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TASCAM DR-07MKII Portable Digital Recorder
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- Adjustable Stereo Condenser Microphones (XY or AB)
- Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV (BWF) linear PCM recording. Stereo MP3 recording from 32-320 kbps bit rate. Reverb effect. Overdub recording mode
- Auto Record and Auto Mark functions. Peak Reduction function, optimized for music recording, automatically sets the gain of while recording. Limiter and low-cut filter to help prevent distortion
- 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). Chromatic tuner 1/8 Inches stereo mic/line input. Powered by 2 AA batteries, AC adapter (optional: PS-P515U), or USB bus power. MicroSD 2GB card included
There is a newer model of this item:
|Consumer Alert: Most users do not need a license to operate this wireless microphone system. Nevertheless, operating this microphone system without a license is subject to certain restrictions: the system may not cause harmful interference; it must operate at a low power level (not in excess of 50 milliwatts); and it has no protection from interference received from any other device. Purchasers should also be aware that the FCC is currently evaluating use of wireless microphone systems, and these rules are subject to change. For more information, call the FCC at 1-888- CALL-FCC (TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC) or visit the FCC’s wireless microphone website at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones.|
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TASCAM's DR-07mkII 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-07mkII is simple to use with functions like two-button record and the Quick Menu for fast setting changes.
Adjustable Condenser Microphones
Attached to the DR-07mkII 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.
The built-in microphones capture a wide, natural frequency range suitable for any type of voice or musical recording. A 1/8" microphone input is also available for adding your own stereo microphone or recording a line-level source.
When flipping the microphone orientation, the left and right channels automatically flip for correct stereo placement.
Perfect for songwriters, the DR-07mkII allows you to build up an arrangement part by part for a full production. Record a guitar demo, then try out a melody by singing along with your previous take. Your original recording is kept, and a second, mixed file is created. The DR-07mkII includes stereo reverb you can use on playback, or use it during recording for a pro, polished sound.
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.)
Useful Playback Features
Like most TASCAM handheld recorders, the DR-07mkII 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 Portable Recorder
- Adjustable Stereo Condenser Microphones (XY or AB)
- Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV (BWF) linear PCM recording
- Stereo MP3 recording from 32-320 kbps bit rate
- Reverb effect
- Overdub recording mode
- Auto Record and Auto Mark functions
- 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 settings
- 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: 2.2" W x 5.5" H x 1" D (55mm x 141mm x 26mm)
- Weight: 4.4 oz (125g)
Top customer reviews
I needed a quality recording device to use for my young son's: 1) violin lessons and master classes, i.e., mostly voice; 2) violin practice sessions - intonation, phrasing, etc.; 3) concerts and quartet gigs that he's involved in; and 4) auditions.
After my usual, intensive consumer research into a digital recorder that would satisfy my specific needs -- and under the maximum budget of $150 -- I decided on purchasing a TASCAM DR-07 MKII. Instead of covering all the unit features that anyone can easily read under the "Product Description," such as "Auto Level/Peak Reduction/Limiter," "24bit/98k," "AB/XY Mics," "Tuner," etc., I'll focus more on those features that I like (PROS) - particularly in view of what other brands and models do not have -- and don't like (CONS), as well as some features that are not so obvious and haven't been mentioned by other reviewers.
Although TASCAM DR-07MKII Portable Digital Recorder is all constructed with plastic, including the adjustable cardioid condenser microphones (they don't look plastic in the photo), it doesn't "look" cheap like other brands. I had initially preferred a weightier body, but I quickly learned to appreciate its light weight when I realized that I will frequently be using the unit atop my Canon camcorder with a Marshall V-LCD-MT Monitor Adapter 1/4" Mount Adapter To Video Camcorder Hot Shoe For LCD Monitors for independent video and audio capture.
The Built-In Speaker: this is a big plus. Although I prefer to use an external speaker at home (a simple Logitech iPod speaker), I wouldn't hesitate to rely on the built-in speaker when I need to use the recorder away from home and right out of my pocket. It actually turned out to be better than what other reviewers have led me to believe. The key thing to remember is that such devices are meant to capture the source of sound in near proximity, and that's one of the advantages of the unit's portability, that you can place it anywhere. The longer away from the source, the weaker the sound is going to be out of the built-in speaker. Capturing the sound of my son's violin playing from a few feet away, though, the built-in-speaker played back loud and clear even for my aging ears. In fact, I had to turn the internal volume down a bit. Even if the feature is a disappointment to you, at least it's useful in telling you whether something was recorded or not with immediate feedback.
The auto power shut-off function: for any portable devices that mostly rely on battery power, this feature is essential, especially for those who tend to be foregetful. This power saving feature allows the user to automatically shut it down at 3 minutes of idle time, or at 5, 10, and 30 minutes. It also allows the power to always be ON, if that's what the user prefers.
The unit takes either alkaline or NiMh rechargeable batteries. The manual even lists the specification on operating time using the rechargeable brand that I heavily use for my photography purposes, Sanyo's "eneloop," which is the best "low self-discharge" battery currently in the market. It retains about 80% of power even after a year of shelf-life without recharging, so going with this NiMh brand would save lots of money in the long run as opposed to alkalines. Just be sure to "set" which type you're using so that the unit can more accurately gauge the power remainder and display the status on the LCD screen.
I was also impressed by the fact that you can attach an External Battery Pack with the cartridge that holds 6 AA batteries. I use a similar external battery pack for my camera flash, and attaching one of these will give you forever operating time without having to worry about the power depletion and without having to rely on the AC/USB adapter. It's an optional purchase, though (reasonably priced), and it's not being sold through Amazon at the time of this review. This battery pack can be attached to the DR-07MKII from one side and screw onto a tripod on the other side -- a well thought out design by TASCAM. Although it's overkill for my current purposes, it's still good to know that I can add the extra power when desired.
The LCD screen also displays the time operated and the time remaining for recording. I'd be quite frustrated not knowing where I'm without this simple feature. Deleting files is just a click or two away rather than buried away somewhere deep down inside the layers of sub-menus. The control buttons are responsive and menu and submenu layouts are quite intuitive and easy to use.
Other than the auto recording and auto marking functions (I'd rather do manual for these functions), I also appreciate that I can resume exactly where I had left off after the power was turned off. I can also pause the current recording and resume -- using the same file without being thrown to the next file.
While the unit allows different ways to play back, such as repeating once or continuously, I found the function called "Variable Speed Audition" quite useful for musicians who can vary the speed of the playback without losing the pitch.
The unit also comes with 6 different reverb effects, each with varying degree from 0 to 20: 1) Hall 1 (bright), 2) Hall 2 (warm), 3) Room, 4) Studio, 5) Plate 1 (bright) and 6) Plate 2 (warm). It has been fun playing with different settings.
I was also sold on this particular brand and model, although it wasn't on the Black Friday sales list, because there's currently a holiday mail-in rebate of $20 (in effect until Dec. 31), which made the total price on the unit just under $100. To me, for any audio recording device, a windscreen is a must, so I purchased this, as well.
It was disappointing and surprising that the AC/USB adapter wasn't included with the purchase. You have to pay that separately, and it's not cheap. A windscreen is a must for any serious recording, especially in outdoors, but you'd have to purchase that separately, as well. Add about $40 for that, too. For a sensitive unit like this with the folding plastic A-B and X-Y cardioid condenser microphone, a case would have been a nice inclusion? No such luck. I'm not sure if you can buy one even if you want to.
You cannot use just any MicroSD cards if you'd like to expand the storage beyond the 2GB card that came with the unit. The list of brands that work with the unit is surprisingly very limited, and you cannot be sure that even the ones on the list would work with the unit, either. Kingston 4GB SDC4, for example, is on their list as workable. Nope, it wouldn't accept my brand new card. Considering that I've already received several "Error" messages with the 2GB card that came with the unit, I doubt that the new Kingston 4GB was a lemon. (I don't have any other electronic device that uses a MicroSD card so I couldn't verify its status.) So I just ordered another one to see if this unit would accept it -- but from the Best Buy, as they're willing to refund it at a local store if the unit happens to reject it.
Other than the aforementioned windscreen and external battery pack, investing in a compact and light weight tripod is a good idea if you'd like to make clean recordings. Since the recorder is light weight and relatively small, I found the following tripod during the Amazon.com's Black Friday Sale week that is perfectly suitable for it: Manfrotto 7322YB M-Y Tripod with Ball Head. (This tripod recommendation is only for small and light devices like the recorder under review and point-and-shoot compact cameras, and NOT for anything heavier like regular DSLR cameras and such.) With the built-in ball head you can swivel the recorder to any position. Once folded, it's so compact and light that you can take it anywhere with ease.
Because it's such a pain to screw the recorder onto the top of the tripod ball head each time, it's worth every penny by investing in a Manfrotto 323 RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate - Replaces 3299 (Black) with which to attach the recorder onto the tripod. With this set up, attaching and detaching the recorder to and from the tripod is a matter of quick snap on and snap off. An additional benefit of using this set up, too, is that the application of the rectangular Rapid Connect Adapter actually helps not only to protect the tripod attachment screw hole on the back of the recorder from stripping, but provides a nice, firm support whenever the recorder's menu button is pressed while attached to the tripod. I'm afraid that relying just on the recorder's tripod hole on its back to screw onto the tripod's thread with each use would eventually destroy the plastic screw hole.
For those of you who would like to use the recorder attached on top of either a camcorder or a DSLR camera by means of a hot shoe adapter, a great solution is the Marshall V-LCD-MT Monitor Adapter 1/4" Mount Adapter To Video Camcorder Hot Shoe For LCD Monitors in conjunction with the aforementioned 323 RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter with the Quick Release Plate. With all of these attached to the recorder and sitting on top of my Canon HG10, I didn't feel any undesirable, cumbersome weight to the whole set up. Although I don't own a video capable DSLR camera, I tried the same set up on my Canon 40D just to see how it looks and feels. Again, I loved the look and the feel. The end of the recorder didn't stick out enough to interfere with my forehead (while looking through the viewfinder) with either the camcorder or the DSLR set up. One great benefit of using this particular hot shoe adapter is the spacing between the units that is far enough to accommodate any fluffy deadcats or a windscreens without getting in the eyes of the lens.
DR-07MKII VS. Tascam DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder:
For anyone who's sitting on the fence between the DR-07MKII and the cheaper, earlier model, DR-05, as I've done, here's what led me to choose the later model: the price difference between the two is something like $30. So then what can you get for this extra $30 if you're leaning on the more expensive one? They're both just about identical except the following three feature differences: 1) while the DR-05 comes with the fixed A-B mic configuration, the DR-07MKII comes with both A-B and X-Y mic choices; 2) the latter model also comes with the overdubbing capability while the former can't; and 3) as mentioned earlier, six different reverb effects are built into the DR-07MKII whereas these are not included in the DR-05. For me it was no brainer that extra $30 was well spent. Over all, I'm very happy and content with the purchase decision.
The built-in mics are very sensitive, so when recording, I did notice that every little movement of the unit or button presses can be heard. The overall construction feels solid...the mics have a satisfying click when you swing them out into the wide stereo position. The battery life is decent. I have recorded over two and a half hours at the maximum recording capabilities using the batteries that came with the unit. My new child has also survived its first drop test--From the top of a booth at a bar onto a fairly hard floor (I decided to record some of my friends' drunken karaoke moments), a fall that it seemingly laughed off.
I have no short-term ambition to do any multitrack recording and just needed something extremely portable with decent audio reproduction. If you find yourself in the same boat, the DR-07 mkII will meet and--more than likely--exceed your expectations.
I have even used Bluetooth RECEIVERS in the Line In to wirelessly transmit digital music backtracks to the recorder. It took some fooling around with the settings, but the end results are flawless.
There is a full pdf manual still available online, which is nice because I long lost any documentation that may have came with this. I still have the original 2GIG card in there, never been a problem, and the battery life off a couple AA is pretty spot on. In fact, this has shelf-sat for a good long time, and there has been pretty much ZERO discharge, not a speck of oxidization.
This recorder is simply a solid piece of craftsmanship. After reviewing a newer, fancier recorder that had a great many disappointments, I couldn't help but appreciate what I purchased here.