January 21, 2012

Tascam DR-40 – Portable Digital Audio Recorder – NAMM

Tascam are one of those companies that manage to re-appear throughout your career as a musician. In my life they first appeared as a Portastudio. Many nights were spent with this thing, piling tracks, bouncing down, piling more, cursing the fidelity of tape and it’s lack of capacity for regeneration, playing tracks backwards and passing out listening to my crazed creations. Years later, with the magic of sequencers in my life, the Porta-DAT entered my studio. I would use it to capture sequences using multiple synths and drum machines that I would track vocals or guitar with, then bounce to MiniDisc and add more, vox, bg vox, overdubs whatever. It sounds ghetto, I know, but you guys wouldn’t believe how expensive digital multi-tracking once was.

Well, Tascam are trying to get into my process again. The new DR-40 takes square aim at the H4N and seems poised to give it a hell of a run for its money. Coming in at a significantly reduced  price point, one might expect a reduced feature set. This is not at all the case. If anything, the DR-40 is upping the ante with some features- let’s look under the hood:

  • Handheld 4-track Portable Recorder
  • Built-in condenser microphones, adjustable to XY or AB position
  • XLR / 1/4” mic/line input with phantom power
  • Record the built-in microphones with the XLR mic or line input for a four-track recording
  • Dual recording mode captures a safety track at a lower level to avoid distortion
  • Overdub mode allows recording along with a previous take
  • Peak reduction automatically sets the ideal recording level
  • 15-hour battery life from three AA batteries
  • Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV/BWF or MP3 recording resolution
  • 2-second pre-recording buffer
  • Variable speed playback from 50-150% speed without changing the pitch
  • Adjustable limiter and low cut filter (40 / 80 / 120 Hz)
  • Built-in speaker and chromatic tuner
  • 1/8” headphone/line output
  • Playback EQ and level align
  • Stereo Reverb effect
  • Tripod mounting hole
  • SD/SDHC card slot supports up to 32GB media (2GB card included)
  • Locking Neutrik Combi jacks
  • USB 2.0 jack and cable for transferring recordings to computer
  • Powered by three AA batteries, AC adapter (optional PS-P515U), external battery pack (optional BP-6AA), or USB bus power

So, yeah, this is no slouch, especially when compared to it’s obvious competition.


  1. [...] a snippet of what this recorder offers so go ahead and read what Lonely Paul has to say about the Tascam DR-40 on his blog [...]

  2. [...] a snippet of what this recorder offers so go ahead and read what Lonely Paul has to say about the Tascam DR-40 on his blog [...]