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Old September 3rd, 2006, 06:28 PM   #1
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Anyone using an HD P2?

I've been recording with the Tascam, and the only way that I can get an acceptable gain is to boost the signal using my Shure portable mixer.. This doesn't sound right..

I'm not an audio person, but my soundman, who is, can't get more out of it eaither.. wondered if anyone else has had this problem before I go to Tascam (their tech support isn't the greatest)...
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 06:43 PM   #2
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What source are you recording? If it's a mic, what knid? Are you connecting it directly to the recorder's mic inputs? The input is set to mic leve and not line? Phantom power is on for mics that require it or fresh batteries in mics that are internally powered? What levels are you getting on the meters?
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 10:28 PM   #3
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No offense, but I'm not that stupid.. Sennheiser 416, recorder set to phantom power,,, also tried with an external power supply - I had a PortaDat for many years that I used with this same stuff (I shoot film as well as video)..

My soundman has worked with me since the Nagra days, and he can't figure it out either..

My question is whether this problem is endemic to this recorder, or if mine has a problem, before I spend the time waiting on the phone prompts at Tascam...
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Old September 4th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
No offense, but I'm not that stupid.. Sennheiser 416, recorder set to phantom power,,, also tried with an external power supply - I had a PortaDat for many years that I used with this same stuff (I shoot film as well as video)..

My soundman has worked with me since the Nagra days, and he can't figure it out either..

My question is whether this problem is endemic to this recorder, or if mine has a problem, before I spend the time waiting on the phone prompts at Tascam...
Sorry, no offense meant -some posters actually don't know to check those basics. Even forgot to mention to check the -20dB pad switches.

I don't have an HDP2 so my knowledge isn't first hand but I've spoken with several people I know who do own them as I'm thinking of getting one and no one has mentioned having any similar problems with levels. Reviews within the last month in both Digital Video and Sound on Sound haven't mentioned recording level problems as being endemic either and both are reliable sources IMHO. I'm curiuous what kind of levels you are getting?
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Old September 4th, 2006, 09:07 AM   #5
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I know, the reviews have all pretty much been raves.. and I do like the machine, although construction is not what I'm used to (compared to the PortaDat) and the menus are a little confusing when working fast, easy to miss something - so I take my time in advance and pre-set files on several cards (I make documentaries, so futzing with equipment on location doesn't work)...

By the way, when the pads are on, there is virtually no signal (on my machine) unless I use the Shure mixer as a pre-amp, and I really have to dial up the Shure's output.. This has got to be wrong.. so I guess it's on the phone with Tascam...

I also didn't mean to be testy - many of the people that write on these forums are new to the vagaries of production, and their questions can be a little dense... others are extremely imformed and over-verbose.. be interesting to see them all together at a party...

In my case, I've been making a living as an independent filmmaker since graduating from the UCLA film program in the late 60's.. I've never even worked for anyone else full time, except for a short stint with CBS in the early 80's - so I'm used to having to blunder through the early days of new technology on my own... Now we have the internet so we can make fools of ourselves on an international scale...
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Old September 4th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
I know, the reviews have all pretty much been raves.. and I do like the machine, although construction is not what I'm used to (compared to the PortaDat) and the menus are a little confusing when working fast, easy to miss something - so I take my time in advance and pre-set files on several cards (I make documentaries, so futzing with equipment on location doesn't work)...

By the way, when the pads are on, there is virtually no signal (on my machine) unless I use the Shure mixer as a pre-amp, and I really have to dial up the Shure's output.. This has got to be wrong.. so I guess it's on the phone with Tascam...

I also didn't mean to be testy - many of the people that write on these forums are new to the vagaries of production, and their questions can be a little dense... others are extremely imformed and over-verbose.. be interesting to see them all together at a party...

In my case, I've been making a living as an independent filmmaker since graduating from the UCLA film program in the late 60's.. I've never even worked for anyone else full time, except for a short stint with CBS in the early 80's - so I'm used to having to blunder through the early days of new technology on my own... Now we have the internet so we can make fools of ourselves on an international scale...
I know it's a long shot but according to the manual the menu has a software setting option to switch between the analog and digital inputs. I wonder if it somehow got set to digital and yet there's still enough power going to the mic preamps to let though enough signal to be audible with low levels. It's worth a look-see.

Your name does ring a bell. Have I seen you on RAMPS or the DV.com board? I see you're in Monterey - used to work with New England Divers in San Francisco back in the 80's and took SCUBA classes to the Monterey/Carmel area quite a bit.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #7
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I'll check that, although I can't imagine Paul (my soundguy) missed it...

I used to comment on the DVX forum a few years back when I decided to buy one to shoot a doc with it (wanted 24p at the time)... Other than that, maybe several films on PBS - BEYOND BARBED WIRE, ACCIDENTAL HERO-ROOM 408, ROOTS OF CALIFORNIA PHOTOGRAPHY. Docs on NBC in the early 70's - DDT, KNOWING ITS SURVIVES US, SOS, SAVE OUR SEA.. but that was pretty long ago.. also made the feature doc ACAPULCO GOLD about marijuana smugglers in the 70s...
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Old September 4th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #8
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I have been using an HD-P2 with, most recently, a Shure VP88 condenser microphone. I have been recording outdoor background noises (cicada's, birds, rain falling) and find that these typically will push the VU meters to -20dB with the Tascam gains trim all the way up. I would like a bit more gain (about 10 dB?) but think that the gain provided must be adequate for typical use. IOW if I were to approach the mic and speak into it from reasonable distance I am sure I'd have to back the gain down to keep from over driving.


You might try putting test signals into the line inputs. With the gain trims set for minimum the spec input level is 0 dBu (.775 Vrms) and a test signal at this level should give a reading close to full scale on the unit's meters. For the mic inputs this level is -13.8 dBu (note: the manual mixes dBu and dBv and dropped the minus sign on the max gain input mic level). If test signals don't give reasonable meter readings then the unit must be defective. If the readings are OK on line input but not mic input then it is the mic preamps which are at fault.

There are lots of opportunities to make "headset" errors with this machine, especially if clocking externally and chasing timecode. The manual isn't very clear while the recorder has a bunch of advanced functions. My main gripe with it is that in chasing timecode it will start recording just fine when timecode starts to advance but will not stop when timecode stops advancing if (as is the case with the XL-1H when recording is stopped) the timecode signal is still present though repeating the same value. Thus you must press the stop button on the recorder as well as on the camera though you only need to press the start button on the camera. If anyone knows the way around this I'd love to hear about it.
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