Confused by limiter vs. peak reduction (DR-22WL)

Discussion in 'Handheld and Field Recorders' started by tmmlrd, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    Yes, I had the event last month. I used the DR07MKII with the microphones in the "straight on" position (I did read your advice and I tried to figure out what would work best, so please do not think I just ignored you)

    The recordings did come out really well, however, you were right, Having the mics in a straight on pattern does produce sort of a mono sound, even when recording in stereo. I can hear a huge difference in the applause. Since the 22WL's microphones are XY, the applause sounds more of a stereo, as opposed to having the mics straight on for the 07MKII.
    One positive thing though: having the mics straight on allowed them to eliminate any side noises or have them not appear as much. There were certain sounds in the audience that my camera picked up but the recorder did not, so I liked that feature.

    However, I am thinking about investing in either a DR-44WL or a DR-100MKIII. Either one will probably be my final purchase of a TASCAM recorder since those two appear to be the more professional ones. However, I am not sure which one to choose, since the 44WL have XY Microphones and the 100MKIII have "straight on" mics as well as those two small omnidirectional mics on top. I may go with the 44WL, but for right now I'll just do some research

    Thanks again!
  2. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    If you want to listen to any recordings I have made, you can access them through my SoundCloud account.

    Recordings from the Band Showcase 2017, 8th Grade Step Up Concert 2018, and Masterworks Concert 2018 were recorded from the DR-22WL
    Recordings from the Senior Farewell 2018 were recorded from the DR07MKII
    https://soundcloud.com/user-780771898
  3. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    I'm not sure this got posted; sorry if it turns out to be a dupe:

    How did the recording level work out? How did you determine the input level setting? What was the actual peak you saw in the recordings? Did you use limiter mode?

    Tom
  4. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    Recording level was perfect. I tested it out using peak reduction during a rehearsal the same day. For the recent concert, the level was at 53 I think. Between 50-65 tends to be my “sweet spot” when I record from the same row of seats and be the same distance away from the stage.
  5. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    Excellent, Dan. It would be interesting to normalize a few of the files to see what the peak was. If you don't have a DAW app, try Audacity, free.

    In any event, well done.

    Tom
  6. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    Thanks for the help!
    However, I do want to ask: What do you think would be the best recorder to go for next in terms of "professional?" The 44WL or the 100MKIII? I would like the 100 but the microphones could produce more "mono-ish" recordings due to its mic placement, and then the 44WL is a bit of a step-up from the 22WL, which is what I use the most.

    Dan
  7. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    I don't know much about the DR100, Dan. I have a DR-44WL after starting with an -05, then -07 and -22. My selection was ultimately the four channels of the -44 - and I was lured to the -44WL by the WiFi remote capability - but it works so poorly I'd get the -44 and save a few bucks.

    There are -100 users here. Try starting a new thread to see if you can get some remote experience from them.

    FWIW, I'm not sure I'd call these machines professional; serious amateur or semi-pro, maybe, but professional is a different league. Take a look at Sound Devices and Nagra.

    Tom
  8. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    Oh okay, I gotcha. I may stick to digital audio recorders, however, for now since I am completely unsure on how to use mixers or recorders with XLRs. That is why I asked.
    I didn't really mean "professional," what I meant was "the best quality available for a TASCAM recorder."
    Like again, the DR-44WL has XY microphones and is a bit more of an experienced recorder than the 22WL, and the DR100MKIII is the most "professional" or "best" recorder by TASCAM, but the mics are straight on, which may produce mono sounding recordings, even in stereo.
  9. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    Guess who's back?

    I recently picked up the DR-44WL, and I think that will be my final TASCAM recorder (until a better one comes out thats worth looking at). I will be using it for an upcoming concert. However, I wanted to know a bit more about the LCF. I remember with the 22-WL, with the scene dial set to MUSIC, the 40hz LCF is turned on. However, having 40hz on still produces some noise. I would like to test out the 80hz LCF at the concert, but am worried they won't come out that good with the LCF set higher. Any advice? I do plan on having both mics set to around 57-ish for the input level, and having the limiter turned on.

    Dan
  10. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    > ... However, having 40Hz on still produces some noise. I would like to test out the 80Hz LCF at the concert, but am worried they won't come out that good...

    A low-cut filter is usually used to reduce vocal mic handling noise or proximity effect, or mount vibration like a mic stand near a kick drum. If your mic or recorder position is still out in the audience on an elevated stand you should not be troubled by those kind of noises.

    Ordinarily, one would not want to use a low-cut filter in a non-vocal music performance since it would result in the loss of desired low-frequency instrumentation.

    What kind of noises are you trying to control?
  11. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    The only noises really would just be ones in the audience (except coughing). There can be like little snippets of someone moving around or crinkling paper (and I'm not surprised since people say TASCAM recorders pick up EVERYTHING)

    If you need a further example you can listen to the soundcloud recordings I posted through that link I gave several months ago.
  12. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    The low-cut filter will have no effect on people moving about, nor crinkling paper.
  13. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    Just had the event. Recordings came out very well, and sounded a lot better than the last concert (when I used the 07MKII)

    However, here is a quick question: Where is the best place to be in the audience to record a concert? For this concert I was in Row K (which is the 10th row from the stage, so it's pretty close), however would I achieve better sound results from being in the very back, or is it best to be close?
  14. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    > ... Where is the best place to be in the audience to record...

    That depends on several factors, like, at least:
    - the staging (the orchestra or band width and depth),
    - the room size and shape,
    - the microphone patterns.

    Trial at a rehearsal is your best tool; experiment.

    In general, though, you'll likely want the co-located XY-pattern mics - or your DR-44WL recorder - to be high, like 10 or 13 feet above the audience floor (as suggested earlier in the thread), centered in front of the instrumentation, of course, perhaps 70% of the staging width back from the instrumentation. That is, if the orchestra staging width is 40 feet, set the microphones about 25 or 30 feet from the front row of instruments.

    My guess is that will be close to where you were in Row K but - particularly if the orchestra is set back significantly from the stage edge (which it could be if a conductor is there) - you might want to move the mics even closer. As you get closer, though, height becomes more important since the instruments in the front will dominate those deep in the back; height helps overcome that.

    Closer to the stage also tends to reduce the relative contribution of the room ambience, and vice versa. In the extreme, placing mics all the way to the rear of the room might produce a reverberant recording that contains little musical detail and lots of ambiance.

    Regardless of where you place it, I strongly recommend that you make the investment of a tall stand like the 13-feet Manfrotto mentioned earlier in the thread.

    Good luck with your next recording.

    Tom
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  15. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    I was prepping my DR-44WL for a recording just now and remembered that there is another use for the low-cut filter: outdoor wind and indoor air conditioning. The mics are hyper-sensitive to even a very-gentle breeze.

    I've also found it's a good idea to use a "dead cat" wind screen on the mics at all times, even when you don't expect to need one.

    Rycote makes one:
    https://www.amazon.com/Rycote-Windjammer-Tascam-DR-44WL-Recorder/dp/B00ZFXGL00
    but you can spend much less:
    https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-Furry-Windscreen-Tascam-DR-44WL/dp/B07BGTWBQQ
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  16. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    For the distance comment I made, so you say your suggestion would be to stay in the same row (Row K) but heighten the microphones? I have noticed they aren't super super high when I shoemount it on top of my camera.

    And for the windscreen, I agree. The mics are sensitive. You can hear EVERYTHING in recordings; if you listen to my Soundcloud recordings, you hear snips of a lot of things. However, I know the 44-WL came with a windscreen, should I use that? Or should I use one that you recommend?
  17. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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  18. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    Try actually measuring, or count footsteps and multiply, the edge-to-edge distance that the band occupies on stage and place the recorder at 70% of that distance back from the front instrument row, as high as you can make it.

    The ambient noises from the audience are unavoidable; people make those sounds and you can't do anything to prevent them and, as I commented earlier in the thread, within reason I think they add a quality to the recording, a liveness. Still, the higher microphone position will help reduce their significance.

    I think the foam wind screen provided with the DR-44WL is of little effectiveness. I find the fur type better.
  19. Dan Finnegan

    Dan Finnegan New Member

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    How many feet would you say is 70% away from the front instrument row?
    I do agree that the noises add liveness, but do you think the fur windscreen would help?
  20. GTBecker

    GTBecker Member

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    > ... How many feet would you say is 70% away from the front instrument row?

    How might I know that, Dan? How tall would you say I am?

    Pace it off or use a tape measure. You don't need the band to be there if you recall where it was. Do the math and find your spot.

    If the room has running air conditioning or ceiling fans use a windscreen.