An interesting new product has been released by audio specialist Tascam in the shape of the DR-10C beltpack recorders.
They’re designed to capture 24-bit, 48kHz mono audio from a lavalier (tie clip) microphone and store it onto micro SDHC cards, making them ideal for recording quality sound to be later synchronised with the (poor quality) soundtrack recorded by your camcorder or DSLR.
This kind of dual recording is often used by film-makers when their video gear doesn’t have the right spec to capture decent sound, so the good quality version is captured separately and pasted in during editing.
The Zoom H1 has been popular for this kind of application for a while now, being cheap and cheerful but the Tascam unit is specifically designed for the job and boasts some useful features. For example, it not only takes the mic in but also sends it out again so that you can chain the device to a wireless transmitter for example.
That way you get the usual benefits and applications of a radio mic system but the Tascam provides a backup “safety” recording. It’s also pitched as suitable for weddings and TV documentary / reality show use, to keep a continuous recording of participants voices.
Also, it can record the same sound onto two tracks with the second copy at a lower level than the first – that way if there’s any over-recording (distortion) on the first track due to unexpected peaking, the second track should be usable instead. You can also switch in a limiter to prevent clipping and a low pass filter to cut out deep rumbles from the background.
The DR-10C uses a single AAA cell battery and claims over eight hours recording. Two versions are available: the DR-10CL for Lectrosonics and DR-10CS for Sennheiser microphones. Kits are also available for Shure (AK-DR10CH) and Sony/Ramsa (AK-DR10CR). The cost is around $199 USD.
There’s also a version to plug straight into the bottom of dynamic XLR reporter’s mics, labelled the DR-10X. Get full info at www.tascam.eu/en/dr-10c.html