Sound really really matters with movies. The almost literally unsung hero of the motion picture industry, great sound design is capable of making of breaking certain productions. The recent explosion of HD capable DSLR cameras has put amazing image quality in the hands of the average film maker. But these same cameras come loaded with terrible microphones, and it can be frustrating to watch beautiful images with unintentionally muffled sounds, background hum and unbalanced levels.
Tascam want to save you from all of this with the wonderful DR-60D. A 4 track solid-state recorder (outputting to an SD card) the DR-60D is designed to screw between your camera and tripod or onto your shoulder-mounted rig. High-grade HDDA pre-amps, and AD converters are housed in a durable yet lightweight structure that is designed with DSLR recording in mind. It’s wonderfully easy to record up to 96kHz/24-bit high quality audio straight to SD/SDHC media and sync it up to your footage in an NLE of your choice.
You get two 1/4″-XLR Locking Combo MIC/LINE Inputs, 3.5mm Stereo MIC Input, Camera In, Camera Out, Line Out and Headphone Out to play with. Everything feels great to touch, with reassuring soft-touch keys and whisper quiet dials so you don’t have to edit lots of awkward clicking noises out of your footage.
The real question is how does it compare with my favourite portable audio recorder the Zoom H4N? Well the Zoom H4N is a fantastic all-purpose recorder that can, with a little bit of willpower and jiffy tape do great things for video but is also handy for music, podcasting, and even works as a USB interface for computers. The Tascam DR 60-D is none of these things but the one job it does it excels at. Rather than a feeling of flipping between operating paradigms, the DR 60-D felt like an extension of my camera – a piece of kit that belonged in my ring and just kept it’s head down and did the work.
If you already have a recording solution that’s working for you there’s no compelling reason to upgrade – the Zoom H4N does a sterling task and my ears couldn’t discern a difference. But if you’re looking to build a new system or starting to take sound seriously – and especially if you want a dedicated camera set up the DR60-D is “the business” and I fully expect it to become a standard piece of kit on sets in the months to come.
Out now for £300