Tascam DR-05 Review With Audio Recording

Uploaded by AibalReview on 10.05.2011

Hey guys, this is my review for the Tascam DR-05. So all the audio you’re hearing right
now, as in this actual voiceover, is being recorded by the actual unit. So I’m going
to start things off with a quick unboxing. As you can see it’s a pretty normal box
– nothing special here. As I dig inside, you’ll see two double AA batteries that
are included. That’s kind of a nice addition. And the actual unit is crammed into this Styrofoam
packing, which I’ll just wrestle free from the box. So, there’s the unit, and you also
get a mini USB cable, and a manual. I haven’t bothered reading the manual yet. I don’t
think it’s really necessary. The device is pretty easy to use, as I’ll show a bit
later. So the DR-05 is Tascam’s answer to the Zoom H1. The H1 is a really popular recorder,
it only costs around a $100, and I think Tascam just wanted to get in on the action. So here
it is, the Tascam DR-05. It sells for around $100 and has many of the same features of
the Zoom H1. So I’ll just show you some of the external features of the unit. This
is the side of course, it has a min USB port and a micro SD slot. They give you this 2GB
card free with the unit. On the other side it’s, yea, pretty sparse. You have this
hold switch and a line out headphone jack. So moving on to the top of the unit, you can
see where you can plug in an external mic. It’s just a mini-jack, so I don’t think
it’s that important, but, you know, it’s nice to have incase you need it.
So I’m going to fire the unit up for the first time. You’ve got to hold that power
button down for about 2-seconds for it to boot. The actual boot is about 3-seconds.
So all-in-all it’s about 5-seconds to get it going. I really like the screen. It’s
big enough to read, it’s backlit and it shows a bunch of information. So I’m going
to start right away here. I hit the record button, and it’s not actually recording,
it goes into a standby mode where you can monitor the levels. So here I am snapping
my fingers, just making sure I’m not getting any clipping. And when I’m ready, I hit
the record button again, and the timer starts going and it’s actually recording. So if
I hit the record button once more, it goes into a pause mode. And I hit it once more
and it’s back recording again. Real simple. So, when it’s recording, if I want to adjust
the levels, if my audio source, let’s say, is too quiet or too loud, I can hit the forward
and back buttons here, and, simply adjust the levels in real time. If I hit the plus
and minus buttons, this will adjust the volume. So if I’m listening to what I’m recording
with a pair of headphones, I can adjust the volume with those controls all the time. So
to finalize this recording, you just hit the stop button, and then the next time you record
it will start a new file. So that’s basically how you use the unit.
Those are the essential controls for recording and playback. Right now I’m just going to
show you how to delete a file. You hit the quick button, then you hit the play button
to delete, and then once more to confirm. It’s real easy to delete files right from
the main menu there. So now I’m going to show some of the internal settings, so you
can adjust, for instance, if you want to record in wave or mp3. You can see a variety of bitrates
it offers. It’s quite versatile. And when it comes to recording in stereo or in mono,
I really like the fact that it handles mono properly. So you’ll get audio coming out
of the left and right channels, but only one channel will be original. And this can double
the amount of time you can record to your SD memory card. So for something like this
voiceover I’m doing, I’m using mono, but for something else, like if I’m recording
live music, I would of course be using stereo. So here’s some playback settings. I don’t
think this folder, or this menu is very important, but it does offer you a simply EQ. So if you
have a lot of files recorded to your memory card, you can use the browser here, and sort
through all your recorded audio files and also sub-folders.
The unit has a built-in speaker on the back, that I’m showing you right now. You need
to enable it from the menu. And when it plays back audio, it’s super quiet. It’s a very
low powered speaker. You need to hold it up to your ear kind of like a telephone. But
it’s still better than having no speaker at all. If you don’t have your headphones
or something, I suppose you could use that speaker in a pinch. So now I’m just showing
some other menu options here. This is really neat. This is the chromatic tuner. So if you
have a guitar, or you want to check the pitch of your voice, you can just, you know, sing
into the microphone and it will show you what key you’re in. And I was just whistling
there, and it works just fine. So the last thing I want to show you is the system menu.
This is where you can adjust things like the backlight and auto-shut off so you can save
some battery life. You can even tell the unit what kind of batteries you’re using. And
the last thing here is the formatting. There’s a quick format option, you know, let’s say
you’ve got to get rid of a whole bunch of files at once. You can just hit that and it’ll
wipe your card. So when you’re in playback mode, you can speed up or slow down what you’ve
recorded, which is kind of neat. And the last thing I’m going to show you is how to mark
when you’re recording. You’ve just got to hit that mark button. It’s as simple
as that, and it’ll drop a mark. So I think that about concludes all the features
I want to show you. I’ve left some features out, but those are the main ones that I think
you’ll be most interested in. Here I am plugging in the device with the USB cord,
and as you’ll see it’ll give me two options right away when I boot up. I can either use
the device normally, and have it powered through USB, or I can go into storage mode and transfer
files off of the unit onto my computer. So I really like this unit, if you can’t
tell, I’m pretty impressed by it. For a $100, the build quality is very good, if feels
great in my hand, you can see it right there. And you see all these buttons? They’re all
within range of my thumb. It’s just like using a smartphone or an iPod. All the buttons
are on the face of the unit. You can see what’s going on and use it really easily. As I’ve
shown you, the menus aren’t very deep or complicated and the screen is very viewable.
On the back you have these little shock absorbers so you can lay it down on a surface and not
touch it and hit record and it’ll do a great job. As I was saying, with the design of the
unit, I really, really like it. It’s much better than the Zoom H1. The H1 is small,
it’s lightweight and for some people that’s what they need. But if those features aren’t
completely necessary, I would definitely get the Tascam DR-05 just on build quality alone
and easy of use. Using the buttons on the Zoom H1, they’re all on the spine of the
device (on the side) and I found it very difficult to manipulate. But with the DR-05, after about
5 or 10 minutes with the device, I felt right at home with it. Another thing that I like
was the big backlit screen of course and all the information is there, it’s easy to access.
As for audio quality, obviously you’re hearing my voice. I’m doing a mono recording right
now, and it should sound pretty clear to you, but compared to the Zoom H1, I think they’re
very comparable. I think with either device you’re going to be happy with the audio
quality that you get considering the price point that they’re sold at. Now the Tascam
DR-05 has been shown to record a little better from the low-end. A little more bass. So that
might be something to consider if you’re looking at both units. So anyway, thanks for
checking out my review, and I’ll see you next time!