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Thread: Tascam recorder mics compared to stand alone mics in $50 to $100 range

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    Tascam recorder mics compared to stand alone mics in $50 to $100 range

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    Has anyone had a chance to compare the quality of mics built into this Tascam recorder (Amazon.com: TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder: Musical Instruments) compared to the likes of MXL990, AT2020, or Behringer C-1? Especially for acoustical instruments like brass or woodwind or small ensembles?

    The reviews are encouraging - it is interesting to read through a few. I'd like to hear your take from those who have used this and have a reference point for comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarinet View Post
    Has anyone had a chance to compare the quality of mics built into this Tascam recorder (Amazon.com: TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder: Musical Instruments) compared to the likes of MXL990, AT2020, or Behringer C-1? Especially for acoustical instruments like brass or woodwind or small ensembles?

    The reviews are encouraging - it is interesting to read through a few. I'd like to hear your take from those who have used this and have a reference point for comparison.
    I would add Marshall Electronics MXL V67g to the short list. The mics you are talking about are *different* not *better* than the mics in the Tascam, because they have large(r) diaphragms. They do, however, have a couple of huge advantages when compared with the onboard mics. First, they are much easier to replace when one breaks, or gets condensation on the diaphragm, and needs to be dried out. Secondly, it's much easier to put them where you want them. With one point mics. You can only do one point recording. With external mics, you can set up spaced stereo, or close mics, spot mics, a Jecklin disc, whatever. Whether there's a cable on them may be more important than the differences between the mics, in the greater scheme of things.

    I use a Zoom H4n, which is a similar unit. I can use the H4n as a spot mic if I want to, such as an overhead for drums, then the 2 XLR inputs for kick and snare. Of course, this means the Zoom is on a mic stand over the drums. I get remote control, but not the full display. The recorder is also prone to handling noise. Remote mics allow you to make changes in the machine without having the mics record your damned button pushing! I get the best of both like this- I use 2 AKG C2000B's (similar to the MXL990's but a step up, I think) and a Sony ECM-MS957. That's one of the very few battery powered stereo mics for a 3.5mm mic input that I like. It's discontinued, but they're out there for $100-$150 in good condition By using that, I can put the stereo array where I want it, eliminate the handling noise problem, and I get to see my display and get all 4 tracks. Besides, the SONY *is* better than the mics on the Zoom. You can do a lot with the Zoom and 3 mics like that. Trust me on this- in one point stereo mics, all the $100 cheapies suck. The 957 will not let you down. They used to be $250 new, and were the only choice between $100 bad cheap mics and some badass stereo mics in the thousands. I'd start there, and add a matched pair of large diaphragm condensers, and a dynamic to the kit, as funds become available. The day will come when you won't be able to buy a 957, and if you don't get one while you still can, you'll regret it. The same can be said of the C2000B.

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