I had a chance to check out Tascam’s new DR-701D mixer/recorder. Tascam also makes its predecessor, the DR-70D, a portable four-track PCM recorder that was created speciically for the DSLR market about a year ago. The DR-70D was, and is, a capable unit, designed to have a DSLR camera mounted to the top of it. The DR-70D uses a slate tone generator to mark the DSLR’s soundtrack and the DR-70D’s soundtrack with a slate tone, a simple way of marking both soundtracks with an audio sync point, making syncing sound in post much easier. The 701D costs double the price of the 70D and looks similar, so what are the differences between the two units?
The DR-701D looks as if it was basically constructed from the same design as the DR-70D, but Tascam has beefed up the housing, from plastic on the DR-70D to magnesium construction on the DR-701D. The main feature differences: The DR-701D can record up to six channels at once versus four in the DR-70D. The DR-701D boasts a unique HDMI input that can read timecode from the HDMI output of the camera (if the camera is capable of outputting timecode) and replicate that timecode on its own audio tracks, allowing for effortless sync in editing.
The DR-701D also features a BNC timecode input jack so it can jam sync from incoming timecode from a prolevel video camera, other audio recorder output or from a timecode generator. These features are unprecedented in this price range of around $600 retail.
The DR-70D maximum bit/sample recording rates are 24-bit/96 kHz while the DR-701D allows for recording at up to 24-bit/192 kHz, a much higher audio resolution for more transparent recording. Four TRS/XLR combo mic inputs can be individually recorded and mixed to a stereo track for a total of six-track recording. For additional tracks, multiple units can be cascaded together.
The Zoom F8 can record up to eight tracks, but it also costs signiicantly more than this new Tascam. In my experience, the Tascam pre-amps and recording sections are very clean for their price range. If six tracks will work for you, consider the DR-701D.