Now we’re talking. Tascam’s upcoming HD-P2 is finally a portable Compact Flash recorder that doesn’t skimp on pro features. Incredibly, its street price will be under US$1000, but the preliminary specs read like a device costing a lot more, and by providing timecode input on a cheap device, it’s an indie filmmaker’s dream recorder:

  • Up to 192 kHz / 24-bit
  • Absolutely silent (no transport noise, cough, DAT!), latched CF slot (so it doesn’t pop out accidentally)
  • Broadcast WAVE recording
  • FireWire for connecting to PC/MAC for instant file access
  • Data loss protection (continually re-saves data)
  • XLR mic inputs with phantom power and analog peak limiting
  • Unbalanced RCA I/O plus S/PDIF digital I/O
  • Built-in mic and speaker
  • Runs on AA batteries for 5.5 hours (battery pack could be an accessory in the future, a la the DA-P1)
  • Timecode input, video clock input, input chasing

  • Let’s focus on that last one for a moment: a $900 street recorder will have timecode input for sync in video shoots. That’s something even most DAT recorders don’t have. Edirol’s R-4 recorder is great, and has a 40GB hard drive instead of a CF slot, but it costs $600-700 more and lacks sync.

    Timecode in has never been this cheap before. People might actually start syncing their audio recordings. Wow.

    I got a chance to handle this box at AES, and quite simply, it’s beautiful. It’s got the same solid, crisp feel as Tascam’s DA-P1 portable DAT I’ve used a zillion times. It’s simple and inexpensive enough that amateurs and education will pick it up, but with serious enough features that it could become a hallmark of video shoots. Bravo, Tascam.

    Tascam HD-P2 Recorder [Product Info]