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Tascam DR-60D

Recorder/mixer for DSLR videography

Item # 850DR60D

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Our take on the Tascam DR-60D

DSLRs are great at a lot of things, not just pictures. Happily for all of you who are interested in telling stories with moving pictures, many cameras have become really good at making video that's truly cinematic. And this has started a trend: a new generation of artists are grabbing their DSLRs and making compelling dramas, documentaries, music videos, you name it.

Built-in tripod mounts allow the TASCAM DR-60D recorder/mixer to integrate with any DSLR shooting rig

Built-in tripod mounts allow the Tascam DR-60D recorder/mixer to integrate with any DSLR shooting rig.

DSLRs are amazing...

DSLRs are great at a lot of things, not just pictures. Happily for all of you who are interested in telling stories with moving pictures, many cameras have become really good at making video that's truly cinematic. And this has started a trend: a new generation of artists are grabbing their DSLRs and making compelling dramas, documentaries, music videos, you name it.

...until it comes to sound

But there's one thing that DSLRs have treated as an afterthought, and that's sound. By and large, the electronics used to record and process sound in a typical DSLR aren't very expensive, or very high-performance. And that's where Tascam's rugged, lightweight, and compact DR-60D comes in. It will handle almost any source typically found in location video recording with ease, and integrate both physically and electronically with your camera to provide you with the best possible sound quality for your production. If you've tried to shoot more than a few locations in one day, you know just how important that can be.

A cure for so-so, noisy camera mics

The Tascam DR-60D records 4 crisp, clean tracks of digital audio in industry-standard broadcast WAV file (BWF) format at up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution. It features high-quality, high-definition discrete architecture (HDDA) microphone pre-amps so you can get the best signal out of the microphones you own. Two XLR/quarter-inch balanced inputs stand ready to handle anything from phantom-powered condenser microphones to line-level production mixers. Dedicated camera inputs and outputs make looping a pre-mixed reference track to your camera a snap. And a built-in safety-track backup protocol saves lower dynamic-level versions of your captured tracks, just in case whatever you're recording gets louder by surprise and starts to clip your captured signals.

A form made for the demands of quick setups

The DR-60D features a rugged, lightweight plastic enclosure and soft-touch keys for noise-free adjustment during recording. The outer case also has tripod screws/tripod mounts so it can become physically integrated with the rest of your camera rig. And the LCD control interface is simple and straightforward, with minimal menu-digging required when setup time is tight.

Product Highlights:

    Special Features:
    • 4-track solid-state audio recorder designed for the demands of DSLR-based videography
    • records to SD or SDHC memory cards up to 32GB (no memory card included)
    • high-quality, high-definition discrete architecture (HDDA) microphone pre-amps
    • simultaneous 4-track recording with mixer controls built-in
    • dedicated camera out provides solid reference audio track recording on your DSLR
    • internal slate tone generator provides easy track marking and identification for later editing convenience
    • lightweight design features tripod socket on bottom and tripod screw on top for easy integration with camera rig
    • battery compartment designed for easy access while mounted
    • rigid plastic enclosure is durable and rugged while still being lightweight
    • dual mono/dual stereo modes automatically provide a padded safety track in case primary tracks have over-driven moments that clip
      • pad on safety track can be set between -6 and -12dB lower than the primary tracks
    • soft-touch keys eliminate handling noise mid-take
    • two XLR/TRS combo inputs support +4dBu line-level input and provide 48-volt phantom power if needed
    • channel 3/4 stereo minijack input accommodates high-output microphones
    • records linear PCM WAV files (BWF) up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution
    • powered by 4 "AA" batteries, BP-6AA battery pack (sold separately) or AC adapter (also sold separately)
    • frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz (+1/-3 dB at 24-bit/96kHz)
    • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 92 dB
    • total harmonic distortion: less than 0.02%
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • two XLR/TRS inputs for connecting mics, instruments, or line-level gear
    • 1/8" (3.5mm) camera input for sound monitoring from the camera
    • three 1/8" (3.5mm) minijacks for headphone/line out/camera out (for routing internal mixer output back to camera for recording)
    • USB 2.0 port (Mini Type B) for connection to a computer for file transfer
    • SD card slot for SD (up to 2GB) and SDHC (up to 32GB) cards
    • 5-1/4"W x 3-11/16"H x 3-1/8"D
    • weight: 18 oz.
    Supplied Accessories

    What's in the Box:

    • Portable digital recorder for DSLRs
    • 32" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 USB on other end)
    • Owner's Manual
    • Revisions in "Setting the automatic power saving function" sheet
    • Caution sheet
    • Warranty sheet

    Hands-on research

    Product Research

    General Features
    Recording Features
    Edit and Playback Functions

    General Features

    Overview: The TASCAM DR-60D is a portable stereo digital recorder that is designed for filmmakers and videographers. You can make high quality 4-track LPCM recordings for your videos, instead of the usually inferior method found in most DSLRs. The recorder includes a slot for an SD/SDHC card, two microphone/line inputs, and a line/headphone output. The DR-60D operates on four AA batteries (not included). The unit weighs 18 ounces (not including batteries).

    LCD Display: The DR-60D features a 1-3/4" (diagonal), backlit, monochrome LCD (128 x 64 pixels) which indicates recording and playback information. The recorder will display the elapsed or remaining recording time in hours, minutes, and seconds.

    Mounting: The DR-60D has a standard 1/4" threaded socket on the bottom for mounting the unit on a tripod. A pin hole is provided for use with video tripods as well. There is also a DSLR attachment bracket on the top with a 1/4" tripod screw and thumbwheel for tightening. The bracket's four attachment screws can be removed with a coin or other object if you wish to detach the DSLR bracket from the recorder.

    Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock. If you have set the time and date, information as to when a sound file was recorded is stored automatically with that file.

    Mic/Ext Inputs: Located on the side of the unit are two inputs for connecting external mics or an external device. These balanced analog inputs have locking XLR/TRS combo jacks, which can accept 3-pin XLR or standard 1/4" plugs. If the external microphone requires plug-in power, the DR-60D can be set to provide +24V or +48V of phantom power. The levels for these inputs can be adjusted independently.

    3-4 Input: In addition to the 1/L and 2/R inputs, the DR-60D has a single 3.5mm input marked "3-4." This is a stereo input for connecting a stereo microphone or stereo line level source. The 3-4 input has an independent level control and peak indicator, and can provide plug-in power, if necessary.

    Camera In/Out: The DR-60D has separate Camera In and Camera Out jacks for connecting the unit to a DSLR. You should use standard 3.5mm stereo mini plug cables to connect them. If you want to send high quality audio from the DR-60D to the camera, you can connect the Camera Out jack to the external mic input on the camera. A rotary volume control is provided on the Camera Out jack to adjust the level output to the camera. If you would like to input audio from the camera and monitor it with the DR-60D, you should connect the Camera In jack with the audio output jack on the camera.

    Delay Function: If the microphones (channels 1/2 and channels 3/4) are far apart from each other, a time delay could occur when recording. The Delay setting can eliminate this time delay during recording. The delay time can be set between 0ms and +/-150ms in 1ms increments.

    Low Cut Filter: The device features a low-cut filter that can be engaged to reduce noise, such as wind noise, during recording. The cut-off frequency can be set to 40 Hz, 80 Hz, or 120 Hz.

    SD Card Slot: The DR-60D Digital Recorder features a slot for inserting an SD card. The recorder is compatible with SD cards from 64 MB to 2 GB, or SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB in size. No memory card is included with this unit. The maximum recording time for SD cards is as follows:

    Recording SettingRecording Capacity
    2 GB4 GB8 GB
    16-bit Stereo
    24-bit Stereo

    Formatting Memory Cards: Memory cards can be formatted in the unit to prepare them for use. You can choose a quick format, which erases all music files on the card and automatically creates new Music and Utility folders, as well as the DR-1.sys file that is necessary to use the card with the unit. Full formatting checks the memory for errors while formatting, and takes longer to complete than quick formatting.

    USB: The DR-60D has a Mini-B 2.0 (High speed) USB port on the side for connecting the recorder to your computer for transferring files or for providing USB bus power. A short USB cable is provided with the unit. With the optional TASCAM PS-P515U AC adapter (which plugs into the USB port), you can operate the unit on ordinary household current. The DR-60D is compatible with the following Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X 10.2-10.8.

    Headphone/Line Out Jacks: The DR-60D has separate 3.5mm stereo jacks for plugging in a pair of headphones, and for connecting to an external device or a powered monitor. Each of the outputs have rotary volume controls (0-10). You can listen to files played back or monitor the recording as it is made.

    Hold Switch: The recorder features a hold switch, which makes all buttons inoperable when it is engaged. This helps to prevent unwanted operations.

    Battery Power: The recorder is powered by four "AA" batteries. You can use either alkaline or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable batteries. Alkaline batteries provide approximately 2.5 hours of continuous recording (44.1kHz/16-bit) when providing 48V phantom power to the mic input, and 4.5 hours when no phantom power is used. Ni-MH batteries provide about 3.25 hours continuous recording with phantom power and 5 hours without.

    Optional Battery Pack: For extended recording time, the optional Tascam BP-6AA external battery pack (sold separately) can be connected to the DR-60D via the USB input. With the external battery pack, the DR-60D's 4.5 hour recording time is extended to 10.5 hours.

    Remote Jack: The recorder has a 2.5mm sub-minijack on the bottom (between the external mic jacks) for connecting a remote. The optional Tascam RC-3F footswitch remote or Tascam RC-10 wired remote can be used to operate the unit. The 3-pedal RC-3F footswitch offers assignable functions for the left, center, and right pedal. The RC-10 has 4 function buttons, as well as six control buttons (stop, play, rewind, fast forward, record, mark).

    Recording Features

    Recording Format: The DR-60D records audio files in WAV and BWF (Broadcast Wave Format). You can choose from the following recording options: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, or 96 kHz; 16- or 24-bit.

    Recording Modes: The recorder has five recording modes to choose from:

    • Mono: recordings are made in one channel
    • Stereo: recordings are made of two independent left and right channels
    • Dual Mono: recordings are made using one input source (mono) to create two files with different input settings. This mode captures a safety track at a lower level to avoid distortion. Two mono recording files are created.
    • Dual Stereo: recordings are made using one input source (stereo) to create two files with different input settings. This mode captures a safety track at a lower level to avoid distortion. Two stereo recording files are created.
    • 4CH: recordings are made using 4 external inputs in two pairs. Two stereo recording files are created.

    Maximum File Sizes: You can set the maximum file size in the Menu. The choices include: 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB. If the maximum set file size is exceeded during recording, the unit will automatically continue recording in a new file. It cannot exceed a recording time of 24 hours.

    Recording Levels: After selecting the input, you can adjust the input levels to prevent recorded sounds from being distorted due to excessively high input signals, or from being inaudible due to excessively low input signals, compared to noise. There are three level adjustment functions:

    • Peak Reduction: The input volume is reduced automatically to an appropriate level when excessively high signals come in.
    • Automatic Level Control: The recording level is controlled automatically to increase or decrease the input level when the input signals are too small or too large. This mode is useful for recording at meetings. Manual adjustments to the recording level cannot be made.
    • Limiter: Engaging the limiter prevents distortion of sounds when excessive high input signals come in suddenly. This mode is suitable for live performances with large volume changes. You can adjust the level manually during recording.

    Adding Slate Tones: Slate tones are used to help synchronize the audio with the video files when editing. A dedicated Slate button is provided for adding a slate tone to a recording file whenever you like. The Slate button is normally disabled to prevent accidental operation, and must be enabled before you can use it.

    File Names: Each time a file is recorded, a file name is assigned to the recording. The file name can be either a 6-character word or a 6-digit date (yymmdd format). You can set the word file name, while the date file name is automatically set using the unit's internal clock.

    Marks: The DR-60D lets you place an electronic mark in a recording to identify specific points in the recording. Mark information is stored in the file with numbers between 01 and 99. Marks stored in a WAV file are BWF-compliant, and can be added automatically or manually. During playback, you can immediately move to marks in the currently selected file when paused.

    Automatic Recording: When Automatic Recording (Auto Rec) is enabled, the unit will start and pause recording, renew files, and set marks automatically, depending upon the input signal level.

    Pre-Recording: Pre-recording enables you to start recording up to 2 seconds before you press the Record button. This enables you to avoid missing the exact moment a recordable event begins.

    Self Timer: Like a camera, the recorder's self timer lets you start a recording after a set period of time. Self timers can be set to 2 seconds or 10 seconds.

    Edit and Playback Functions

    Browse Screen: The DR-60D's Browse screen lets you view the contents of the Music Folder containing the audio files on the SD card. You can play or erase selected audio files, organize them into folders, and add tracks to the playlist.

    Divide: A recorded WAV file can be divided into two at a specified position. This allows you to edit out unwanted portions of a track by placing them in a separate track and deleting them.

    Playback Equalizer: You can choose from different sound types to enhance the sound quality of a track by using the Playback Equalizer (PlayEQ). The PlayEQ lets you make adjustments (+ or -) in the High (treble) Middle, and Low (bass) frequency ranges.

    Level Alignment: If the playback sound is very small, the perceived overall level can be increased to enhance listenability.

    Jump-Back Playback: During playback, you can press the play button to move back a few seconds to hear a section of the track again. The Jump-back Playback function is adjustable in the menu, allowing you to set the jump-back time to 1-10 seconds (in increments of 1 second), as well as 20 seconds and 30 seconds.

    Mixer Function: The recorder has a mixer function that allows you to set the level of effects, stereo balance, and volume level for each channel. You can adjust the following values:

    • Pan/Balance: Adjusts left-right balance (Left 12 - Center - Right 12)
    • Level: Adjusts volume level (0 to 100)



    • 1/L Connector / 2R Connector:
      • Connector: 2 x XLR/TRS combo (locking Neutrik Combo jacks)
      • Phantom Power: +24V or +48V available
      • Mic or Mic + Phantom:
        • Input Impedance: 2.2 kΩ
        • Nominal Input Level: -19 dBV
        • Maximum Input Level: 0 dBu
        • Minimum Input Level: -72 dBu
        • Mic Input Gain: Low: +11dB, Mid: +36dB, High: +52dB
      • Line:
        • Input Impedance: 10 kΩ or higher
        • Standard Input Level: +4 dBu
        • Maximum Input Level: +24 dBu
    • 3-4 Jack (supports plug-in power):
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini jack
      • Input Impedance: 10kΩ
      • Maximum Input Level: -10dBV
      • Minimum Input Level: -50dBV
      • Mic Input Gain: Low: +3dB, High: +26dB
    • Camera In Jack:
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini jack
      • Input Impedance: 10kΩ
      • Standard Input Level: -10 dBV
      • Maximum Input Level: +6 dBV
    • Camera Out Jack:
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini jack
      • Output Impedance: 200Ω
      • Standard Output Level: -50 dBV
      • Maximum Output Level: -30 dBV
    • Phones Jack:
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini jack
      • Maximum Output: 50 mW + 50 mW
    • Line Out Jack:
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini
      • Output Impedance: 200Ω
      • Standard Output Level: -10 dBV
      • Maximum Output Level: +10 dBV

    Audio Performance:

    • Frequency Response:
      • 20 - 20 kHz +0.5/-2 dB (44.1/48 kHz, Line In or Mic in to Line Out)
      • 20 - 40 kHz +0.5/-3 dB (96 kHz, Line In or Mic in to Line Out)
    • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.02% or less (Line In or Mic in to Line Out, Fs 44.1/48/96kHz)
    • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 92dB or higher (Line In or Mic in to Line Out, Fs 44.1/48/96kHz)
    • Equivalent Input Noise: -120 dBu or more

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Staff Reviews

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    Perfect for small video crews

    Written by Zak Billmeier, Staff Writer - Creative, on 6/5/2014 10:30:00 AM

    I tried this little sound recorder on a few recent video shoots and came away impressed. When you shoot video with a DLSR or something similar, you need a better sound recorder. The built-in mics on those cameras give you a tinny sound and shoe-mounted shotgun mics are only marginally better. The DR-60D gives you two XLR mic inputs for connecting wireless lavalier mics or any other quality mics.

    My favorite thing about this recorder is its form factor. It screws into the tripod, and then the camera screws into the top of it. So while you're shooting, you have your audio controls and your screen right next to each other, nice and convenient. And it doesn't take up too much room in your camera bag.

    When it's time to edit, you can use your camera's onboard audio to sync with the clean audio.

    What are the Labs?