Tascam DR-701D Multi-Track Recorder Review by Curtis Judd

You may remember that last month in November we posted about the new Tascam DR-701D multi-track recorder, the next evolution of the popular DR-70D field recorder for DSLR shooters. The DR-70D successor has some rather intricate features such as the addition of HDMI In/Out, Timecode via SDI, design improvements and a few more interesting features. Not much has been seen from this new recorder recently, but just this past week, our good friend Curtis Judd from LearnLightandSound.com posted his review of the new Tascam DR-701D, which you can see below.

Here’s a Summary of what Curtis likes and dislikes about this field recorder:

Pros:

  • 4 x XLR inputs with good pre-amps – better than predecessor’s
  • Good build quality
  • Easy to read LCD screen even in outdoor conditions
  • Continuous gain knobs, rather than ones with steps
  • HDMI Timecode from Camera
  • Records a stereo mix in addition to 4 solo tracks
  • Can be powered by USB battery packs for hours
  • Decent price point at $599

Cons:

  • Not so great battery life (when powered by 4 x AA’s)
  • Limited is digital, not analog, cannot compensate for abrupt changes in volume and clips
  • Internal timecode clock drifts easily (with 5 frames in his test) when not fed constant TC
  • Menu is one long string of (18) pages, as opposed as separate sub-menus on separate pages

I really like Curtis’ reviews, his style is pretty straight forward and easy to understand for all of us wanting to get some solid info on a new audio recorder or microphone. At the moment I am in the market for a new external recorder having sold my Tascam DR-100 Mark II, which served me for over three years, but I feel I need to step up to a more serious recorder with more XLR inputs and advanced features.

Zoom_F8_Front

I think the Zoom F8 is great, but it’s out of my budget (it’s $1,000 – while the DR-701 is nearly half that at $600), and while I was considering the older DR-70D, now with the new DR-701D it seems that getting the new recorder is the way to go, as it has all I need – 4 x XLR inputs, a more flat design that can be easily mounted below or above my rig and also independent gain controls for each channel. The Timecode is a real plus too. I really don’t need the additional XLR inputs or advanced features of the Zoom F8, so for now the DR-701D is on the top of my list.

Do you guys have any recommendations? What do you think of the DR-701D? I’d love to see your comments below.

 

tascam dr-701d multi track recorder

Tascam DR-701D Features

  • Record 4 Channels + Stereo Mix
  • 4 XLR/TRS Inputs with Phantom Power
  • Dual Built-In Omnidirectional Mics
  • Stereo 3.5mm In for Stereo Mic
  • 3.5mm Camera In/Out
  • BNC In for Sync to SMPTE
  • HDMI in Supports Start/Stop from DSLR
  • Writes Time Data to Recorded Audio Files
  • Records Up to 24-Bit/192kHz
  • Mount to DSLR or Tripod

DR-701D Tested Camera List

HDMI Clock Sync, Start/Stop Trigger & HDMI Timecode Supported Cameras:

HDMI Clock Sync & Start/Stop Trigger Supported Cameras (HDMI Timecode Not Supported):

If you want to learn more about getting great Production Sound for Video be sure to check out Curtis Judd’s online course here.

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  • Marcus Wolschon

    The interesting part, I think, is when putting this beast between a GH4 and a Ninja Assasin.
    It embeds it’s recording as additional audio tracks into the HDMI signal to be recorded by the Ninja

  • Takeshi

    Finally Tascam made a compact recorder that has time code IN (not OUT!) I’m thinking of upgrading from the Tascam DR60mkI.

  • Gossett Productions, LLC

    One extreme disadvantage of the Tascam DR-701D is it will not passthrough a 4K video signal if you are sending it to an external HDMI video recorder. It will downconvert to 1080p. I confirmed with a Tascam operations person what issue I was having, and he confirmed the Tascam engineer told him the DR-701D won’t support 4K passthrough. He said they may have a new model coming out in the future that will support 4K, but could not confirm a timeline. My setup is with a GH4, Atomos 4K Ninja Assassin.

  • Gossett Productions, LLC

    One workaround if you encounter the same issue I did is to send video from your 4K DSLR directly out through the HDMI to the Atomos 4K recorder, then pass the HDMI time code and start stop trigger back to the DR-701D. Only con is you won’t get digital HDMI audio back from the Tascam DR-701D directly to the Atomos 4k recorder.