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Question on settings in my Tascam audio recorder

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Ryan Stille
Question on settings in my Tascam audio recorder
on Jan 19, 2013 at 4:36:13 pm

I bought a Tascam DR-05 for recording presentations. These presentations are usually done in a medium sized conference room (different rooms all the time), with around 10-30 people present. I will be using a lavalier microphone connected to it.

I've been reading through the manual, and have a question about the level settings that I hope someone can help me with. There are 4 options

Off
Auto - I imagine this is 'AGC' and will result in some hiss during quiet moments?
Peak Reduction
Limiter

I'm not sure which setting to use in a given scenario.

From reading Wikipedia, I think both of those last settings are actually 'compression', right? The limiter setting is probably more aggressive compression?

What setting would you recommend for recording a presenter with a lavalier mic? I am thinking Peak Reduction. I think that will leave the audio alone most of the time, but he coughs or laughs loud or something, it would prevent those overly-loud signals from being recorded as distorted?

I've uploaded the two pages from the manual here: http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/4055/tascammanuallevels.gif
Thanks for any advice.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Question on settings in my Tascam audio recorder
on Jan 19, 2013 at 5:09:45 pm

I agree that "Peak Reduction" would be my first choice to try. HOWEVER, it may not be optimal for ALL situations. I also agree that there is a large overlap in definitions of all those modes (except "Off", of course). I would experiment and draw my own conclusions.

It is even possible that "Auto" is the most appropriate mode for SOME situations. Depending on the actual performance of the circuit, and the habits of the presenter, the nature of any post-processing editing, the "consumption" of the final product, etc, etc.


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Ty Ford
Re: Question on settings in my Tascam audio recorder
on Jan 20, 2013 at 4:28:29 pm

Hello Ryan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum (again?)

Nothing takes the place of experience!

Expecting us to guess which setting does what (and how well) from your written words, those in a manual or wikipedia is futile.

Your job, should you decide to accept it, is to put the lav into the recorder, put the lav on yourself, walk and talk, find out which settings work best and report back to us. No guessing. No interpolating. Just the facts.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Peter Groom
Re: Question on settings in my Tascam audio recorder
on Jan 20, 2013 at 9:16:39 pm

HI
1 thing Id like to contribute on.

re
From reading Wikipedia, I think both of those last settings are actually 'compression', right? The limiter setting is probably more aggressive compression?

You need to understand there are big differences between limiting and compression. Its too much to explain in full here, but briefly
1) Compression. This GAIN REDUCES the signal above a threshold level, by the amount stated at the Ratio. So if 1 3:1 ratio is selected, the device will only allow 1 db through the threshold level for every 3 db increase in volume of the source. ie 3 turns into 1. Gradually increasing the severity of this increased the brutality of the audios gain reduction. Then make up gain is applied to re instate the level back up again. The result is that the audio is more BRICK like. solid. LOUDER if you like as the dynamic range is decreased and it all has a higher value.

2) Limiting. This doesnt change the audio, merely the user defines a point where the limiter stops anything higher getting through, by a ratio as before. A limiter is often set high to guard just before electronics overload or digital clipping would occur. A brick wall limiter allows nothing through (although both have an attack and release time that determines how fast theyll grab the audio.

They arent the same. Very different in fact.

For a more detailed explanation including things like knees, expanders, de essers . gates / duckers etc etc theres lots of reading out there for the interested.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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