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I'm filming a wedding in a couple weekends and I'm double checking everything to make sure that I'm ready.

I'm going to be plugging directly into the RCA out of the DJ's mixer board at the reception to capture the audio for the speeches and toasts, but I'm curious as to whether or not I'll need an attenuation cable between the recorder and the RCA-to-3.5mm cable that goes into my Tascam DR-07 MkII.

Thoughts? And if I do need one, do you have a recommendation as to which one I should buy? I already own a Sescom Tascam, male-to-male cable that goes from my recorder to my 5D MkII, so should I/could I use this with an RCA cable?

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Doubtful that you'd need one, but the fact that you're asking means you should have one with you. (-: –  Jim Mack Apr 8 at 19:49
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It depends entirely on the output of the board. It is highly unlikely that it will be needed as it should most likely match up with the line input on your Tascam since both are professional devices, but stranger things have been known to happen. Some boards do output to consumer level signal on the RCA connections rather than expecting a professional tape or CD deck, particularly on cheaper DJ equipment.

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Copied from the Tascam manual:

Analog audio input/output ratings MIC/EXT IN jacks (supporting plug-in power) Connector: 1/8” (3.5 mm) stereo mini Input impedance: 25 kΩ Nominal input level: –20 dBV Maximum input level: –4 dBV

This Tascam doesn't even take nominal consumer level without distorting (-10dBV). Most likely on an RCA output from a mixer you'll have -10dBV, so you'll need to pad the level by at least 10 dB (nearly 22dB if the DJ mixer outputs professional +4dBu).

But, the Tascam lets you trim level before recording, so it looks like all the pad you need is in the Tascam itself. Just make sure you set that beforehand to a level around the -12dB mark on the Tascam's meters and that you take out the Auto Gain, which always ruins levels. Check the manual which explains how to do these clearly.

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Thanks! Everything worked perfectly by plugging an RCA-to-3.5mm cable to the record-out on the DJ's board. –  Jon Apr 23 at 15:53
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