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6. Re: R-44 issue

Subject: 6. Re: R-44 issue
From: "Jez" tempjez
Date: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:18 pm ((PDT))

perhaps some misunderstanding - I am not being unkind but I guess I found i=
somewhat frustrating when the very specific problem I was talking about see=
to be ignored & instead assumptions were made about the issue being down to=
possible lack of experience or understanding of the technology. Your first
paragraph here also comes across a bit like this, such as comments as
'Your expectations of what is 'decent' may or may not be useful in practice=
'  We can't all know who's who & what their experience or artistry is on fo=
rums like this & thats why I personally think its best to not talk down to =
folks or imply that what they know might not be good enough. If one think o=
ne knows more than others, one has stopped learning anyway.

I wouldn't post on here about 'to be expected' issues with lower priced uni=
quality of pre-amps etc etc - this thread was started to discuss a very spe=
issue with one microphone that functions perfectly well on all kinds of oth=
devices, from high cost to low & I did what I could to explain the issues t=
avoid folks thinking it was just a quality of the recorder situation. I als=
pointed out that the R-44 has been purchased for students on courses to try=
folks who either can't afford high end gear or are interested in what a
pro-sumer 4 channel recorder can do. Whether you like the R-44 or not, it s=
work well & give decent results for the price & indeed it does with all kin=
ds 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 piece o=
f kit
(with a few exceptions) its always possible to find any number of folks pos=
online about the pro's & con's. There's nothing wrong with the R-44 in gene=
ral, in the price range its aimed at. Its better build quality than a lot o=
f lower cost recorders & its good at some things & not so good at others.

I didn't create this thread to find out how many 'professional' field recor=
don't use the R-44. I know lots of folks ('professional' or not) who don't =
use it & some who do, for certain projects mostly as a back-up for example.=
 I could find you tons who don't like the DR-680 too - its known to be tric=
ky to set in the field due to its design & there are all kinds of issues wi=
th software glitches, but every user will have a different experience.

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

I really don't like it if conversations get tetchy on forums, it really doe=
do any good. Having said that I also feel the same about equipment snobbery=
. The
R-44 is a decent recorder for the price & once you burn in the pre-amps & g=
used to the settings between the sensitivity & gain the pre-amps are decent=
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 we say,
Sound Devices level, pick up some sounds from their displays - the FR2LE & =
DR-680 do, though, as with the R-44, its at a very low level. Not sure wher=
e you're based Greg, but here in Europe the R-44 & the DR-680 are similar i=
n price. Whack the gain right up on your DR-680 & you'll hear the display n=
oise & other electronic debris.

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.
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

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