Hands-On Review:TASCAM DR-1
High-quality, 2-track digital recording you can slip in your pocket
By Jeff Laity
TASCAM Marketing Manager
TASCAM's DR-1 brings portable recording to a size and price that make it a must-have for every musician's toolbox. It features a set of stereo condenser microphones attached to a unique rotating mount, allowing you to fine-tune the microphone position to fit your recording. The DR-1 is the first portable recorder to include a 1GB SD card, so you'll have plenty of recording time for long rehearsals, concerts, or record company negotiations. It's small enough to take anywhere, very simple to operate, and the built-in battery keeps working as long as you do (up to 7 hours recording MP3).
Recording on the DR-1 can be set for WAV format at 44.1k or 48k, 16- or 24-bit, for compatibility with virtually any workstation recording software or hardware. For even longer recording times, or instant web upload, you can set the recording format to MP3. In addition to the high-quality, built-in microphones, there's Auto Gain Control for setting levels and an Analog Peak Limiter to prevent distortion. There are stereo mini plug and 1/4" microphone inputs as well as a line level input to record a board mix.
For songwriters, an Overdub feature allows you to record on top of a backing track. Built-in effects and reverb help your demo sound its best. The DR-1 even contains a metronome and tuner for putting together tighter tracks. The best songwriters keep a portable micro-recorder with them for capturing ideas before they float away, but now even your sketches can sound like a pro record. The built-in microphones sound very warm and have a detailed stereo image.
The DR-1 contains features borrowed from our best-selling instrument trainers and is designed to help you learn new music. Load in an MP3 (or record a live performance), then loop a section with two key presses to cop the perfect lick. The DR-1 slows down playback without changing the pitch, so you can practice a section at half speed before gradually ramping it up to full speed or even faster. You can also change the tuning of your playback material so you don't need to re-tune your guitar to match a recording, or cancel the guitar or vocal part so you can play along.
For all the features in the DR-1, you'll probably stick to the one it does best – recording your music anywhere, anytime with legendary TASCAM sound quality. With detailed stereo condenser microphones, 24-bit recording, analog limiting, and an included 1GB card and rechargeable battery, you won't find a better value than the DR-1.