Tascam DR-680MKII Portable Multichannel Recorder

Tascam DR-680MKII Portable Multichannel Recorder

Tascam DR-680MKII Portable Multichannel Recorder

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Product Highlights

  • 4x Balanced Mic/Line Inputs
  • 6x Unbalanced Outputs
  • Records to SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards
  • HDDA Microphone Preamplifiers
  • WAV, BWF, and MP3 File Format Support
  • COAXIAL Digital Input and Output
  • Cascade Multiple Recorders Together
  • GANG Multiple Tracks Together
  • Supports Lithium Batteries
  • Includes Shoulder Strap
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Tascam DR-680MKII overview

  • 1Description

The Tascam DR-680MKII Portable Multichannel Recorder allows you to simultaneously record up to eight tracks at 96 kHz/24-bit in the studio or in the field. The unit features four XLR/TRS combo inputs with phantom power, two 1/4" TRS inputs, and a digital input for added versatility. You can use multiple mics to record live music, events, or surround sound effects. If you don't need the digital input, the unit can be reconfigured to record a two-channel mixdown of the other six inputs on channels 7 and 8.

For audio quality, the recorder features High Definition Discrete Architecture (HDDA) microphone preamplifiers, each with a differential amplification circuit that has been optimized for sound while providing an optional +48V phantom power for use with condenser microphones. The unit can record in WAV, as well as BWF (broadcast wave format), which stores the recording start times as metadata. It can record eight channels in WAV/BWF format at 96 kHz/24-bit (6 tracks + stereo track) or two tracks at 192 kHz 24-bit. Recording MP3 files with up to four channels is possible at 96, 128, 192, and 320 kbps. The inclusion of MP3 as a file format option allows for the efficient use of storage space during long recording times. Stereo and mono files are both possible.

The device includes built-in coaxial digital input and output (S/PDIF, AES/EBU) and six unbalanced line outputs. By connecting a mixer to the outputs, the unit can be used as a 6-track playback device. A built-in mid-side decoder allows for the use of mid-side stereo microphones, with the option of setting the 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 channel pairs independently. The decoding process is available during recording and when monitoring. Multiple units can be cascaded together to increase channel count with a common master REC/PAUSE button for all units in the cascade. A GANG function allows for the input TRIM, Pan, and Level controls of multiple channels to be grouped and operated simultaneously. The unit's compact and rugged construction helps resist external vibrations and environmental conditions while recording to SD, SDHX, or SDXC cards. A shoulder strap is included and the front features a built-in folding stand for tabletop use. The unit can be powered by the included AC adapter or by eight alkaline, NIMH, or lithium AA batteries.

Improvements From the Original DR-680
  • Improved audio quality
  • Support for SDXC cards which provide higher capacities and longer recording times
  • Take (file) numbers can be reset using the "Take No. Init" function for easier file management
  • Improved battery life now makes the unit last 150% longer than the original
  • Improved clock precision for tighter synchronization with video devices
  • Dual recording function for simultaneous recording of two files, one at -12 dB lower as a backup
  • Playback of multitrack recordings, such as those prepared in a DAW
  • Support for lithium batteries in addition to alkaline and NiMH
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC cards used as recording/playback media
  • 6 balanced mic/line inputs (1-4: XLR/TRS combo jacks, 5-6: TRS jacks)
  • 6 unbalanced outputs (RCA pin jacks)
  • COAXIAL digital input and output (S/PDIF, AES/EBU)
  • Recording/playback formats: BWF, WAV, MP3
  • With BWF format, recording starting times can be stored in files
  • 8-track recording at 24-bit/96 kHz (BWF, WAV)
  • 6 mic/line inputs and stereo mix recording or 6 mic/line input and digital stereo recording
  • Record MP3 files at 96, 128, 192 and 320 kbps
  • Record 4-channel MP3 files from 4 mic/line inputs (XLR/TRS combo jacks) or 2 mic/line inputs and digital stereo inputs
  • 2-track recording at 24-bit/192 kHz (BWF, WAV)from 2 mic/line inputs or digital stereo inputs
  • Digital inputs and outputs support double speed 96 kHz and quad speed 192 kHz
  • Sampling frequencies of 44.1, 48, 96, 192 kHz (BWF, WAV) 44.1, 48 kHz (MP3)
  • Quantization bit depth: 16/24-bit (BWF, WAV)
  • 6 channels of TASCAM HDDA mic preamps for high audio quality with 48V phantom power
  • Limiter and low-cut filter available on each mic/line input
  • Built-in stereo monitoring mixer for headphone mix and/or recording
  • Dual recording function allows two files to be recorded simultaneously at different levels
  • GANG function allows the input gain of multiple channels to be operated simultaneously
  • Pre-recording function allows the capture of audio two seconds before recording is started
  • Automatic recording function can start and stop recording automatically in response to the input signal level (−48, −24, −12 or −6 dB)
  • Even when multiple tracks are used, all recordings made at the same time can be managed as a single take/file
  • Track increment control allows a recording to be split by creating a new file at the desired point without interrupting recording
  • Up to 1000 takes and 5000 files can be recorded on a single card
  • Mark function can be used to move to specific points (up to 99 marks per take)
  • Wheel can be used to change the playback position
  • Repeat playback function
  • Panel lock function to prevent tampering
  • Cascade function allows transport control of multiple DR-680MKII units using a master unit
  • File name format can be set to use a user-defined word or the date
  • High-speed transfer of files to a computer using USB 2.0
  • 128×64-dot matrix display with backlight
  • Built-in mono speaker with 500mW output
  • Headphone output and level control (50mW+50mW/ 32 ohm)
  • Powered by 8 AA batteries or the included AC adapter
  • USB cable and shoulder strap included
  • Folding stand convenient for tabletop use
  • CS-DR680 carrying case (sold separately)
  • AR-DR680 case by Portabrace also available
  • UPC: 043774031573
    In the Box
    Tascam DR-680MKII Portable Multichannel Recorder
  • AC Adaptor
  • USB Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Tascam DR-680MKII specs

    Recording Media SD card (64 MB to 2 GB)
    SDHC card (4 to 32 GB)
    SDXC card (64 to 128 GB)
    File System FAT16 / FAT32
    Recording Format WAV: 44.1/48/96/192 kHz at 16/24-bit (192 kHz limited to 2-channel recording/playback)
    BWF: 44.1/48/96/192 kHz, 16/24-bit (192 kHz limited to 2-channel recording/playback)
    MP3: 44.1 kHz, 16-bit, 96 to 320 kbps
    Analog Audio Inputs
    Connector Channel 1 to 4: 4x XLR/TRS 1/4" (6.3 mm) combo jack
    Channel 5 to 6: 2x 1/4" (6.3 mm) TRS
    Input Impedance 2.4 kOhm
    Phantom Power +48V (+5%, -10%), +10 mA/ch
    Standard Input Level Low: -51.5 dBu
    High: -75.5 dBu
    Maximum Input Level Low: +3 dBu
    High: -21 dBu
    Input Gain 63 dB
    Line Input
    Input Impedance 10 kOhm
    Maximum Line Input Gain 63 dB
    Analog Audio Outputs
    Connector RCA pin jacks
    Output Impedance 200 ohm
    Standard Output Level -10 dBV
    Maximum Output Level +6 dBV
    Connector 1x 1.4" (6.3 mm) stereo phone jack
    Maximum Output Level 50 mW + 50 mW (32 ohm loaded)
    Diameter 35 mm
    Impedance 8 ohm
    Maximum Output Level 500 mW
    Digital Interface
    Connector RCA pin jack
    Format IEC60958-3(S/PDIF)

    Single: 44.1/ 48 kHz
    Double: 96 kHz
    Quad: 192 kHz
    Level 0.5 Vp-p typical
    Output Impedance 75 ohm ±20% unbalanced
    Connector RCA pin jack
    Connector Mini-B type
    Format USB 2.0 High Speed (480 Mbps)
    Power 8x AA batteries(LR6)
    AC100 to 240V, 50-60Hz
    Power Consumption 8 W (Phantom power on)
    Continuous Battery Life Alkaline Batteries (EVOLTA):
    About 6:00 (Rec:2-channel, Phantom power OFF)
    About 4:30 (Rec:2-channel, Phantom power ON)
    About 3:30 (Rec:6-channel, Phantom power ON)

    NI-MH Batteries:
    About 5:30 (Rec: 2-channel, Phantom power OFF)
    About 4:30 (Rec: 2-channel, Phantom power ON)
    About 4:00 (Rec: 6-channel, Phantom power ON)

    Lithium Batteries:
    About 11:00 (Rec: 2-channel, Phantom power OFF)
    About 9:30 (Rec: 2-channel, Phantom power ON)
    About 7:30 (Rec: 6-channel, Phantom power ON)
    Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
    Audio Performance
    Frequency Response 20 to 20,000 Hz +0.5/-1.5dB (Fs 44.1 kHz, LINE IN to LINE OUT, Input Level=FS-1dB)
    20 to 20,0000 Hz +0.5/-0.5dB (Fs 48 kHz, LINE IN to LINE OUT, Input Level=FS-1dB)
    20 to 40,000 Hz +0.5/-1.0dB (Fs 96 kHz, LINE IN to LINE OUT, Input Level=FS-1dB)
    20 to 80,000 Hz +0.5/-5.0dB (Fs 192 kHz, LINE IN to LINE OUT, Input Level=FS-1dB)
    Distortion 0.007% (1 kHz, LINE IN to LINE OUT)
    S/N Ratio 100 dB (A-Weight, MIC IN to DIGITAL OUT)
    100 dB (A-Weight, LINE IN to LINE OUT)
    EIN -124 dBu or less
    Windows Compatibility Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    Mac Compatibility Mac OS X Jaguar (V10.2), Mac OS X Panther (V10.3), Mac OS X Tiger (V10.4), Mac OS X Leopard (V10.5), Mac OS X Snow Leopard (V10.6.8), OS X Lion (V10.7), OS X Mountain Lion (V10.8)
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 8.5 x 2.2 x 7.4" (216.4 x 56.0 x 188.4 mm)
    Weight Without Batteries: 2.6 lb (1.2 kg)
    With Batteries: 3.1 lb (1.4 kg)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 5.65 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 11.5 x 10.1 x 7.3"

    Tascam DR-680MKII reviews

    DR-680MKII Portable Multichannel Recorder is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 11.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice Sturdy Build/Not Happy With Phantom Power I have been using the Edirol R4 for over a decade and wanted to get an additional multi-track recorder for when we need to send out two video teams. We primarily use these type of recorders to pull line feeds from sound boards in theaters. We also like to feed hanging mics in theaters with phantom power. Unfortunately the first mic I tried to use phantom power with didn't work. I tried the Edirol R4 and it work no problem. Disappointed that for whatever reason the Tascam won't be able to power all types of mics with phantom power. Maybe I have a defective unit??? I have to call the manufacturer to find out.
    Date published: 2015-05-11
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dependable 6 channel portable recorder I have owned a DR-680 for several years, and jumped at the chance to buy the successor, the DR-680 MkII. Tascam kept the basic proven design and improved it. The preamps have always been good, but Tascam claims to have replaced the opamps and capacitors for improved low noise versions. The menu system has been revamped, making it easier to navigate, and now the display remaining time shows the time remaining for the entire spare space in the SD card. I would still like to see an option to record in wav64 format, to eliminate the 2GB wav file limitation, but the DR-680 MkII will keep recording in a new file once the 2GB limit is reached. All in all a solid portable recorder for multitrack live recording, and a worthwhile upgrade from the original DR-680.
    Date published: 2015-09-12
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent start. This is a good mixer for a one-man-band sound recordist. Heavy emphasis on 'recordist' as this isn't really a mixing board. With only one nob to control your channels it's impossible to properly mix most setups, which is ok. The ability to ISO record is a huge plus for post work. This recorder is, however, a great example of 'getting what you pay for'. The sound is fine overall so that isn't an issue, but the meters aren't very reliable. That, and it's not easy to get a decent level in the mixdown unless you've have at least 4 tracks contributing. Good for beginners as it's almost impossible to over-modulate the mix channel but it does get a little frustrating at times. Downsides to the machine are the inability to change a channels polarity, the inability to change how a track is limited (basically its either limited or it's not. You aren't able to control the threshold or knee). There are only 3 level indicators and the space between unity and -16 is so small that you really can't tell where the peaks are landing. You really have to trust your ears, which for a beginner isn't a back exercise. It gets the job done well for the price and, all things considered, the battery life isn't that bad (as long as you don't use phantom power). I've gotten it to record for 4 hours straight on AA batteries alone which can easily translate to a full day of production depending on how it's set up. It's a good machine for a single operator trying to get used to how sound works but not so much for a team or for advanced mixers.
    Date published: 2015-09-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Portable Recorder! I bought this 6 channel Tascam to replace my old 4 channel Edirol R4. I do live music recording for a band & need to multi track record different sources. My Edirol R4 had undergone a transparency mod so it produced a very low self-noise. I purchased the Tascam after reading that the mkII had been modified by Tascam to be a low self-noise unit. I have yet to do any side by side comparisons. I made my decision after reading a previous reviewer that compared the Tascam to a Sound Devices 722. That sold me. I have used this unit live 1 time so far. I did a 6 channel recording using 2 mics on stage, 2 mics in the back of house, & a stereo SBD feed. This unit performed great. My audio that was recorded sounded excellent! You can't beat the price point for this unit over the Edirol or Sound Devices products.
    Date published: 2016-11-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprisingly... Great! I know, right? Let me start out by saying I do not usually write reviews. I do read them though, a lot! After all the research, time and money I put into assembling my audio bag, I felt almost guilty not writing one. It took me six months of trial and error to finally master this setup so... You're welcome.First, look at my Pros and Cons list. Secondly, let's not compare this to Sound Devices or Zaxcom because TASCAM will lose every time. This mixer is not just hundreds but thousands of dollars cheaper so really what did you expect? After saying that, I truly love my DR680MKii! I couldn't have made a better decision to buy it as I am currently working on quite a few medium size budget projects. Also, having a great mic like a MKH-416 definitely improves this unit's results.Best Pro: DUAL RECORD! For example, you recorded a little too hot on Input 1 and it clipped. Don't worry with Dual Record active, Input 1's signal was ALSO recorded onto Input 2 BUT at -10dB less than Input 1. If it is a really unpredictable shoot, throw a limiter on Input 2. I agree it's no NeverClip but I got rent to pay man!Worst Con: No ENG Bags Available. Porta Brace makes a specific one but where do I keep all my wireless lavs?! And don't get me started on TASCAM's bag. Luckily I found a great alternative. More on that below.Recommended Accessories:1. Anker 2nd Gen Astro Pro2 20000mAh 4-Port Aluminum Portable Charger. With this battery at 12v, I can get 30 hours of power to my DR-680MKii with Phantom Power on ALL SIX CHANNELS! Goodbye batteries.******IMPORTANT NOTE******The multi-voltage cable will not plug directly from your battery into your DR680MKii. You need a DC Power Jack 5.5 x 2.1mm Female to 4.0x1.7mm Male Plug Cable plug adapter. I got mine on @ here for $ bucks... http--------------------------/371018798506?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT2. Porta Brace MIXER CASE F/AZDEN FMX-42 (BLACK). The recorder will stick up out of the bag about a half inch but I prefer it because I hate having to jam my hands down in bags to fix levels. This bag gives me an extra open area for my wireless lavs, XLRs or headphones and I use the pouch with the flap furthest from my body to house the portable battery and run the cable on the outside of the bag. Clean and easy.3. SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB UHS-I/U3 SDHC Flash Memory Card. I honestly cannot remember why I bought such a fast card but I do remember it was on the DR680's media tested list. Only $ on @ for 32GB and I've never been close to filling it up even on a long 14 hour day of shooting. Plus it's a great card to have when your DP runs out of room on all of his Black Magic cards.OTHER MIXER/RECORDER DIMENSIONS: (extra information I compiled that will help you find the right bag for the right mixer)Sound Devices 633...........2.2H x 9.4L x 5.6D Sound Devices 664...........2.1H x 12.6L x 7.8D Sound Devices 552...........2.1H x 11L x 6.6D Zaxcom Maxx...................2.0H x 7.5L x 5.25DZaxcom Nomad Lite 10.....2.0H x 9.9L x 7D Azden FMX-42A................2.3H x 9L x 6.5D Tascam HD-P2..................2.4H x 9.6L x 7.4D Tascam DR-680MKII.........2.2H x 8.5L x 7.4D
    Date published: 2015-09-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent field recorder The preamps in the MkII version of this Tascam are quiet and the audio quality is excellent. The 24 bit 192K PCM recording quality has a very analog quality, ease of presentation and wide and deep sound stage. The controls are logical and the unit is light and easy to carry.
    Date published: 2017-02-12
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Happy until The XLR connector became stuck I was very happy until an XLR connector became stuck in the unit, almost had to destroy the port to remove it. I ended up sawing off the connector, and drilling a hole to try to disconnect the locking device with a small flat screwdriver. It came out eventually by using a pair of "mole grips". I think by brute force really. The connector casing looked fine when it eventually came out. The locking port was not miss-shaped, it looked in perfect condition, other than the fact I had sawn it off just behind the screw. Now idea why it became stuck. Now I'm afraid to plug in another XLR connector in case it becomes stuck. I guess I'll just use 1/4 phone plugs in future with an XLR to 1/4 cable. The port still works with a 1/4 plug, with phantom power too. Other than that I think this machine is awesome.
    Date published: 2018-05-16
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Better clock, but locked up I have used the previous model for several years and have been quite happy. I bought this unit because of its advertised better clock, having had problems syncing video with the old unit. Differs from my cameras' timing by about 5 ppm, whereas the old unit was 45 ppm. But on the second gig I used this unit, it locked up after displaying a "file error" message. Seems to be finicky about brands of SD cards, where I had had no problems with multiple brands of cards on the old unit.
    Date published: 2018-05-21
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