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Every Remotester alive wants the Tascam DR 05...
Old 17th May 2012
  #1
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Every Remotester alive wants the Tascam DR 05...

A slight nod to the old Chanel No. 5 advert, yes, but I'm almost serious-- I'd picked up the DR 03 last year, and was astonished for something that wasn't hardly even there! it delivered incomprehensibly magnificent audio. So, naturally, I kept it in my coat so I'd have it at all times. So, naturally I forgot my coat somewhere...

So naturally I went out and picked up the new/improved model, the 05, and heavenly days-- this thing has specs, 0.05% THD and signal/noise of 92 dbs! 96/24! Topping it off is the spectacular genius of the two omni mics, ORTF-ized, which astoundingly give you a non-overly-dramatic, full breathing stereo that yet is mono-istic too! And you can mix in a line input at the level you choose!

This tape sync I did last week? Multitracked, mixed, burned to a CD, converted to WAV... on a desert island I could do it all with this! And then plug in the mini-USB and upload it to Dropbox!

Give me a solar powered battery charger and bring on the coconuts!
Old 17th May 2012
  #2
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
After that introduction, what else could anybody else say?
Attached Thumbnails
Every Remotester alive wants the Tascam DR 05...-dr-05-small-.jpg  
Old 17th May 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Microphonic, needs a remote, shockmount and a windjammer imho
Old 17th May 2012
  #4
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🎧 5 years
How does this compare to the PCM-M10?
Old 18th May 2012 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by polytope View Post
How does this compare to the PCM-M10?
The PCM M10 seems to cost twice as much, so it's probably twice as good...?

I admit straight up there was something a little neurotically impulsive about me buying the 05, because I already have a PCM D50, which costs four times as much and so is certainly four times better. So personally, when would I ever use it?

Well... hard to say, when the task was strictly voice at close quarters, mayhaps? Joshua at Guitar Center asked me this very question, and I didn't have much of an answer for him. I knew he was just trying to be talkative and helpful, but I wasn't going to let a legitimate inquiry derail my perverse determination.

There are so many versions of the "stereo handheld recorder" on the market, you could surely fine tune exactly what your needs were, or the range of your needs, and arrive at the perfect unit.

Shockmount? Handling noise is nil. Remote? Recording starts a split second after you push the button (0.3 sec, to be precise) so you don't hear the click. Windjammer? Is this a deal breaker? I myself wish it had stealth technology and could be invisible. Oh-- and the battery compartment, packed with diamonds: fair trade and shade grown.
Old 18th May 2012
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Omni mics at that kind of spacing cannot give other than a severely compromised stereo image. That's a problem shared with the Sony M-10 too (which I have). Higher frequencies tend to move away from the centre, and lower frequencies clump in the middle. The only way to partly rescue the image is to use an MS eq to widen the lower frequencies (as I recall it, haven't actually done it for a while as I'd rather use something else with cardioid built in mics than do a rescue on the M10).
Old 18th May 2012
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Omnis? Pffft.
Old 18th May 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
The PCM M10 seems to cost twice as much, so it's probably twice as good...?


Shockmount? Handling noise is nil. Remote? Recording starts a split second after you push the button (0.3 sec, to be precise) so you don't hear the click. Windjammer? Is this a deal breaker? I myself wish it had stealth technology and could be invisible. Oh-- and the battery compartment, packed with diamonds: fair trade and shade grown.
Horses for courses ,as ever
High level music ,mounted on a stand, OK
In the open, recording atmos,birdsong etc its a very different kettle de Poisson.
Old 18th May 2012
  #9
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🎧 15 years
But I would be prepared to argue the case that given the most likely scenario: bobbing around in the wild world, maybe interviewing protesters at a rally maybe, the "mono-ism" is a strength, not a weakness... you don't want the police truncheons and the tear gassing rendered in a disorienting, "perfectly accurate stereo" way where the image careens wildly about, you want it more "sedate" and "storybook" and "comfortable to listen to."

Then I probably romanticize brutal crackdowns... they are near and dear to my heart.
Old 18th May 2012
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Zoom H4n works for me for similar purposes/price range...

Try to convince me (anyone) I would want to have that Tascam instead... Does it sound better? Especially its internal mics?
And I do like the XLR input option on the Zoom. What can that Tascam do for me here? Can I connect a shotgun mic on it? But Zoom EATS batteries with a dedicated shotgun mic - like Rode NTG-3 - but that combination simply works for low budget documentary dialogue and ambient fx recording... I get occassional low level high freq. whine when used with batteries and 48v phantom power, though - not cool - I would love something better in a similar price-range. But there is hardly a serious competition (in that price range).
Old 18th May 2012
  #11
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The link for the zoom says $299. The tascam DR-05 is $99 (I got mine for $79 on sale). There's enough price differential to buy a small mixer and then use external mics if wanted.

I think it's pretty amazing that the tascam does as much as it does. No need to buy an external interface. No need to buy mics. Plug the card in your PC and download the wav file. Simple. Works.
Old 19th May 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
For carrying around in one's pocket for quickly deploying in the event of a riot (!), a device like this bears thinking about -

Amazon.com: Sony ICD-SX712 Digital Flash Voice Recorder: Electronics

Longest ever review on Amazon -

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Sony ICD-SX712 Digital Flash Voice Recorder

The review is so long that it continues into the 'comments' section below.

Obviously this is more a point and shoot device than a fully fledged recorder but for everyday carrying around and some stealth situations, it seems to be a worthwhile upgrade from the SX750 which I have for that kind of purpose. For use with internal mics I actually prefer the better stereo image of the SX750 to the M10, though the M10 does better at the bottom end. The SX712 appears to have a better mic system (adjustable width cardioids) than the 750.

The "Scene" system allows you to have five preset setups memorised - neat.
Old 20th May 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The link for the zoom says $299. The tascam DR-05 is $99 (I got mine for $79 on sale). There's enough price differential to buy a small mixer and then use external mics if wanted.

I think it's pretty amazing that the tascam does as much as it does. No need to buy an external interface. No need to buy mics. Plug the card in your PC and download the wav file. Simple. Works.
Would the DR-40 be much better than the DR-05?
Old 20th May 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by polytope View Post
Would the DR-40 be much better than the DR-05?
If you need 48V phantom and XLR input, the answer would be yes. I doubt that the preamp in the '40 is that much better than the '05. I would imagine that the Sony M10's preamp is way better than either of them (I have the Sony and the '05). For $50, which is what I paid for an almost-new '05, it's a no-brainer. It works great for ambient. However, if you don't need the phantom/XLRs, spend a little more and go with the Sony. It's a jewel.
Old 20th May 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderbolt View Post
If you need 48V phantom and XLR input, the answer would be yes. I doubt that the preamp in the '40 is that much better than the '05. I would imagine that the Sony M10's preamp is way better than either of them (I have the Sony and the '05). For $50, which is what I paid for an almost-new '05, it's a no-brainer. It works great for ambient. However, if you don't need the phantom/XLRs, spend a little more and go with the Sony. It's a jewel.
$50 for the DR-05 sounds like a steal.

I do have the M10. I was looking for a two channel recorder with good preamp without breaking the bank. Right now I am running my mics through a Symetrix SX202. But it looks like the DR-40 won't give me an improvement in sound.
Old 21st May 2012
  #16
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🎧 15 years
I don't have $50 to allocate towards this turd.
Old 21st May 2012
  #17
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🎧 15 years
Hudson, is it just me, or are you getting more and more... um... "opinionated" as the years go by?
Old 21st May 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by polytope View Post
$50 for the DR-05 sounds like a steal.

I do have the M10. I was looking for a two channel recorder with good preamp without breaking the bank. Right now I am running my mics through a Symetrix SX202. But it looks like the DR-40 won't give me an improvement in sound.
You may want to consider this:

Naiant - Microphone Amplifiers

(no affiliation).
Old 21st May 2012
  #19
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In light of my deleted thread called, "So a hand held recordist called today," my comment here is just a continuation of a former conversation.
Old 21st May 2012
  #20
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I guess that answers the question.

By the way... I was almost inspired to throw an Earthworks mic out of my own window recently.
Old 21st May 2012
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Why is it that none of these take S/PDIF? At least then they could double as bit-buckets (without relying on their internal A/D converters). Even my worthless sounding M-Audio MicroTrack recorder has an S/PDIF input... although I did have to cut away the case around it so it would accept a decent RCA cable, what a terrible design!

Here's the 05 for $74 (USA)- TASCAM DR-05 Solid State Recorder | Musician's Friend
Old 21st May 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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Don S's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanShirley View Post
Why is it that none of these take S/PDIF? At least then they could double as bit-buckets [/url]
I've been tempted by the convenience of one of these boxes before. I chose the MicroTrackII (@$275!!) because of it's features. It sounds good when it works, but I'll never purchase another one of these "shavers" again.
Old 21st May 2012
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
At least the MicroTrackII actually outputs something close to 48V. My original MicroTrack doesn't come close (though they advertised it). Not that I'd use it for that these days. Too bad they didn't bother ironing out the other kinks. After some modification and learning to avoid certain firmware bugs, it at least works as a (fairly) reliable bit bucket.
Old 21st May 2012 | Show parent
  #24
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Don S's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanShirley View Post
Too bad they didn't bother ironing out the other kinks. After some modification and learning to avoid certain firmware bugs, it at least works as a (fairly) reliable bit bucket.
Yeah. It sounds better than it should, but the unreliability is a big issue for me. Not just with Microtrack, but most of these shavers.
What mods did you make?
Old 21st May 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
What mods did you make?
Just the one I mentioned where I carved a big hole out of the plastic case around the S/PDIF input- not pretty, but at least I can get a cable on properly now. Before I couldn't get a good connection with any cable, and at best my recording would periodically stop completely.

Back to the 05- as professionals, what opinions do you all have about using one of these cheap recorders further back in a hall, only mixing in the slightest bit to "complement" a real main pair? Or maybe even as a subtle spot? Not to open a can of worms or anything!
Old 21st May 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Not to open a can of worms or anything!
Here, let me clean up that tin opener you've just used and I'll leave you to check out the worms..

Horses for courses. Each of these devices have their uses either regularly or occasionally. The key thing is not to use one for a use that you'll regret. But be imaginative.
Old 22nd May 2012
  #27
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I'll take the general silence as an indication that most of you would consider using one of these electric shavers to complement a main pair, to be like spiking the punch bowl with a "turd". Is that about right?

Or does the phrase "only as strong as its weakest link" not necessarily apply when you are using inferior mics so subtly in a mix?

After my recording session for my solo piano CD/DVD, I ended up not only with audio from my good dedicated equipment, but also a stereo track from each of the 3 video cameras. These all sounded terrible compared to the good audio, but someone I spoke with tried to convince me to use one of the stationary camera's audio to create a 5.1 mix for the DVD, only just barely using it in the rear channels. For a video camera the audio isn't completely worthless, you can set levels and turn off the auto gain, but still I thought the idea was crazy and could only hurt the sound so I didn't even test it.
Old 22nd May 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanShirley View Post
... still I thought the idea was crazy ...
You say "crazy" like it's a bad thing?

I've discovered that lots of times dipping a little of a camera's audio into the blend can supply a nice sense of clarity-- or "sheen of clarity"-- or "just a shotglass' worth of effervescence," bringing the whole thing into focus in a way that's surprisingly lustrous. Like, you really would not have expected.

Then, I don't think the DR-05 would have any more or less spectacular benefits in this regard. I see it as a standalone device first and foremost. There's a cool little video with a side-by-side comparison with one of the Olympus units auditioning sound effects-- consistently the 05 sounded "darker" and the Olympus "crisper," but to my ears the Olympus sacrificed realism-- the clicks of the spatula hitting the pan where the egg was frying sounded generic, it could have been a pencil hitting a table or anything else "clicky," whereas the 05 was giving you the unmistakeable realism of spatula on pan.

And the sizzle... that's a thoroughly worthy goal, isn't it?
Old 23rd May 2012 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I don't have $50 to allocate towards this turd.
Really?
Old 23rd May 2012
  #30
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I had to work and missed a chorus performance a couple of weeks ago. The Mrs. handed my DR-05 to some lady in the audience and told her to what buttons to push. Considering that the lady had the O5 laying in the seat next to her and had never seen one before, I was happy to get a small taste of the performance.

Interestingly, the CD I burned didn't sound as good as listening on headphones connected directly into the O5.
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