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TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder
- Built-in omni-directional microphones
- Stereo mini headphone jack for external stereo microphones (provides plug-in power) / External line input
- Tempo change (VSA) function for adjusting the speed from 0.5 to 1.5 times (in 0.1 increments)
- Chromatic tuner, Powered by 2 AA batteries, USB power or optional AC adapter (Tascam PS-P515U), MicroSD 4GB card included
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TASCAM’s DR-05 brings high-quality stereo recording to an easy-to-use portable powerhouse with a size and price that anyone can handle. The DR-05 records in MP3 or WAV format – including 96kHz/24-bit high-resolution audio – to microSD or microSDHC media. A pair of all-new microphones handles up to 125dB SPL with the sensitivity to capture every detail. With new recording features like Peak Reduction and Quick Menu, the DR-05 puts album-quality recording in the palm of your hand. Premium-quality Sound Everything about the DR-05 is designed to get the best quality recordings of your music. A new pair of built-in microphones withstands up to 125dB SPL – the volume of a jet plane from 200 feet away – yet still have the sensitivity to capture every detail of a performance. You can add your own microphone or line-level source through the 1/8” stereo input, including plug-in power for microphones that need it. Simple to Operate The layout of the DR-05 has been revamped to be quick and easy to work with one thumb. Operations like recording, adjusting levels, deleting bad takes and adding markers are just a button press away. Dig deeper to find features like limiting, low cut filtering, a built-in chromatic tuner and more. Classic TASCAM features are included, like Variable Speed Audition to loop and slow down music without changing the pitch – perfect for transcribing or learning new music. A Level Align function can be switched on for playback, to smooth out any sudden volume jumps, and a built-in speaker is also provided. The two AA batteries are enough to power the recorder for 17 1/2 hours, even while recording at CD quality. For musicians and recordists at any stage of their career, there’s no easier way to get great-sounding recordings than TASCAM’s DR-05.
From the Manufacturer
TASCAM's DR-05 puts premium recording quality in the palm of your hand. Up to 96kHz/24-bit Broadcast WAV film recording provides better than CD quality to capture every detail. Record WAV or MP3 files to the included 2GB microSD Card, or expand with your own microSD & SDHC media.
Like all TASCAM products, the DR-05 is simple to use with functions like two-button record and the Quick Menu for fast setting changes.
Omni Condenser Microphones
Built into the DR-05 are a pair of omnidirectional condenser microphones. These stereo microphones are tailored for natural ambient recording, with rich bass response and lower handling noise than most handheld recorders.
The built-in microphones capture a wide, natural frequency range suitable for any type of voice, nature or musical recording. A 1/8" microphone input is also available for adding your own stereo microphone or recording a line-level source.
Like most TASCAM handheld recorders, the DR-05 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.
Other handy additions include a chromatic tuner and tripod stand mount.
Peak Limiter Prevents Clipping
A built-in stereo peak limiter prevents unexpected loud sounds from distorting your recording. Just flip it on to keep sudden jumps from ruining your takes.
Another recording mode is the Auto Level setting, which sets the level based on the sound level in the room. Other settings include a low cut filter, useful for removing rumble or wind noise when outdoors. (A windscreen is also sold seperately.)
Full Feature List
- Handheld Portable Recorder
- Built-in Stereo Condenser Omnidirectional Microphones with sensitivity up to 125dB SPL
- Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV (BWF) linear PCM recording
- Stereo MP3 recording from 32-320 kbps bit rate
- Peak Reduction function, optimized for music recording, automatically sets the gain of while recording
- Limiter and low-cut filter to help prevent distortion
- Automatic or manual level setting
- Self timer recording starts recording 5 or 10 sec. after pressing the record button for waiting until you are ready
- Auto and manual track increment
- Variable speed playback (50%-150%) without changing the pitch
- Loop and repeat playback
- Level Align feature prevents uneven volume levels during playback
- Playback EQ setting
- Editing function (Divide and delete)
- Up to 99 mark points on each file
- Chromatic tuner
- 1/8" stereo mic/line input
- USB 2.0 port for transfer to PC and external power
- Up to 2-second pre recording buffer
- Jump back function returns to previous point with one action (1-10, 20, 30 sec.)
- 1/8" headphone/line output
- Built-in speaker
- microSD (64MB – 2GB)/microSDHC (4GB – 32GB) card slot (2GB card included)
- Powered by 2 AA batteries, AC adapter (optional: PS-P515U), or USB bus power
- Tripod socket hole
- Dimensions: 2 3/8" W x 5 9/16" H x 1" D
- Weight: 4 1/16 oz
Top Customer Reviews
This device met all of these criteria both on paper an in actual use. To play around with it, I have been recording my daughter's practice sessions. I was shocked at the sound quality even from the built in microphones. The resulting recording had no hiss, had good punch in the low end, didn't audibly distort even when the peak light would light, and had great stereo imaging. Wow! Transferring files to my PC is literally drag-n-drop since the device appears as an external drive when connected to the PC. I've recorded about 5 hours along with about 3 hours of playback and the battery charge indicator still hasn't dropped. This is using the provided alkaline batteries.
I upgraded to a 16GB memory card that cost me <$30. That's what I call a cheap storage upgrade from the 2GB card provided!
To really put it through it's paces, I brought it along to record my daughter's school play. The resulting recroding sounded awesome and was very faithful to how it sounded live. I was afraid that the audience clapping would really overload the microphones since I set the levels manually for the performers. Though there is clipping during the applause sections, it is not bad at all. I didn't even feel the need to round out the clipping during post processing. My daughter was very excited to hear the recording afterwards and agreed that it sounded great. As a point of reference, I've been making all of my recordings as stereo 16 bit 44kHz WAV files (aka CD quality/spec).
There is a little bit of handling noise, but that is to be expected with a device with built in microphones. But if you are careful, you can minimize this. I tweaked the levels at the start and you can barely tell I was pushing buttons on it. During the entire performance, I just laid the DR-05 on the empty chair next to me.
The only downside I can find with this device is that the input is really hot for line-in. If you do not have control of the output you connect to the line-in, you may have a problem. This is stated in the manual. From my reading, the more expensive models have a true line-in where this isn't a problem. If you plan to use this device to record from the outputs of a soundboard or other device, you may want to move up to a model that supports a true line-in. I don't plan on using this device this way, so it isn't an issue for me.
Coming from using a Sony HiMD Minidisc recorder for similar tasks in the past, I can't tell you how much of a pleasure the DR-05 is to use. It is so easy to use and produces great results straight out of the box. I highly recommend this device.
I wish the onboard mics had an X/Y pattern instead of being spread out, but the Tascam DR-07 Mark II, that is coming out soon will have that feature, so I might be getting that, too.
I haven't delved into the feature that slows down the audio playback yet or some of the other special tricks this device can do, but all in all, it's a great recorder so far.
1. The AC adapter Amazon is "recommending" for this unit (PS-P520) is not correct. You need a power adapter that works with the small female USB input. The model number for the correct one is PS-P515U based on the info in the owners manual. Good luck finding one. I would plan on using batteries.
2. The external mic input is a balanced mini which is looking for "mic level" input. If you are doing something like I am, which is bringing in a signal from a device operating at line level output, you will be coming into the recorder too hot resulting in horrible distortion. I purchased a Sescom SEL2MTDR100 LN2MIC-TASDR100 cable from B&H Photo which should alleviate the problem. Basically it is mini cable with a built-in attenuator that pads down the signal -35DB. I paid $27 plus shipping for that. You can adjust the input levels on the unit but it won't solve this problem.
3. Definitely get a mini tripod, they are cheap. The unit probably works best in the upright position. It stands up on its own but if you are like me and you have a guitar in your lap and you want to just reach over and press "Record" and "Play" with one hand the unit is going to fall over.
Other than that the sound quality is decent and it is pretty easy to use.