Noise

Discussion in 'Handheld and Field Recorders' started by mapleman58, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. mapleman58

    mapleman58 New Member

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    Hello, I have a DR-40, have had it for about two years. Most of this time it has been sitting on the shelf. It has always had a hiss to it no matter what I am trying to record or what mics. Is there supposed to be a hiss? Even with the built in mics in a quiet room I get hiss. I talked to one person who said to lower the gain but I don't see where I can do that on this recorder. How can I get rid of the hiss?
  2. mapleman58

    mapleman58 New Member

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    Well I have been doing some experimenting with the input levels and I seem to be making some progress. I am new to all this recording stuff and I don't know what a good record level should be but I am figuring to keep it low enough so I don't get hiss. I have the hiss gone almost completely with the internal mics. I was just trying my new dynamic mics and I get no his. So I think it is mainly that I need to work with the recorder and learn what good recording levels for each mike is.
  3. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    Remember Dynamic mics have low output which means you will have to increase gain which means you will get more hiss. Try a condenser mic which will need either batter or phantom power.
  4. mapleman58

    mapleman58 New Member

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    I was wandering about using a small mixer board as a signal booster into the DR-40 for any external mics, would this help?
  5. Stephen

    Stephen New Member

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    Hello, I have had many issues with this same problem (DR40 & hiss). We purchased 30 of them for our students, and the noise on some is relentless. I was told by TEAC to do an initialize (factory reset), and this fixes the issue, but only temporarily, as some of the machines that we reset back in January are having the same problems. This isn't an issue of a slightly noisy pre-amp, but something much larger. I'm attaching a dropbox link to a file (.wav, just a recording of the noise floor/room tone from one of my student's projects. TEAC is currently working with me on this, so hopefully it will be resolved.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/q72i1kvhm407siu/CM_RT.wav?dl=0
  6. mapleman58

    mapleman58 New Member

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    Thanks Stephen,
    I am looking into the initialize you mentioned on the web and my owner's manual. Yes hopefully this will be resolved soon. The worst amount of hiss for me right now is with the built-in mics. I have two dynamic mics and a piezo that don't have as much hiss.



    Stephen,
    Did Teak mention anything about updating the firmware for the recorder? My recorder is about two years old and I have never updated mine, didn't know you could, but I just downloaded the newest version and am going to update it.
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  7. ben chase

    ben chase New Member

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    Perth, Western Australia
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    +1
    I get an umanageable amount of hiss on the DR40. I have recently updated the firmware to no avail.

    Teac what is going on with your devices.

    The word is spreading about the hiss. Please do something about it. I certainly wont be reccomending anything from Tascam again if it is ignored. In fact I'll be actively advising people to stay away in forums or anywhere else. I think its ridiculous.
  8. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    I suggest you check your mic specs before blaming Tascam. This isn't a global issue meaning the majority of owners are not having the same experience as you. Dynamic mics are low output and will require more gain which will introduce more noise to some degree with any preamp. This is common knowledge.

    https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=2443.0
  9. Stephen

    Stephen New Member

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    I can verify that it's not the mics. SM58, 57, phantom powered shotguns, all pro-audio gear (no radio shack stuff here), and the Hiss is there. I'm talking about incredible hiss @ -25-30 dbfs in post, not the expected level of noise that you'd expect w/ an entry level device like the DR40 or H4n. Is it an isolated incident? Yes, but of our 30 devices, more than 5 have had this issue that requires resetting the device to factory settings. Teac customer service has been pretty defiant in blaming anyone/anything but their own product, despite the trail of evidence that goes beyond our own gear.
  10. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    What does it sound like with no mics plugged in...
  11. ben chase

    ben chase New Member

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    Here is a link to files recorded with the TASCAM DR40 internal mics and an external balanced mic connected with a balanced xlr cable. Both with an input setting of 50. I normalised (no other process) and saved as .flac for those that cant deal with the low volume. I have found that cranking the input any higher than 50 actually increases the signal to noise ratio.

    There is clearly too much noise in the Tascam DR40 for professional or semi-professional use. Tascam needs to address this.

    Regarding dynamic mics, it is "common knowledge" that you use dynamic mics up closer like in this test. Used that way they can be in fact less noisier than condenser mics.

    "cmaffia" I have searched and found several threads that are disappointed with the noise of the DR40 so before you try blindly defending TASCAM as the forum moderator I suggest you check your facts. And I ask that you maintain your integrity and keep this thread uncensored.

    People need to be alerted to it, so they can make their own call.

    Additionally most preamps in even cheap prosumer gear can handle unbalanced mics so if Tascam want s to remotely call this a semi-pro device they need accommodate unbalanced mics like even the zooms can.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  12. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    I defend no one. This site is not affiliated with Tascam and neither am I. I am merely offering my opinion and trying to help. I actually did do some research and saw some complaints elsewhere however I also know that complaints on the internet don't always represent the majority. Perhaps you have several bad units that are not meeting to spec. That would point to a quality control issue.
  13. ben chase

    ben chase New Member

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    Yes perhaps it is a QC issue but a pretty big batch, and probably still coming. It may be a flaw in the design that is prone to QC. For anyone considering buying a DR40...dont. Even if in the shop it sounds quiet enough, mine and a few others I've read about grow noisier over time and out of warranty.

    If there is anyone with some electronics know-how who would care to chime in on what it could be inside. Perhaps it would be a bad quality capacitor or some such that in my spare time I could try and fix as an experiment. Such a waste of money to see this device sitting on the shelf unusable.