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Digital recorder tascam dr-100 mkII

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Old Friday 20th September 2013, 10:07   #1
birdy86
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Digital recorder tascam dr-100 mkII

Hi,
I'm PhD student and I'm intresting in bird sounds for some time. I want to buy recorder with low level of self noises especially for recording bird calls. I'm thinking about semi pro recordings for analysing sonograms. I'm thinking about tascam dr-100 mkII so far without external microphone. When i earn some money I'll buy shotgun. Any suggestions? Is it a good recorder? Maybe any suggestion about microphone (350$)?
Thanks for help
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Old Saturday 21st September 2013, 20:38   #2
pshute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdy86 View Post
Hi,
I'm PhD student and I'm intresting in bird sounds for some time. I want to buy recorder with low level of self noises especially for recording bird calls. I'm thinking about semi pro recordings for analysing sonograms. I'm thinking about tascam dr-100 mkII so far without external microphone. When i earn some money I'll buy shotgun. Any suggestions? Is it a good recorder? Maybe any suggestion about microphone (350$)?
Thanks for help
If you want it for your research, you should probably ask your supervisor.

According to this thread, http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/.../msg00093.html , that recorder has quite a short battery life, as do many that can provide phantom power. Did you really need that?

I've got no idea what its internal mics are like, but it's likely you'll soon find you want an external one. A common combination is the Sony M10 or Olympus LS11 with a Sennnheiser ME66 with the K6 battery powered module, so no phantom power is required.

There's more to low noise than just the recorder, and getting close and using a directional mic can be more important. I was under the impression that for research, a parabolic reflector was often used to obtain cleaner recordings, rather than a shotgun, which only rejects sounds from the sides, rather than amplifying the sounds from the front.
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Old Monday 23rd September 2013, 09:35   #3
birdy86
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Yes, but I hink something with xlr input will be better. I like also in tascam AC so you can change batteries during recording. I plan in the future to buy external microphone with battery powered module so probably I'will not need function of phantom power.
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Old Monday 23rd September 2013, 13:49   #4
iveljay
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At the risk of being repetitive, have you read this?
http://www.avisoft.com/recordertests.htm
My only Tascam recorder is a DR-40 which is a nice beast but a trifle tail heavy for a lightweight shock mount. The trouble is that it is unlikely to be used in the field as my lightweight travel recorders are the Olympus LS-11 and Sony PCM-M10, however neither has XLR inputs so they don't meet your spec. The tascam was bought for its XLR inputs and multi track capability for music use.
I believe the body of the DR-100 is much more substantial than the DR-40 so will be less prone to handling noise.
My only practical comment is that fitting a Rycote windshield is a bit more of a struggle with these larger machines more or less forcing the inbuilt mics on the DR-40 into XY configuration. As the mics on the DR-100 are fixed this should be less of a problem but the volume control is quite close to the area covered by a one piece windshield.

Last edited by iveljay : Monday 23rd September 2013 at 13:55.
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Old Monday 30th September 2013, 09:09   #5
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any other idea? i'm also thinking about marantz pmd-661.
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Old Monday 30th September 2013, 23:16   #6
iveljay
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For the use you describe you really need to specify the technical requirements of your sonogram analysis.

From this you can build a spec for the recording equipment you need to generate precisely what you require to be successful. This will certainly remove a lot of the risk of purchasing unsuitable equipment and possibly save you money by not buying more than you strictly need. I am very worried that you are looking at more and more expensive recorders without any obvious justification.

For successful lab work you should be able to provide a technical evaluation of your equipment selection process. If nothing else it will give any papers you author geater credibility.

Have you read papers/thesis published at other Universities on similar topics, these will give a much clearer view of what is required for your work?

The Maranz is certainly a respectable recorder and you may never have to buy anything better, however, when you are starting out the limiting factor will be your lack of practical experience, usually followed by the microphone or microphone/pre-amp combination.

Assuming that the microphone you are using has an output that is within the range of the recorder pre-amps and is compatible physically, it is unlikely that you will be able to tell the recordings from, say, a Sony M10 or the Maranz pmd-661 Mk2 apart.

The limiting factors will be the microphone and any lack of linearity or noise in the recoding process, however, for birdsong recording the base cutoff suffered by somerecorders is at frequencies you may not be interested in. You requirements specification will help you here.

The internal mics on the original 661 allegedly picked up hum from the recorder making it fairly important to use external mics. It is possible that this may have been fixed on the Mk2.

As I said at the beginning, if you really want XLR capability, something like a Zoom H4n may be all you need for less than half the price of the Maranz, but you need to assemble your facts before you take any decision at all.

Last edited by iveljay : Monday 30th September 2013 at 23:20.
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Old Tuesday 1st October 2013, 07:52   #7
peter.jones
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I was going to suggeste the Zoom H2N, which I've got, and which produces pretty good sonograms from the internal mics. Even from fairly distant / average quality recordings.
Plus the battery life is excellent.

Some examples in the trip report below:

http://birding-diary.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/finland-without-aid-of-safety-net.html


As Iveljay correctly states above, you can spend a lot more money if you want!

Hope this helps,
Peter
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Old Tuesday 1st October 2013, 08:16   #8
birdy86
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What about sony pcm m10 with sennheiser Me67/K6? I need additional external preamp?
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Old Wednesday 2nd October 2013, 04:15   #9
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What about sony pcm m10 with sennheiser Me67/K6? I need additional external preamp?
If you get the K6 and not the K6P then you'll just need the right cable, no preamp required. This is what I use (ME66, not ME67).
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