Archives For Tascam DR680

2014-08-21-13.34.45

I recorded some wicked sounding cicadas last week in the mountains. I got stopped by an old gate. When I took off my helmet to have a listen, MAN I couldn’t believe how creepy it all sounded.

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It has been some time since my last post. Unfortunately my SPS200 developed a major noise problem. It happened when I was testing my gear before going out recording.

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Tascam DR-680 Noise Test

January 16, 2014 — 10 Comments

DR-680_stock

A recent discussion over at gearslutz opened my eyes to a major problem (for me) of my Tascam DR-680: Unacceptable phantom power noise at higher gain. I have the Busman Mod, which lowers the overall noise of the unit. However, according to a poster in that thread, the mod won’t make much of a difference until you’ve sorted out the phantom power noise problem. After reading that post, I immediately did some testing.

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2014-01-02-16.18.16

Turtle Hill is a somewhat unknown hill near Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung. It apparently used to be a military base, but now it’s a park. I had some spare time after the New Year’s celebrations and figured I’d have a look.

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2013-12-27-16.25.38_web2

I’ve had a string of “boring” recordings lately–meat & potato type of stuff–so I thought it was time for someplace a little more interesting. Not too far from me there’s an island known as Cijing (旗津). It’s basically a long strip of land just barely detached from the mainland. It’s essentially what makes Kaohsiung Port a port. I wasn’t sure what I would discover, but thought harbor sounds would be on the menu.

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guanziling_firewater

A few days ago my buddy Maks and I donned our riding gear and set off on a drive through the mountains on a pair of 250cc scooters for a little hot spring resort area known as Guanziling (關子嶺). The resorts were the last things on our minds, thank god. What we wanted to check out and record was a natural phenomenon known as the Fire Water Cave (水火洞).

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waterfall_recording_web

I wanted to talk about my current field recording rig – what I consider a pretty powerful, convenient and relatively small package. The entire thing can fit on a scooter and can be set up and taken down rather quickly.

I’ve tried out several combinations of equipment and finally settled on the following gear:

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By Peellden (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Banping Mountain (in background) – Wiki Commons by author – Peellden

Yesterday I finally got the chance to head up to Bànpíng Shān for a recording. Over the years, I must have seen this mountain hundreds of times – it’s kind of hard to miss. But I had never realized you could actually climb it. It’s surrounded by industry, which gave me the impression that “they owned it”. As it happens, they don’t. There’s some story to this mountain, but plenty of people have written about it. I doubt I can improve their writings.

One thing I had anticipated was the noise of all that industry “ruining” any recordings I try to get. There’s this constant low hum from the oil refinery that never ceases. But it is what it is, an inner-city mountain. In addition to the city-from-above sounds you might expect, you also get an oil refinery. Why not?

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Cemetery on Halloween

November 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

IMG_0385

Unless you’re in the party scene or an English teacher forced to dress up for class, Halloween can nearly go unnoticed here in Taiwan. At least it did for me this year.

I had planned to head up to Banpingshan mountain but it was getting a bit too late in the day for that. So with nothing in mind, I hopped on my scooter for a little “freestyling” recording.

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IMAG0885_crop

I went out a few days ago with no particular place in mind to record. I’ve had mixed luck recording at this park not so far from my house, just off to the side of the Gaoping bridge. The official name is Gāopíngxī Riverside Park 高屏溪河濱公園.

The park is butted up against the side of a river, so there’s lots of potential sounds to record. In addition to wildlife, I’ve seen a lot of kite flyers and RC Airplanes on the weekend; I’ll probably go back for those one day.

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