Zoom R16 vs. R-44 vs. R-4 Pro vs. SD 744T - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 29th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,054
Nice report on the Tascam DR-680! Sure beats reading specifications. And nothing like a hands-on review.

I was able to compare it to what I'm using, the Edirol R44. The main advantage of an Edirol R44 is having separate knobs for levels control.

I can't attest to the audio quality of an R44 compared to the DR-680.

As for drift, my own experience is the R44 drifts about 3 frames per hour (at 29.92 fps). An adjustment is easily made in Soundtrack Pro's "time stretch" feature without compromising conversational audio. "Time stretch" can adjust the length of an audio clip without altering pitch.

I can't vouch for the quality of recorded classical music that's been through the "time stretch" process as I hadn't tried it, and I can't say I'm qualified to make that kind of critical judgement.

The Tascam was drifting the equivalent of about 1.8 frames per hour. It's better, but still requires some adjustment to get a precise match.

Battery life on an R44, using four AA NiMH batteries, is about 4 hours. I suspect the Tascam might be able to run longer with eight AA batteries.

You'll want an external battery for longer, uninterrupted operation of an Edirol R44. This is where the R44's second disadvantage comes in: The jack for external power has the center pin assigned as "negative" and not "positive" as other devices usually are.

A tech support person with Roland couldn't explain exactly why it's that way except to postulate that it's because Roland's always done it that way.

So a word of warning: do not attempt to power the R44 on the same battery system as everything else. I made that mistake and accidentally fried the power input circuit on the R44. Power it with a separate battery.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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