I'm new to recording so, aside from lacking experience, I lack swappable hardware for troubleshooting my problem, thought maybe somebody here could help. I just purchased a Tascam DR-100 digital recorder for spoken word recording using an Audio Technica AT4073a shotgun condenser mic (which I believe I read somewhere is quiet, but it works ok with my Centrance MicroPort Pro USB preamp, so presumably the mic is ok). When I run the mic through an XLR cable to the DR-100 (using 48v phantom power, either with AC power or battery), I get a terrible crackling sound if I move anything. If I set the mic gain on the DR-100 to low, I can barely hear any recording. If I set it to medium or high, by the time I can hear any recording, the line noise is buzzing absurdly. The recording is still pretty quiet, too. Completely unusable. I figure 1) I am either doing something wrong (very possible), 2) my XLR cord has a problem (I don't have a spare to test), or 3) something about this configuration is just not workable, such as my mic being too quiet for the low-end pre-amp in the DR-100. All I need to do is get reasonably clean sound for spoken voice accompanying video, since camcorder sound is no good. Seems this just shouldn't be too hard. Any advice? Also, I'll probably be adding a lavalier mic to the mix, so if anybody has any recommendations, that would be great. My budget for the lav is $200-$500, but the goal is clean sound and if I need something better than the DR-100, I may need to rethink things, as it's not too late to return the DR-100. Still, I'm not complaining about a subtlety, my current situation is completely unusable, so something isnt' right.