Over the last year, we’ve been upgrading our field recordingField recording is the term used for an audio recording produced outside a recording studio. gear to include 192 kHz/32-bit recording. I love our Tascam Portacapture X8A high resolution adaptive handheld multi-recorder.. It’s great for field recording and has all of the quality and features I have come to expect from our other Tascam gear. It’s the perfect size for world travel and small enough to be stealthy when hidden in a backpack or shoulder bag.
One feature I found limiting was the lack of a jack with stereo plugin power. Instead, the Tascam Portacapture X8 comes with two mono mic inputs with plugin power which hold the included X-YThe X-Y stereo technique utilizes two directional microphones at the same place, and typically placed at 90° or more to each other to achieve a stereo effect. microphones.
The Hunt for 32-bit Field Recording with A Binaural Mic
We’ve been recording a lot of binauralBinaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener. ambiences with a set of Audio Professionals SP-HMC-1 Headphone Mounted Binaural Microphone. We are always looking to deliver the highest possible quality sounds in our audio packs, so finding a means of field recording with the binaural microphone at 192 kHz was really important to us. I looked into external plugin power, but the price was higher than I wanted to pay, especially knowing that the Tascam Portacapture X8 already comes with plugin power.
So, I broke into our rigging casesWe like to use makeup train cases to carry all of our audio/video adapters, connectors, mounts, etc. They are less expensive than pro audio accessory cases, lightweight, durable, and secure..
I tried various adapters and configurations to get plugin power to both microphones. Most attempts sent power to only one microphone. One configuration powered both mics, but sent the audio from both mics to both tracks 1 and 2, resulting in a dual mono, instead of the desired binaural microphone sound.
Finally, I ran some tests with the bits and bobs of adapters and gears that travel with us and worked out a configuration that powered both microphones separately and sends sound to the individual channels. It was an ugly snake’s nest of wires and adapters. It even included a run by Monique for cables that I didn’t end up using in the final rig. But it worked.
Rigging the Tascam Portacapture X8
After an online order and some quick testing, I recreated the success using a Hosa YMM-492Hosa YMM-492 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual Right-Angle 3.5 mm TS Air Travel Headphone Adaptor Cable Adaptor Cable, which allows each microphone to be powered separately. The result was an outstanding, crystal-clean filed recording in 192 kHz/32-bit.
And a happily satisfied inner nerd.
Binaural Microphones on Your Tascam Portacapture X8
- Tascam Portacapture X8
- Binaural microphones that operate via a plugin powered stereo jack
- 1 Hosa YMM-492 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual Right Angle 3.5 mm TS Air Travel Headphone Adaptor Cable
- Insert the stereo 3.5mm plug into the Hosa adapter cable.
- Remove the included X-Y microphones from channel 1 and 2 on the X8
- Each plug on the Hosa adapter is labeled for easy reference. Insert the plug labeled “Tip” into channel 1 and the plug labeled “Ring” into channel 2.
- Choose a recording mode on the X8 and set the input channels to 1-2.
That’s it! You’re all set to record binaural tracks in 192 kHz/32-bit sound on your Tascam Portacapture X8.