Improving location audio is one of the simplest ways to greatly enhance the overall quality of your productions. Exceptional digital audio recorders have dropped drastically in price in recent years, offering vastly improved field sound recordings. Tascam has been in the audio recording business for a long time and has an inclusive line of modern, hand held, portable digital audio recorders. Last week at AES I spoke with Jeff Laity, Marketing Manager, Tascam, about the DR-60D Mark II created specifically for the DSLR filmmaker.
Form factor is an interesting component in the design. Where most recorders mount on top of the camera, the DR-60D Mark II can mount underneath it. This keeps the camera LCD and controls front and center, as opposed to mounting the recorder on top of the camera, which can be a distraction from the viewfinder. The DR-60D Mark II’s LCD screen is not huge but importantly, it is easy to read, even in bright sunlight. Many of the controls are dedicated function buttons and knobs that are clearly laid out, lessening the need to scroll through many menus to get to a particular function.
Features include tools for location recording like a line out that feeds the audio from the recorder into the line in of the camera. The keys of the unit were designed specifically for quiet operation to eliminate handling noise during shooting. The Slate feature is designed to mark tracks easily while in production and assists in post with dual system sound. It should be noted, however, that this device does require external microphones. Some audio devices, such as the Zoom H6, are recorders that feature not only microphones, but interchangeable mic capsules as well.
The DR-60D Mark II is a compact unit that packs a lot of useful features. The DR-60D was introduced in the spring of 2013, this new iteration, the Mark II, has improved mic-pres now with 64 db of gain and a lower noise floor. The DR-60D Mark II, having no on-board microphones, will be a deal breaker for some. However, depending on your style of shoots and if you own a few mics already, this would be a great addition to your kit for less than $200.