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Author Topic: Tascam Portacapture X8  (Read 6270 times)

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Offline gaijin

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Tascam Portacapture X8
« on: November 17, 2021, 07:31:29 PM »
https://tascam.jp/us/product/portacapture_x8/feature

This looks interesting...

$500

--------------------------------------

Recorder specifications   
Recording media   microSD cards (64MB - 2GB), microSDHC cards (4GB - 32GB), microSDXC cards (48GB - 512GB)
Recording / playback formats   
WAV (BWF)   44.1k/48k/96k/192kHz, 16/24-bit, 32-bit float
MP3   44.1k/48kHz, 128k/192k/256k/320kbps
Number of channels   
Input channels   6 channels maximum
Recording tracks   8 tracks maximum (6 tracks, stereo mix)
Analog audio input ratings   
Mic inputs (unbalanced)   
Input jacks 1-2(support plug-in power [2.5v confirmed by Tascam rep])   
Connectors   3.5mm (1/8") Mini TRS jacks
Maximum input level   +1dBV
Minimum input level   -69.3dBV
Input impedance   85kΩ or higher
Mic inputs (balanced)   
Input jacks 3-6(input set to "MIC")   
Connectors   
XLR-3-31 equivalent(1: GND, 2: HOT, 3: COLD)
6.3mm(1/4") standard TRS jacksInput(Tip: HOT, Ring: COLD, Sleeve: GND)

Note: phantom power supported by XLR only
Maximum input level   +2dBu
Minimum input level   -75dBu
Input impedance   2.2kΩ or higher
Input jacks 3-6(Input set to "LINE")   
Connectors   
XLR-3-31 equivalent(1: GND, 2: HOT, 3: COLD)
6.3mm(1/4") standard TRS jacksInput(Tip: HOT, Ring: COLD, Sleeve: GND)

Nominal input level   +4dBu (GAIN:min)
Maximum input level   +24dBu
Minimum input level   -53dBu
Input impedance   9kΩ or higher
Line input (unbalanced)   
EXT IN jack   
Connectors   1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Mini jack
Nominal input level   -10dBV (GAIN:min)
Maximum input level   +10dBV
Minimum input level   -48dBV
Input impedance   8.5kΩ or higher
Analog audio output   
Line output (unbalanced)   
LINE OUT jack   
Connectors   1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Mini jack
Nominal output level   -14dBV
Maximum output level   +6dBV
Output impedance   200Ω
Headphone output   
Headphone jack   
Connectors   1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Mini jack
Maximum output   45mW + 45mW
(THD+N 0.1% or less, into 32Ω)
Built-in speaker   0.4W (mono)
Control input/output ratings   
USB port   
Connectors   USB Type-C
Format   USB2.0 HIGH SPEED mass storage class
Bluetooth® device connector   For Bluetooth® adapter (AK-BT1) only
Power   4 AA batteries (Alkaline, Ni-MH or Lithium-ion)
USB bus power from a computer
TASCAM PS-P520U AC adapter (sold separately)
Power consumption   7.5W (maximum)
Dimensions   83 (W) × 205.6 (H) × 41.5 (D) mm
※including protrusions
Weight   472g / 381g (with/without batteries)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 12:09:52 PM by gaijin »

Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2021, 07:45:45 PM »
Looks pretty cool actually. I don't love the idea of doing everything on a screen but they should sell a lot of these if the price is right.

Offline gaijin

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2021, 08:40:06 PM »
Looks pretty cool actually. I don't love the idea of doing everything on a screen but they should sell a lot of these if the price is right.

Agree.  On the flip side it looks like you get access to a near complete set of controls on the phone app, which is fantastic for  >:D

I would imagine they would use at least DR100MKIII or greater quality preamp circuitry - if that's true, that's a great thing, as that is a very highly reviewed preamp.

Offline gaijin

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2021, 08:47:28 PM »
It looks like the mics are removable - been waiting for this on the Sonys since the D1.

Offline gaijin

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2021, 10:13:05 PM »
Love that they got rid of the internal Li-on approach from the DR100MKIII as well.  4 AA and that's it.

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Offline heva

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2021, 04:55:30 AM »
Interesting device, though perhaps more geared as video/dslr add-on
DR100mkiii has short batterylife on 2AA's with ext.mics on p48 - I like the internal battery
X8 has no HD audio freqs (88.2/176.4) and no digital i/o

Offline gaijin

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2021, 09:22:05 AM »
Interesting device, though perhaps more geared as video/dslr add-on
DR100mkiii has short batterylife on 2AA's with ext.mics on p48 - I like the internal battery
X8 has no HD audio freqs (88.2/176.4) and no digital i/o

Interesting take on the video / dslr thing - are those people actually using 6 or 8 channels?!?

Agreed the life on 2AA is too short on MKIII - 4 here is a different story though.  Also this has USB bus power option (and will charge simultaneously via battery pack with Eneloops instead of alkaline AAs for example).  Even without that, it may be a hassle for festival guys but for me (most maybe?) 4+ hour contiguous recording sessions are unlikely.

Fair point about audio frequency options, though this won't be an issue for me (most concert tapers, maybe?)

Agreed on digital IO - if you're looking for a bitbucket, there are definitely better, smaller devices for this task.

Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2021, 12:07:49 PM »
Looks very promising. Functionally similar to the Zoom H6, but improvements on size, cell phone connectivity, 32-bit, etc. Thinking it might finally replace the Tascam 2D as a small multitrack recorder, although it is a bit bigger (not huge though).

Being able to disconnect the mics is really nice. Zoom H6 could remove the mics, but you needed a module on there if you wanted the 5/6 input. This one at least has a built-in 1/8" stereo input that can be used for the 5/6.
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Offline BonoBeats

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2021, 02:12:05 PM »
Seems solid, though personally, 32 bit is most beneficial for stealth, when I'm trying to not constantly monitor levels; this is a bit too large. I really just want 32 bit in a R07/A10 type unit.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 03:16:00 PM by BonoBeats »
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2021, 02:29:25 PM »
Seems solid, though personally, 32 bit seems most beneficial for stealth, when I'm trying to not constantly monitor levels; this seems a bit too large. I really just want 32 bit in a R07/A10 type unit.

Yeah, that's what I'm waiting for as well

Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2021, 06:42:56 PM »
Marking. Looks very interesting. Those of you who record loud shows and/or have very sensitive mics with a hot output will want to invest in some inline pads, as max input level is +2 dBu with the combo inputs set to MIC. When set to LINE it's +24 dBu, but it's unclear if you can run phantom power in line mode. You can do that on the Zoom F6 which is a really neat and somewhat rare feature.

No EIN specified, but the other specs look quite good.
https://tascam.jp/us/product/portacapture_x8/spec
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Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2021, 11:20:08 PM »
Looks very nice.
Mics: AT 3031; AT 853Rx (C,O); CA-14(c); Studio Projects C4 (C,O,H); Nak 300; JVC M510
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Offline udovdh

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2021, 10:58:22 AM »
Less 'aerodynamic' than an M10.
Bulk of mics should be gone.
192 Khz?
32 bit is cool though.

Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2021, 01:09:32 PM »
Plug-in power is only 2.5V (Tascam rep's answer to my question).

Offline gaijin

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2021, 12:08:54 PM »
Plug-in power is only 2.5V (Tascam rep's answer to my question).

Thanks for chasing down this info - will stick it on the original post.

Offline Joop

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2021, 12:33:42 PM »
192kHz yes, but with lot off restrictions, all toys can not be used. Float and 192kHz yes, all channels probably yes for 192kHz and float, manual does not give anything on the number of  channels used with the setting. There is Phantom power 24V and 48V. I'm unsure if you can mix it. There are presets and you can make your own. All settings go by the full colour touch screen, so setting a level lower might be complicated. Its not my toy, too much stuff which don't belong in a recorder, but that is my view on the things. Besides that, there  are so many settings and options that you have to play "dry" to get it all in your fingers. 

Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2021, 03:42:16 PM »
One review now in, not too helpful:

https://www.audiotechnology.com/reviews/tascam-portacapture-x8

"Tascam’s preamps are up to scratch for a unit such as this. I recorded my usual ‘quiet sound test’ (a ticking clock in a quiet room). On analysis, there was some self-noise from the unit, but it was in line with what I would expect from a device in this price range."

Not clear what analysis was involved, but hardly a big cheer for Tascam's "High-quality discrete HDDA mic preamps."

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2021, 04:04:09 PM »
"High-quality discrete HDDA mic preamps"

Anecdotal response- That would seem a direct carry over from the DR-680MKII, for which Tascam touted the same, using the same language.  I actively used that recorder for years and was happy enough with it's preamps that I pretty much used the Grace V3 with it only when I needed a couple extra channels in via SPDIF.  The preamps weren't particularly special or anything, just sufficiently quiet and clean that I put them out of mind and focused on more important things.  After the 680 I moved on to Zoom F8 and did seem to notice a slight improvement in its preamps, which seem to me about on par with the current SoundDevices MixPres.  I never tested for EIN, just going by ear on this.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2021, 06:13:30 AM »
The "HDDA Preamp" designation is probably just marketing, and not describing one specific preamp design. I say this because they use this designation on both the DR-70D and the DR-100 mkIII. Those two recorders do not have the same level of self-noise to my ears, and that is borne out by the specs - the 100 mkIII is 10 dB better in S/N ratio and nearly an order of magnitude better in distortion than the 70D.

https://tascam.com/us/product/dr-70d/spec

https://tascam.com/us/product/dr-100mkiii/spec

It's a shame that they couldn't use the preamps from the 100 mkIII, but I suspect that's in large part due to the chip shortage, and why the 100 mkIII was discontinued in the first place.
EDIT: The X8 may be using an updated version of the preamps used in the 100 mkIII. S/N is about the same, but the X8 is much better in max input level for mic inputs.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2021, 12:36:12 PM by voltronic »
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2021, 09:42:13 AM »

It's a shame that they couldn't use the preamps from the 100 mkIII, but I suspect that's in large part due to the chip shortage, and why the 100 mkIII was discontinued in the first place.

??   The S/N ratio for the Portacapture X8 looks to be the same as for the 100 mkIII, not the D70. 

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2021, 10:43:27 PM »
B&H has just moved the expected arrival date for this from end of December to end of January.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2021, 12:34:02 PM »

It's a shame that they couldn't use the preamps from the 100 mkIII, but I suspect that's in large part due to the chip shortage, and why the 100 mkIII was discontinued in the first place.

??   The S/N ratio for the Portacapture X8 looks to be the same as for the 100 mkIII, not the D70.

I was comparing the S/N ratio of the 100 mkIII against the 70D, to make the point that Tascam using the "HDDA" for all 3 of these units does not mean they are the same preamp circuit.

The statement you quoted about the X8 using different preamps than the 100 mkIII was based on comparing other specs between the two, but looking again it seems the X8 may be a bit better in a couple areas, namely max input level for mic inputs. I will edit to clarify.

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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2021, 03:52:36 PM »
I'm interested in the circuit details.
My understanding was "HDDA" means (discrete) transistor pair in front of a preamp.A circuit like this, done right, can be pretty good.For example Behringer and many others have done this, long tailed pair, driven by a current source, input to a rather inexpensive opamp.

I noticed Sony PCM series use low noise, low voltage, rail to rail opamp AD8620 in their higher end units (D50 in particular).Some circuits are using instrumentation amplifiers eg., INA217, PGA2500, etc.

I am curious what circuit Sound devices uses.  Their old gear used transformer inputs.


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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2021, 06:54:01 PM »
I a pretty sure the first unit “HDDA” pre amps where on the HS-P82 and yes the use a discrete transistor pair in front of each channel.  Pretty sure the second was DR-70D then the DR-680mkII


I am sure the topology and/or component selection varies from unit to unit which would affect sound and performance
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2021, 07:38:57 PM »
Here is a nice article on the "long tail pair" circuits.
Interesting reading,
https://wiki.analog.com/university/courses/electronics/text/chapter-12
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

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Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2022, 05:30:35 PM »
Received my X8 today, played with it a little during lunch.

Couple quick thoughts, more to come:
1. Size is not too bad. I shot some pictures comparing it to a Tascam 2D. Size-wise its a bit smaller than the H6 and better laid out. I could see myself stealth running a pair of the X8 for a total of 12 tracks, just wish I could timeclock sync them.
2. Bluetooth app seems to work alright. You have to re-initialize every time you switch to a different app. Kinda annoying but nothing killer.
3. Turning on the hold button works well for disabling the touchscreen and buttons. BUT IT ALSO LOCKS OUT THE CELL PHONE CONTROL. This is nuts in my opinion and I'm going to write to Tascam in my opinion. I think we all know how to lock our phone, and don't need the physical lock button to safeguard against the phone.

My Zoom F8 has a lock function, but you can still do everything on the phone once connected. Can anybody tell me if it's the same for the A10 or other cell phone controlled recorders?
Audio: Countryman B3 + AT853(hypers/cards/subcards) + SBD feeds
Wireless Receivers: Lots of those
Antennas: Lots of those
Cables: Lots of those
Recorders: Cymatic Utrack24, Cymatic LR16, RME Multiface, Zoom F8, (3) Tascam 680, (2) Tascam 2D, Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, and a graveyard of irivers/nomads/minidiscs.

Offline gaijin

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2022, 09:15:28 PM »
Received my X8 today, played with it a little during lunch.

Couple quick thoughts, more to come:
1. Size is not too bad. I shot some pictures comparing it to a Tascam 2D. Size-wise its a bit smaller than the H6 and better laid out. I could see myself stealth running a pair of the X8 for a total of 12 tracks, just wish I could timeclock sync them.
2. Bluetooth app seems to work alright. You have to re-initialize every time you switch to a different app. Kinda annoying but nothing killer.
3. Turning on the hold button works well for disabling the touchscreen and buttons. BUT IT ALSO LOCKS OUT THE CELL PHONE CONTROL. This is nuts in my opinion and I'm going to write to Tascam in my opinion. I think we all know how to lock our phone, and don't need the physical lock button to safeguard against the phone.

My Zoom F8 has a lock function, but you can still do everything on the phone once connected. Can anybody tell me if it's the same for the A10 or other cell phone controlled recorders?

Thanks a lot for the early field report.  It seems you may be one of the first to have one in hand.

Regarding your question, I have used a lock function on several devices with Bluetooth control.  I have never experienced that also locking the remote app control. Definitely write Tascam - that is nuts!

Can you share what you mean by "re-initialize"?  I have dealt with some flaky connectivity in the past to various Bluetooth devices and this is giving me some concerns.  Any details you can share about what is going on when you reopen the app would be of interest.  Thanks in advance!

Lastly, any reports on responsiveness of the app?  From the early looks it appeared to be mirroring the screen to the app on the Android device and it looked rather sluggish once recording started (think input / display lag like a far away remote desktop connection on a PC).  Anything to report there from your experience?

Thanks again for sharing with us!

Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2022, 09:32:54 PM »
Likely going to do a practice show on Weds so will give it a good stress test then. I may be able to play around with it some more tomorrow.

Agreed--the lock function is whack!
Audio: Countryman B3 + AT853(hypers/cards/subcards) + SBD feeds
Wireless Receivers: Lots of those
Antennas: Lots of those
Cables: Lots of those
Recorders: Cymatic Utrack24, Cymatic LR16, RME Multiface, Zoom F8, (3) Tascam 680, (2) Tascam 2D, Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, and a graveyard of irivers/nomads/minidiscs.

Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2022, 11:10:46 AM »
Here's some picture comparisons with the Tascam 2D and the Zoom H6.

Very similar in size to the H6, just without the module on top (which does make it quite a bit bigger).

And a random picture of two of my cats, watching me while I fiddled with the X8 on the patio.
Audio: Countryman B3 + AT853(hypers/cards/subcards) + SBD feeds
Wireless Receivers: Lots of those
Antennas: Lots of those
Cables: Lots of those
Recorders: Cymatic Utrack24, Cymatic LR16, RME Multiface, Zoom F8, (3) Tascam 680, (2) Tascam 2D, Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, and a graveyard of irivers/nomads/minidiscs.

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2022, 03:49:00 PM »
What are the actual dimensions without the microphones?
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
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Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2022, 03:57:48 PM »
Now if I can find a ruler...
Audio: Countryman B3 + AT853(hypers/cards/subcards) + SBD feeds
Wireless Receivers: Lots of those
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Cables: Lots of those
Recorders: Cymatic Utrack24, Cymatic LR16, RME Multiface, Zoom F8, (3) Tascam 680, (2) Tascam 2D, Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, and a graveyard of irivers/nomads/minidiscs.

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2022, 06:30:47 PM »
Now if I can find a ruler...

I'll introduce you to my wife. :)

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2022, 06:34:33 PM »
Now if I can find a ruler...

I'll introduce you to my wife. :)

Happily married to Anthony Ellis?
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2022, 11:18:52 AM »
Ok, took this deck out for practice yesterday. Some thoughts and impressions:

1. Hold button - as mentioned above, turning on the hold also locks out the cell phone controller. Hopefully could be fixed via firmware update.
2. Naming the recorder - I'd like to be able to rename the recorder so you could run two at the same time and have corresponding phone controllers. As a reference, this can be done on the Zoom F8, which also has a recorder specific bluetooth login code. I have a laughable image of several tapers using this recorder in a close area, and everybody trying to lock into their recorder and instead getting their neighbors.
3. Inputs - To recap, there's the two detachable mics at the top, 4x xlr/trs combo jacks, and then the 1/8" input on the side. It has an option for routing the inputs to the recording channels. HOWEVER, if you are using the 1/8" input, it bypasses the 3rd + 4th xlr/trs input. There is no way to override the detachable mics input instead. So in effect, this is a recorder that is 4x channel plus 2x mics, not a 6x channel recorder. I guess technically you could take 1/8" input, split it to left and right, and plug it into the inputs on the top (although I don't think you can turn off the plug-in power).

#3 is a dealbreaker for me. I wanted this recorder as an upgrade to the Zoom H6, which allows for six line level channels, not a gimmick of four channels plus internal mics. If #1 and #3 issues can't be fixed by a firmware update, then I'm returning/selling off this recorder. Might roll the dice on the awkward Zoom H8, which at least allows you to do ten inputs.
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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2022, 11:58:42 AM »
Will never happen, but I still dream of a DR2d successor of about the same size, capable of recording 6 (or better 8 ) input channels via incorporation of one or two additional 3.5mm stereo inputs jacks.  Every time a new recorder like this comes out, that is my point of comparison.  Keep it small, and I'll provide my own mics and the powering for them, thank you.  Easily doable, just no market for such a thing.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 02:43:11 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2022, 12:44:11 PM »
Will never happen, but I still dream of a DR2d successor of about the same size, capable of recording 6 (or better 8) input channels via incorporation of one or two additional 3.5mm stereo inputs jacks.  Every time a new recorder like this comes out, that is my point of comparison.  Keep it small, and I'll provide my own mics and the powering for them, thank you.  Easily doable, just no market for such a thing.

You and me both. I'd love a 2D with just a small little array of 4x 1/8" inputs and cell phone controls. The technology is there now but like you said, no market.
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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2022, 07:45:50 PM »
Here's a new review on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/_HSZbX5fT4Q

I am particularly troubled by the hum clearly visible in the spectral analysis.  It seems it is occurring with all units.  Not terribly optimistic that this is a FW resolvable problem.  They'll likely be able to filter it out with software, but that's not really a fix, more of the mask of the issue.

Any thoughts from the pros here?  Do you see the same hum if you analyze your files, hoserama?


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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2022, 11:32:34 AM »
I am thinking of cancelling my 8X order because of this.  Not really a logical reaction given my experience with other, external, ultra-high hum, if the preamps are otherwise good, but it's harder to get good comps on the preamps, while this hum is obviously sticking out.

Pre-Covid, when I was doing high resolution chamber music recording weekly for a local concert series, I started seeing (in SD, Sonosax, and other recorders) a hum at above 30 kHz that turned out to be likely caused by the hall's motion-detecting ultrasonic system.  For a while I insisted on attenuating it out in iZotope (even though for the archival CDs I made for the organizers it was not going to show up), but eventually I ended up just ignoring it.  Many (but not all) concert halls have nearer to 20 kHz hums of some sort, clearly visible in 96 kHz recordings, that I don't try to extinguish. Yet...

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2022, 02:02:53 PM »
Glad I canceled my order! 
DPA ST4011ER 500 > Sound Devices Mixpre-10 II

-22        -12         -6        TDS   (32/48)     
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][}   
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][} 
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|Record|  Runtime: 4:19.99  {|||] 75%

Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2022, 06:08:00 PM »
Will never happen, but I still dream of a DR2d successor of about the same size, capable of recording 6 (or better 8 ) input channels via incorporation of one or two additional 3.5mm stereo inputs jacks.  Every time a new recorder like this comes out, that is my point of comparison.  Keep it small, and I'll provide my own mics and the powering for them, thank you.  Easily doable, just no market for such a thing.

Are you imagining that those 3.5 mm inputs would be stereo inputs, or a single balanced input each? You could do this in a compact format and still have all balanced inputs if you used 4 of the 7-pin connectors such as Sonosax used on their MINIR82. Then you just use a breakout Y-cable such as what Jon would supply with the Tinybox. (Side note - I never understood why Sonosax used those connectors for a single channel each, when they could have used a 3-pin miniXLR or TA4.)
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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2022, 07:22:54 PM »
Will never happen, but I still dream of a DR2d successor of about the same size, capable of recording 6 (or better 8 ) input channels via incorporation of one or two additional 3.5mm stereo inputs jacks.  Every time a new recorder like this comes out, that is my point of comparison.  Keep it small, and I'll provide my own mics and the powering for them, thank you.  Easily doable, just no market for such a thing.

Are you imagining that those 3.5 mm inputs would be stereo inputs, or a single balanced input each? You could do this in a compact format and still have all balanced inputs if you used 4 of the 7-pin connectors such as Sonosax used on their MINIR82. Then you just use a breakout Y-cable such as what Jon would supply with the Tinybox. (Side note - I never understood why Sonosax used those connectors for a single channel each, when they could have used a 3-pin miniXLR or TA4.)

Well, we can ride the imagination train on down the line to any station before eventually crossing the border of impracticality. 

Unbalanced stereo inputs work fine for me, and 4 mini-jacks instead of the existing 2 (supporting 8 total channels) wouldn't require a change in recorder size.  Or, just one additional in support of 6 channels.

Sure, I'd prefer a locking multi-pin mini-XLR input (a multi-pin mini-XLR breaking out to a pair of stereo mini-plugs is what I use currently for 4 channels into the DR2d).  One mini-XLR would be sufficient for 6 unbalanced channels.  Might take two of them for 8 channels as I don't think a mini-XLR is available with more than 8 pins and one must be ground.

A standard computer-style 9-pin D-sub connector may be the better option.  It would handle 8 in compactly + shield in a more compact format, and is well proven, being a smaller version of the multichannel D-sub breakouts ubiquitous on all kinds of professional audio gear.

If I'm allowed to reach a bit further I'd include adjustable gain mic-preamps on all channels with 6 or 9V PIP, eliminating the need for external preamps / battery boxes. 

All that is reasonable and well within the borders of practicality.  Balanced and phantom seems more of a stretch without increasing size of the recorder to accommodate 8 additional pins in, along with the likelihood of needing additional batteries.

Thanks for the OT flight of fancy.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2022, 07:27:24 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2022, 07:38:53 PM »
Ok, took this deck out for practice yesterday. Some thoughts and impressions:

1. Hold button - as mentioned above, turning on the hold also locks out the cell phone controller. Hopefully could be fixed via firmware update.
2. Naming the recorder - I'd like to be able to rename the recorder so you could run two at the same time and have corresponding phone controllers. As a reference, this can be done on the Zoom F8, which also has a recorder specific bluetooth login code. I have a laughable image of several tapers using this recorder in a close area, and everybody trying to lock into their recorder and instead getting their neighbors.
3. Inputs - To recap, there's the two detachable mics at the top, 4x xlr/trs combo jacks, and then the 1/8" input on the side. It has an option for routing the inputs to the recording channels. HOWEVER, if you are using the 1/8" input, it bypasses the 3rd + 4th xlr/trs input. There is no way to override the detachable mics input instead. So in effect, this is a recorder that is 4x channel plus 2x mics, not a 6x channel recorder. I guess technically you could take 1/8" input, split it to left and right, and plug it into the inputs on the top (although I don't think you can turn off the plug-in power).

#3 is a dealbreaker for me. I wanted this recorder as an upgrade to the Zoom H6, which allows for six line level channels, not a gimmick of four channels plus internal mics. If #1 and #3 issues can't be fixed by a firmware update, then I'm returning/selling off this recorder. Might roll the dice on the awkward Zoom H8, which at least allows you to do ten inputs.

All of this is a total bummer. I looked at this deck and thought it would be right up my alley but I guess not. I'm going to keep saving and looking I guess. The SD Mixpre10 gets more attractive every day.
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2022, 08:37:24 PM »
Some further test input in the comments to Marcel's youtube video linked above:

"Jarord
2 hours ago (edited)
 @Free To Use Sounds  Ok, I did a few tests and here’s what I’m seeing in Spectralayers 8 w/ 32bit/192kHz recordings from the Portacapture X8.

Stock Tascam capsules inputs 1 & 2:
   Input 1: Random “waterfalls” of artifacts beginning off the spectrum falling down to about ~30kHz. NO LINES
   Input 2: Random “waterfalls” of artifacts beginning off the spectrum falling down to about ~30kHz. YES LINE at 25kHz

Clippy EM272, phantom power, XLR, default gain settings, inputs 3-6: GOOD. No lines or artifacts

Jez Riley French Electromagnetic/coil pick-ups recording my oven’s digital clock, 1/4” inputs 3-6:
   Input 3: GOOD
   Input 4: GOOD
   Input 5: LINE AT ~25kHz
   Input 6: LINE AT ~25kHz AND ~50kHz

Jez Riley French C-Series Pro Contact Mic: GOOD. No lines w/ 1/4" or w/ 1/4" to XLR impedance adaptor"

So it looks to me like the hum issue might be connected to particular mics at particular inputs.  Will have to check out my closet with this. 

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2022, 04:09:36 AM »
Reminds me of a whine in the dr100mk3 when using the builtin mics.
A jack in the headphone 1/8" fixes that.

Offline justme

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2022, 11:45:04 PM »
News Shooter have done a lengthy review of the X8.
Although more from a usage point of view then an audiophiles or tapers ones.

https://www.newsshooter.com/2022/01/31/tascam-portacapture-x8-review/

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2022, 12:30:40 AM »
News Shooter have done a lengthy review of the X8.
Although more from a usage point of view then an audiophiles or tapers ones.

https://www.newsshooter.com/2022/01/31/tascam-portacapture-x8-review/

I like that style of review - just the facts, no waffle. 

For a moment I thought I read in the review that it can be used WITH a USB-C mic, but actually it says that it can be used AS a USB-C mic.  I'll throw in here that I've just received a Shure MV88+ MS stereo USB-C mic, and as I hoped, it does work with the DJI Action 2 video camera.  This confirms that there's not the slightest reason why future audio recorders shouldn't be able to accept such digital mics via a USB-C socket, adding to the possiblities of what can be mixed and matched.  That in turn makes me wonder whether the X8 has any inbuilt MS functionality?  32 bit MS recordings would have the nice feature of allowing you to forget not only level setting but aslo stereo image at the time of recording, but of course it would be ideal to be able to convert the MS to XY for monitoring purposes in the recorder.

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2022, 08:49:55 AM »
A bit off-topic, I apologize....@Ozpeter; I also own a Shure mv88 which is a useful tool, but I own the first  version with lightning connector. I think there is no reason why it shouldn't work also with a Mac computer, apart from the fact that I couldn't by any means find an adapter cable. What needed would be just a lightning/female to USB, but it seems nobody has had the idea for making one so far. Any suggestion?

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2022, 09:55:25 AM »
A bit off-topic, I apologize....@Ozpeter; I also own a Shure mv88 which is a useful tool, but I own the first  version with lightning connector. I think there is no reason why it shouldn't work also with a Mac computer, apart from the fact that I couldn't by any means find an adapter cable. What needed would be just a lightning/female to USB, but it seems nobody has had the idea for making one so far. Any suggestion?

I use this for connecting a Sennheiser Ambeo binaural headset to an Android phone - or to the DJI Action 2 - but I know nothing about Mac computers  so....

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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2022, 02:09:48 PM »
I've received my X8, the hum is a definite issue.  I get spikes at about 25,384 Hz, 50766 Hz, and 76,143 Hz (plus a wee something at just under 90 kHz).  These first three spikes are clearly some sort of harmonic series.  The issue is greater in the right channel than the left (and in track 4 than track 3, I have not yet tested tracks 5 & 6).  It doesn't seem to matter if the external mics are close to the recorder or several feet away, as far as I can tell.

Tascam mics on the body of the recorder: My noisy room background -117.4 dB; 25384 Hz (L -110 dB) (R -96.1 dB); 50766 Hz (L -111 dB) (R-99.6 dB)
  with screen set to dim and backlight off 25384 Hz (L -111.2 dB) (R -96.3 dB), no real difference as far as I can tell.

Nevaton MC 59/W in inputs 3&4 background at -114 dB; 25384 Hz (L -113 dB) (R-100.1 dB); 50766 Hz (L -113.3 dB) (R -100.3 dB)  dim or bright screen, mics near the X8 or a few feet away, no difference I can see.

With no mics in 5&6 I still see biggish but not so sharp peaks at those frequencies.

I usually record at 96 kHz, so the 50k and 76k spikes won't mean anything to me, but the 25384 Hz spike will be a concern.  Those who record at 48 kHz won't have any issues here at all.  I'm waiting to hear how Tascam, who has been made aware of the problem, will deal with this.  I have not yet upgraded to the new software, as it does not claim to do a fix for this.  Not sure how software could!

Jeff


« Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 03:21:38 PM by WiFiJeff »

Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2022, 06:02:13 PM »
I returned mine to B&H.  I need a six channel recorder, not a four channel recorder with two useless external mics.  If I wanted a four channel recorder I'd use one of my six DR2ds.




3. Inputs - To recap, there's the two detachable mics at the top, 4x xlr/trs combo jacks, and then the 1/8" input on the side. It has an option for routing the inputs to the recording channels. HOWEVER, if you are using the 1/8" input, it bypasses the 3rd + 4th xlr/trs input. There is no way to override the detachable mics input instead. So in effect, this is a recorder that is 4x channel plus 2x mics, not a 6x channel recorder.

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2022, 03:08:06 PM »
I returned mine to B&H.  I need a six channel recorder, not a four channel recorder with two useless external mics.  If I wanted a four channel recorder I'd use one of my six DR2ds.

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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2022, 11:58:26 AM »
This looks even worse for the X8:

https://mindful-audio.com/blog/tascam-portacapture-x8-review

Weird transient things, no hint what makes them come or go away.

Jeff
« Last Edit: February 09, 2022, 12:00:29 PM by WiFiJeff »

Offline hoserama

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2022, 01:11:37 PM »
I'm looking to return mine, unless somebody wants to buy mine. Disappointing to say the least. Gonna take that money and buy yet another IEM receiver.
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2022, 06:29:38 AM »
This looks even worse for the X8:

https://mindful-audio.com/blog/tascam-portacapture-x8-review

Weird transient things, no hint what makes them come or go away.

Jeff

Gulp.  That review kind of skewers it... and the reviewer really did seem to be unhappy that he was having to do so.

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2022, 04:01:52 PM »
Seems quite weird (or maybe a mystery of marketing) that it doesn’t seem possible to come up with a really good quality 6 channel handheld recorder with decent built-in mics. Mixpre and Zoom f6 are fine but sometimes the convenience of a couple of decent onboard mics may prove very flexible; set and go recordings or maybe a 4 tracks recording bringing just a couple of external mics and one stand, thus saving time and space. I’ am quite ok with my Zoom h6 but I feel it’s limits; I’d be happy to pay the extra money for something like the F series preamps packed in the H6 ( or this Portacapture) form factor.

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #56 on: February 10, 2022, 07:37:50 PM »
That review is painful. Nobody wants to be the bearer of news that bad. He seems to be very fond of his D100 and M10 Sonys, and the SD 633 which is really one of the best field recorders made right now. Well, I like knobs and monochrome displays so I'll never get anything with a touch screen and onion layers of menu settings, but I'm old and need gear with '90s leaning user experiences, lol.
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Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2022, 12:14:57 PM »
Well Tascam got back to me Friday:

"Hello Jeff,

Our engineering department has sent the following information...

Although noise level approximately -100dBFS of outside of audible band of 25k/50k/75kHz at internal MIC(*) and default setting(+18dB) has been observed.
* Although the level is more low, the noise has been observed also on other channel.
There is also the frequency that improved by the latest firmware, so please try with V1.03."

So I upgraded to Firmware V1.03 as suggested, new issues. This is what I just sent them:

"As you suggested, I upgraded to firmware 1.03.  Although the 25.3 kHz line is gone (also 50.6 kHz and 76 kHz), there are now hum lines at roughly 36.6 kHz and 74 kHz, again in both the plug-in-power mics and XLRs, including channels without mics or phantom power enabled.  Channel 5, which was decent before, has messy peaks at these resonances with no phantom or attached mics.  In addition, when loading the (very short) files into iZotope, I get an error message that the timecode is too big and iZotope is resetting it to zero.  I did not try to enable timecode, what is going on with this?  I did not get this message with firmware 1.00."

Still looking for a review that tells me what I don't know: how do the preamps and A/D sound in the sub-ultra-sonic area where it matters more?  I have not run into the sporadic noise issues mentioned in other reviews, but I haven't been able to try it out in real life.

Note added: Curtis Judd is about to post a review (in about an hour).  That should be interesting.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 12:36:02 PM by WiFiJeff »

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2022, 05:01:26 PM »
Well, if this is the Curtis Judd video you meant, I don't think I'll bother watching - at the outset he says he's used it for 45 minutes and hasn't recorded anything with it yet (due to it not liking his SD card).  I'd be much more interested in a review by someone thoroughly familiar with the device who could offer carefully analysed audio examples from test and real world situations.  (Then again, maybe I'm criticising a video I haven't watched where someone reviews a device they haven't used!  :banging head: )

https://youtu.be/T-GrHAivZks

Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Tascam Portacapture X8
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2022, 08:30:27 PM »
Yeah, I saw it.  He does promise to update when he has the necessary micro-SD card (how come he doesn't have 20 or so of them lying around, like I thought everyone does).  Right now he is clueless, seems to have relied on the paper "owners manual" rather than the online reference manual, which explains a lot of the stuff he was unsure about.  But his audio reviews have been helpful in the past, I hope he addresses the issues once they have a chance to kick him in the head as hard as I have experienced.

 

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