Tascam DR680 recorder thoughts ? long sync ability ? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old June 11th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #16
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Ok, the video review is up ! judge for yourself how well it holds sync, and over all sound quality just recording my voice. something I missed during the initial test, I have my iPhone pretty close, and it didn't pick up any hits. I'm off to try the phone right on top :)


between this unit at $800 something and a 788T at almost $8k, there is nothing in-between. to make this unit ideal I'd want XLR's out for the stereo mix, a metal or metalized CF case, and maybe a couple of knobs on the front. if you could add a USB keyboard for take labeling, that would be great too.

*** for the price *** there is a lot to like, and you can't complain too loudly !
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Old June 11th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #17
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Nice review! Thanks for putting this up.

I still wonder, if you took away the extra tracks, how would this DR680 stack up against the Edirol R-44. Preamp quality being a big factor. I want to love this before I actually pull the trigger. I already know the R-44 is solid, but this dang 680 is really giving me G.A.S. with the extra tracks.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #18
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The pre amps are very good. I have not noticed any noise with them. They are as good as anything else I ever use from 2" tape Dolby to mini disc to numerous other things. The truth is I did not think about them when I set levels as I was very busy and afterwards with six tracks up including 3 audience mic's and high end mic's on acoustic guitar on a soft angelic singer, I still did not notice any background s/n hiss.

I record professional music and dialogue and they are quite good enough for me. I do notice noise though. My schoeps ccm 41 for example always sounds hissy to me. I guess it is compared to the MKH60.

Stick an sd552 infront of this machine and use the aes/ebu out and then you get all 8 tracks too. Cool in'it.

We would all have an sd788t if we could but this is nice for us mere mortals. Fun having all those tracks! 4 never was enough for me. I had 3 audience mic's on one channel via a double y split the other day as well as 3 other audience mic channels out there. This unit happily powered 3 mic's off one xlr too.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #19
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Right on Jimmy. That's encouraging to hear. I record live music, which totally covers noise, but I also do dual system audio for indi films. That's where I need the dead silence. And If I can have a little more assurance of quiet pres for 100.00 or so more bucks to Doug Oade, I'm more than happy to oblige.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #20
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Hey Steve the top data dial functions are available from the front panel now with the firmware update that has been out a good month or so.


It's the firmware upgrade that adds mp3 recording. It also allows you to do a few other arming things whilst not in record standbye I think.
It's a sensible improvement and worth doing not just for mp3 which I never use but mainly because the front dial now does everything the top dial does except scrubbing.

Nice office by the way.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #21
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yes I did update the firmware right out of the box actually. I just got used to using the data dial. the one thing thats weird is that hitting enter doesn't lock in the value you are changing and return you to menu item selection. you have to hit the < button. hope that gets fixed.

the preamps are pretty quiet. if you turn on the low switch for mic input, then turn up the level to get back a good level, you will hear the hiss.

another thing is that when just using the headphones / making a stereo mix, be sure to disable unused inputs because they will add quite a bit to the hiss... as would just about any preamp without a load on it.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #22
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Yeah I agree the that < navigation thing is a bit awkward. I've found having the recorder in the front of a Pegz 2 to be ok though and I can find most the top buttons by feel. I just pull it out and rest it on top to make changes to switches. By that time there are cables everywhere too so I'm not realy going to move much.

The headphone amp is a bit hissy, yes. It seems to jump up as you hit 2 o'clock. I've learnt to trust the noise to be only on h/p output but that is certainly a week point here compared to more expensive machines. I guess they missed that at Tascam.

I wonder what Doug Oade will say about this machine then. But in reality I know what I think.

cheers
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Old June 12th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #23
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One odd thing about this unit is there is no 88.2 sample rate. There's 44.1, 48, 96 and 192. For those wanting to record at 88.2 and do a sample rate conversion to 44.1, you can't.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #24
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I would assume Tascam's marketing target is towards ENG/EFP which normally works in the 48k realm.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #25
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Here's the first line from the Tascam DR-680 webpage.

"TASCAM's DR-680 brings multi-channel portable recording within reach of any musician for polished live, location and surround recordings".

There are a bunch of guys on the music sites inquiring about these things, just seems strange to not include 88.2, especially given Tascam's long history of making products for the music industry.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #26
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One welcome improvement in the 1.10 firmware upgrade is that the front "home/function" key now also activates the top menu key so you can access both menus from the front panel. (Press and hold the home/function key).
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Old June 28th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #27
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didn't want to start a new thread on this but anyone have one and using a mixer in front of it? I was thinking maybe routing outputs from a mixer to it to control the inputs since there are no value knobs for each track. Let me know.

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Old June 29th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #28
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It would certainly work to use a mixer in front of the dr680, but I've opted not to. While there aren't dedicated "knobs" for each track, the virtual knobs work decently. You can see on the backlit screen the level of each track. In fact, I'm starting to prefer the virtual knobs. Even in darkness, you can press the buttons for the various tracks and see visually what track is selected before adjusting the value.

If you are used to tuning mixer knobs by feel then you probably wouldn't like the dr680, but the functionality is there to adjust all the tracks. I personally bought the dr680 so i could run discrete tracks for each mic and minimize the amount of "mixing" i needed to do on location. I just need acceptable levels from each source and I'll choose how to mix them in post. If you are doing excellent mixing work then you can probably get away with fewer tracks.

For me, the only reason i'll put a mixer before the 680 is if i need to mix down even more than 6 sources, or if I want to take advantage of a better limiter/preamp. Thats me, though.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #29
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Thanks for that information. I would love the ability to adjust knobs(which I'm use to). I can't afford a Sound Devices 744T so I'm leaning towards an Edirol R-44 or Tascam DR-680. I will be purchasing one here soon.


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Old June 30th, 2010, 05:18 AM   #30
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744t only has 2 knobs, so that requires a mixer as well for more than 2 tracks. If you want a multitrack field recorder with a separate knob for each audio track, the roland/edirol is just about your only choice.

In case you didn't know, the dr680 uses a knob to adjust the levels, you just have to press the button 1-6 to identify which track you are adjusting. (sorry if that was obvious)

Lot of people love the r-44. Seems like a good recorder... if you can live with only 4 tracks. :,>
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