Tascam DR 40 4 Track Portable Digital Recorder
Is it the one For You . . .
The Tascam DR 40 4 Track Portable Digital Recorder is the best bang for your hard earned buck – it certainly has been for me! The DR 40 will be a workhorse for you too! Read on to understand why grasshopper.
I’ve Tried Several
and finally made my way to purchase one. Not the one I originally thought of though. This surprised me but looking back and understanding now that the quality of the recorded sound was driving my decision makes sense.
OK – you may think this is more of a sales pitch rather than a review and in some ways maybe it is.
I cannot stop you from feeling that way and I assure you that you are the most important part of LRT.
I am not that guy and LRT is not the place where I will push anything on YOU, my dear follower. I do not feel that is worthy of your time or mine.
So on we go . . .
So What Did I Buy
A Tascam of course – hence the article title. And I did not settle at all. I made out just fine and then some.
More specifically the Tascam DR 40. However I did like a few others. Which one is right for you – well that is up to you of course.
Why the DR 40
Simple – It fit my needs and has excellent sound quality.
My main reasons for selecting the Tascam DR 40 to add to my arsenal of equipment came down to price, size and sound quality.
I also liked the ability to record in A-B or X-Y configurations and the ability to record two simultaneous takes with one being at a lower gain.
The latter is very important to me as I like to go for the hottest signal possible and occasionally blow levels when capturing a live performance. With this feature, Dual Record Mode, I can set my level and the DR 40 will record an exact copy at a lower gain. Nice!
Though I haven’t used this feature other than to play with it the DR 40 has the ability to change the speed of a recording without changing the pitch. This could prove useful should you wish to see what a song would sound like at different tempos or to practice a hard part at a slower speed.
It Wouldn’t be a Tascam if
it didn’t have all the best multitrack and overdubbing capabilities.
In 4CH Mode I am able to use both the internal mics and two other inputs (1/4″ or XLR) to record 4 separate tracks. I found this useful at jam sessions to isolate instruments to later download to my DAW.
Overdubbing Mode works as described. For instance I laid down an acoustic guitar rhythm and while listening back to it I recorded a second acoustic lead riff.
Finally there is onboard mixing, effects and an instruments tuner! Sooo much to play with, typical for what I like to call the Pioneer of multitrack recording, a.k.a. Tascam.
Not at all, in fact just the opposite. I’d found more subtle conventions I savor about the DR 40 after I’d purchased it and become familiar with it.
The DR 40 accepts 3 AA batteries and they last super long time. I was impressed that my batteries still had a decent charge after running the unit continuously for 9 hours.
In fact I used it several times over the next several days to record bits and pieces of a song I was writing and the batteries held up throughout. I finally changed them just to be on the safe side.
The DR 40 uses SD or SDHC cards (full size not micro) which is a great savings over purchasing micro SD cards.
The Down Side
I wasn’t very impressed with the fact that the unit only had buttons and on-screen menus to navigate through. I grew up with knobs and love just grabbing onto one and making a quick tweak.
I really frowned upon the lack of old school controls at first. However, with a portable unit having no knobs is beneficial so I’ve found.
As I used the DR 40 in the field I became very aware of just how much I am handling the unit, moving from pocket to hand to mount and so on. This environment makes it way too easy for a knob to be inadvertently moved thus creating problems with my recordings.
I know now that Tascam was on the right track by keeping all the controls as buttons and menus. The buttons are very durable as is the entire unit.
Some specifications of the DR 40 from my user manual are as follows;
No matter which PDR you go with you will certainly find it very useful both inside and outside your studio. This is a must have and is even a great starting point for a beginning recording engineer.
I also have a Zoom Q2 HD which is OK for video though is lacking in quality audio and gobbles up batteries like mad – best case scenario I get about 30 minutes out of 2 AA batteries.
As for my Tascam DR 40 4 Track Portable Digital Recorder I would not be without it. I cannot find the sound quality, price and features with any other unit on the market. Leave me a comment below and let me know what PDR you have. Ask me your question(s) I will get back to you promptly, typically the same day!