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=
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=
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 <=
> 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=
> 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=
> 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=
> 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=
> 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=
> Good luck with this problem. And please be kind to the people that are tr=
> help you.
> - Greg
> From: Jez <>
> Sent: Fri, June 22, 2012 4:19:12 AM
> Subject: [Nature Recordists] Re: R-44 issue
> Hi Greg,
> 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'=
> DPA's are not built to be fed into wireless transmitters - that is just o=
> the options for them. They are built, these days, to be used with a varie=
> 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=
> 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=
> 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.
> --- In Gregory O'Drobinak <gmodrobinak@=
> > Jez:
> > Please forgive my earlier comment, but I couldn't resist! Really, it wa=
> > to point out that there are issues with mic preamps and mics that don't=
> > 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=
> > that are designed to be fed into the single-ended preamps that are=C3=
> > the wireless transmitters commonly sold with these mics. I assume that =
> > 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 =
> > 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=
> > 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=
> > 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=
> > 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 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=
> > use unbalanced mics into preamps designed specifically to handle unbala=
> > inputs. Most manufacturers are not going to tell you how well their bal=
> > preamps are going to work with unbalanced inputs. Below a certain (high=
> > 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 =
> > 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 convinced that its some strange way the Roland recorders are built=
> > happens to come up with these issues when using this particular mic. Th=
> > one chap who also has the R-44 & the DPA4060's has mentioned that his w=
> > !
> > 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=
> > >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.
> > > http://naturesounds.co.nz
> > >