Tascam have released two new audio recorders that should appeal to a range of users. The DR07 is a slim, simple device based on the DR1 that retails for just £179, while the DR100 costs £385 and has some features that will appeal to more professional users.
The DR07's features seem basic — the small front face is only big enough for a handful of controls — but Tascam have managed to get dedicated buttons for record, skip forward and back, stop, and play/pause all within thumb range. There’s an iPod-style jog wheel for exploring the menu system, plus an orange-backlit LCD that shows the input level on a bargraph meter as well as time, format and input-source information.
The DR07 has a pair of electret condenser mics on board, but an external mic can be plugged in via a stereo mini-jack socket and line-level inputs can also be fed into the recorder. A combined line and headphones output provides a monitor feed. The DR07 can record in MP3 and 24-bit WAV formats, and files can be transferred swiftly to a Mac or PC via a USB 2 connection. Power is provided either by an AC-DC converter or by AA batteries.
The DR100 is aimed at semi-professional users so has a more extensive range of features. In addition to the facilities offered by the DR07, the DR100 has dual XLR mic inputs that can supply phantom power, and there’s a dual-concentric knob on the side of the device to trim the levels of the two inputs independently.
There are actually four mics built into the DR100: a pair of omni capsules can be used to capture the general sound in a room, while a stereo set of unidirectional cardioid capsules can be employed to focus on a particular sound source. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charger comes with the DR100, but power can still be obtained through a DC power supply or conventional AA batteries, as with the DR07.
Tascam have also updated their ‘LA’ series of useful balancing and unbalancing accessories. The LA40 mkIII, LA80 mkII and LA81 mkII are black, not beige like their predecessors, they have signal-present LEDs on each channel, and the trim controls now cut or boost by 12dB instead of 6dB. For more information, check out Tascam’s web site.