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TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder
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- XLR / TRS balanced MIC/LINE inputs with phantom power and +4dbu line level input.
- Switchable microphone position from X-Y to A-B. OS - Windows XP,Windows Vista,Windows 7,Windows 8
- 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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From the manufacturer
Features at a glance
- Unidirectional stereo condenser microphones that can record in A-B and X-Y positions
- XLR/TRS inputs compatible with +4dBu line level / +48V
- 4-channel mode that can be used for dual recording and nondestructive overdub recording, etc.
Handheld 4-Track Digital Recorder
The adjustable mics, four-track recording and extended battery life of the TASCAM DR-40 give you the flexibility you need to record tracks anywhere.
The DR-40 captures up to four tracks from built-in, high-quality condenser microphones, XLR mic or line inputs. The internal mics are adjustable from XY to AB position, helping you to tailor your recording to the sound of the room. A pair of great-sounding TASCAM microphone preamps welcome condenser microphones with phantom power, recording at up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution. It accommodates balanced XLR or 1/4" line inputs using locking Neutrik Combo jacks. The DR-40 accepts SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB, and a 2GB card is included.
Once recorded, play back your takes with EQ and the optional Level Align feature to avoid volume jumps. A stereo reverb effect is also built-in, as well as a speaker and chromatic tuner. Transfer recordings to computer using the USB 2.0 jack. Other features include overdub mode, variable speed playback, limiting and low cut filter, and much more – all with TASCAM's simple-to-use interface. No other recorder makes home or live recording as simple as the TASCAM DR-40.
Record in both A-B and X-Y positions according to situation
The 'DR-40' is equipped with adjustable unidirectional microphones that can be used for recording in both the A-B position and X-Y position. Advanced microphone placing allows for a wide stereo sound recording or a clear stereo sound recording with less phase difference, making it possible to achieve professional quality recordings.
Proven high sound pressure design
Proven high sound pressure design that is perfect for loud recordings such as bands or passing trains. It can be used for recoding quiet sound sources such as lectures or for loud sound sources such as rock bands.
Peak reduction function
The peak reduction function automatically lowers the level when a peak sound is detected and continues recording. The level can be set automatically according to the sound source, so it is easy for anyone to set the optimal level. The 'DR-40' has a total of three different input signal level adjustment functions including a peak reduction function.
Locking XLR/TRS inputs
The XLR/TRS stereo inputs make it possible to connect an external condenser microphone and PA console line-level output in addition to the built-in microphone. Highly reliable locking XLR/TRS connectors by Neutrik are used. They can be used for supplying phantom power, so general condenser microphones can be used in addition to electret type microphones.
|Weight||116g (without battery)||213g (without battery)|
|Number of Channels||2-Channel (Stereo)||4-Channel (2 Stereo)|
|Power||2 AA batteries, USB bus power, AC100 to 240V (Optional AC adapter)||3 AA batteries, USB bus power, AC100 - 240V (Optional AC adapter)|
|Built in Microphone||Omnidirectional, stereo||Unidirectional, stereo (Possible to switch between A-B/X-Y positions)|
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Pro Acoustics|
|Item Dimensions||3.5 x 5.5 x 8 in||1.5 x 6.25 x 2.75 in||5.24 x 3.07 x 3.67 in||6.5 x 8.7 x 1.6 in|
TASCAM's incredible DR-40 lets you take true 4-track recording on the go! This impressively affordable 4-track recorder gives you all of the tools you need to capture audio anywhere in any environment. Want to record live music? Plug the main feed from the board right into the DR-40 and use the built-in microphones to capture the room. Want to record audio for video? Just plug your shotgun microphone into an input and enable phantom power. Dual mode recording, automatic level adjustment, and a built-in limiter all ensure that your recordings will come out sounding great. And the TASCAM DR-40 includes great practice and studio-style recording tools, such as a built-in tuner and reverb, making it an amazing songwriting tool too.
Top customer reviews
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I ended up returning this one, but the decision wasn't black and white. To help you make your decision without all of the hassle of returning one, here are the pro's for each model:
- $100 cheaper!
- a bit smaller
- can record four channels at once (aka you can record from the built-in mics, and the XLR mics at the same time). The DR-100 MKII cannot do this, which was rather disappointing
- you can adjust the angle of the built-in mics, letting you capture narrower or wider soundscapes
- Sturdier (made of metal, built-in mics aren't as exposed)
- Volume adjustment wheel, which gives much smoother control, and doesn't make really loud clicking noises every time you adjust the volume (the DR-40 only has buttons)
- Comes with a rechargeable battery, and also takes AA's, which means you can live swap batteries while the device is still on and recording!
- And, at least for me, I preferred that more of the controls were physical buttons instead of being nested inside of menus. Makes it easier to operate while focusing on other things, like recording.
Overall, their sound quality was so similar that it really didn't factor into the decision.
Hope that helps!
APPEARANCE & BUILD: The body shell is dark gray plastic with good fit and finish. It feels sturdy but is a far cry from the beefy metal body of the DR-100. It's smaller than the DR-100 and comfortable in my hand, although I don't recommend handheld recording with the built-in mics due to handling noise. Use a grip or tripod.
The stainless steel tripod socket allows easy mounting on tripods, grips or light stands. I use an Arca quick release plate on the DR-40, allowing quick mount/dismount from tripods. However, the tripod socket is too shallow: most arca plate screws bottom out in the tripod socket, allowing the plate to spin. The obvious workaround is to file down the screw. However, I found a shorter screw and fit is fine.
The monochrome LCD is tiny, funky orange and 1990s tech but easy to read. It's the same LCD used in the DR-100 MKII.
CONTROLS: In contrast to the DR-100, the DR-40 has only basic physical controls: record, stop, play, solo, mode, levels, line, mic, forward, reverse and hold. That's it. Everything else is done in the menus making setup more tricky than the button rich DR-100 MKII. Level control is awkward and uses stepped button presses rather than a calibrated knob or slider. Plus, level adjustments are strictly global, i.e., individual channels can't be adjusted. While controls are labeled, they're difficult to read even in good light, so you'll need to memorize functions before using at a gig.
CONNECTIONS: The input options of balanced XLR and TRS analog allow you to record from mics or line level sources such as mixers or mic preamps. The DR-40 has a switch to toggle inputs from mic, phantom power and line level. Unlike the DR-100, there are no digital or unbalanced inputs.
Output consists of headphone and analog stereo line out from a single mini stereo jack. That's it. So adapters will be needed to interface with studio and home stereo systems. My SD card goes straight in my Mac for storage, editing and playback, so no biggie. The DR-40 has mini-USB for power or uploading to a computer, but not for playback or recording. A card reader is faster for uploads but it's good to have a USB port just in case.
The headphone preamp is noisy and only good for basic field monitoring. During the first session I checked a track and heard eggs frying galore! Later, when editing at home with studio monitors, the tracks were clean. So decent mic preamps but terrible headphone preamp!
BATTERIES: It's a bit of an odd bird with three AA batteries in its belly. I use Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables and can last through a long rehearsal. No true AC adapter but you can power it from a USB port or most USB chargers.
MICS & SOUND QUALITY: I wish the cardioid mics were black instead of glitzy chrome. However the ability to switch between X/Y stereo and A/B wide stereo is cool and one-ups the DR-100's fixed mics. Most of my recordings are casual recordings of student performances so the built-in cardioid mics are perfect. Preamps are slightly noisier than the DR-100 MKII but decent. However the build-in mics sound a little better than the DR-100 MKII: fuller and more balanced (DR-100 is a bit bright). I mainly record classical guitars and have to crank gain to 80% or higher. I assume gain range is optimized for clubs and garage band volume, rather than acoustic guitars.
I record Wav files at 44.1kHz or 96kHz if I go all out with external mics. The files sound excellent and process easily in Bias Peak Pro or Apple Logic. Once I have a polished track I compress/export to MP3 and post on ReverbNation or email to my students. I would never record directly in MP3 format as you lose too much resolution and severely limit post processing possibilities.
RFI: I live in the inner city and am surrounded by cellphone and radio station transmitters. RFI is a problem in my condo and every piece of gear needs shielding or it becomes a classic rock station. The DR-40 has considerably less RFI shielding than the DR-100 MKII. Normally RFI is not a problem for stage use but location recording near microwave towers results in enough static to ruin the track. Also, a cellphone within 10 or 12 feet causes high pitched Morse code like interference. I figured this out while recording a classical guitar track with an iPhone 5S on my belt. Simple fix, put the iPhone on airplane mode but sheesh...
LAST BLURB: The multitrack recording ability of the DR-40 is a wonderful complement to the DR-100 MKII. While I mainly record stereo Wav files, being able to add additional tracks (overdub separate) and mix them in Logic at home is a big plus. This little device is as portable as it gets: easily slips into a camera bag or coat pocket and feels comfortable in hand. And, indeed, tracks from the DR-40 sound great when played on studio monitors or headphone. I'm pleased with the DR-40: 95% of the audio quality of the DR-100 MKII but at one third the cost and minus a few features. Just keep your smartphone in the next room while tracking!