Archive for reviews

Additional observations about the Tascam DR-60 D digital audio recorder

Posted in Music, Photojournalism, Reviews, Travel, Video with tags , , , , on June 24, 2014 by William Hooks

After a period of use with and without my other DAR (Zoom H4N) employed as a stereo microphone source, I have more comments about the Tascam recorder. The key words I ‘d use to describe my experience with it are EASY and INTUITIVE.

It’s much easier to access the SD media card than with the Zoom model, because of the simple rubber cover which also reveals the AC adapter/USB port.

Ability to easily and rapidly isolate and monitor whichever channel I wish with headphones, or a mix, or CAMERA IN, and to lock the XLR cables to the inputs, are welcome changes from the H4N.

I use the rapid, intuitive ‘delete recording file’ process routinely, and this is much easier to do than with the H4N- yet another example of using dedicated buttons instead of submenus to make the recorder user-friendly. These buttons are very quiet to operate, and I so far don’t see a need for getting its remote control unit.

The DR-60 is very compact, and lighter than the H4N; I can easily carry it all day and it mounts well onto rigs and monopods/tripods with option to mount cameras directly atop it. The bracket for camera attachment is easily removed if the location on a rig suggests it to be necessary.

The real-time Equalizer function is very helpful to preview the treble/bass mix of a track and therefore, evaluate the outputs of various microphones relative to this recorder. It’s a simple matter to avoid proximity effect with shotguns, for example using this method (this is of course not an issue with omnidirectional mics).

I’ve found that the sound quality is very good using the H4N as a stereo mic input into the 3.5mm Ch3/4 input or as an XLR connection. So both recorders can very effectively be used together, even if there are no stand-alone microphones available.

What do I wish the DR-60 could have or do? First and foremost: at least one more dedicated XLR input, even if it were requiring a slightly larger recorder.DSCN0682

Second, I ‘ll use the H4N for most multitrack recording because of its additional capability in this mode compared to the Tascam.

And it will be used as an audio interface to my Cubase LE6 digital audio workstation on my notebook-a feature not offered by this unit.

A functional, compact dual-audio ENG rig

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Travel, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2014 by William Hooks

Canon 5D3_dual lav shotgun audio_monopod

This setup works well for daylight-lit ENG; I usually add a Stellar ST-3000 LED light and a 6″ cold shoe rail when artificial light is needed.

This group fits into a Lowe Pro Flipside 400 pack and includes:

Canon5D3 w 24-105 f/4 L
Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic with deadcat and shock mount, headphones
Tascam DR-60D DAR with 2 x 3.5 mm short cables to run to and from the camera
Audio Technica Pro70 wired lav mic w dead’marble’
2 XLR cables, 6′ each
3X 3″ loupe
batteries

The Benro S6 video monopod goes into its own case to the site of the events.

Some audio setups

Posted in Music, Photojournalism, Reviews, Travel, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2014 by William Hooks

These are some of the items I use to create audio recordings for AV projects.

2 digital audio recorders: Tascam DR-60D (general production) and Zoom H4N (music, overdubbing; direct recording via XY stereo mics)

2 sets of headphones: Tascam and AudioTechnica (AT)

Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro, mainly for environmental sound and music

2 pair each of several types of dialog/mono microphones: AudioTechnica Pro70 wired, cardioid condenser lavaliers; also AT 88W wireless, omni dynamicTascam DR-60D and Zoom H4N

Tascam DR-60D DAR

2 AT Pro 70 wired lav mics

AT Pro 70 x 2 with XLR cables lavaliers and Rode NTG-2 supercardioid, condenser shotguns (not shown here)

Not shown is the AT 8004L dynamic omnidirectional stick mic, used mainly for ENG in-frame

The Pro70’s are also good for guitar recording via the specialized holders, shown with green felt liners in the corresponding images.

Tascam DR-60D digital audio recorder

Posted in Captain's Personal Log with tags , , , , on May 28, 2014 by William Hooks

Thanks Peter Beer, and also Jose ! at Trey Audio in North Hollywood, CA for your help today…. I ‘m getting started with this new DAR and plan to integrate it with my Zoom H4N recorder for ENG and especially EFP projects.

ENG=electronic news gathering

EFP=electronic field production

I already know I like several features of this DR-60D: the slate function which should make sync of reference audio to the cameras and recorded primary audio really easy, and the quality of its pre-amps. This translates into very clean, high-signal audio and I was able to immediately notice it when testing with my Rode NTG-2’s at Trey’s office today.

 

More comments to come…..

More stills from the ArtBus shoot- including the Nikon D4 on a hi-hat

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by William Hooks

I used my 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor on the D4. The Hi-hat was wonderful for use in close and in small spaces. I had to take special care to warn of its presense because it’s so small, and had a $5000 camera on it.

The Marshall 5″ HDMI monitor works very well with this setup, allowing easy exposure checking, focus, and viewing; it also provides the option of flip-image (useful for the jib setup).

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