Omnidirectional Stereo & Unidirectional Stereo?


There are two audio recorders I am looking at - Tascam DR-03 and Tascam DR-07 Mk II.

The main difference is that DR-03 has two fixed omnidirectional mics (AB) and DR-07 Mk II has two adjustable unidirectional mics (XY and AB).

Can I check what the practical differences are and how they will affect recording:

  • Small jam session
  • Small meeting/interview

Also, if there are differences, can I check which will be better in each situation?

Thanks in advance!

Unless anyone here has both models (very unlikely) you are unlikely to get much help here.
As your question is about Tascam products rather than about Audacity, you would probably do better to ask Tascam for their advice.

The DR-03 is a discontinued model and has been replaced by the DR-05, which is the cheapest in their current range.
The DR-07 is the mid-priced model in their current range and is likely to be a generally better portable recorder.

“Omni-directional” should in theory pick up sound better from “all around”, so may be better suited to recording meetings, depending on where you put the device.

Thanks for the quick response, Steve

My bad - I meant Tascam DR-05.

To clarify my question, it was more about omnidirectional stereo vs unidirectional stereo and less about the Tascam recorders themselves.

While I thought omnidirectional mic would be more useful than unidirectional mic, it seems that isn’t always the case. Hence, I would like opinion and comments from more advanced users.

This was especially confusing, since the supposedly better DR-07 was equipped with unidirectional mics while DR-05 is equipped with omnidirectional mics.

Your opinions and comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

“Unidirectional” is possibly a bit misleading. It does not really mean “one direction” (which the word implies) but just that it will pick up more from the “front” than from the “back”, so you would position it so that it is pointing in the general direction of what you want to record.

Omnidirectional (all direction) microphones seem to be delightful beings until you try to use them. Can you control 100% of your recording environment at all times? I can’t. Most people can’t. Regard the most popular rock band microphone on earth and it’s little sister, the SM58 and SM57 (voice, instrument). Both cardioid (one direction) microphones.

Every one of these microphones is directional.

Many people now use the “This American Life” technique of using a very highly directional, long distance microphone in up-close interview work.

That’s not to say you can’t have a special application where an omnidirectional microphone would be useful. I had to supply sound support for a videoconference and I did it with an omnidirectional microphone in pressure zone config in the middle of our conference room table. It’s the only useful application I’ve ever found for that microphone.

So you do have to match your application to the equipment, but be aware if your application is special purpose. You will probably not be able to use that same microphone in general application.

I passed one stand-alone recorder that after I dredged down through all the advertising chaff about complex matrix stereo configurations, wouldn’t do a simple directional cardioid pattern. Attached.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 22.32.28.png

I see - it appears getting DR-07 Mk II with “unidirectional” microphones will better suit my needs for recording interviews and small meetings.

Really appreciate your help bro.

Unfortunately, what you really want is “try it and see how it works.” There was another poster with a very similar question. “What sound recorder should I buy as a first time and forever purchase?”

Good luck. Anybody who does recording more than casually has a collection of different solutions each used depending on the need. My conference room application was the perfect place for that microphone.

I sometimes recommend a cheaper device just to get your feet wet. After that fails a couple of times, you will have a very clear idea of the problems you want to solve and the next purchase direction.

Sometimes it’s just developing a skillset. “You can’t use that kind of microphone there. It’s too noisy. Here, let me help you.”