Are you a content creator, podcaster or live streamer? Need access to multiple audio inputs, and the ability to record and mix audio on the go? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, the Tascam Portacapture X8 could be made for you.
Tascam Portacapture X8
If you’re a content creator, podcaster, or location recordist, then Tascam’s new release, the Portacapture X8, will be of interest. You’ll undoubtedly have heard of Tascam, as they’re without a doubt, one of the bigger players in audio capture devices and recorders. Importantly, this new release debuts a new product name, the “Portacapture”. The X8 is a high-spec “Swiss Army Knife” of a product. Let’s dig in and check out those features.
An Audio “Swiss Army Knife”
So, what do you get when you buy a Portacapture X8? Well, fundamentally it’s an 8-track, portable media recorder with an integrated stereo mic array. Additionally, the X8 can act as a stand-alone mixer and audio interface, over USB-C.
You can use the Portacapture X8 with your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices. Of course, if you want to use it standalone, that’s easy too. The full-colour touch screen gives you easy access to most functions and controls.
Likes and Dislikes!
Here’s what we like about the feature set:
- Large format AB/XY configurable condenser mics – nice!
- 32-bit floating-point processing and sampling rates up to 192 kHz
- “Unclippable” mic preamp design
- Stereo 3.5mm audio pass-through for digital video cameras
- Multiple pre-configured recording apps
- Bus-powered and can additionally provide mic phantom power over bus power
- Onboard reverb
We’re not so crazy about…
- Perhaps a little large to mount onto today’s compact mirrorless vlogging cameras?
- Individual phantom power only selectable over computer/app control
- Bluetooth is an optional hardware add-on – bit of a disappointing.
Undoubtedly, the obvious competition to the Portacapture X8 is from Zoom’s H8. I reviewed the Zoom H8 last year and found it to be an amazing piece of kit. At first glance, the Tascam appears to be slightly more streamlined and premium in design. The X8 offers clever connection touches like the camera loop through connections which may sell the Portacapture by themselves.
The Tascam unit comes in at a higher price-point to the excellent Zoom H8, however, so unless you really need that added functionality, the Zoom may offer a useful saving.
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