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Clips from my Tascam DR680 Condenser Microphones
Old 14th May 2011
  #31
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dr680 line in

thanks for the reply on the price issue. Does any dr680 user know if the lo-z line inputs bypass the mic pre or just put a pad in front of it like the hd-p2 infamously does? thanks fellow GS
Old 14th May 2011
  #32
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johnsound's Avatar
The schematic shows that indeed, the mic/line switch bypasses the mic amp. See attachment.

Regards,

John
Attached Thumbnails
Clips from my Tascam DR680-dr680-input.jpg  
Old 15th May 2011
  #33
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hughesmr's Avatar
John, can you comment on the sonic differences you've noticed via the 680 Busman mods? I think you said you earlier had a factory 680, so comments/comparisons of the mod would be insightful and appreciated! Cheers!
Old 15th May 2011
  #34
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richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughesmr View Post
John, can you comment on the sonic differences you've noticed via the 680 Busman mods? I think you said you earlier had a factory 680, so comments/comparisons of the mod would be insightful and appreciated! Cheers!
Can I piggyback this request for some specifics. I have heard that you can only monitor in mono. Is this true?

Also, this reviewer (Tascam DR-680 Review) says there is no timecode. For me, timecode is simply a clock with hours, minutes and seconds linked to the recording. I assume it records with such a clock and that you can rewind etc to a specific time on the recording? I can see a series of zeros on the display and assume, hopefully correctly, that his definition of timecode is different to mine? Milliseconds etc on the display would not be necessary but seconds certainly would.
Old 15th May 2011
  #35
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johnsound's Avatar
Hi Michael,

Unfortunately, I sold the un-modded 680 before I picked up the Busman version, so I never had a chance to do a side-by-side comparison. The Busman version seems plenty quiet enough for most of the work I do, although there were a couple of things cosmetically that left a bit to be desired, but I guess that was down to the fact that Chris did a very fast turnaround for me as I was only in the USA for a few days. I get to do the first music recording today, although the circumstances are less than ideal (charity concert, no fee, organiser wants archive recording, doesn't want to see mics, etc.) , so I should have a better idea of how it performs after that. It certainly seems better able to deal with the TetraMic than the Edirol R-44 was, and the channel level ganging and M/S facilities that came with the last firmware upgrade make it a no-brainer for Ambisonic and M/S recording on a budget.

I bought the PortaBrace case, which is a tight fit, but does seem to have been well thought out (battery changes through a Velcro'd panel in the bottom) and I recommend it if you're out and about.
Old 15th May 2011
  #36
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johnsound's Avatar
Not sure where the 'monitoring in mono' comes from: no it's not true. Oh, wait - you may be referring to monitoring via the Solo funcion, which does put the individual channel you're monitoring into both left and right outputs, rather than 'solo in place' with each channel's individual panning position reflected in the monitor mix, which some prefer, but with a machine like this is largely irrelevant, in my opinion. Lack of timecode refers to the fact that you can't sync to or output external SMPTE timecode,which is necessary for the film and TV guys. Of course it has an elapsed-time counter which shows hours, minutes and seconds, and you can use the jog-wheel to scroll through a recording to a particular time. (Also, the review you referred to is wrong about the TRS inputs offering four channels of AES in. He's misunderstood the ways the digital input can be routed in the DR-680. You can have six analog inputs and a stereo digital input routed to separate tracks, this giving you eight recorded tracks, or you can have six analog inputs mixed down to a stereo pair, giving you six iso tracks and a mixed pair, or you can have four analog inputs and a stereo digital input mixed down to two tracks, again giving you six iso tracks and a mixed pair. It's not really his fault; the way that the digital I/O works on the DR-680 is versatile, but somewhat confusing.)

Really, for the money, in the US, certainly, it's a steal. In the UK, where once again the tax-inclusive price is hiked to almost twice that of the US at certain dealers, not so much, although there's still nothing else in the price range to beat it. It works well with the SPS200, too, although obviously not with the A-Format decoding, which you'll need to do in a DAW.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

John

Last edited by johnsound; 15th May 2011 at 10:35 AM.. Reason: Added extra information
Old 16th May 2011
  #37
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PoxyMusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughesmr View Post
John, can you comment on the sonic differences you've noticed via the 680 Busman mods? I think you said you earlier had a factory 680, so comments/comparisons of the mod would be insightful and appreciated! Cheers!
Mine is being modded at this very moment. I recorded some room tone before sending it out, so I'll be able to post before/after files. Not very scientific, but the ambient noise at my house changes very little.
Old 16th May 2011
  #38
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsound View Post
The schematic shows that indeed, the mic/line switch bypasses the mic amp. See attachment.

Regards,

John
Looking at the schematic - why in the world is the limiter AFTER the A/D converter?! So after you clip the converter you can bring the nasty distorted signal down in the digital domain, while still retaining all of the unpleasantness of digital distortion? Am I missing something?

-Tom
Old 16th May 2011
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
Looking at the schematic - why in the world is the limiter AFTER the A/D converter?!

Hmmmmm. That's a good question. Or maybe I'm missing something.
Old 16th May 2011
  #40
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richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
Looking at the schematic - why in the world is the limiter AFTER the A/D converter?! So after you clip the converter you can bring the nasty distorted signal down in the digital domain, while still retaining all of the unpleasantness of digital distortion? Am I missing something?

-Tom
Does this question not also apply to the low-cut?
Old 17th May 2011
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
Does this question not also apply to the low-cut?

Another good question.
Old 18th May 2011
  #42
Gear interested
 

Smile

dr680 arriving tommorow. just learned that it will not overdub. true???? if so, maybe I'll just sell or use as a remote 2track for classical guitar, ms xy ab blumlein. was planning to sell r16 until I found out dr680 can't overdub.
no chance of some magical firmware update I guess. any ideas???
Old 21st May 2011
  #43
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johnsound's Avatar
No, it won't overdub. It's not a multi-tracker in that respect. I think a firmware upgrade that allows overdubbing is unlikely. Did you not read the on-line information before you bought? There's a full manual available on the Tascam site, which would have given you that information. I'd hang on to it, though, nice little machine.

Regards,

John
Old 22nd May 2011
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
Does this question not also apply to the low-cut?
Very few 'prosumer' devices do any processing other than gain before the A-D conversion. The digital compressor and hpf are only for the convenience of the on-the-spot stereo mixdown recording. Otherwise it would be far better to record with the 12dB lower gain that the compressor requires, and fix it in post.

For hpf, it is much more effective to use the low-cut switch included in most active mics.

Much cheaper than a Nagra VI, but if used intelligently, can be just as effective. (Note I did not say the same quality .... )
Old 22nd May 2011
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
Very few 'prosumer' devices do any processing other than gain before the A-D conversion.

Where is a good place to find schematic diagrams if a person wants to check on a particular prosumer recorder? (Schematics usually are not in the owners manuals.)
Old 22nd May 2011
  #46
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

I'm guessing that the Tascam 680 schematic is just plain wrong, because nobody with more than 2 brain cells would design something with limiters after the A/D. Or maybe I'm just too stupid to understand that it's brilliant putting limiters after the A/D.

Just looked at the R-44 schematic, and it lists the limiter after the A/D too. However, I have an R-44 and I know that this is not entirely true. For an R-44, the limiter is both before and after the A/D. The "Before" works by lowering the volume. The "After" works by increasing volume for make up gain. Maybe the Tascam works the same way. Anybody have knowledge of this?

R-44 schematic:
http://www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/as...ck_diagram.pdf


I looked at the Presonus Studio Live mixers and their schematics also show the limiter after the A/D. Anybody know if the Presonus works with a "Before" component as well?

Studio Live schematic:
http://www.presonus.com/media/diagra...iagram-web.pdf


Roland probably should have done a better job with their schematic. Hopefully, Tascam and Presonus fall into the same category. If not, then they should probably redesign their products so that the limiters prevent clipping the converters. Unless I'm missing something....

-Tom
Old 26th February 2012
  #47
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoxyMusic View Post
Mine is being modded at this very moment. I recorded some room tone before sending it out, so I'll be able to post before/after files. Not very scientific, but the ambient noise at my house changes very little.
Sorry to pick up an old thread like this, but I'm curious if you (PoxyMusic) ever posted the side-by-side comparisons of the 680 before and after the Busman mod. From what I've read online, it seems like a good investment, but I feel weird about sending my 680 to California to be modified without having heard any comparison clips...

cheers,

j
Old 27th February 2012
  #48
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sonare's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoxyMusic View Post
Only two at a time as I recall.
Actually as many as you wish--
Old 27th February 2012
  #49
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sonare's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaschanarveson View Post
Sorry to pick up an old thread like this, but I'm curious if you (PoxyMusic) ever posted the side-by-side comparisons of the 680 before and after the Busman mod. From what I've read online, it seems like a good investment, but I feel weird about sending my 680 to California to be modified without having heard any comparison clips...

cheers,

j
Could you provide a link? I tried to ask Busman some questions (several times) about the mod (not about specific circuitry) and never received a response== and I completely agree with your desire to hear before/after before shelling out over 30% of the purchase price.
Old 27th February 2012
  #50
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
Could you provide a link? I tried to ask Busman some questions (several times) about the mod (not about specific circuitry) and never received a response== and I completely agree with your desire to hear before/after before shelling out over 30% of the purchase price.
Yeah, I had a different but related experience to Sonare - I emailed Busman to see if he had any comparison clips, and he replied quickly, but just said that he had many happy customers. I guess he's doing well just by word of mouth - if I was doing this as a small business, though, I'd want to post clips so people would be more inclined to place orders...
Old 28th February 2012
  #51
Gear Addict
Has anyone ever found level matched same performance comparison clips for any modded recorder?

There is a thread in the shootout section that started out with good comparison clips (good as in level matched and same performance) between an RME UFX and a BLA modded UFX. To my ear they were indistinguishable. Many people expressed a preference for one or the other based on sighted comparisons but only one respondent even claimed to do a double-blind comparison and they were unable to differentiate all the samples.

Fran
Old 28th February 2012
  #52
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sonare's Avatar
A while back I did a "shootout" between my stock 680 and a FW interface costing 4x as much-- and this was posted on GS. The responses to the "which is which" ritual were completely random. This convinced me that mods to this unit were completely in the GS "night-and-day based on amount spent" category.

Caveat emptor

Rich
Old 28th February 2012
  #53
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sonare's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
If not, then they should probably redesign their products so that the limiters prevent clipping the converters. Unless I'm missing something....

-Tom
Good operating procedure is to peak between -10dBFS and -6dBFS when recording with a 24-bit device. And for those "out-of-brain" experiences there are always the limiters.

Rich
Old 28th February 2012
  #54
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RobAnderson's Avatar
My only beef with the 680 (and it seems to be with the HD-P2 as well) is that the analog line inputs are a bit noisy for my taste.

Before you all get out the flamethrowers:

The line inputs are perfectly usable and the converter quality is perfectly acceptable for archival recordings; but I have had the best results when I treat it like a 16-bit recorder, meaning when I push the levels a little hotter than I usually might on a true 24-bit recorder.

I'll clarify that last statement: with good 24-bit converters, I often set my typical level to average somewhere around -20 dBfs, sometimes even a little less. With the Tascam's, I have to aim a little higher for the same S/N: say -16 or -12.

Mind you, this is on the LINE inputs - not sure how the performance of the mic inputs might be.

I'd be interested to know if the upgrade yields better S/N ratio, but not sure if I'd want to spend the $$ considering the cost vs. the value of the recorder itself.
Old 29th February 2012
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
Good operating procedure is to peak between -10dBFS and -6dBFS when recording with a 24-bit device. And for those "out-of-brain" experiences there are always the limiters.

Rich
Hi Rich-
I'm a little more conservative. Running at 24 bit, I generally like peaks
at -12dBFS at most, and, like Rob, preferably somewhat less-which makes that little etched (or however it's put on) line on the meters at -16 dBFS perfect for me.

It's all completely subjective of course, but I feel this allows the analogue front end to loaf and breathe easy.

I think the thing sounds ridiculously good. Not too much has been mentioned about the analogue outs-and I think D/A and the analogue outs are sleepers, too. While I dump everything into a computer, the easily configurable mixes produced in the 680 and output from the unit are hard to believe, and the unit has a healthy output.

I decided to try the 680 largely because of your comments a very long time ago. I use it with high output mic's, but your comments elsewhere on gain structure and ribbon mic's were helpful.

I haven't used the line inputs. Have you had occasion to use them?
Old 29th February 2012
  #56
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EV676's Avatar
I recorded a concert for a local enthusiast's group almost a year ago using my DR680 with the internal mic pres.

The microphones were MKH40's and KM-84s.

Raw tracks were imported into Pro Tools for mixing. I used some compression. No added reverb, the room (a chapel) was very live, even with 200 people in it!

I think the internal pre amps on the DR-680 work very well, especially with good microphones.

06 Kemo Hussey-Love.mp3 - DivShare
Old 1st March 2012
  #57
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RobAnderson's Avatar
Hmmm

I had to do a hurried setup for a recording, so I figured what the heck, I'll try the on-board pre's out, since I won't have time to do my usual thing. On channels 1-2, I ran an MS pair (was trying a new setup out for this - an KM120 with 140 mid), there were two vocal PA mic's out, so I split these and plugged them into 3-4. I still had five minutes, so I threw up an ORTF pair of KM184's and ran them to 5-6 using TRS->XLRF adapter cables.

Everything seemed OK at first, but as I started rolling, I heard this strange ticking sound on channel 5. I figured maybe the connection was bad, or someone had dropped one of my mic's on the last gig, or perhaps it was humidity.

I got the thing home, replicated the problem, and traced it down to something internal on the 680 itself. Attached is a file of channel 5 with nothing plugged in, recorded with "+10" on the Rec Trim, and them I boosted a bit more in post. It's fairly low in level, but it was enough to make the ORTF pair unusable.

Not the end of the world - the ORTF pair was really superfluous, but it's a shame, because the ORTF pair really sounded great. The M/S was OK, but a bit lackluster in comparison.

What could this noise be?
Attached Files

DR680-Noise2-GAIN_01.wav (2.54 MB, 639 views)

Old 7th March 2012
  #58
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
I had to do a hurried setup for a recording, so I figured what the heck, I'll try the on-board pre's out, since I won't have time to do my usual thing. On channels 1-2, I ran an MS pair (was trying a new setup out for this - an KM120 with 140 mid), there were two vocal PA mic's out, so I split these and plugged them into 3-4. I still had five minutes, so I threw up an ORTF pair of KM184's and ran them to 5-6 using TRS->XLRF adapter cables.

Everything seemed OK at first, but as I started rolling, I heard this strange ticking sound on channel 5. I figured maybe the connection was bad, or someone had dropped one of my mic's on the last gig, or perhaps it was humidity.

I got the thing home, replicated the problem, and traced it down to something internal on the 680 itself. Attached is a file of channel 5 with nothing plugged in, recorded with "+10" on the Rec Trim, and them I boosted a bit more in post. It's fairly low in level, but it was enough to make the ORTF pair unusable.

Not the end of the world - the ORTF pair was really superfluous, but it's a shame, because the ORTF pair really sounded great. The M/S was OK, but a bit lackluster in comparison.

What could this noise be?
I could likely try it on my DR680. What needs to be plugged in and what settings to replicate this?
Old 7th March 2012
  #59
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RobAnderson's Avatar
Hi GLouie

That's the thing - on the clip you are hearing, NOTHING is plugged in (well - the power adapter is plugged in - I've not tried this on battery power).

The input 5 is set for "mic", I think phantom is switched on, and REC TRIM for the channel is set to +10 with the mic gain on the "low" setting.

I get it on high as well - only louder.

When I am in the MIX LEVEL or REC TRIM display, the noise goes away - unless I am rolling, so I guess it might have something to do with the display or the counter.

When I switch 5-6 to line inputs and crank the REC TRIM, the noise actually switches to the right side.

This is probably just a malfunction in my unit - I doubt this is common to all - though I'd be very interested in your findings.

Sadly, I think mine is way past warranty...
Old 7th March 2012
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
Hi GLouie

That's the thing - on the clip you are hearing, NOTHING is plugged in (well - the power adapter is plugged in - I've not tried this on battery power).
I don't doubt you're having a problem, but the first thing to do is to connect pins 1, 2 and 3 at the point of the xlr input. Phantom off, of course. Try using a non-switching power supply if you have one around, or use batteries.
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