Audio - Tascam DR-05 Recorder

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The DMS has digital recorders available for loan. These recorders are good for recording lectures, interviews, podcasts or even narrations for video. This is designed for pre-recorded content that you could later add to a streaming website such as Panopto.

The Tascam DR-05 is a battery powered recorder that allows users to easily create high quality audio recordings and save them as either .wav or .mp3 files. It features 2 highly sensitive condenser microphones which allow for stereo recording, and will sound noticeably better than recordings created using built-in laptop or PC mics. It has a mic input for lapel mics as well. It records directly to a micro SD card that can then be then transferred to your computer. These recorders are good for recording lectures, interviews, podcasts or even narrations for video. One nice feature is you can take an audio file recorded from the Tascam and sync it with the audio recorded from a camcorder to replace the audio track with the better sounding Tascam recording. Digital recorders and cell phone recorders tend to pick up quite a bit of handling noise if being moved or held so you will want to keep the device stationary while recording.

A lapel mic is also included in the kit and it requires an TRRS to TRS adapter. To operate the microphone, simply press and hold the power/stop button to turn on. The device runs on AA batteries so if it doesn’t power on it could mean one of two things. One the battery is dead or two the hold switch is on. The hold switch will prevent the device from being accidentally powered on if it is switched on. It will also prevent the device from being powered off if the device is already on.

To record simply press the big record button twice. Note that pressing it once puts you into a pre-recording state that allows you to set your recording levels. You will know you are in this pre-recording state if the light is flashing red on the front of the recorder. This is telling the microphone how to set the sensitivity of the microphone to reach certain decibels. A really healthy decibel level for audio recording is -12db. This should be the goal. Between -18 and -12db is healthy. Peaking at -6db is safe too. What you need to watch for if the audio meters are going over 0db. If it does over 0 then the audio over modulates and clips. Clipped audio will sound distorted. We recommend you run a test with your speaker to set the appropriate level for their speaking voice before recording.

To set that level in the pre-recording state (after pressing record once) you just need to tap either left or right from the front dial. Tapping right will increase the sensitivity and tapping left will decrease it. Between 60-70 on this scale seems to work for most applications. You can then watch the decibel level and practice speaking and keep adjusting it to see what decibels your reaching. Once you are satisfied with the level you can tap record a 2nd time to actually start the recording. Now you will see the flashing red light turn into a static red light and you will see your timecode for the recording start to count up. 

To stop recording simply tap the stop button. This will create a separate file for each time you start and stop recording. If you would like to pause a recording you can tap the record button. Tap the record button again to resume the recording and this will keep the recording all in the same file.

If using the lapel mic, you need to make sure that mic power is set to on in the menu settings. To navigate to the correct setting (go here - need to get hands on with the menu again to describe this). Note that you also need to make sure to attach the included TRRS to TRS adapter for this microphone to make it compatible with the Tascam. The mic power setting should hold as the default setting, but if someone changes it then it would need to be set again.

If you wish to change the recording settings from a .wav file to a .mp3 to get even longer recording time, you can navigate to the settings menu. Changing between the different kbps bitrate settings will also allow for more recording time. 

As mentioned above the Tascam really works well as a wireless solution to recording high quality audio. It can then be later synced together with another audio source from a video camcorder in post production. However there have been reported issues with syncing mp3’s to audio from a video camera track, so we recommend using the .wav file format if you plan on syncing and replacing audio tracks in videos with a Tascam track. 

To learn more about the Tascam DR-05 and how to integrate them into your teaching, please contact us at

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