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A Typical Field Kit

Small Tascam field kit

Field Kit

We have joined the 21st century with a 24-bit Tascam HS P-82 portable digital recorder. Although we still use external Great River and Millennia Media preamplifiers and external Prism converters, the Tascam is a convenient and easy way to make two-track or small multitrack recordings in the field without having to carry a truckload of equipment. We can still drag out the DTRS recorders, and two-track or multitrack analogue recorders, and we can bring a full console for live broadcast mixes, but increasingly this is becoming our standard field kit for classical recording work. The NHT monitor speakers are being driven by a Nelson Pass amplifier design that has been built into the chassis of an old Crown D-60 amp.

In a perfect room in a perfect world, an overall microphone pair is sufficient to give perfect balances, but sadly we do not live in such a world. When acoustics are deficient and setup is limited, often the expedient of adding spot microphones to individual solo instruments is needed. This is also the case when there is a PA system involved which is altering balances in the room.

Spot microphones give a very different sound than that of the instrument at a distance. Not only is there no room sound, but the dynamics of the instrument are exaggerated. For some instruments that radiate many different sounds in different directions, a spot mike can get only part of the sound at best. Spotmikes can help a lot in a bad situation but very careful attention needs to be taken to make the spotted instrument sound like is is part of the ensemble.

Sometimes a session doesn't turn out to be exactly as expected, and having extra channels available gives us the flexibility to deal with last minute changes.

Last updated 18 Aug. 2020
Scott Dorsey (kludge @ panix.com)
757-229-1547