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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I'm recording parts of my practice sessions with a handheld Tascam DR-07. I learn a lot from the playbacks, so it's been a useful learning tool.

Problem is, I practice in a small room and I think the recorder is too close to the horn. It makes a high-pitched ringing noise, almost like tinkling glass, when I play things back.

I tried messing with a couple of the record and playback settings, to no avail. I thought maybe it was clipping out, but no, and as far as I can tell the gain is about right.

Now I have it in my head to get an external mike and set it up just outside the door of the practice room. That way I could also have the recorder close at hand to start and stop it, instead of letting it just run.

Does anyone have any experience with this? The recorder powers the mike and takes a 3.5mm male plug from the mike.

I bought one mike, from Dell, about the only one I could find with a 3.5mm plug, and sent it back because it didn't work, and also because it was sooo cheap looking.

Who makes this kind of mike? Will this take care of the problem with the high-pitched noise? Should I just chuck it all in and get a better recorder?

At some point I'd like to record using backing tracks from CDs, and I'm not sure what equipment I'd need for that, and it seems a bit premature anyway.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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......Hi all. I'm recording parts of my practice sessions with a handheld Tascam DR-07.......Problem is, I practice in a small room and I think the recorder is too close to the horn. It makes a high-pitched ringing noise, almost like tinkling glass, when I play things back...........Now I have it in my head to get an external mike and set it up just outside the door of the practice room......
I have no experience with the DR-07, but if your mic is at least a foot away from the bell of your sax, then I don't think the proximity is the problem. Re the "small room" you practice in - how small is it, and is it live or dead acoustically?

Have you tried a control test where you record just a few minutes of yourself playing in a larger room that is relatively "dead", such as your living room at home, and tried recording with the DR-07 at distances such a 1 foot, 3 feet, and 6 feet away?
 

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Set the gain to Low and try it. High is likely meant for recording speaking-level voice, and Medium could work to record an ensemble at a distance (i.e. 30 ft.) if you're within 6 feet of it, Low is likely the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re the "small room" you practice in - how small is it ?, ~10'x10', but I can only get about 5 ft. away from the mike.

and is it live or dead acoustically? Only guessing I'd say it's about in the middle of live and dead.

Have you tried a control test? I did try this test, in an offhand way. I'll try it in a bigger room and also by varying the distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's what I've found so far. If the gain is set low, and the recording input is set to a point where the level never gets above halfway, then the noise isn't apparent. Of course this makes it sound like the neighbor is playing it over at his house.

Any distance from 1 foot to 10 feet, with the gain set at low and the recording input at about two-thirds or just above, and I get the noise.

Here it is at low gain and about 6 feet away. It's not as apparent through speakers as headphones:

http://soundcloud.com/jontheboy/dr0000603/s-zmnKH
 

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That sounds very compressed, for one. If you're recording in mp3 (sounds like 96 or 128kbps), try recording in wav or whatever uncompressed format is available on that machine. Could be that the poor resolution of mp3 (versus lossless) is responsible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you're recording in mp3 (sounds like 96 or 128kbps).

I was set at 64kbps .mp3. I have two .wav choices; 16 and 24 bit. I'll try both of those.
 

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64 is incredibly poor resolution mp3. Try either wav option, and the difference will be dramatic. Then, step it down to an mp3 format that best balances compression (space savings) against sound quality (hi resolution). I usually use 128-160kpbs mp3 for non-critical recordings (practice sessions, student lessons, etc.)
Let us know how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Try either wav option, and the difference will be dramatic.

The difference is dramatic. No noise I can detect.


Then, step it down to an mp3 format that best balances compression (space savings) against sound quality (hi resolution). I usually use 128-160kpbs mp3 for non-critical recordings (practice sessions, student lessons, etc.)
Let us know how it works.


This part is over my head, but I'll experiment around and see if I can find out how to do it. I'll fill you in if I can figure it out.

But the noise is gone! Yea! Thanks a lot!
 

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Any mp3 file will be a compressed version of the original sound signal. At higher encoding settings, the fidelity is quite good, and at lower encoding values, the sound could get quite ugly.

Generally speaking, if you use mp3 encoding of 256k you would have to be an audiophile to tell the difference between that and an uncompressed wav file of the same sound. Even an mp3 encoding of 192k should give you decent sound. But at 128k mp3 encoding the dropoff in fidelity will be easy to hear, and as you have found, with 64k mp3 encoding it is unbearable.
 
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