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recommended mic for Tascam DR-100?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Kris William, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Kris William

    Kris William Active Member

    Hi! this is my first post, so here we go...

    I have a question about what kind of mic I should buy. My problem is this: I work as a journalist making a lot of interviews. I recently bought a Tascam DR-100 portable recorder. My plan was to replace my old DAT with this new machine. I was planning to use my beloved and reliable Sennehiser MD21 mic, which has always been a favorite of mine. But it turns out that the DR-100’s mic pre amps seems way to weak for my MD21 mic. The issue with low recording level and weak pre amps seems to be one of the most common problems with the DR-100. Instead I bought a Marantz PMD661 recorder and this machine works perfect with my MD21 mic.

    However, I plan to keep my DR-100 as a backup recorder. But now I need a new mic that will work with it. What should I buy? I want something similar to the MD21 (omni mic) in terms of sound quality (natural uncolored sound)

    But most important: To get around the problem with the weak pre amps, maybe I need a mic with 1.5v battery power to increase the signal to the DR-100. What do you think of this? Any suggestions are appreciated...especially if you know what you're talking about since a bad advice might result in me buying the wrong kind of mic :tongue:

    Thanks in advance / Kris. – Sweden
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Hi Kris, and welcome to the forums!

    Have you thought of using a mic booster with the DR-100? If you are using the external XLR mic inputs and have Phantom Power enabled, there are a number of 20dB boosters available that you could use. Here is one designed for professional field use.
  3. Kris William

    Kris William Active Member

    Thank's for your reply Boswell!

    That mini micbooster sure look interesting and handy, makes me wanna get one anyway, hehe. And the DR-100 indeed got the phantom power-option to power it. But do you mean I should use this micbooster along with my MD21 mic? It says the phantom power is passed on to the microphone and the MD21 don't use phantom power. It also says it is best positioned as close to the microphone as possible. A worst case scenario might end up with the micbooster directly plugged into the mic, that will definitely effect the ease of use and mobility while working on the field (however if I can keep it in my bag that won't be a problem). Also it will drain the battery of the recorder since it need the phantom power to work.

    Conclusion: maybe it's better to go with a new mic anyway? or at least take these thoughts into consideration, what you think?

    Regards / Kris
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Assuming your MD21 is the standard type with the XLR connector, there should be no problem in using it with phantom power enabled.

    The manufacturer's comments about positioning the booster near the microphone apply to stage usage and other situations where there might be long cables involved. In your case, I would use a short (e.g. 1m) XLR cable from the mic to the booster, and then an XLR patch cord (.3m) from the booster to the DR-100.

    You are correct that it will increase the drain on the DR-100's battery power by having PP enabled. There are other types of mic booster that are powered from their own batteries, but none that I could specifically recommend for this usage.

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