Tutorial: Tascam DR-100 digital audio recorder
The Tascam recorder is a digital audio recording device that saves audio onto a Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card - the same kind of card used with a digital photo camera.
The amount of audio that can be recorded on a SDHC memory card depends on the size of the card used. There is a recoding time Chart in the Tascam manual if you need the extact time. Generally, a 2GB card will record about 2-3 hours in WAV.
The audio on the SDHC card can be downloaded onto a computer via a USB cable.
You can also transfer the audio to a computer using an inexpensive "card reader" that attaches to the computer via a USB cable.
Remove the SDHC memory card from the audio recorder, and insert it into the card reader. A folder will appear on your computer desktop containing the audio files you recorded, which you then can drag onto the desktop, onto some other folder on the computer or onto a portable storage device such as a firewire drive.
Installing the batteries
To use battery power, install a charged lithium ion battery or AA batteries. You can also Install both and the recorder will use the lithium battery first about 1.5 hours on average then without interruption switch the the AA batteries if necessary.
Inserting the memory card
Insert the SD Card with the front-side or label-side of the card facing down and the contact-points face-up as pictured above.
Switching to XLR
Set the INPUT switch to XLR.
This will allow recording with an external microphone connected to the recorder with an XLR cable.
Note: here are the other INPUT settings for recording:
- If you want to record with the built-in omni-directional stereo microphones on the top of the recorder, set the INPUT to OMNI
- If you want to record with the built-in directional stereo microphones on the front of the recorder, set the INPUT to UNI
- If you're getting an audio feed from an audio mixer,then sent the INPUT to LINE.
Connecting an external XLR mic
Connect an external XLR mic to the XLR MIC IN connector. When only one mic is connected, it is possible to record the same signal on both left and right channels.
You connect headphones to the recorder using the jack with the headphones icon on the side of the recorder (same side as the power switch).
You adjust the volume of the headphones using the SP OUTPUT control next to the headphones jack on the side of the recorder (this doesn't affect the recording volume, only how loud the sound is in the headphones).
Phantom Power +48V
When using a condenser mic that requires phantom power, set the +48V switch to ON.
- Do not connect or disconnect mics when the 48V switch is ON.
- Connecting a dynamic mic or other mic that does not require phantom power when the +48V switch is on could damage it
Turning the power on
Press and hold the POWER key to turn the power ON.
Formatting the SD card to prepare recording
Format the SD card (if necessary)
If a new card or one that has not been formatted by this unit is installed, the above message appears. Press the ENTER/MARK key to start formatting the card.
Setting the record format
Press the MENU key to open the MENU screen. Use the wheel to select REC SETTING, and press the ENTER/MARK key.
Setting mono input (TYPE)
When recording with just one connected external XLR mic, for example, you can input and record its input signal to both left and right channels.
- Press the MENU key to open the MENU screen.
- Use the wheel to select INPUT SETTING, and press the ENTER/MARK key.
- Set the TYPE item to MONO.
When set to MONO, recordings are not made as mono files, but rather as stereo files with identical left and right channels.
Adjusting the input level
Press the RECORD key to put the unit in recording standby. Set the MIC GAIN to H (High), and adjust the INPUT volume so that the level meters extend as far as possible without causing the PEAK indicator to light.
If the level meters do not extend very far even as the INPUT volume setting approaches 10, set the MIC GAIN to H. On the other hand, if the level meters stay extended even as the INPUT volume setting approaches 0, set the MIC GAIN to L.
Press the RECORD (o) key to put the unit in recording standby.
Press the RECORD (o) key again to start recording.
When recording, press the STOP (SQUARE) key to stop recording and return to the beginning of the file.
When recording, press the RECORD (o) key or the PLAY/PAUSE key to pause recording.
When paused, press the RECORD (o) key or PLAY/ PAUSE key again to restart recording. This continues recording in the same file.
If you press the STOP key and then start recording again, it will create a new audio file.
You also can create a new file in the middle of a recording by pressing the forward arrows key.
These are some of the settings you can make in the recorder's menu.
To access them press the MENU button on the top of the recorder and use the wheel to select a particular menu item. Then use the ENTER/MARK button to select a setting.
- Recording format and sample rate - Go to REC SETTING and then FORMAT and SAMPLE to set the format and sample rate. We recommend WAV 24bit and 48k.
- Mono or stereo - Go to INPUT SETTING and then MIC and TYPE to set the mic to record stereo or mono. We recommend mono for recording interviews and ambient sound.
- Formatting an SD card - Go to SETUP and then select either QUICK FORMAT (recommended) or FULL FORMAT.
- Restoring default settings - Go to SETUP and then INITIALIZE to restore all the recorder settings to the factory defaults.
About this Tutorial
Written by Richard Koci Hernandez.
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