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TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder
- XLR / TRS balanced MIC/LINE inputs with phantom power and +4dbu line level input.
- Switchable microphone position from X-Y to A-B
- 4-track recording - record the built-in microphones and mic inputs at the same time
- Dual recording captures a safety track to prevent distorted takes
- Up to 96Hz/24-bit resolution
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The DR-40’s four-track recording mode gives you several options to record, indicated by LEDs on the front of the unit. The 4-channel recording modes include:
- DUAL – Record a stereo signal with a copy of that stereo signal at a lower level. This gives you a safety track you can use in case the main recording is distorted. (See next section for more info)
- 4CH – Record the built-in microphones along with a pair of external mics, like close-up and ambient microphones. Or record the built-in mics along with a balanced line input, such as the feed from a mixer along with the sound in the room.
- OVERDUB – Play along with a recording you’ve already made to build up a full production or song demo
You can record up to four channels of 96kHz/24-bit audio. Mono and stereo recording is also available. Recording formats include MP3 (from 32 to 320kbps), WAV and Broadcast WAV formats.
Dual Recording Mode
Dual Recording records a second copy of your performance up to -12dB lower as a safety track. This mean if your recording gets accidentally distorted, you'll have a backup copy that isn't distorted. Dual Recording works in addition to the peak limiting and low cut filter features which also prevent distortion.
The Dual Recording mode is perfect for recording your band live. Just set the unit to record and hit the stage without worrying about the recording getting blown out.
Locking XLR Inputs
The DR-40 has a set of Neutrik® locking combination XLR & 1/4" inputs. These external inputs can accept balanced microphone or line inputs. The microphone preamp includes phantom power and plenty of gain for detailed recordings with condenser microphones.
The DR-40 is one of the only handheld recorders with a balanced line input, for recording the output of a console or other pro audio source. In 4-channel recording mode, you can record the output of a live console while capturing the sound of the room with the built-in microphones.
Adjustable Condenser Microphones
Attached to the DR-40 are a pair of cardioid condenser microphones. The stereo microphones can be arranged in an XY recording pattern for tight stereo imaging or in an AB pattern for a more ambient recording.
When flipping the microphone orientation, the left and right channels automatically flip for correct stereo placement.
Useful Playback Features
Like most TASCAM handheld recorders, the DR-40 includes playback modes to loop a section of playback or slow it down without changing the pitch, perfect for learning new music. A built-in speaker is included for checking recording without headphones. The Level Align feature smooths out level jumps during playback to help you monitor your raw, unmastered recordings.
A stereo reverb effect is available during playback or recording. Another handy additions include a chromatic tuner and tripod mount.
Full Feature List
- Handheld 4-track Portable Recorder
- Built-in condenser microphones, adjustable to XY or AB position
- XLR / 1/4” mic/line input with phantom power
- Record the built-in microphones with the XLR mic or line input for a four-track recording
- Dual recording mode captures a safety track at a lower level to avoid distortion
- Overdub mode allows recording along with a previous take
- Peak reduction automatically sets the ideal recording level
- 15-hour battery life from three AA batteries
- Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV/BWF or MP3 recording resolution
- 2-second pre-recording buffer
- Variable speed playback from 50-150% speed without changing the pitch
- Adjustable limiter and low cut filter (40/80/120 Hz)
- Built-in speaker and chromatic tuner
- 1/8” headphone/line output
- Playback EQ and level align
- Stereo Reverb effect
- Tripod mounting hole
- SD/SDHC card slot supports up to 32GB media (2GB card included)
- Locking Neutrik Combi jacks
- USB 2.0 jack and cable for transferring recordings to computer
- Powered by three AA batteries, AC adapter (optional PS-P515U), external battery pack (optional BP-6AA), or USB bus power
What is in the Box:
2GB SD Card
Mini USB Cable
Three AA batteries (alkaline batteries or NiMH batteries)
1 year limited warranty
Top Customer Reviews
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The results are very good - especially in this price range. Listen to the very end of the video when a Mackie mixer is added. The Tascam DR-40 offers true line level input for ultra clean recordings. The mics used in the examples are the RODE NT2-A large diaphragm condenser, RODE NTG-1 shotgun, the MXL 355 omni lav, and the Sennheiser E835s dynamic handheld. The mixer is the Mackie 1402-VLZ.
The feature we love the most is the dual recording - having a safety track at a lower dB is great peace of mind. Battery life is also extended over other popular recorders by using three AA batteries for up to 15 hours of operation! Of course this will vary depending on if +48v Phantom power is enabled. Note that there is also an expanded battery pack BP-6AA for longer recordings and an optional remote control called the RC-3F footswitch. Handy for starting and stopping recordings if you're playing an instrument.
Overall a solid value at the $199 price point. The Zoom H4n now has some serious competition. Also note that the Tascam DR-100 is still worth looking at - especially if you're a DSLR shooter and need the separate Line Level out to use with the DVcreator Line to Mic padded cable for input into a camera's Mic level input. The DR-100 also has nice big knobs with separate level controls for Left and Right channels. Note that the DR-40 input level controls both L&R.
One feature that's great is the ability to record a second track at a lower input to avoid suddenly loud noises causing distortion.
The on-board mics of the DR-40 sound better than the ones on the DR-100.
- What the DR-100 has going for it over the DR-40 is buttons all over to quickly change a setting. Especially a wheel for L&R input level. Everything but the independent L/R input level however can be set in the DR-40s menu.
- As far as I know you can't adjust L & R XLR inputs independently. This is bad if you hook up 2 separate mics and need independent adjustment. However, the trick of using one mic and an XLR splitter to record 2 separate inputs in case of audio spikes is covered with the DR-40s setting that lets you record one track at a lower input.
- It does not have separate headphone and line-out jack. But a splitter will solve that.
- The DR-40 runs on 3 AA batteries vs the Li-Ion battery pack AND 2 AA batteries of the DR-100. Once you turn phantom power on neither of these units last more than 5 hours so you'd better bring spare batteries.
If you own a Rode Videomic Pro or a Rode Stereo Videomic you can NOT plug them into the Line-Ins on either of these units and get a usable signal. That's one thing the Zoom H4N has over either of the Tascam's is a dedicated 3.5mm mic jack. So that's the deducted star for me.
However, I just bought a 3.5mm to XLR adapter made by Rode. This worked great with the Rode Videomic Pro set on +20db gain. However, the Rode Stereo Videomic connected to the DR-40 via this XLR adapter still did not provide enough signal to be recorded.
The unit is simply excellent imo and esp for the money looks like it's a purchase that can not be beaten!
Recording in multiple modes, 4 Tracks, xlr facility and dual recording with one track at a set db below is a priceless function. Self noise is 100% nil in most set ups and absolutely minimal in set ups where there is some self noise.
The ability to select any input level you require is great, most units have selectable input levels, with this unit you can gradually move the input up and down till your just on the level you want.
Cant say enough positive things for this recorder.
Brilliant recording quality: The following Podcast was recorded direct into the DR40 [...] Listen to the first three recordings of Dyslexia Thinking Positive and also the short intro for Mac in Business for the recorders recording sound quality.
The cons are: High handling noise when using internal mics, you WILL need to take this onto account and possibly use a hand grip of some sort as I do...Then handling noise is nil.
As with most all field recorders used outside, the inbuilt mics will pick up wind and breeze across the top of the mic creating noise. You WILL need a Dead Cat or some other form of wind protection for the mics if your planning on using this unit outside, they are very sensitive indeed!
To end it provides faultless recording quality, is easy to use, very clear to view settings and recording levels and has excellent functions others do not have. You will not be disappointed with the purchase...At this price point IMO its simply awesome.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything was great except I did not receive a usb cable as listed in the product description.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Meets my expectations although it is a bit complicated to learn how to use. Quality is great.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I hate to do this, but I'm very disappointed in the Tascam.
It worked fine for about two or three months, then the headphone jack started going out. Read more
Works great. It's a solid cheaper alternative to the Zoom H4N. It's plastic, but it's durable.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
I purchased this recorder for recording our church-band practice sessions and performances after briefly considering a DR-22WL. Read morePublished 22 days ago by P. Riddell