March 24, 2016 at 4:13PM

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Recording Setup: Tascam Dr 05 with Nady SGM-12

Hi everyone,
I'm a filmmaking newbie and am hoping someone here with experience using my setup can help me out. I am currently using the tascam dr 05 with the Nady SGM 12 to record audio, because I genuinely don't have the cash to invest in anything better yet(still using the same video camera I bought to record family outings five years ago) so I figured it would be best to learn the basic techniques and then upgrade for better quality. Unfortunately im having a hard time getting the audio levels loud enough to work with. I have the tascam set at wav 24bit, sample 48k, mono, low cut at 40hz, tone volume at -12db, and level at -12db. When I tried recording a basic conversation with the Nady run through the tascam the audio came out so low that I had to set my computer's speakers to 100% and it was still so low that even with the headphones on, I could hear my (very quiet) surroundings more than my audio. I first set the microphone (with the foam windscreen on it) to cardiod and could hear nothing, to the point where I thought the mic batteries were dead. I took the windscreen off and switched the mic to super cardiod and that's how I got my low-but-at-least-there audio. The mic was placed about a foot away from the speaker. Is this crazy low audio because the mic should be closer? Or because my tascam settings are off? Or is this just the audio I can expect with my set up? I tried researching the best way to record with my tascam, but wasn't able to find much information and what I did find wasn't very helpful. Thanks in advance for your advice!

8 Comments

You definitely have a fresh AA battery in the Nady mic ?

Can you post a sample WAV file to download ?
( I would like to check out your recording to see what can be done to fix it )

March 24, 2016 at 4:36PM

2
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30457

Thanks for your reply! Yeah, I tried new batteries first because I thought the older one might be dead.

Here is a clip from the aforementioned audio.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxEc8ojtTeoXNVctTHNWRWtFUGc/view?usp=sh...

Lisa Lee

March 24, 2016 at 6:27PM, Edited March 24, 6:27PM

Hi Lisa, the recording level of your audio appears to be about 40 dB too low, and there's an extra hiss that seems to turn on and off all by itself which makes me think of an automatic-gain circuit. I am wondering if the extra AGC noise is from the Nady mic which might have it's own AGC circuit to boost the signal.

I tried boosting the audio, filtering out a lot of the noise, and using EQ to get better sound quality. The end result is usable but not good audio.

The audio quality from the Nady mic isn't bad if it was only about 40 dB louder.

I noticed that this mic has very good reviews on the B&H Photo website : http://goo.gl/5Wymot

...But several people wrote that the "cardioid" setting doesn't work on this mic, only the "hyper-cardioid" setting, so if you haven't tried recording with the "hyper-cardioid" setting you should give it a whirl.

If you're looking for a low cost replacement microphone I would take a look at one of these mics, which can be boomed with a 10 foot mini-plug extension cable. ( Rode make a 10 foot mini-plug extension cable )

Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone
http://goo.gl/fOOht1

TAKSTAR SGC-598 Mic ( clone of the original Rode VideoMic )
http://goo.gl/jMNVRj

My preference would be to go with the Rode mic if you can afford it.

March 26, 2016 at 8:50PM, Edited March 26, 8:57PM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30457

Thanks so much for your help! I'll definitely take a look into the two mics you posted here. Until i purchase a new one, Is there a way to boost the dB manually? For example, changing the recording volume and levels on the tascam? Or since the mic itself is too low am I out of luck?

Lisa Lee

March 28, 2016 at 1:25PM

>>>Until i purchase a new one, Is there a way to boost the dB manually? For example, changing the recording volume and levels on the tascam? Or since the mic itself is too low am I out of luck?

First are you using the Nady mic in the hyper-cardioid setting ?

Based upon the B&H Photo reviews this mic only works when set to hyper-cardioid mode.

Normally when using the Tascam DR-05 you would monitor your audio level with headphones while recording, as well as checking the level display on the LCD screen. If the audio signal from the mic is too weak then you would raise the gain level on the DR-05 until you are able to hear good levels in your headphones and see good levels on the LCD display. If the audio level from the Nady mic is way too low then you may not be able to record proper audio and there's really nothing you can do except replace the mic.

Also, have you tried using the mics built-in to the Tascam DR-05 recorder ?

They are very good mics, you just have to make sure that one of the mic capsules is pointing directly at your subject. You can definitely boom the recorder on the end of your boom pole and listen to the headphone output using a mini-plug extension cable. I've done this in the past for professional interviews and the results were great.

March 29, 2016 at 7:00AM

1
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30457

Yes, the audio I posted here was actually recorded using the super cardiod setting(the mic does not have hyper cardiod, only super and regular.) I have tried using the tascam's mics, but only to test out on a conversation between two people as it sat between them on a kitchen table. I'll try using it on my boom pole, maybe that audio will come out better for me. I'll also try out the Nady/tascam setup a few more times, maybe I just need a little more practice.
Thanks so much for your time/advice!!

Lisa Lee

March 29, 2016 at 2:36PM

What kind of camera is your Tascam plugged into?? You can see if your camera dB is too low, will most likely bring in more noise but might not be too bad.

March 29, 2016 at 5:05PM

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Reply

The Tascam isn't connected to the camera at all, my camera doesn't have an audio jack. Instead I run my mic into the tascam and then transfer the recorded audio to my computer.

Lisa Lee

March 30, 2016 at 10:18PM

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