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TASCAM Launches New Professional Flash Card Recorders (15/2/2010)

TASCAM added a clutch of new models to the most expansive range of professional recording and production products from any pro audio company at NAMM 2010.

TASCAM’s new DR-680 is a portable professional 8-track SD/SDCH flash card recorder, offering affordable broadcast .WAV file format recording to solidstate media at 24-bit / 96kHz resolution (6-8 track) and up to 24-bit / 192kHz for stereo.

Six mic inputs – four on XLR/1/4 inch combi mic/line and two 1/4 inch jack mic/line – feature phantom power and 60dB gain for use with high quality condenser mics; all mic inputs feature a selectable low cut filter and limiter. Additionally a stereo digital S/PDIF input is included, for full 8-track recording. Alternatively six mic/line tracks can be recorded simultaneously with an internal stereo mixdown (with discrete level and pan controls) for location playback; or up to four tracks of MP3 audio are recordable.

Cascading several DR-680s can provide lager multitrack configurations. A pre record function, auto record mode (triggered by selectable input level), mark function (during recording and playback) and edit functions are featured. Power is via (8x) AA batteries or the included a mains adaptor. Visual monitoring is from a 128x64 backlit LCD display.

17 years after TASCAM introduced the tape based DA-88 DTRS recorder, an industry standard in film, video and broadcast mixing and mastering facilities, it has raised the bar again with the TASCAM HS-8 8-track Compact Flash recorder. The HS-8 offers up to 4-track simultaneous recording at 24-bit / 192kHz and 8-track simultaneous recording at 24-bit / 96kHz with all of the advantages of removable, non-linear, miniature, solidstate media, making it an ideal upgrade for ‘stems’ mixing, surround mastering, and multichannel playback applications.

Accompanying the new 8-track is the TASCAM HS-2, a 24-bit / 192kHz stereo model, aimed at DAT based applications in production, broadcast and post applications; both recorders feature SMPTE timecode and RS-422, and record to broadcast .WAV file format with dual CF card slots for mirroring.

An internal mix function in the HS-8 provides for monitoring of the recording balance and can be recorded ‘live’ as a separate track. Both recorders feature a colour touch-screen interface to access settings and tracks, as on the TASCAM HS-P82 location recorder, and dual CF card slots are provided for data mirroring or continuous recording. File transfer to and from DAWs and Mac® and PCs is via built in Ethernet port.

The HS-8 and HS-2 are controllable remotely, over an RJ-45 connection, with the RC-HS20PD remote.

Also launched at the NAMM show was the TASCAM US-800, a lightweight multichannel recording interface for laptop production applications. Featuring eight inputs and four outputs, and six combi XLR mic/line inputs with phantom power for high quality condenser mics, the US-800 is spec’d with premium quality 24-bit / 192kHz digital audio converters. As well as six analogue inputs, there is a stereo analogue out and two channels of S/PDIF digital I/O; providing for 8-in/4-out audio, along with 16-channel MIDI, over the high speed USB 2.0 interface.

The new TASCAM MH-8 headphone amplifier is a professional quality 8-channel device, offering optimum sound quality and routing flexibility, for studio, stage and AV installation applications. Each of the eight stereo headphone outputs gets 250mW per side with three switchable sources available. Two stereo inputs can be shared to any of the outputs, and individual stereo direct inputs are available for each of the eight channels. Each headphone out can select any one of the two inputs, as well as the direct feed. A set of foldback outputs enables several MH-8s to be chained in a system.

The LM-8ST is a 1U-space rackmountable line mixer for installation, studio submixing, keyboardists, featuring premium build components and sound quality. Eight pairs of balanced 1/4" TRS inputs – switchable from +4 or -10dB – can be bussed to a pair of XLR balanced outputs, labeled ST1 and ST2/AUX. Pre or post-fader bussing is available for the alternate buss, and master output level controls and metering keep signals under control. A microphone input is also provided for announcements or performance.

New IF-AV/DM and IF-CB/DM interface cards for the TASCAM DM-3200 and DM-4800 digital consoles allow connection to Aviom® and CobraNet® systems over CAT-5 cable. The IF-AV/DM sends up to 16 channels to an A-Net network, allowing performers to mix their own monitor feed. The IF-CB/DM sends 16 channels in and out to CobraNet devices up to 100 meters away.

Also debuted was the DR-08 handheld digital recorder, featuring 24-bit / 96kHz .WAV or web-friendly MP3 format recording to MicroSD media. The built-in microphones have a unique mechanism to change the width and angle of the elements, allowing tailoring of the pickup pattern to best suit the recording. A pair of AAA batteries enables hours of recording to the included 2GB card, with high-speed USB 2.0 file transfer to Mac or PC computers. The DR-2D is a compact, affordable pocket recorder, with 24-bit / 96kHz .WAV and MP3 recording to SD flash media. A new stereo condenser microphone design has a 74dB signal to noise ratio and the Dual Recording feature prevents overload by recording a second track at lower level, ensuring that recordings won't be ruined by distortion. Variable Speed Audition slows down audio without changing the pitch and a metronome and digital effects are included, as well as an Overdub feature for sound-on-sound recording; all tailored to the practicing musician or songwriter on the move.

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