For the past few months I have been lucky enough to review the Dr70D linear recorder from Tascam. Coming from a wedding videographer and corporate background I understand that you cannot really get by on just using the 3.5mm jack or XLR port provided to you on most DSLR / ENG cameras and a separate system is usually required to get the best audio for your clients.
So keeping that In mind we are going to give you a brief run through of our thoughts on one of the most feature heavy Linear recorders on the market.
The Zoom H4n has really had this category sewn up for many years however Tascam has always been there , think of them as android to the iphone, the android has a lot more customisation but the iPhone is popular with consumers and will just do what it needs to.
The build of this product is similar to most other XLR / Stereo recorders in this price bracket. It features a lightweight plastic construction, which is small enough for most run and gun kits. If you treat this product well it will last you many years.
Okay so the key features that set this unit apart from the crowd:
- Quality Preamps
- Customisable Dual recording on 2 Channels from (-1 to -12 DB)
- Ability to record X4 XLR Channels Simultaneously
- Built in Attenuation (no need to bring a pad)
- Ability to record directly into your DSLR / Mirrorless camera.
The amount of times Dual record has saved my team in the editing room is astounding, having 2 copies of the same audio with a -6 db difference really provides you lots of breathing room to really get your audio spot on.
Functionality of the system.
I am a huge fan of tactile knobs and big rubbery buttons and Tascam has truly delivered with the DR70D in this aspect. The menu system is simple giving you 8 main categories and submenus that will dive slightly deeper. I personally found once I had set this recorder to my tastes I rarely had to go beyond the buttons & dials on the exterior of the unit.
What I Like
- Dials and Rubber Buttons
- Dual Record
- Ability to power via USB
- Ability to Write to USB
- 4 XLR Ports
- Audio limiter to reduce peaking
- Large contrasty LCD
- Price Point
What could be improved on.
There are only two things that I would say may be more of a suggestion.
As I said this goes really across the board most audio recorders on the market having a plastic build and I would personally love something more metal and robust that I could be less careful with. Secondly I am pedantic with backing up audio on a wedding day as you only get one chance to get it right so I would suggest the possibility of a second SD that dual records just to be on the safe side of card corruption.
The DR70d is Tascam’s top of the line recorder for DSLR and Mirrorless use, it is an impressive piece of equipment that will allow you to get much higher quality audio than the preamps provided in your DSLR / ENG / Mirrorless cameras.
The Price-point of this product is very friendly for budding filmmakers and means you will only need to buy one device for multiple audio sources on a shoot. Audio is 50% of almost all video projects so you would be silly not to invest in a quality recorder for your work.