Tascam DR701D – HDMI Triggered Audio Recorder For DSLRs

Japanese audio accessory maker Tascam has announced a newcomer to their growing family of audio recorders, the Tascam DR701D. We’re at Inter Bee 2015 and took a closer look at the new unit.

Tascam DR701D

The uniqueness of this recorder is definitely a feature that lets you perfectly sync with the camera it is connected to by triggering the start/stop of recordings via HDMI connection.

I’m sure you will agree it is a very smart move from Tascam to include such a feature as we all learned to hate pressing REC buttons twice (Not to mention the times we forgot to press the REC button on the audio recorder…) and sync audio and video files in post.

As a sidenote: I was very curious to find out if sales of external audio recorders had declined because of the latest development of DSLR and mirrorless cameras, that achieve better audio recordings internally. I was very surprised to hear from several sources that sales have actually increased!

The main features of the new Tascam DR701D audio recorder: 

  • Record 4 Channels + Stereo Mix
  • 4 XLR/TRS Inputs with Phantom Power
  • Dual Built-In Omnidirectional Mics
  • Stereo 3.5mm In for Stereo Mic
  • 3.5mm Camera In/Out
  • BNC In for Sync to LTC
  • HDMI In Can Receive Timecode From Camera
  • HDMI Out Can Send Audio & Incoming Video
  • Records Up to 24-Bit/192kHz
  • Mount to DSLR or Tripod

The new Tascam DR701D is already available for pre-order and expected to start shipping in about two months.

cinema5D at Inter BEE 2015
Tilta Came-TV

Watch it on Vimeo

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Ed Mahoo Reply
Ed Mahoo November 18, 2015

HDMI Triggered,,, FINALLY! Awesome :)

Reply
Palmer Woodrow August 31, 2016

Micro-USB powered… USELESS.

 Alex Lindesay Reply
Alex Lindesay November 19, 2015

Could this work with the black magic video assist and canon 5D Mark iii? Outputting from the tascam to the video assist. Thanks

Alex

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman November 21, 2015

This looks essentially identical to the existing DR-70D.

Sonically and feature-wise, this is a decent recorder. In fact, it appears to be the only one on the market that isn’t ruined by some blunder regarding dual recording (recording a second pair of tracks at a lower level, to as backup against clipping). The Zooms, for example, ruined this feature by making it unusable on external XLR mics! WTF!

HOWEVER: The physical construction of these Tascams is PATHETIC. The entire front of the unit is a door that covers the battery and SD compartment. But… it’s not a door. It’s a chintzy piece of plastic that isn’t even hinged, and doesn’t slide to the side… it just kind of sits there, weakly snapping in place and dangling from the unit with what looks like a strip of tape when you open it.

But that’s not the worst: Unless you want to interrupt shooting over and over and over to change batteries (which this thing, like any other recorder, will chew up viciously), you want to power this thing externally when you can. But Tascam inexplicably made the DC power jack a MICRO USB connector. Not even a MINI USB, and there’s no strain relief or clip. This flimsy piece of shit is useless after TWO sessions, because the plug predictably becomes loose and starts rebooting the unit dozens of times a second. Are you willing to lose critical audio on an important shoot because of Tascam’s craven stupidity?

The power-jack issue RUINS this product. That’s not an overstatement; it comes after a year of use, and a good attitude toward what would otherwise be an easy product to recommend in a marketplace of field recorders all brought down by one design blunder or another.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman November 21, 2015

Yep, sure enough, if you look at pictures of the unit, Tascam has once again crippled it with the idiotic Micro-USB connector for power. And yet they manage to put full-sized HDMI connectors on there. Retarded.

 Zee Upītis Reply
Zee Upītis November 28, 2015

“In fact, it appears to be the only one on the market that isn’t ruined by some blunder regarding dual recording (recording a second pair of tracks at a lower level, to as backup against clipping). The Zooms, for example, ruined this feature by making it unusable on external XLR mics! WTF!”

Well, it kinda makes sense as unless you record the signal on 2 separate channels with different sensitivity, the only way to get a “backup” track is to actually record at the “backup” level and bring up the levels of the main track digitally, thus also bringing up the noise. The Zoom’s internal mics might be I don’t claim expert technical knowledge of this, so if I am wrong feel free to correct.

As about power, my Zoom H5 runs off the battery for more hours than I can count, are Tascams really that much worse? I am actually very interested in the HDMI sync function.

On a side note, Tascam is actually American company, bought by Japanese TEAC at some point, which is now owned by Gibson Guitar.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman November 30, 2015

“unless you record the signal on 2 separate channels”

Yes, that’s exactly what “dual recording” does. You get two files per channel, one at the level you set and one at a lower level.

Either way, it makes no sense to block this feature from any of the inputs.

As far as battery life is concerned: Are you powering mics? The Tascam takes four AAs, and powering a mic will drain that in an hour or so. Don’t have exact figures but I’ll try to track it; especially since the power input on my unit is now ruined.

Reply
James Clark August 31, 2016

I s it possible to explain the home screen as to the levels? How do we know whats peaking and whats correct audio levels? There is now colors OR numbers.. Thanks!

Reply
Palmer Woodrow August 31, 2016

There’s a square or something on the scale at -12, if I remember correctly.