Friday, January 18, 2008

Tascam announces DR-1 portable audio recorder for $299

We've seen a flood of affordable prosumer level digital audio recorders from high end equipment makers over the last few years. Edirol, M-Audio, Sony, and Marantz have all released handheld field recorders aimed squarely at the podcaster market. Fortunately while none of these devices sound as clean or are as versatile as a $2000 recorder, podcasters, musicians, field recordists, and radio producers on a budget can pick up some pretty capable machines for under $500 these days.

The latest company to throw its hat in the ring is Tascam. When I worked in radio, we used Tascam's DAT field recorders for a while, and while the proprietary battery was short-lived and difficult to recharge, the audio quality was excellent. Of course, just because two products are from the same company doesn't mean they'll both live up to the same standards. But I still have high hopes for the upcoming Tascam DR-1 portable digital audio recorder.

Here's what the $299 DR-1 has to offer:
  • Records to SD/SDHC cards
  • Ships with a 1G SD card
  • Built-in stereo mics with a variable angle mechanism allowing you to record from many angles
  • Records in WAV or MP3 formats
  • Analog limiter
  • Low-cut filter
  • Automatic gain control
  • 44.1/48KHz, 24-bit recording resolution
  • Rechargable Lithium Ion battery
  • USB 2.0
  • Built-in tuner and vocal cancel features
  • Overdub feature
  • Mic/Line inputs (mini jacks) at the top of the unit
  • A second mic input at the bottom (1/4th inch)
No word on when you'll be able to pick one up, but you can bide your time waiting for it to become available by reading the instruction manual for more details (PDF Link).

[via Engadget]

5 comments:

José Luis said...

Hi, Brad Linder!

Yamaha has introduced its portable recorder too, the "Pocketrak 2G":

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/shownews.cfm?newsid=5915

http://www.mtechmarketing.com/YAMA_011708_Pocketrak2G.html

Best regrads,

José Luis

peeder said...

Yes I received a DR-1 today and it works quite well...audio quality is very fine. The unit is relatively large I think but very light. The biggest gaffe is there's no tripod mount BAD BAD BAD. There's a little hole for a lanyard but that's it. I mounted it with rubber bands. A soft case is included but no windscreen and wind noise will be a problem, so you'll have to fashion one.

This thing is really designed for songwriters I think...and for them it's absolutely the ideal scratch pad. No complexity like the Zooms, this just uses non-destructive sound-on-sound overdubbing, which works quite well in practice. I record the guitar through the internal mics and plug a dynamic mic into the input 2 to sing over the guitar on the second pass. It even can print effects...the only good ones being the RevHall and RevLive reverbs, but that's a big plus in taking out the sound of your bedroom.

It's a little fiddly with the controls, but straightforward enough. It seems to work OK but did hang up on poweroff once already. To use the tuner you need to be in monitor mode btw...manual doesn't say that. Power on and off times are good...3-4 seconds or something. Features auto power off, momentary backlight, good metering, adjustable low cut filter, etc.

But the usefulness and ease for the songwriter is tops. If you can get the perfect takes down, you could make a whole CD on just this doodad, and with mastery, it wouldn't even sound bad.

Anonymous said...

Anyone cares to share the frequency response of the internal microphones in this Tascam DR-1?

Anonymous said...

Anyone cares to share the frequency response of the internal microphones in this Tascam DR-1?

José Luis said...

Hi, Brad Linder!

Yamaha has introduced its portable recorder too, the "Pocketrak 2G":

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/shownews.cfm?newsid=5915

http://www.mtechmarketing.com/YAMA_011708_Pocketrak2G.html

Best regrads,

José Luis

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