Recently Tascam released an advanced portable handheld recorder that can record up to 6 tracks (and 2 mix tracks) and includes 32-bit float point recording technology that effectively eliminates any possible clipping while recording.
Tascam Portacapture X8 Features
The Tascam Portacapture X8 is the company’s most advanced portable recorder and it is the successor to the company’s previous flagship portable recorder – the Tascam DR-100MKIII.
The new Tascam Portacapture X8 Handheld Recorder
The new recorder has a large color touch screen (3.5″) which allows the user to control most of the device functionality with several extra physical buttons (unlike the DR-100MKIII which had more than a dozen physical buttons and switches).
Next on the big improvements list, we have 32bit float capability. Many recent recorders include this amazing feature which basically gives the recorder unlimited headroom in post-production (think of this as having basically unlimited dynamic range when shooting a picture – but for audio, you can never clip and can always boost the sound).
Bonus video: What is 32bit float and why do you want it
Unlike the previous model which was limited to two XLR inputs here you get four balanced combo XLR-1/4″ inputs and a total of 6 inputs plus two mix tracks (so 8 tracks in total which you can play with).
Another great feature is a full remote control capability via an app and BT unit (using the AK-BT1 Bluetooth dongle sold separately). This is the first time that we see such a comprehensive implementation of a controlling app for a recorder – basically, almost everything you can do from the recorder you can do from the app (one thing we are not sure about is remote monitoring and remote playback – these are features that we would really like to see).
The recorder also comes with dual top detachable 14.6mm large-diaphragm condenser microphones which you can move (or remove completely if you do not need them).
The recorder interface has several modes including manual, podcast, field, voice, music, and ASMR. The field option has specific settings for recording things like cars, birds, city, nature, etc (all in stereo).
A few other points – the recorder uses micro-SD to record on (we really would prefer full-size SD), it can be powered by USB-C or 4 AA batteries, includes both 1/4″ 20 thread on the back and a cold shoe (useful for connecting a grip and a mic together. The unit can also be used as an audio interface to the computer.
Official video: TASCAM Portacapture X8 – The Content Creators Handheld Recorder
Videos and reviews from around the web
So far we haven’t seen too many independent reviews but there are a number of video demos and hands-on with the recorder that are worth watching if you are considering buying the unit.
Tech HD in-depth look at the features and control of the Tascam Portacapture X8
Robert Dudzic had a chance to work with the recorder and demo it in this video
If you liked this video you might also be interested in our section on sound recording for video productions.