PRO AUDIO
Taylor

Taylor
May 3, 2011

Portable Recorders Are Awesome: Tascam DR-07 MkII


Portable digital recorders are everywhere these days. The manufacturers of these handy little devices are comparable to the overall standard of quality you can expect from the various other recording products sold by a particular company. Tascam has always been know for making very affordable recording equipment but without compromising a very basic standard of quality. The Tascam DR-07 mkii is no exception. This device will run you considerably less than most other portable recorders but that’s only because they have simplified the recorder for those out there that just want a quality audio recording. Instead of cluttering the interface with pages, menus, and a whole lot of effects, Tascam has made it easier to navigate the various functions on the DR-07 mkii. It records in 24 bit/96k, uses micro SD for storage and mini USB for transferring files, has the option for an external 1/8th inch mic input, and the ability for both X-Y and A-B mic configurations.

Pistol Town

I took the DR-07 mkii out to a local pub and recorded a band from about 10 feet away and dead center in the room. I was impressed by how clear the audio was from the X-Y condenser mics. When I wanted to take a break from recording, the recorder fit easily into my pocket without feeling like I had a recorder bulging out of the side of my pants. The fact that I could casually record live music without feeling like I had to put the recorder in a safe place is awesome. The ability to fit this thing into a small pocket is what really sets it apart from other bulkier recorders of comparable quality. One limitation however was that I could not plug it directly into the mixing console without some sort of XLR or TRS converter for the 1/8th inch external mic input. This may not matter for some of you but for an audio geek like me, I found this recorder to be limited in that respect.

In addition to the ease of use and optional mic configurations, I really like the size and weight of the DR-07 mkii. It is thin, lightweight, and extremely portable. Again this is because Tascam has taken out all of the non-essentials like 4 track recording, built in effects, and replaced them with a recorder that allows for a no hassle ease of use. If you are in the market for a portable digital recorder that’s compact, affordable, and easy to use, the Tascam DR-07 mkii should be on your list.

SLAM!!

Transcript:

What’s going on? This is Taylor with unisquared.com and today we’re talking portable digital recorders. Now you guys have been asking a lot of questions about which portable digital recorder to get. These things are great for the audio guy on the go, who doesn’t want to deal with all the cables and wires or audio setup, and it gets a quality audio recording. Now there’s a lot of different ones out there, and they’ve got different functions and price ranges. Today we’re going to talk about the Tascam DR-07 MkII. We’re going to talk about some of its functionality, the price range that it’s in, and run you through some of the special features of this recorder right here. Let’s check it out. If you guys are already familiar you probably already know about Zoom’s H4N. This is kind of the standard when it comes to portable digital recorders, it’s used a lot by independent filmmakers as well as audio guys on the go. It also allows you to record four tracks simultaneously, so it’s good for somebody who wants to have a portable recorder for different situations.
Now the Tascam DR-07 MkII is a little more limited in what you can do but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than they H4N. So it all depends on what you want out of your portable digital recorder. It doesn’t have any inputs for external mics except for this ⅛ inch jack right at the top. It’s also got the same XY mics that you’ll find on the H4N, but you can flip them out to AB. Why would you want to use AB? Well, AB is good if you want to capture an ambient sound in the room, if you’re at a show or a concert you probably want to keep it at XY, or if you’re recording a band you really want to keep in in XY and point it directly at the source. Now this uses microSD cards and comes with a 2GB memory card. It’s got a USB out so you can transfer all your audio whenever you want. It also records in 24bit 96K which is great top quality audio on this thing. And it records in wav and MP3 format. My favorite thing about this is that it’s a lot slimmer than the H4N. It’s got less depth and less width which makes it a lot more portable. Alright so I can imagine that you guys are getting tired of me talking about this and you just want to hear how it sounds. I get it, so we’re going to go test this thing out and show you how it sounds.
So if you guys are looking for a portable digital recorder without all the bells and whistles like four track recording, or external mic inputs, this is the one for you. I personally recommend this for someone who’s in the independent film industry who wants to record audio. It’s also good for musicians who just want to quickly capture some ideas. It’s also really good for journalists too if they want to record their interviews with this thing. Or if you’re just a music lover who wants to take this thing out for your favorite show, I highly recommend this for you. Now what this thing lacks in versatility, it more than makes up for in affordability.
So if you guys want to learn more about the Tascam DR-07 MkII check us out on uniquesquared.com. Also check out our blog on the latest information on audio and digital recording equipment. I advise you to check out our facebook and twitter page because we’re always posting stuff about contests and giveaways. Plus we just want to connect with you guys, find out what your likes and interests are about pro audio equipment. Tell us what we should review, and we’ll give you that review. Alright I’m Taylor with uniquesquared.com. Be you, be unique, at uniquesquared.com.

Comments

  1. Bryan Bowman says:

    great review…I’ve been eyeing a few of these and I think this review may have finally pushed me toward the Tascam!

  2. jeff pyle says:

    I want to use this to record EVP’s

  3. amy dendy says:

    I would say using it for a video job resume would make excellent use.With our economy today many need a leg up job hunting.

  4. Amanda Welling says:

    I play guitar and having a portable recorder is so nice to have around. Ideas and inspiration for guitar solos, riffs, harmonies, and other song parts come when we least expect. You’re not always near your home computer or laptop, to be able to record them. This is another moment when a pocket size, portable digital recorder will save the day. Get that lick saved and digitized, to be used later. Free up your mind to go on with what you were working on, without worrying about losing that important riff that just came to you.

  5. Geoff says:

    I would like to use it to record the all-staff meetings at my place of business. Then I could play it back on those sleepless nights when I’m afflicted with insomnia – snooze town, next stop!

  6. Kirk T says:

    diggin for samples with a portable turntable and not even having to buy the records. ;)

  7. Jeff Ska says:

    I’d take the DR-07 with me into the remote Alaskan wilderness this summer and record samples of all sorts of wildlife, from wood frogs to grizzly bears. Back in Massachusetts, I’d take these samples into the studio and work them into a new, bangin’, electronic music track.

  8. Bryan Bowman says:

    I love mine for field recordings for ambient work and chopping found sounds into beats with really short recordings!

  9. Jamal Michel says:

    A unique way to use a TASCAM digital recorder iz to record ur own personal songs nd use the USB for making a music video. Then u can post it up on youtube nd see how many hits u can get.

  10. RICHARD CARPENTER says:

    RECORDING MY BABIES MOMA YELL AT ME

  11. Tom Elliott says:

    I would use it to write songs (hobby) and think out loud about the sermons I preach on Sundays (pastor). I would also use it to capture people’s thoughts in “man on the street interviews!”

  12. Thomas says:

    Cool recorder. Could really use it in my songwriting endeavors.

  13. I love recording people – their stories – anything they want to share. So far my fav. story was told by a man who ran away from home when he was 15 to join the carnival. His story was so full of details his story did not end until it ended with him sitting at a table in a bar telling us his story. If you want to hear the story…here it is. (it was recorded using a Tascam DR-100) http://zombie-popcorn.com/?p=10688

  14. Chris Green says:

    If I was working a gig, and had the supreme scratch skills, I would have someone walking around video’ing the venue and the people there, then I would associate it with songs using Serato’s Video SL product and show people “stuttering” while I’m scratching. People — I hope — would be blown away by it because the video’s would be from that night, not some canned video from some other time. However, this would require quite a few things that I lack, turntables, a Serato RANE video SL thingie, nice MAC laptop, portable video recorder, ability to scratch, ability to mix, general turntablism skills, etc etc etc.

    Oh, and the ability to read the blog post properly, thought this was a portable video recorder before I started reading through it. Oh well!

  15. stacey dempsey says:

    my kids make whole movies , costumes and all ,scripts and sound effects ,they have learned how to edit and add captions, it is really pretty impressive, what they could to with this would be fun to see, look out speilberg

  16. Goldie says:

    Recording all the beeps and buzzes and constant chatter of the neo natal intensive care unit so that when my baby comes home he can still be surrounded by those sounds he’s grown so used to inthe last few months.

  17. Broden Penna says:

    Use as an extention handle for a Japanese fan so you can cool yoursf off when you realize how hot your getting drooling over the amazing TASCAM quality and power! also battery compartment lifts out to reveal TASCAM drool tray! now Cmon! that’s pretty unique! :)

  18. Kalvion says:

    I need this for those impromptu moments in the studio when I’m just vibeing or when we’re all in the studio doing something extremely off the wall. In addition it’ll be great to have ability to have a great vid and awesome sound literally in the palm of my hand.

  19. Daved Terrell says:

    W e used the prtable recorders built in effects for voice alteration in a production of the Wizard of Oz. I tproduced an amazing “Great and Powerful Oz” vocalization allowed us to loop several other special sound effects as well.

  20. Steven Flerl says:

    I’ve always used recorders during class to listen to later on for studying. I also used to carry one when I was out in public in case I heard insane sounds to chop or sample.

  21. Nick P says:

    Standing in the middle of a Vegas casino, in all the hubbub and slot machine music and cranking and sounds of money sloshing around, and hitting record.

    Some of the finest natural electroacoustic music out there!

    The checkout lane at a grocery store also makes for some surprisingly complex ambience. Working all these things into a bigger track of some kind is incredible.

    I love the fact that this thing handles live recordings well, too.

  22. I record elementary school bands with my portable, master the tracks then make CD’s to raise funds for our local school music programs.

  23. J Stover says:

    When it comes to programming beats and fills in my DAW, I can create a decent track using my MIDI keyboard to trigger samples. But the Tascam DR-07 mkII would be a great tool for producing better and more “unique” drum and percussion tracks: I would record myself tapping out a beat…fingers on the table, pencil on the coffee cup, etc. Then, I would import the performance into my DAW, extract the timing of the groove, and then overdub some professional drum samples, and BAM!…my own signature sound. Yeah, that would be cool.

  24. Jared M. says:

    So stoked on a stereo portable recorder, just started a sound design class in my program at Full Sail and would LOVE to have one of these bad boys to get sounds recorded on the go, take them back to the lab and layer them up for some hot new sounds to add to the library. Gotta love fresh sounds, What’s more Unique than creating your own sounds for production?

  25. Robert Volenec says:

    You know, what really p*sses me off is that after several years of agonizing decisions, (and home equity loans) I end up with a Roland DAW, and a Pro-Tools LE set up (of course, requiring a new computer and Glyph external hardrive) 3 sets of monitors and a plethora of rack processors, and now, I can get one of these and carry it in my pocket (actually, I’ll clip it to my belt-that is still cool, right?)

    If I had one of these, it would be my “go to” musical “scratch pad”-how convenient! Then I could replace my (cassette) Porta 02……….:)

  26. now I will kill for this baby ! but seriously the best use is for practicing and laying down some demo tracks

  27. instead of recording with a toy barbie karaoke microphone i would record everything live with this to edit it and make fun music

  28. Phillip says:

    Man, that is sweet!!!! Awesome review!

  29. Joe M says:

    I recently transferred audio recordings of me and my brother as infants from tape to computer, and there are some priceless moments of us playing together, killing invisible bad guys and giggling like girls. Unfortunately at the time we didn’t have anything better than a cassette tape recorder on its last legs, so the white noise and distortion spoils quite a bit of it. I still use the samples in my own songs though – no better way to personalise them. When I look at what you’ve got now (the Tascam DR-07) it seems suddenly so ridiculous to have ever used that old cassette recorder. The things you can do with something like that!

    Certainly the first thing I would record would be a discussion with my mum about her life, growing up, memories, so when she’s gone I won’t forget her voice. I wanted to do the same with my dad but unfortunately it’s too late now. Then I’d record drunken conversations with my friends, because the things people say when their inhibitions are firmly squashed by vodka are amazing. All of this would find its way into my music somehow (much to my friends’ disdain I expect) :) .

  30. BUZZ says:

    take one of those pocket recorders, stick an antenna on it, and paint it black. Put on a hardhat and get on a crowded elevator. As soon as the doors close speak into the recorder and say “This is Joe, I’m on my way up on elevator #2″. Then press the ‘play’ button with a prerecorded message that says “Elevator TWO???!! We haven’t even repaired the cables on it yet – GET OFF AT THE NEXT FLOOR!!!” and then don’t answer anyone’s questions in the elevator, just quickly get off at the next floor.

  31. Ted says:

    I was at a birthday party one time and remembered to bring my recorder along. There were a ridiculous amount of balloons in the room so I set the mic’s volume really low – what it ended up recording was only the sound of the balloons hitting the mic. Sounded like aliens talking!

  32. Bill Amouak says:

    i would love to see if i could finally use a recorder to make a song from grabbed voices… digital accapella…..

  33. Tyler Linke says:

    Sickk product. My friend just got one and I would use it to record the piano riffs I like from playing around on the piano and to later use in my beats. Also to record some freestyling for later use.
    PS also for those awkward, random, wierd conversations haha

  34. Diane Bassette says:

    Great gadget to have! I would love to record my son playing the drums and when my husband goes to a gig :)

  35. Steve Currington says:

    My use.. To record “found sounds?” around the city and about city life and then compose a piece using those found sounds and other materials for a composition about where I live.. I don’t currently have a field recorder so always have to borrow one when I need one for field work.. This device sounds ideal.

  36. Jerry Wilson says:

    I would like to have one so that I could do field recordings of unusual things that you can’t drag into a studio.

  37. Ben Davidson says:

    I am getting into voice over work and need to be able to record audition demos in mp3 format to e-mail to potential clients. In many cases the actual jobs are done this way and most v/o actors use mic/interface software/laptop set-ups for home recording. How does a device like Tascam’s DR 05 or 07 MK II stack up for this kind of recording?

    1. Taylor taylor says:

      The Tascam DR-07 MK II is a great tool for voice over recordings in MP3 format. If you are looking for an affordable solution for home studio recordings, I would recommend the Tascam DR-07 MK II.