Hands-On Review:TASCAM DR-1

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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.


Features & Specs

  • Portable, handheld recording
  • 24-bit/44.1kHz audio resolution
  • Records to SD Card media (1GB card included)
  • MP3 and WAVE file recording and playback
  • High-quality stereo condenser microphone setup
  • Variable-angle, A-B stereo microphone configuration
  • Powered external mic input
  • Switchable low-cut filter
  • Analog auto gain control
  • Long-life rechargable lithium-ion battery
  • USB 2.0 connection
  • Overdub function
  • Reverb effect
  • Tuner and vocal cancel features
Tascam DR-1