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    Do I need a preamp for my Rode NTG-2 mic and Tascam DR-40 recorder?
    #1
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    I was wondering if I could plug my Rode NTG-2 mic directly into the DR-40 recorder.

    I actually do have a Juicedlink CX211 preamp, but it doesn't have an XLR output, only a jack output. And the DR-40 can't do anything with that.

    If I really need a preamp for this, would it be better to keep using the CX211 and get a Zoom HN4 instead?


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    Sure you can. There aren't any direct "mixing" volume controls, but you have a single source and as long as you listen to a sample or have a way of directly monitoring the audio, you should be fine. The dr40 was created to directly compete with the H4n and it does have an input control.
    The juicedlink is more for DSLR cameras that have terrible preamps, essentially using the preamp inside of the Juicedlink to drive the signal. Because the signal is already driven coming out of the CX211, you can turn down the input on whatever source is recording. Doing this "fools" the recording devices' preamps into not activating, or at the very least, activating minimally. Hope this helps


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    If it were me, I'd use a Sound Devices Mix-Pre. I don't use any of the built in mic pres on any of the handheld recorders.
    David Fisk
    Sales Manager
    K-Tek/M. Klemme Technology Corp.
    dave@ktekbooms.com


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    All you have to do is connect up the XLR cable to the NTG2, plug the other end into the DR-40 and configure your channels properly. The latest software allows for all sorts of combinations with independent channels. You must set your selector switch to 48v phantom if you are using pure XLR. I do not recall whether you can power the NTG2 with an AA battery or not. If you do, only set the DR-40 to mic input. The DR-40 rocks for all that it can do as cheap as it is. I just wish it had a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack instead of conventional AA batteries.


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    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillinSC View Post
    All you have to do is connect up the XLR cable to the NTG2, plug the other end into the DR-40 and configure your channels properly. The latest software allows for all sorts of combinations with independent channels. You must set your selector switch to 48v phantom if you are using pure XLR. I do not recall whether you can power the NTG2 with an AA battery or not. If you do, only set the DR-40 to mic input. The DR-40 rocks for all that it can do as cheap as it is. I just wish it had a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack instead of conventional AA batteries.
    Bill, I think the question is regarding the specific combination of the DR-40 and the NTG-2. You see, there have been widely-documented experiences with the NTG-2 and ______ hand-held recorder with the recorder's pre-amps not being a good match for the NTG-2. The Zoom H4n is a perfect example that gets lots of feedback in this situation, where the inputs must be turned up almost all the way in order to get even modest record levels. The RØDE's output level isn't as strong as some, and that causes problems with weaker pre-amps.

    I have not tested the pre-amps on my DR-40 since I don't use it as my primary device. I also do not own an NTG-2. I may try to get over to a local dealer who stocks the mics and do some tests just to see what kind of levels I can get.
    Formerly known as C2V
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    Thanks Alex. Interesting. I did not know about that issue. Thanks for the tips though. Someone recently mentioned the NTG2 to me for use with an HPX250. I want to say that there are some video clips out there from a guy named Guy Cochrane at the DVE store in Washington state and I believe he had an NTG2 hooked up to a DR-40. He may be able to shed some more light on this. I am no sound professional, but I have to say, the DR-40 was worth every penny I paid.


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    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Guy Cochran is a regular around here. The video you reference is below. He uses an NTG-1, which is the same as the NTG-2 except without the internal AA battery option. He cranks the input level up until the signal clips, as he's demonstrating the automated safety track feature, but before he does that it looks iike the input level is still up pretty high to get a good level. Perhaps he can offer some added insight on that.



    All that said, this is a great little recorder - amazing for the price - and I'm glad I have one.
    Formerly known as C2V
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex H. View Post
    Guy Cochran is a regular around here. The video you reference is below. He uses an NTG-1, which is the same as the NTG-2 except without the internal AA battery option. He cranks the input level up until the signal clips, as he's demonstrating the automated safety track feature, but before he does that it looks iike the input level is still up pretty high to get a good level. Perhaps he can offer some added insight on that.



    All that said, this is a great little recorder - amazing for the price - and I'm glad I have one.
    Thanks for pointing this thread out to meet Alex. To answer the original question, yes, you can plug the NTG-2 directly into the DR-40, but as others have pointed out, the levels will be a bit low. You'll see in the video above that I'm good for levels within the 3 foot working range with the DR-40 levels at 90 (all the way up). Other mics that are "hot" like the ME66 and AT875r may be a better choice with the DR-40 as well as the Zoom H4n. The NTG-1 and NTG-2 have the same capsule and should have the same roughly the same specs, however I'm seeing two different impedance numbers in the current spec. I'm confirming this with RODE engineers now to see if the NTG-1 is indeed "louder" with the DR-40 than the NTG-2.
    If you have a pre-amp/mixer, Sound Devices or other - heck even the Mackie you see me use, you're going to get way better results with the DR-40 and line level input. Just for kicks I grabbed a Juicedlink CX231 and connected it to the DR-40 by using the Sennheiser CL-100 XLR to Miniplug cable. It sounded not only cleaner, but also warmer and had a lot more gain structure to play with. So to the original poster, try buying a XLR to miniplug cable and using your juicedLink with the DR-40.

    Hope this helps,
    Cheers,

    Guy Cochran
    DVeStore - DVXUser Sponsor - We match or beat anyone's advertised price on Sennheiser, RODE, Manfrotto, Miller, K-TEK, Countryman, Edirol, Lacie, G-Tech, Reflecmedia, Lowel, Litepanels, and Photoflex Coupon Code "dvxuser"


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    Indie Arms Member Doc Bernard's Avatar
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    Just to comment, I echo Guy's comment about mic choice. I use the ME64/66 and having that hot output coupled with the handheld recorders is a nice thing. I have used the NTG-1/2 and they really put a strain on the pre-amps of the handhelds to get a usuable level. Having an outboard pre would be the only way I would use an NTG with one.


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