Tascam DR-680 MkII0 out of 5(0)
For those wanting to record and mix multiple sound sources on location, could the DR-680 MkII be the best tool for the job?
For recording gigs or capturing audio for small-budget films, a handheld digital recorder is sometimes all that’s needed. The best designs include XLR inputs and phantom power, and quite a number of them now are capable of multitrack recording too, but a significant drawback of such small devices is that they can only comfortably accommodate a few inputs, outputs and hardware controls. By way of example, Zoom’s H6 just about qualifies as a ‘handheld’ recorder, and it manages to include as many as six XLRs inputs (when an optional pair are attached in place of microphones). But when fully connected it becomes an unwieldy object at the centre of a mass of leads, and there’s simply no room in its casing for channel outs or very many hardware controls. So while it’s a very capable device, it probably isn’t going to be suitable for regular multitrack location recording.
Tascam’s DR-680 MkII, on the other hand, is too large to qualify as ‘handheld’. What it loses in compact convenience for less demanding tasks, though, it gains in other areas: in particular, it has plenty of room to accommodate inputs, outputs and function-specific buttons and switches. It’s still very portable, however, and can be worn quite comfortably using the supplied shoulder strap.
The DR-680 MkII sports four balanced XLR/TRS ‘combi’ sockets, plus two quarter-inch jack sockets, all of which are routed to dedicated recorder tracks. A further two tracks provide the user with the chance to record either a stereo mix of the six inputs, or an additional stereo signal received by a S/PDIF or AES3 input connector. Alternatively, the digital input can be used to run the recorder as a ‘slave’ unit, in conjunction with a cascade option, plus there’s a digital output for when it is set as ‘master’ and in control of a second ‘slave’ recorder.
In terms of outputs, there are six phono sockets, which are quite logically positioned on the opposite edge to the inputs alongside a USB socket, a memory card slot accepting SD/SDHC/SDXC media, plus the aforementioned digital/sync I/O. Signals can be monitored using a headphone jack on the front panel, just to the left of the small back-lit screen, or played back through a monaural speaker that’s hidden behind a grille on the top surface.
Near the speaker grille is an impressive-looking mass of 15 switches: six toggle the inputs between line and mic level; six switch the preamps’ mic gain between low and high; and the final three turn 48V phantom power on or off for input pairs 1+2, 3+4 and 5+6.
Fine adjustment of the input levels is achieved by pressing a Rec Trim button on the front, and then adjusting a set of on-screen virtual knobs one at a time, using the Value/Matrix continuous controller knob/button. The level and pan position of the recorded tracks are adjusted in the same way, using the same controller, but this time in combination with the Mix Pan and Mix Level select buttons. Although the screen is only 45 by 25 mm, the virtual trim, pan and level knobs are not unreasonably small, and the universal Value/Mark knob is an effective tool for adjusting them — Tascam have struck about the right balance between dedicated switches and virtual knobs for different functions.
Curiously, the functions of the Value/Mark knob (which include scrolling through menus and selecting settings) are partly duplicated by the combined functions of the data wheel and Enter/Mark button, which are both found on the top of the recorder. It’s easier to look at the screen and operate the controls on the front than it is to see both the screen and top-panel controls at the same time, so Tascam’s logic here is a bit lost on me — still, having a choice of controls is hardly a bad thing.
When the recorder is worn over the shoulder using its strap (or is cradled in the CS-DR680 weather-resistant padded case accessory), the front panel faces upwards where the incumbent engineer can see it clearly, so this is where the designers have quite rightly placed the Pause and Record buttons and their associated LEDs. Also included here is a row of buttons relating to the channels, which solo their feed when held down and can also be used to arm/disarm tracks, or ‘gang’ together controls. However, the transport buttons for playback are all on the top panel next to the 15 switches and data wheel, thereby making it a little less convenient to check takes when using the recorder in the shoulder-strap position.
Recording at 192kHz/24-bit comes at the expense of all but two of the record tracks, but if the sample rate is reduced to a more-than-acceptable 96kHz you can record to the full eight tracks, and there are plenty of other word lengths and sample rates to choose from.
To power the recorder, you can either connect it to the mains via the supplied adaptor, or insert eight AA batteries in a compartment on the underside. The review model came with a couple of two-pin plugs which attach to the adaptor, but as neither were compatible with UK plug sockets and I didn’t have a suitable adapter handy I used Eneloop rechargeable batteries for the review. Rechargeables were definitely a good idea because, very early on, I left the recorder in Standby mode by accident, and the next time I tried to do some work I found that it had drained the batteries despite lying idle!
Physically, the recorder loosely resembles the SQN range of portable mixers, and I’d wager that this is no coincidence — for over 30 years, the SQN-4 and its siblings have been regarded as industry-standard location mixers, valued by engineers for their rugged build, flexible features and tried, tested and refined layout. While the DR-680 MkII looks the part, and is certainly capable of carrying out similar functions to the SQN family, it’s not engineered to the same exacting standards. For example, the SQN mixers are designed to work at temperatures of -20 to +60 degrees Celsius, whereas Tascam’s design has an operating range of 0 to +40 degrees Celsius — clearly only one of these devices is suitable for those David Attenborough gigs in the jungle and arctic! But for most jobs, it’s fair to say that the DR-680 MkII’s limitations in this respect won’t be tested. Though falling short of SQN’s lofty standards, the build quality is not bad, and it’s far more convenient to have the Tascam’s preamp/mixer, additional channels and on-board recording facility all in the one box.
As its name indicates, the MkII is a modified version of the original DR-680, which went on sale back in 2010. visual comparison of the two reveals hardly any differences, though, because almost all the alterations are to the internal functionality. (This suggests that both the Tascam designers and owners of the MkI are already reasonably happy with the ergonomic side of things.)
Perhaps the most significant update is the introduction of a new preamp design, featuring Tascam’s High Definition Discrete Architecture (HDDA). The release notes state that the preamps are an improvement on the old ones and that a new op-amp and capacitor combination is one of the key design modifications. Similarly, the designers have changed the built-in clock oscillator so that synchronisation with other digital devices is improved. The ability to record to high-capacity SDXC cards is another addition, as is compatibility with lithium-ion batteries (the latter offering a 150-percent increase in operating times).
The remaining changes are OS-related, and will already be familiar to those who have used the latest generation of Tascam’s handheld recorders. One is the introduction of dual-recording functionality, whereby duplicate recordings of the input can be made, with one version 12dB quieter than the level you set —so if your recording suffers from distortion generated by unexpectedly loud peak signals, you have a perfectly captured backup. The only real downside is that the ‘safe’ quieter versions have to be stored on the other tracks, thus reducing the number of unique tracks. Ideally, I’d like to see analogue limiters on-board (rather than the current post-A-D digital ones) as an alternative means of prevention, for those times when it’s desirable to preserve the track count — but no doubt the hardware cost would greatly increase as a consequence.
The final improvement makes it possible to import multitrack files for playback. Given that the recorder has six outputs, this makes it possible to use the recorder as a portable playback source of pre-prepared mixes and sound files, perhaps as part of a stage setup or presentation.
Navigating the DR-680 MkII’s menus is a very intuitive process and doesn’t really require help from the manual. Admittedly, I’m very familiar with the Tascam approach, having used a number of their handheld recorders in recent years. Nonetheless, one of the USPs of the current Tascam product range is the ease of use that’s achieved via the provision of as many dedicated controls as possible (rather than lots of nested menus and multi-function controls) and by not including extraneous headline-grabbing features.
I’m not totally convinced that all the controls are in the ideal location, but the overall layout is pretty good — and to be honest, I’m not sure how it could be improved, given that certain features have to be positioned alongside the screen to keep them in view when the recorder’s hanging from a shoulder strap. So I think a good practical balance has been struck here.
What I would like to see, though, is a little more information included on the main record screen — for example, an indication of when a track has a limiter or low-cut filter applied, and also perhaps some more detail in the level metering, so that peaks between -16 and 0dB can be more precisely calibrated. As it is, the metering is no more than a very rough guide and things like track limiters are only shown when the Function screen is called up. (If there are any Tascam engineers reading this, it’s something a firmware update could easily sort out…).
I didn’t have access to a MkI to enable a preamp comparison, but I was pretty impressed with the quality of those of the MkII. Slightly disconcertingly, the headphone preamp is a little noisy when turned up high, but the actual recordings I made using a (very decent) large-diaphragm condenser were very crisp, detailed and not at all lacking in bottom end, as is sometimes the case with slightly cheaper handheld devices.
For me, the name Tascam is synonymous with decent-sounding, easy-to-use, straightforward gear, and it’s a view that has only been fortified by my time with the DR-680 MkII. Sure I’d have liked it to run on fewer batteries, have been given a cleaner headphone amp, and to have one or two more hardware controls, but these are minor issues; they’re by no means deal-breakers. I’m confident that good-quality recordings can be made with this product, thanks in part to the improved preamp design, and that surely has to be the most important factor of all. And, with a street price just a touch over £500, it’s not bad value for money, either.SKU: TM0005
TASCAM 6-track Digital Pocketstudio DP-0060 out of 5(0)
A perfect music sketch pad with built-In microphones for multi-track recording anytime, anywhere
Song ideas can happen anywhere. With the TASCAM DP-006, you’ll be ready. Jot down ideas for your songs using this professional sounding multi-track recorders. For extra battery life, you can add TASCAM’s BP-6AA external battery pack
A user interface that enables intuitive operation similar to cassette MTR
Easy to operate, just like a cassette MRT, with recording preparation achievable in just two steps after turning the device on. A high-quality microphone is already built-in, so there is no need for an external mic.
Each track has a designated knob so that users can intuitively operate each track without having to rely on the screen. SD/SDHC cards are used for recording media, allowing data to be transferred to the computer via USB.
A multi-recorder that anyone can use to easily record their song ideas
Adding the DP-006 to your production setup will increase the scope of your music production infinitely. The music sketchpad can easily accumulate ideas and will capture that melody line as it pops into your head, all in high audio quality, further enhancing your music production.
“Music Sketch Pad” – A Songwriting Tool That Anyone Can Use
Battery-Powered Compact Multi-Track RecorderSong ideas can happen anywhere. With the DP-006, you’ll be ready. Jot down ideas for your songs using this professional sounding multi-track recorders. For extra battery life, you can add TASCAM’s BP-6AA external battery pack.
Built-In High-Quality Stereo Condenser Microphones – For Easy On-the-Spot RecordingThe DP-006 has two condenser microphones built into the front of the units. Record vocals or acoustic guitar anytime without the need for extra equipment or set-up time. TASCAM carefully chose the best sounding microphones for our recorders. Modeled after the top-selling DR series microphones, you can be assured high-quality sound.
The DP-006 even includes a tripod mount for versatile set-up and placement.
Simple, Easy-to-Use Interface – Designed Like an Analog Cassette MTRThe DP-006 is optimally designed for on-the-spot recording. No unnecessary features were included that might complicate the recording to ensure easy functionality, and dedicated knobs make recording faster than digging through menus. Designed with Portastudio functionality, TASCAM’s POCKETSTUDIOs are the easiest songwriting scratchpads you can buy.
Ultra Light Weight Design – Carry It With You EverywhereThe DP-006 features ultra light-weight designs to ensure portability, weights only 13 oz. (excluding AA batteries)
Tuner and Metronome IncludedThe DP-006 includes a fully functioning chromatic tuner and a metronome.
Two Analog Inputs for External Microphones and Electric/Acoustic GuitarThe DP-006 also equips two inputs with 1/4″ jacks, these terminals provide to connect an external microphone, an electric-acoustic guitar and a line-level device like a synthesizer. Cables sold seperately allow you to connect an iPad or other sound device.
Flexibility for Music Production
Record to SD/SDHC Card (up to 32GB) With High-Speed Data Transfer via USB2.0The DP-006 records to widely available SD/SDHC card media (4GB card included). In addition, it can connect to PCs via USB2.0 for high-speed data transferring. All song ideas can be transferred via USB or SD card readers to and from the units at any point in the recording process. Files can be used in DAW software for further editing and production.
Quickly Fix/Re-record Tracks with the UNDO/REDO FunctionFix performance errors using the Undo and Redo functions. Instant Undo frees you to try new ideas without worrying about erasing your last take.
File Import and Export by Wav FormatThe DP-006 supports file import/export by WAV format. Also, mono file and stereo file are available offering various advantages for example, at first, you import an instrumental song which created by a DAW. Then, your ideas capture by the DP-006. After recording, these ideas can export from a DP, you can be editing and mixing raw song data and recorded data on your DAW.
Track Edit Function (CUT, CLEAN TRACK, etc)The DP-006 provides editing features such as Clone track, Clean out, Silence, Cut, and Open√SKU: TM0021
TASCAM MIXING CONSOLE DM-4800 WITH EXPANSION CARD0 out of 5(0)
The TASCAM DM-4800 is the ultimate digital console for professional users who demand a flexible, 64-channel mix platform that configures to fit their needs. A “fat channel” strip in the center of the board provides instant access to 4-band parametric EQ, dynamics and aux controls available for the first 48 channels. Twenty-four studio-grade mic preamps provide enough inputs for a live event, and more can be added using expansion cards with external preamps. The standard compliment of analog and digital I/O is more than you’ll find on consoles costing three times as much, and a completely configurable 24-buss routing system allows you to re-patch the board at the flick of a switch.
TASCAM’s DM-4800 fits seamlessly into the modern recording environment based around a computer DAW. With a single button press, the Remote layer provides a 24-fader control surface for control of premiere workstations such as Pro Tools, Logic, SONAR, DP, Cubase and Nuendo. The optional IF-FW/DM mkII interface card provides 32 channels to and from a computer at up to 96kHz over a single FireWire cable. And the optional surround monitoring card provides downmixing, bass management and level control for mixing in up to 6.1 surround. No matter what your application, the TASCAM DM-4800 adapts to the needs of any professional audio installation.
The Tascam DM-4800 is their full featured, flagship digital console with enough input and output routing for large-scale recording applications, live-sound recording and more. The mixer features 48-channels and 16-returns for a total of 64-channels at mix-down. 24 input channels feature XLR microphone, balanced 1/4″ phone line and analog inserts for routing to external processors. Among the digital I/O are three TDIF ports for connecting compatible 24-channel digital recorders, DAW hardware, etc.
Eight channels of ADAT light-pipe, S/PDIF and AES/EBU connections are also standard. A flat channel strip section provides easy access to channel control such as, aux sends, compression, EQ settings, etc. All channels feature LED ring encoders for pan, aux sends and EQ; providing an intuitive display without maneuvering through a menu-driven LCD display.
The on-board dual effects processor provides TC reverb and additional effects. With features that include 64-channels at mix-down, 24-buses, 24 mic/line inputs, 16-returns, automation support for your favorite DAW software and internal TC effects, the Tascam DM-4800 rivals digital consoles at double the cost. The DM-4800 delivers the power and flexibility for efficient use in professional studios, project studios, live sound recording, production studios, etc.
Full 24-Bit 96kHz SupportThe DM-4800 features full 24-bit / 96kHz resolution without sacrificing channels or features.
64 Total Channels at Mix-DownWith 48 channels and 16 returns, the DM-4800 boasts a total of 64 input channels at mix-down.
DAW Software Automation SupportThe console features built-in DAW control of all major applications.
24-Channel TDIF ConnectionsWithout any additional expansion options, the DM-4800 hosts 24-channels of TDIF and eight channels of ADAT optical inputs and outputs.
New Channel Strip ControlsA fully functional channel-strip offers control over dynamics, EQ settings and aux settings without roaming through menus on the LCD.
LED Ring IndicatorsAll input channels feature LED ring indicators for straightforward pan, aux and EQ settings.
Expansion CardAdditional expansion cards are available for additional digital and analog connections including, AES/EBU, ADAT light-pipe, analog and FireWire connection to computers.
Flexible Bus RoutingSKU: TM0001
Loudspeakers ( Point Source & Line Source)
ACTPRO KR212 Line array +KR218 subwoofer0 out of 5(0)
KR212 double 12 inch Line array speaker KR218 doubel 18 inch subwoofer professional audioMin. Qty：4sets
Lead Time ：with 30 days
Production Quantity：1000 sets/each month
20′ Container Loading：1000 sets
20′ Container Loading：1000 setsSKU: AC0001