Jump to content

which minirecorder with phantom?


Recommended Posts

Hello everybody,

I have been following discussions here for a long time and find this place a valuable source of information with many experts and just want to say I really appreciate this site and all the knowledge people share.

 

I am about to do a long term field work, probably in a remote area, and want to make an ethnographic movie. Topic: everyday life of a local musician(s). So the highest audio quality is most important. Any interview can easily transform into a musical piece.

 

So far I have been using SD 633 with a pair of DPA4006s or 4060s as an AB for recording musical performances. Sometimes using 4060s as spot mics - together with usbpre i have 5 preamps. Plus a mirrorless on a tripod with inbuilt sound as pilot for sync and for ambient sound. This works well for static scenes.

I recently got a 4018c that will go on a camera for dialogue/interviews, or be used as a spot mic. I can use the 633 around my belt/in a bag for it and run around with my camera. I will probably want to go away from the camera, and if the mic is connected to my 633-bag it may become a hassle.

 

A10  from audio ltd - as far as I know it is the only minirecorder with PP and high audio quality, but it is a bit expensive. Is there any other minirecorder that would do this mic justice? Also, I could use this minirecorder on my main character with a 4060, and then use the 4018 on boom pole or the camera, cabled to 633. Or use it as a 6th preamp. Or plant the 4018 somewhere.

Maybe the new tentacles, but it doesnt have the PP - with Ambient PP could work , but that is just another piece I dont want to deal with. Or mixpre 3 that I can attach to the camera, but then mixpre3 is too big as a pocket. Is the A10 without using its Tx worth the money?

 

So I am a bit running in circles and don't know what to do. Does anyone see any solution to this conundrum? Sorry for such a long first post :)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mixpre 3 will fit in a small waist / fanny pack if you need to carry it around. Get 2 mixpre 3’s  and ditch the 633, doesn’t sound like you need all the features the 633 offers. 2 mixpre 3’s gives you 6 preamps, TC, and are probably lighter than the 633 alone

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Minirecorders" with phantom power are Zaxcom TRX743/ZMT3-HM/ZMT3-Phantom(2), Deitymic HD-TX, Tascam DR10X Saramonic  SR-VRM. Exept for the last two, thier main purpose is transmitting audio, just like the A10, at very different price points. You need to evaluate the sound quality yourself, look for sample recordings.

None of them is particularly designed to be mounted on camera, though they are generally smaller than the camera mounted recorders like the mixpres, F6, Tascam DR60, etc.

I don't understand, what you try to achieve with a camera mounted audio recorder, but what I really stumbled over:

17 hours ago, andreiko said:

I recently got a 4018c that will go on a camera for dialogue/interviews

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, FrankH said:

Mixpre 3 will fit in a small waist / fanny pack if you need to carry it around. Get 2 mixpre 3’s  and ditch the 633, doesn’t sound like you need all the features the 633 offers. 2 mixpre 3’s gives you 6 preamps, TC, and are probably lighter than the 633 alone

Thanks Frank!

 

The mixpre3 does look like a really good option. But the reason I don't want to ditch the 633 is when I want to record 6 channels of music performance, I want it to be sample accurate, I don't think TC is that accurate, or it may drift a bit. Also, I sometimes still do the professional job as a soundengineer, on smaller documentaries TV stuff. And, this is maybe just my opinion, but I do think preamps are better on 633 - I have recorded classical/acoustic performance with mixpre10, and it did perform beautifully, and I used all 8 preamps, but I did feel like there is a slight lack of fullness. Just because of that extra depth of sound, 6 preamps + 2 line inputs, at some point, I would upgrade to 833.

 

But yes, mixpre in a fanny pack could actually work, even on the talent in some cases. And with it, I could ditch the usbpre in my bag. The only bummer is, the mixpre does not output 3 tracks, I can only send out LR mix and I am back at 5 preamps. If it had the extra option of outputting 3 iso tracks, I would already have it :)

 

 

58 minutes ago, DanieldH said:

"Minirecorders" with phantom power are Zaxcom TRX743/ZMT3-HM/ZMT3-Phantom(2), Deitymic HD-TX, Tascam DR10X Saramonic  SR-VRM. Exept for the last two, thier main purpose is transmitting audio, just like the A10, at very different price points. You need to evaluate the sound quality yourself, look for sample recordings.

None of them is particularly designed to be mounted on camera, though they are generally smaller than the camera mounted recorders like the mixpres, F6, Tascam DR60, etc.

I don't understand, what you try to achieve with a camera mounted audio recorder, but what I really stumbled over:

 

Thanks Daniel (and Iron for update on Tascam - I would consider it)!

 

But saramonic and deity I would not trust to be clean enough for any music or soundscapes. nor do they have any TC included. Even Zaxcom, I know it is extra small, but I would rather have extra clean, and it is even pricier than A10.

 

But you are right to point out why putting a 4018 on a camera - it would be a waste to have this good mic recording people from afar. And it  would not stay on the camera all the time. I will be working in an environment where natural habitat and its acoustics will play an important role. And for ease of use. I will be hanging out with people for days. I just want to be able to grab the gear, turn on record on the camera and the recorder, when things start happening, without cables all around me after a few minutes. Or if I just wanna put down the camera to do something else and get back to shooting in a couple of minutes. But yes, Ideally it should be able to get off the camera, and on the mini boom pole real quick. But, as I am alone I might not do this often.

 

It seems now after the discussion, I need a mixpre AND a minirecorder - for the talent - and then I do not need the PP on it, just in case my talent goes far away from me, as a back up. then either tascam or saramonic would be totally fine for the job, and extra light. Maybe the tentacles would provide for extra back up with the tc capability.

 

I am writing a lot, please bear with me, the thing is, once i am in the field, alone, I will not be able to go out and buy new stuff for months, need to be ready for most cases: walk in the forest, on a boat, small private talks in the middle of the night, community meetings, music performances, festivities, etc., I can improvise, use help from the locals, but I will be more or less on my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Tascam DR10X doesn't supply phantom power. 

I am surprised, missed that, thnx.

 

9 hours ago, andreiko said:

But saramonic and deity I would not trust to be clean enough for any music or soundscapes. nor do they have any TC included. Even Zaxcom, I know it is extra small, but I would rather have extra clean, and it is even pricier than A1

 

Cleanliness (linearity? Artifacts?) would not be my first concern from what my imagination of your scenario is, but rather dynamic range from little sighs in interviews to loud music SPLs. 32bitFP-tech like in the mixpre II series, the zoom F6 or the new tentacles might help there but that is digital realm. The more expensive ADC realm is with Zaxcoms neverclip and various Sonosax products preamps.

 

When it comes to just 3 xtra pres for the 633 there are the Kortwich VCP-M3 and Marenius addon for the 633 discussed here on the forum.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, DanieldH said:

I am surprised, missed that, thnx.

 Think because it is only targeted at usage with reporters’ stick mics. 

 

Sadly the Zoom F1 is another miniature recorder option which also lacks phantom power. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, resonate said:

The best you can get for that project would be Sonosax in my opinion. M2D2 being the smallest and cheapest you can get.

 

You would get the preamp, for the recorder you need another device like the Lectrosonics SPDR

 

Or buy a second hand Sonosax Minir.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, DanieldH said:

Cleanliness (linearity? Artifacts?) would not be my first concern from what my imagination of your scenario is, but rather dynamic range from little sighs in interviews to loud music SPLs. 32bitFP-tech like in the mixpre II series, the zoom F6 or the new tentacles might help there but that is digital realm. The more expensive ADC realm is with Zaxcoms neverclip and various Sonosax products preamps.

 

When it comes to just 3 xtra pres for the 633 there are the Kortwich VCP-M3 and Marenius addon for the 633 discussed here on the forum.

Cleanliness as low self noise, and good ADC. Good to know sonosax also uses technology similar to neverclip, but I don't see how 32bit tech helps in any way in widening dynamic range, unless you have two ADCs for each preamp. So I went to check how SD explains it:

https://www.sounddevices.com/sample-32-bit-float-and-24-bit-fixed-wav-files/

As much as I like the SD, it seems to me that it is a bit of a marketing talk. There is no way you can save audio that was clipped when a too high voltage hits the ADC. The scenario described here must have overgained the mixed channel, which can then be retrieved by downgaining. If they went to check in this case the 24bit iso tracks, these must have been undistorted. The case when you mixed wrong and lost the iso tracks is very rare. Or am I missing something?

 

Unfortunately, Zaxcom is above my reach, and the SD limiters handle 10 or more dB of overshoot smoothly. I have to take care of gaining properly and keeping the right distance, the unfortunate rare cases of sudden shouts are "beyond my control". If I am too far away, no amount of gain will help getting the whisper, as it will be drowned in the surrounding noise.

 

Thanks also for the tip about kortwich and Marenius!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless I‘m remembering incorrectly, the new mixpre II series uses multistage preamps and therefore features „true“ floating point recording. They state 142dB dynamic range, so even if you take away 10dB for marketing that should easily cover any common situation.

check out the tests on the web where people recorded the same sound once with extremely high (clipping) gain and once extremely low and found there‘s virtually no difference after normalizing.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there are many "Mini" recorders with 48 v phantom and XLR.  Since most run off a couple of Penlight batteries

the Up voltage conversion to 48v would make the battery life abysmal.  If you are on a budget the Zoom F6 is a quality 32 bit Float recorder

with 6 XLR mic inputs with 48V phantom and three ways to power them. They are not "Mini" but they can be mounted under a DSLR Camera on a tripod head

and run a long time on Sony N950 LIon Batt with Internal penlights for automatic switchover.   The penlight battery adaptor on the Mix Pre 3 will only

last an hour or less.  The zoom has dual stage quiet Mic preamps and true 32bit float recording, an accurate internal Time Code generator and even

Automix and limiters and buffer record.

 

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Zoom/F6-Multitrack-Field-Recorder-1500000284478.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXML&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=[ADL] [GC] [LIA] [Curbside Pickup] - (Pro Audio - Recording Gear - Other) - {LQ}&utm_term=4578091576083952&utm_content=[LIA] Pro Audio - Recording Gear - Other (GC)&adlclid=ADL-daf8797b-ed6c-4b1b-ab19-570ec383877a

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andreiko,

just some humble thoughts, though my impression of your shoot is still a bit limited.

- Put an affordable mic made for this task that is permanently on camera. E.g. an MKE600, AT8024 or some Deity V-mic. Use the 4018c for planned situations.

- Look into minirecorders without 48V and 48V boxes. There are dual boxes for stereo e.g. from Audioroot and Mozegear. Zaxcom has the ZFRs that have neverclip and you don't pay for the expensive TX stuff. Lectro and Nagra have or had pure miniature recorders without TX foo in a HQ realm. Tentacle has a really affordable 32bitFP thing. Deity has or will have a system without 32bitPF-tech / neverclip style, but remotely controllable gain and 48V in necessary within the system. Mozegear pres may or may not improve "Cleanliness" on cheaper inputs. The M2D2 mentioned above will be the the best you can get dual preamp for mobile applications today, but is nothing I'd want to put on a DSLR for fast jumpupandshoot configurations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, chrismedr said:

Unless I‘m remembering incorrectly, the new mixpre II series uses multistage preamps and therefore features „true“ floating point recording. They state 142dB dynamic range, so even if you take away 10dB for marketing that should easily cover any common situation.

 

 

yes, you are right, even though i do not find on their page written it has two adcs, there must be, to be able to state these numbers. it still is my favorite piece to buy.

 

38 minutes ago, cmgoodin said:

I don't think there are many "Mini" recorders with 48 v phantom and XLR.  Since most run off a couple of Penlight batteries

the Up voltage conversion to 48v would make the battery life abysmal.  If you are on a budget the Zoom F6 is a quality 32 bit Float recorder

with 6 XLR mic inputs with 48V phantom and three ways to power them. They are not "Mini" but they can be mounted under a DSLR Camera on a tripod head

and run a long time on Sony N950 LIon Batt

Yes, unfortunately the power issue is probably the reason there aren't many. I will  look again into the zoom option, the F series might be a good alternative to mixpre. I know I have to use a sony battery or a usb powerbank.

 

31 minutes ago, DanieldH said:

Andreiko,

just some humble thoughts, though my impression of youA high shoot is still a bit limited.

- Put an affordable mic made for this task that is permanently on camera. E.g. an MKE600, AT8024 or some Deity V-mic. Use the 4018c for planned situations.

- Look into minirecorders without 48V and 48V boxes. There are dual boxes for stereo e.g. from Audioroot and Mozegear. Zaxcom has the ZFRs that have neverclip and you don't pay for the expensive TX stuff. Lectro and Nagra have or had pure miniature recorders without TX foo in a HQ realm. Tentacle has a really affordable 32bitFP thing. Deity has or will have a system without 32bitPF-tech / neverclip style, but remotely controllable gain and 48V in necessary within the system. Mozegear pres may or may not improve "Cleanliness" on cheaper inputs. The M2D2 mentioned above will be the the best you can get dual preamp for mobile applications today, but is nothing I'd want to put on a DSLR for fast jumpupandshoot configurations.

I think this is maybe a very good point. I was maybe too eager to put 4018c up on camera for everything, but it may be wiser to have it just for where it is really needed. as of now, it is clear the most versatile thing will be to have a separate minirecorder for a lapel mic - I guess tentacle might be the one, and then another recorder with phantom for on camera or around my belt, with at least three preamps.

 

others also mentioned sonosax, and I would love to use them, for their sound, but are way over what i can afford and don't really see them fitting exactly what i think i need. I keep thinking I need three preamps, like a stereo ambience and a boom, or two lavs and a boom, or decca tree :D

 

I really appreciate everyone's input, thank u! the discussion helped me a lot to think again about the scenarios and options. When I do finally get into the field, I will report how things went :)

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You could look into getting the mmp-gr preamp for your 4018 capsule. DPA preamps are relatively low-priced, so it won’t break the bank. The performance is a bit reduced with this pre, but it‘ll still be better than most lavs. With the MicroDot connector you can use the new Tentacle track-e recorder with the mic, or the Lectro pocket recorder. With the Track-E you have the advantage of 32-bit float, so you won’t need to worry about gain too much.
You will just need the matching microdot adapter and move the mic between different recorders/cameras, etc., or use the c or b preamp for high quality performance with the 633. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/7/2020 at 11:41 AM, Constantin said:

You could look into getting the mmp-gr preamp for your 4018 capsule.

Thanks Constantin, I was looking into this option, but I didn't know how to mount it securely on the camera and still be able to use the rycote baseball or something against the wind. with the mmp-gr there is not enough space behind the slits of the capsule...  any idea how to solve this?

 

So it still look like either A10 or mixpre3...

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Display Name said:

The Zoom H5 with its detachable mic module is not that large either and it manage 2 channels phantom powered. 

 

the H5 is a nice little unit, but the original post mentions:

"So the highest audio quality is most important"

 

with that requirement I think that a sonosax M2D2 with an AES or iOS recorder is pretty hard to beat, or a mixpre3 with being more convenient in handling.

 

highest audio quality and at the same time smallest for factor and also cheap is probably a typical case of unrealistic expectations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...