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TascamDR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black)
 
4.5

(based on 367 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (223)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (112)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (247)
  • Excellent sound (233)
  • Versatile (203)
  • Compact (197)
  • Low distortion (126)

Cons

  • Poor quality construction (17)
  • Unnecessary functions (13)
  • Difficult to use (11)
  • Weak (7)
  • Picks up background noise (6)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (167)
  • Professional recording (145)
  • Outdoor events / games (139)
  • Performances (107)
  • Home studio (99)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (205), Novice (52), Professional musician (30), Tech savvy (29), Gearhead (13)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Clean audio, versatile recorder

I love this recorder, but Tascam could have included some form of protection for carrying it, even if only a cloth bag. Looking around the internet I found that a Pelican 1040 case...Read complete review

I love this recorder, but Tascam could have included some form of protection for carrying it, even if only a cloth bag. Looking around the internet I found that a Pelican 1040 case is just the right size to store/protect the DR-40 and an Audio-Technica AT8202 attenuator.The attenuator is a must have if you are going to tap into a dj or band's sound, for their signals are often too strong, even when dialing down external input levels to the DR-40's lowest setting.My unit came with an older firmware, 1.02, but upgrading to the current 1.20 firmware is very easy - Tascam even offers instructions on their website. In all I'm very happy with this purchase.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Functional, a bit noisy.

Let me start by saying my expectations for this product were set high from everything I'd read. Probably too high given the very affordable [$] price. It meets my expectations 100% except for...Read complete review

Let me start by saying my expectations for this product were set high from everything I'd read. Probably too high given the very affordable [$] price. It meets my expectations 100% except for the amount of noise it induces. I got Tascam support on the phone and verified that what I was seeing is normal. To make a long story short . . . with the input gain all the way up (had to do this for several mics I own) the noise floor is around -40Db. With no mics even plugged into the unit the meters and Db display show a -40DB, un-steady, signal. The noise comes out easily using post-processing (Adobe Audition in my case) but I did not expect to have to do this.

Reviewed by 367 customers

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4.0

Works great, but...

By davidp0

from Smyrna, GA

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    I would use this as a recorder for voice over work. It works great out of the box, both with the built-in and external microphones. The only problem I've had is the mic cable I was using got stuck in the XLR mic jack on the bottom of the machine. Had to send this one back, but it's a great little device.

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    5.0

    Great option at this price point!

    By Timmy Tom

    from Santa Barbara, CA

    About Me Novice

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Low Distortion
    • Powerful
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

      I am using this product to record interviews for my graduate research. I works great. You can adjust the input level very easily. If you are recording outside in the wind, you should get the accessory package with the wind protector.

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      4.0

      Pleasently surprised.

      By Rick

      from Warwick, RI

      About Me Novice

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

          I'm fairly new to the game but ordered this to go with a DSLR for some hobby film making. Quite pleased. Right out of the box I dropped it,(yes, I'm that guy) and it survived unscathed. Popped some batteries in and after a review of the quick start I used the built in mics for a test recording, nice, clean, strong sound. If you can maneuver around a modern cable TV remote you'll have no problem adapting to this.

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          4.0

          Great portable audio recorder

          By eng_nj

          from New Jersey

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound

          Cons

          • Poor Quality Construction
          • Weak

          Best Uses

          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

          Great for a backup while working in the field. Good audio quality, easy to setup, easy to use.

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          4.0

          Great recorder

          By JulianQ

          from Savannah

          Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

          Nice pre amps for the Price. Love the dual recording feature.

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          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Depends what you want it for

          By Jim

          from Omaha, NE

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact

          Cons

          • Difficult To Use
          • Poor Sound Quality
          • Unnecessary Functions

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events

          Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

          This recorder is compact and will do the job if your goal is mobility in recording conversations, but like many small digital devices, it's very "menu" oriented, with way too many options. Very little is intuitive, and if you're over 40, it might leave you longing for the days of a simple cassette recorder operation. For recording music, make sure that you get (or have) a good set of monitor speakers, and even then, I found the recording quality of the DR-40 just not up to par on playback, even when using direct cable input instead of the internal mics. I eventually bought a Roland SD-2u SD Recorder for field recording of music and was much happier with its easier, more intuitive operation, build and sound quality. Yes, it cost at least twice as much, but for my purposes it was worth it.

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Not a true 4-track

          By jbahrphoto.

          from Aurora, CO

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Excellent Sound

          Cons

          • Difficult To Use

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Performances

          Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

          When buying the Tascam DR-40 I was expecting to have the ability to multitrack record music as well as have the ability to use the device as a field recorder for DSLR video. This device is very clearly a field recorder that has the ability to record 4 tracks of audio, but not in the sense that you can layer the tracks as separate audio files. At least not easily.There is a the ability to overdub, but to use this feature for multitrack music is cumbersome at best and limited to two tracks at a time. If you are looking for a multitrack recorder where you can record separate feeds of music, this is not the device for you.The DR-40 is a great field recorder though. I felt a bit misled by the advertising toward musicians. If you are an acoustic singer-songwriter, or you want to take a stereo feed from a board, this will do an amazing job as the quality was great, in my opinion. This device can record separate tracks, but aside from the overdub feature which is pretty accurately named as it is really only good for overdubbing and not multi-tracking, do not buy the DR-40 to record multi-track music.I do not think that this is a musician's tool as much as it is good for the following types of applications:Recording live performances (concerts, events, even class lectures or things like that).DSLR audio recording (record a separate feed at high quality)Interview recording (press conference audio).Field recording (outdoor sounds).To summarize, to call this a 4-track is a bit misleading. It will record 4 feeds to one track, but its use as a multitrack device will prove to be frustrating if not impossible.

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          4.0

          Nice little recorder.

          By Chip

          from Paducah KY

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Low Distortion
          • Powerful
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Sound design

            Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

            I've used my DR40 w/a Rode NTG2 shotgun and boom for film sound. Used the built-in mics to record ambient sound for sound design. The phantom power is nice. Simple to use. Works great. Sounds good.

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            5.0

            Tascam DR-40

            By LEW

            from Teaneck, NJ

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Powerful
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Headphones Needed
            • Larger Disk Needed

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

            This product is an extension of my thoughts. Lyrics, stories, rhythm lines that are developed during my travels can easily be kept on tape to later jog my memory. I take the device to bed. In the quiet moment before I fall asleep I often think of a lyric. I put it on tape so I can recapture the thought in the morning. This all helps with my creativity!!!

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            5.0

            I would buy this product again and again

            By asilveira56

            from florida

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                very good

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                5.0

                Does the job

                By Flash

                from Brooklyn NY

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Events
                  • Performances
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                  Pro recording…performances and diologue

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                  5.0

                  great lightweight portable recording

                  By Dave

                  from SOO, ON

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Excellent Sound
                  • Low Distortion

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Events
                    • Professional Recording

                    Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                    I mainly use this for recording musical idea's when writing but also for ambient
                    sound capture in the field. The on board mic's are good for the price. I also like that It is lightweight and small - perfect for throwing in a backpack or pocket to record in the field. The menu's and controls are fairly easy to work through (took me about a day to figure out all the workings). Also lasts a long time on battery power providing you aren't using it to power a mic. It would probably be good for podcast type recording also.

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                    4.0

                    Great recorder

                    By HikerMan

                    from Seattle

                    About Me Experienced

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Excellent Sound
                    • Low Distortion

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Events
                      • Performances

                      Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                      I use the Dr-40 for recording audio in outdoor adventure videos. It's great for capturing vocals as well as ambient sounds. I wish it had an 1/8" mic input as well as the two 1/4" and XLR inputs.

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      2 tracks with mixdown, great audio

                      By Cameraperson

                      from DC

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • 2 Xlr Combo 14 Inputs
                      • Compact
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Excellent Sound
                      • Low Distortion
                      • Phantom power

                      Cons

                      • Noisy In The Headphones

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Home Studio
                      • Nature sounds
                      • Professional Recording
                      • Reporting
                      • Vocals For Dslr Shoots

                      Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                      I bought this after buying one for my job in TV production for use when gathering audio during dSLR shoots. After a little research, I decided on the DR40. I liked it so well, I bought one for myself so I can noodle on my guitar and mix down a few layers later. It works super well, uses AA batteries, SD cards up to 32gb, and looks good as well.

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                      5.0

                      Great recorder but hard to use

                      By rmjphotog

                      from New York, NY

                      Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                      This recorder is perfect. It has all the functions you need and the audio quality is top notch. My gripe is with the menu system and user guide. The menus and buttons are so difficult to figure out that sometimes you just don't want to change anything in fear of not being able to get back to what you had before.

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                      (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      2.0

                      Loses files easily, pause/record problem

                      By David

                      from Chattanooga

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Excellent Sound
                      • Low Distortion
                      • Powerful
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                      • Poor Quality Construction

                      Best Uses

                      • Professional Recording

                      Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                      I have been using the Tascam DR-40 for 3 years and the DR-05 for three months. I love the quality of sound from the internal mics on both machines. Rarely do I use external mics now. But I am beyond frustrated by the need to hit the record button twice to record: first for paused recording, second to actually record. In bright light, both recorders' record-indicater lights are nearly impossible to read: it can be nearly impossible to know if recording or paused (if record light is blinking, solid or at all lit). Of course, even using headphones, audio sounds the same. I've lost countless hours of material, conducted entire interviews on paused recording. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Marantz' field recorders, which have a separate button for pause and record, but when I hit "record," I would like to know I'm recording.

                      The second huge problem is that these Tascams are terribly feeble and sensitive to jarring while recording: entire files are lost if the machine is bumped or tips over on a table. I've lost interviews to a subject's hand gesture, bumping the recorder while held as a mic in my hand.

                      I haven't found a way to recover these files. Without end-of-track write-out, they're gone. Again, I hate to compare to my Marantz PMD660 because the Marantz is so much bigger and has no worthwhile internal mic. They are in kind of different categories--I can't carry my Marantz everywhere the way I can these Tascams. But loss of files in both cases are very serious drawbacks and I believe design flaws. No amount of professional experience helps beyond a point. No matter how careful, the longer I use these machines, the more files and great tape I lose.

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Works great, but picks up interference

                      By S. Lewis & Son

                      from Boston, MA

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Compact
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Excellent Sound
                      • Low Distortion
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Events
                        • Performances
                        • Professional Recording

                        Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                        I've used this recorder on just about every video shoot since I purchased it, and have loved the sound quality on every shoot but one. I was shooting an interview, one which couldn't be interrupted or reshot. The interviewee's assistant was on her computer, tapping into the local wifi, and the recorder picked up the interference rendering that snip of audio useless. I had to loop the camera audio to cover those lapses. Didn't turn out too well.

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                        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        2.0

                        Decent recorder but fragile

                        By 21North Media

                        from Colorado

                        About Me Experienced

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Compact
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Excellent Sound
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                        • Poor Quality Construction
                        • Weak

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Events

                        Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                        I bought this to accompany my dslr to get good audio on interviews. On my very first job, 2 days after getting it, it fell off a table no taller than three feet. The screen cracked and now will not show any information. I have worked with the zoom h4n a lot and i have seen it take much more of a beating than this stupid little fall. I bought this because i wanted to try something different and it had good reviews, but it is a weak product that wont last long in the field.

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                        4.0

                        Audio recorder

                        By 3rdear11

                        from Charlotte, NC

                        About Me Professional Musician

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Professional Recording

                          Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                          Cheap gizmo to accomplish the task. I really wanted a Sound Devices recorder. But considering the environment and unpredictability of my upcoming circumstances I went with this much cheaper device. It's plasticy but functional. You gotta pay attention to it's slightly flimsy design but for the price it's acceptable. I won't feel so bad if it gets run over by a truck. It's a little noisy all things relative, but does 2 room tracks and 2 external tracks. I used it for the ambient and handheld mix. Still better than on camera audio.

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                          5.0

                          A Product must have.

                          By Tre

                          from Covington, Ky

                          About Me Experienced

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Compact
                          • Cost Sufficient
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Excellent Sound
                          • Low Distortion
                          • Powerful
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Amateur Recording
                            • Documentaries
                            • DSLR Cameras
                            • Events
                            • Interviews

                            Comments about Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                            I purchased this product to go along with the rest of my DSLR gear that I've purchased from B&H. We also use the Tascam DR-40 4 Track Digital Audio Recorder in my Audio & Video Production program at the college that I go to, so I well familiar with the functions of this product. With that said, this product is well worth they price I paid for it, plus since I bought this product in a kit, it makes great recommendations for this product even more so.

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