The Tascam DR-100 MK II is a new and improved version of Tascam’s DR-100.  Although not perfect, I loved the DR-100.  Like its predecessor, the DR-100 MKII is a professional level, two-channel audio recorder that records up to 24-bit 96khz uncompressed wave files files to SD or SDHC flash media.  It has 2, high-quality, XLR-microphone inputs as well as line inputs, but it also has high-quality onboard stereo condenser microphones, pinhole omni directional microphones, it uses removable AA batteries as well as a lithium ion rechargeable battery.  This recorder is definitely the best microphone preamp for the money in the $300 range.  Here is a list of some of the improvements in the new model:

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  • Much improved preamps and internal stereo condenser microphones
  • Locking Latches for the XLR inputs
  • Digital I/O (S/PDIF Input)
  • Dual Line Level Output

Quick Summary:

Memory: SD/SDHC
Sample rate /Bitdepth: up to 24/96
Microphone Input type: External: XLR Internal: Pinhole Omni and Uni-Directional Stereo Condenser
Phantom Power: yes
Interface: USB 2
Cost: $ 329

Video Overview:

 

The DR-100 MK II has excellent microphone preamps resulting in professional sounding recordings.  I wish Tascam had added the ability to record 4 channels and to physically adjust the positioning of the onboard, unidirectional microphones and added the ability to record as a broadcast wave file (Each of these were included in the much cheaper Tascam DR-40), but the improvements in quality far outweigh the deficiencies. Additionally, this is my current favorite audio recorder  for recording dual source audio for DSLR video.  This is a sturdy, easy to use recorder that will no doubt give you professional recordings if used correctly with the appropriate microphones.  This is a recorder that I will definitely use for our center.

Here is a link to view the video tutorial Getting Started: Tascam DR-100 MK II

 

 

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Douglas A. Boyd

(6) Readers Comments

  1. Could you help me a little with some questions? I did an oral history interview for the first time with my new Tascam DR-MKII. Thinking the included 2G card might be a little small, I put in an 8G, hoping that I would have ample capacity and no worries about running to the end.

    Why did the recorder make two folders instead of just running on to the end on one? Is it because of the 2G setting–that it ends there at 2G and then starts anew? I looked for a way to increase it but that’s the largest setting available. Imagine my horror when I watched the counter start over, thinking it was over-writing the beginning of the interview! Anyway, would you say I should just have several 2G cards instead?

    Also, the playback is a very low volume, although headphones are better. Is that normal?

    Sincere thanks very much for any help and advice.

    • David, there is a 2gb file size limitation to the .wav file format. The carryover should be seamless and you have to “reconnect” the files on the computer later on. I bet you were horrified, indeed. I would still use the larger cards because interviews can go long and you won’t have to stop like we did with cassette or video tape. We call it “Stitching” when we have to string together the parts using software like Sound Forge or Wavelab or Audacity. Playback on all these machines is quiet on the tiny speakers. If it is too quiet when you bring it over to the computer, you need to raise your recording levels. Look at my tutorial on good recording levels. http://digitalomnium.com/digital-audio-recording-levels-tutorial/

      • Thanks. I understand 8GB sdhc gives me about 3.5 hrs. at the settings you recommend.
        Does that sound right? Would you go into your interviews with 8GB and feel comfortable or should I opt for even larger, like 16GB?

        Again, much appreciated.

        • I would bring a back up card just in case but interviews beyond 3.5 hours are pretty brutal on both interviewer and interviewee. No unheard of. The price of the 8gb cards is just so cost effective right now.

  2. Doug – I recently purchased the DR-100mkii and am happy with most of its features, but when recording with an external microphone MIC gain and adjustable pre-amps both need to be set very high, resulting in a lot of noise floor. Otherwise I\’m not getting loud enough decibel readings. Can you recommend a microphone for use with this recorder? I\’m currently using ElectroVoice 635A Dynamic Omni-Directional mics and wondering if I need something with a higher output. Many thanks for your suggestions, and making this excellent resource available online.

    • Patrick, the mic depends on the application. See my article here: http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/2012/06/understanding-microphones/. We use a lot of Lapel mics at the Nunn Center and I prefer using the Audio Technica lapels. Audio Tehnica Pro 70 works well for the price, the upgraded AT 831b is even better

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