[Top] [All Lists]

5. Re: R-44 issue

Subject: 5. Re: R-44 issue
From: "Jez" tempjez
Date: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:46 pm ((PDT))

perhaps some misunderstanding - I am not being unkind but I guess I found i=
t somewhat frustrating when the very specific problem I was talking about s=
eemed to be ignored & instead assumptions were made about the issue being d=
own to a possible lack of experience or understanding of the technology. Yo=
ur first paragraph here also comes across like this & with respect, comment=
s such as 'Your expectations of what is 'decent' may or may not be useful i=
n practice' are a good example. We can't all know who's who & what their ex=
perience or artistry is on forums like this & thats why I personally think =
its best to not talk down to folks or imply that what they know might not b=
e good enough. If one think one knows more than others, one has stopped lea=
rning anyway.

I wouldn't post on here about 'to be expected' issues with lower priced uni=
ts quality of pre-amps etc etc - this thread was started to discuss a very =
specific issue with one microphone that functions perfectly well on all kin=
ds of other devices, from high cost to low & I did what I could to explain =
the issues to avoid folks thinking it was just a quality of the recorder si=
tuation. I also pointed out that the R-44 has been purchased for students o=
n courses to try - folks who either can't afford high end gear or are inter=
ested in what a pro-sumer 4 channel recorder can do. Whether you like the R=
-44 or not, it should work well & give decent results for the price & indee=
d it does with all kinds of mics connected, but not the DPA4060's it seems.=

The R-4 is a different machine indeed, but there are plenty of folks who sa=
y the pre-amps are noisier on that than on the R-44 for example. With any p=
iece of kit (with a few exceptions) its always possible to find any number =
of folks posting online about the pro's & con's. There's nothing wrong with=
 the R-44 in general. Its better build quality than a lot of lower cost rec=
orders & its good at some things & not so good at others.

I didn't create this thread to find out how many 'professional' field recor=
dists don't use the R-44. I know lots myself (& have been one for quite a l=
ong time now) who don't use it & some who do, for certain projects mostly a=
s a back-up for example. I could find you tons who don't like the DR-680 to=
o - its known to be tricky to set in the field due to its design & there ar=
e all kinds of issues with software glitches, but every user will have a di=
fferent experience.

I don't own an FR2LE myself but they're used on the courses, along with Sou=
nd Devices (my kit), Nagra etc etc. however, when connecting unbalanced uni=
ts to any xlr based recorder I use impedance transforming adaptors.

I really don't like it if conversations get tetchy on forums, it really doe=
sn't do any good. Having said that I also feel the same about equipment sno=
bbery. The R-44 is a decent recorder for the price & once you burn in the p=
re-amps & get used to the settings between the sensitivity & gain the pre-a=
mps are decent too, for the price, but the issues i'm having are nothing to=
 do with that.

The one issue that might be build-quality related is the electronic noise i=
n the signal from the display. Having said that most recorders sub, shall w=
e say, Sound Devices level, pick up some sounds from their displays - the F=
R2LE & the DR-680 do, though, as with the R-44, its at a very low level.

I of course appreciate any help that folks can offer on issues when they co=
me up & I try to return the favour when I can.

so, lets put this behind us & move forward.


--- In  Gregory O'Drobinak <=
.> wrote:
> Jez:
> The balanced inputs, specifically the XLR mic inputs, of any recorder are=
> some sort of differential amplifier. If that diff amp circuit is not craf=
> properly, then you=C3=82=C2=A0will=C3=82=C2=A0indeed pickup=C3=82=C2=A0hu=
m or other signals and have various
> other problems IF the circuit connected to it is not perfectly balanced a=
> grounded properly. It's a simple fact of the electronics. My background i=
s in
> electronics engineering, so I do have experience in this area.=C3=82=C2=
=A0 And I do indeed
> understand your 'specific issue' here. Your expectations of what is 'dece=
nt' may
> or may not be useful in practice.=C3=82=C2=A0Your issue here=C3=82=C2=A0i=
s an aspect of electronics
> design, not one of aesthetics.
> I have been a musician and phonographer as well for many decades, so I ha=
> owned and used a=C3=82=C2=A0myriad=C3=82=C2=A0of mics and recorders. In t=
he course of time I have seen
> many cost-cutting practices done by manufacturers to get cost down and th=
is can
> compromise quality when certain devices are connected to certain inputs. =
> happens, even if you don't happen to believe it. It really depends on the=

> conditions at the time and how the circuits are designed.
> As for the quality of the mic preamps of the R-44, I personally know seve=
> professional recordists who have had them and had issues with them. They =
> consider them to be high quality preamps. I'm sure that there are other f=
olks on
> this list that will support this fact. The Roland R-4 is a MUCH different=
> with good mic preamps. And I am quite happy with my Tascam DR-680.
> BTW, how exactly do you connect unbalanced inputs to the XLR inputs of yo=
> FR-2LE?
> Good luck with this problem. And please be kind to the people that are tr=
ying to
> help you.
> - Greg
> ________________________________
> From: Jez <>
> To: 
> Sent: Fri, June 22, 2012 4:19:12 AM
> Subject: [Nature Recordists] Re: R-44 issue
> =C3=82=C2=A0
> Hi Greg,
> er....
> firstly, in 35 years of being involved with field recording i've never co=
> across this type of issue with a mic / recorder match when using 'decent'=
 mics &
> recorders.
> DPA's are not built to be fed into wireless transmitters - that is just o=
ne of
> the options for them. They are built, these days, to be used with a varie=
ty of
> different options.
> No recorder, not even the cheap Zoom's, have trouble handling balanced or=

> unbalanced mics (other than issues of the quality of the signal & noise o=
f the
> pre-amps). To clarify my experience: I tutor on the Wildeye courses & els=
> so we get students with all kinds of mics & all levels of recorders. Over=
> years (on these courses & elsewhere) i've used hundreds of different mic =
> recorder combinations & have never come across these issues.
> I use Sound Devices gear, so i'm used to spending decent money to get dec=
> kit, however its simply wrong to imply that recorders of the level of the=
> isn't very good. In various ways its a better recorder than the FR2LE for=

> example. By the way, if you're having issues with the FR2LE with unbalanc=
> inputs its not the recorder - we never have any issues with them on any
> unbalanced mics, piezo based units etc.
> As I've tried to explain already, this issue appears to be a very specifi=
c issue
> between the R-44 / R-26 & the DPA's - but it doesn't happen on any other=

> recorder - from the cheapest (with xlr inputs) to the higher cost units.=

> Therefore it is not an issue related to the issues you mention as lots of=
> other recorders don't have transformer balanced inputs.
> ta.
> --- In  Gregory O'Drobinak <gmodrobinak@=
> wrote:
> >
> > Jez:
> >
> > Please forgive my earlier comment, but I couldn't resist! Really, it wa=
s meant
> > to point out that there are issues with mic preamps and mics that don't=
> >up
> >
> > well and this is based on sub-optimal design parameters.
> >
> > The DPA mics are not balanced out of the box; they are single-ended out=
put mics
> >
> > that are designed to be fed into the single-ended preamps that are=C3=
=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A0built-in to
> >
> > the wireless transmitters commonly sold with these mics. I assume that =
there is
> >
> > a cable adapter that is sold to make the 4060s 'look' like a balanced o=
> > but in reality it appears that DPA uses some tricks that fall short of =
> >mark.
> >
> > This is problem #1: the 4060s are not really balanced output mics.
> >
> > The second issue is that most inexpensive recorders do not have transfo=
> > balanced inputs, which can usually handle an unbalanced input gracefull=
y. The
> > preamps in my FR-2LE, for example, are 'balanced' inputs but this is do=
> > electronically without the use of a transformer. The net result is that=
> > various gain conditions the FR-2LE will not work well at all for single=
> > inputs, such as a piezo transducer or a single-ended (not balanced) inp=
ut from
> >a
> >
> > mic or instrument via an XLR connector. Various noises, hum and other a=
> >
> > can be heard as the mic gain is increased. So using a single-ended outp=
> > device, such as the 4060, into the poorly electronically balanced input=
 of the
> > R-44 results in mayhem instead of nicety. This has nothing to do with c=
> > draw, but how well the signals are balanced at the input of the recorde=
> >
> > The 4060s work well on the SD series because=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A0I b=
elieve that they=C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A0have
> > transformer balanced inputs. I don't have time to go through the theory=
 of all
> > of this, but you can research it on the web. Check what Rane has to say=
> > balkanced vs. unbalanced.
> >
> > So the rule of thumb is use truly balanced mics into balanced preamp in=
puts and
> >
> > use unbalanced mics into preamps designed specifically to handle unbala=
> > inputs. Most manufacturers are not going to tell you how well their bal=
> >mic
> >
> > preamps are going to work with unbalanced inputs. Below a certain (high=
) price
> > point, you get what you paid for.
> >
> > Sorry for the bad news.
> >
> > - Greg
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Jez <tempjez@>
> > To: 
> > Sent: Fri, June 22, 2012 2:50:52 AM
> > Subject: [Nature Recordists] Re: R-44 issue
> >
> > =C3=83=C2=82=C3=82=C2=A0
> > thanks Grant, according to DPA the r-44 supplies more than enough power=
> > handle even 4 of the DPA4060's connected & these issues appear even if =
just one
> >
> > is attached. The powering issue also wouldn't explain the pick up of th=
> > internal electronics of the recorder (regardless of mic position) & i'm=
 more &
> > more convinced that its some strange way the Roland recorders are built=
> > happens to come up with these issues when using this particular mic. Th=
at said,
> >
> > one chap who also has the R-44 & the DPA4060's has mentioned that his w=
ork fine
> >
> > !
> >
> > arghhhhhh !
> >
> > --- In  "Grant Finlay" <grant@> wrote:
> > >
> > > It's called "motor boating"
> > > The non-techy explanation is that it can't supply enough power to the=
> >you
> >
> > >need to roll off some of the bottom end to get around this.
> > > Or use an outboard PH48v supply.
> > > The SD302 has this issue too with various mics, sanken cs-1 etc..
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > Grant.
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the naturerecordists mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU