Tascam DP-006 Digital Portastudio Multitrack Recorder

Tascam DP-006
Portable RecordersRecording

With all this new technology you would think there would be something small, portable, yet packing all the bells and whistles a full-size setup would have. Well look no further. The Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder is the answer to your prayers. The ability to record 6 tracks using the built-in stereo condenser microphones all from 2 AA batteries makes this device well worth the small investment.

This device is dubbed a “perfect music sketch pad”. With the ability to pull it out anywhere and jot down your ideas or to capture a live production, the Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder is any musicians dream to have. Each track has its own physical controls, making it a simple process to lay down any ideas you have. You can even play back your work and record on a separate track, which is vital in song creation.

What arguably matters most is the microphones. Built-in are two omnidirectional condenser microphones that suppress the pickup of background noise. Both mics can be used to record a stereo track, i.e. when you want to capture an acoustic guitar. A stereo recording will capture reverberations that will add a sense of depth. When using any microphone, always use headphones to monitor. Using speakers to do this could result in feedback.

While a 4gb card comes in the package, this unit can accept up to 32gb of SDHC memory. This size can hold about 50 hours of stereo content or 100 mono.

The Front

Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder front

Starting on the front, you will find the aforementioned microphones. Each can be assigned to separate tracks, or together to 3 or 4 for stereo. Play around with the position of these to find the best recording levels.

The Left

Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder left

On the left you will find the Mic-Line/Guitar selection switch for input A, the headphone/line out jack, and the volume dial. If directly connecting a guitar or bass, flip the Mic-Line/Guitar switch to Guitar. Otherwise set it on Mic-Line. The headphone/line out jack can be used for monitoring from headphones or a speaker system. There is a volume dial next to the track controlling this.

The Right

Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder right

On the right side is were the USB and DC jacks are. The USB 2.0 port can be used to transfer files directly from the units removable memory. But because this is an antiquated connection, it would be much faster to insert the memory stick directly into the computer. The DC jack is for an AC adapter or the extended battery pack. This battery pack allows an additional 6 AA batteries to supply power, more than doubling the life rating.

The Back

Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder back

On the back you will find two ¼” jacks for Input A and B. These are used to connect almost any device with this particular output. If directly connecting a guitar, be sure to use Input A and flip the switch on the opposite side to reflect this.

The Top

Tascam DP-006 multitrack recorder top

Now for the top: the main section: Where all the action is. Starting a the top and moving across you will find the power button followed by four function buttons. Below that are the input setting and assign buttons, which allows you to toggle the sources for track assignment. To the right of these are the Input level knobs. Adjust this so that the OL lights are barely illuminating. The master level is for the headphone/line output: adjust this accordingly. The screen is, well, the screen. Just below are four function buttons that change depending on what is being displayed.

The 4 tracks start off the bottom section with a pan, level, and record control for each. The pan knobs adjust the stereo position of the playback signal for each track. If stereo on track 3 and 4, the knob adjusts the left-right balance. The level knobs are self explanatory: they perform a similar function as for Input A and B. The record buttons are to signal a record on the track or just use it for playback.

To the right you will find four more buttons that navigate the menu system. The data wheel is used to scroll through the presented options. The stop, play, and record buttons are just for that. To initiate recording, both the play and record buttons must be used at the same time. A feature called “Punching in and out” uses this feature.

What I like most about this multitrack recorder is the portability. The fact that you can mount this to a tripod makes placement a breeze. Also, the fact that it can run on 4 AA alkaline or NiMH batteries is an excellent plus. Being an all-in-one unit, it makes it a great solution for almost any occasion.