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).