[DR-40] Lavalier mics with 3,5mm mini jacks?

Discussion in 'Handheld and Field Recorders' started by Winfried, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Winfried

    Winfried New Member

    Joined:
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    Tascam DR-40
    Hello,

    As an alternative to the internal mics when recording in somewhat noisy venues, I'm thinking of getting a couple of lavalier mics, and plug them into the DR-40.

    Do 3,5mm mini jacks fit through the XLR plugs at the bottom, and does it sound like a good idea, or should I really get XLR mics instead?

    Thank you.
  2. Art Anderson

    Art Anderson New Member

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    DR-40
    Of course you'll need adapters to get from the mic's 3.5mm up to the DR-40's 1/4" input. After that it really doesn't make a difference that it's a lavalier. What does make a difference is that the DR-40 expects either a mono unbalanced input that uses only a tip and sleeve, 1 hot wire, 1 ground wire arrangement. OR a mono balanced input that uses tip, ring sleeve with a proper balanced set up of ground wire/shielding to the sleeve (XLR #1), hot wire to the tip (XLR #2), inverted signal wire to the ring (XLR #3).

    Most of the problems you'll find online with lavaliers to a DR-40 are that they're using cheap little mics that don't adhere to wiring like other mics and instead have 4 conductors on the plugs for smartphones, or expect 5V on the sleeve, or put a second mono output on a sleeve.

    That last situation is what I ran into with the Audio Technica ATR3350is. The signal once in the DR-40 just dies to almost nothing. That mic has tip ring sleeve and the sleeve is the same signal as the tip, not inverted. So the DR-40 circuit inverts it like it should and the two signals practically cancel out. It's not explained in the specs so that was puzzling. I think they were anticipating people would want to plug it into a stereo input to record on L & R from one mic.

    I think if you find a lavalier that comes with its own XLR plug it will be fine out of the box, and probably a cut above in quality.
  3. Winfried

    Winfried New Member

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    Thanks much for the valuable infos.

    Is it possible to tell how a mic is wired by just looking at the number of conductors at its end?

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    --
    Edit: In case I plug two XLR mics into the DR-40, would a 1A USB wall wart be enough to power those with phantom power, or should I use a 2A charger instead?

    I'd rather not use battery-powered condenser mics because it's less hassle.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  4. Art Anderson

    Art Anderson New Member

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    I don't trust any non standard wiring getting to my expensive equipment unless I've determined what goes where before hand. On my permanently limited budget, the DR-40 is "expensive." I don't even ask musicians to let me record cable direct from their mixers or guitar amp line outs until we've known each other a while so they trust I won't short out their $700 Fishman or a Bose L1. I'm not shy to disassemble or even cut open a product if it's the only way to figure out what makes it tick. Used to freak out stereo sales reps when they put their fantastic new amp on the counter, thinking we'd buy a case lot for the store, just taking their word for it. :)

    I just spent 20 minutes looking up the Boya M1 here and there and information is sparse. I would take a blind guess, those 4 pins on the 1/8" most likely conform to the Apple smartphone system, which is Left, Right, Ground, Mic - counting from the tip to the sleeve. TRRS.
    The ATR-3350is is TRS - Left / Right / Ground. Both need that Right channel signal omitted or shorted to ground before it gets to the DR-40.

    Two Amazon examples of an inexpensive lav that has an XLR plug ready to go and uses phantom power are
    Movo LV4-C XLR Phantom Power Lavalier Cardioid Microphone; also
    Comica CVM-V02O Phantom Power Omni-directional



    Phantom power - you should be OK with a 1A wall wart. DR-40 spec'd maximum current draw is 340 mA. Even professional condensor mics only draw under 20 mA.
    I put a USB power monitor between my USB power adapter and the DR-40 set to 4 channels and the current draw bumped up from 80 mA to 170 mA when I switched it to 48V phantom.
    That said, running one large diaphragm condensor mic using the phantom from the DR-40 on 2200 mAH AA batteries, ran down the batteries too soon for me, but I typically record for 60 to 90 minutes at a time.