supply) for purchase. Can anyone point me to a dealer in the US where I can browse options? Many of the items mentioned in this thread seem to be discontinued or out of stock. It would be great if some firm offered a kit specifically put together for stealthy concert taping. I'm still on the fence about taking the plunge here, but finding the proper gear would be a big incentive.

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    Talking

    I suppose this would be the best place to ask, I purchased a DR-05X about 8 months ago and have taped 3 shows so far. I'm unable to afford external mics at the current moments, I was curious what the optimal settings are to produce the best recording one can with the built-in mics.

    The three shows I've taped so far are dreadfully quiet, and there seems to be no tutorials to point me to what I've exactly done wrong.

    What would be the best options for Rec Setting. I/O Setting, Effect, etc in your all's opinion?
    I plan on taping Roger when he comes around in August, I'd like to make the recording upload worthy so any help is appreciated.
    Just happy to be here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DenjiDen View Post
    I suppose this would be the best place to ask, I purchased a DR-05X about 8 months ago and have taped 3 shows so far. I'm unable to afford external mics at the current moments, I was curious what the optimal settings are to produce the best recording one can with the built-in mics.

    The three shows I've taped so far are dreadfully quiet, and there seems to be no tutorials to point me to what I've exactly done wrong.

    What would be the best options for Rec Setting. I/O Setting, Effect, etc in your all's opinion?
    I plan on taping Roger when he comes around in August, I'd like to make the recording upload worthy so any help is appreciated.

    Being aware of the limitations of the deck and focusing on getting the best out of it:

    -Make sure there are no effects on. You don't want the low cut, auto level or anything else turned on.
    - Location is key. Get as close to a speaker stack as possible as the omni mics are not great at a distance. (yeah, not easy with assigned seats).
    - I'd record at 24/96 which will help out if you are going to boost/edit in post-production with programs like Reaper or Audicity.
    - Where are your sound levels peaking? I typically run them hot (peaking around -6 to -3) to capture everything I possibly can.

    Just my thoughts.
    "You're my family and I love you. But you're terrible, you're all terrible" - Bob's Burgers

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