As we’ve all come top expect, sound recording isn’t great direct from digital cameras and SLRs. Even some of the newer stereo microphones built into some 4K camcorders just aren’t up for the job. This is why companies like Tascam create external audio recorders, to improve the sound recording during filming.
The Tascam DR-60D MK II is an updated version of their popular MK I model, including a few more features its predecessors didn’t have.
The preamps on the DR-600 MK II’s preamps are absolutely superb. If you’re working with microphones that require more gain, then the settings will accommodate that with its ‘High +’ option. To set the audio recorder up is simple.
The device feels light, but i0ncredibly sturdy which is an advantage if you’re in the field recording. It’s made of metal and plastic which I felt was a strange mix, but it works, and the metal is in the right places incase you have an accident and drop it.
A nice feature is that you’re able to record up to four channels of audio at once, meaning you can create some true stereo sounds or even push it into some kind of virtual surround sound if you desire. There are two XLR inputs with phantom power, and also a 3.5mm jack input for things like Rhode shotgun mics.
You will also find a camera in and out so you can bypass the audio on your SLR or camcorder when recording video.
To mount the system all you need to do is screw it into your tripod. From there you can mount your video camera on top so you can have one complete setup. Alternatively, the red brackets on the front is for camera straps so you can keep the device on you in the field.
A downfall to me would be the fact it runs on four AA batteries, which generally last for around 3.5 hours depending on how sensitive your preamps are set. There is also an option for running it on USB power, but that means carrying around either your laptop or an external USB charger, which is just another bit of gear to carry. I would have liked to have seen some kind of built-in lithium battery.
For $199.99, this is definitely one of the best external audio recorders we’ve heard of, simply because of its excellent preamps. The Tascam DR-60D MK II is simple to use, and all your buttons required are on its face, so no fiddly menu systems to get lost in.