Does The Tascam DR-40 Have Phantom Power?

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The Tascam DR-40X is a versatile four-track audio recorder that lets you bring more portability to your podcasting. With its built-in microphones and inputs for instruments and other mics, you can create a unique sound anywhere.

You can record hundreds of hours of audio with only one SD card with the Tascam DR-40X’s design. It uses a dual-in, dual-out USB audio interface that works with PC and Mac and has an auto-record feature that lets you create content hands-free.

Its best feature is arguably the XLR-TRS combo inputs with phantom power, allowing up to four channels to be recorded simultaneously.

Related: RE20 Mic Phantom Power: All You Need to Know.

Receive Professional Live Capture with Line Level Input

What makes the Tascam DR-40X stand out compared to similar portable recorders is how it captures audio in the wild.

You’ll find dual Neutrik® XLR and TRS combination jacks on the DR-40X that support microphone level and +4 dBu line-line inputs to accept balanced audio. You can also get line-level benefits from a FOH console or mixers.

Tascam includes a microphone preamp with 48V phantom power and plenty of gain to help you achieve a detailed recording with a condenser and electret-type microphones. You can also tap into the benefits of the stereo mics equipped with the unit for ambient audience sounds while recording directly to an external console.

If you love recording a live podcast and want that energy incorporated into your eventual file, the Tascam DR-40X offers the right setup for nearly any environment. Its range goes from whispers to loud overhead jets, capturing each detail up to 125 dB. The microphones are adjustable and unidirectional for XY pattern recording with tight imaging.

The phantom power is switchable globally with a slide switch on the left-hand panel to prevent accidental damage when prompted to confirm that you want to turn it on.

What Is Phantom Power?

Tascam DR-40x. Image source.

Phantom power is the direct current transmitted through microphone cables to operate a mic with active electronic circuitry. It’s a convenient power source for anyone that uses a condenser-style microphone for any purpose, from live music to podcasting.

Depending on where you live, you might call this tech a “capacitor microphone.”

True condenser microphones have active electronics. They require voltage to polarize the transducer element, and phantom power delivers the energy needed for both purposes.

When the phantom power feature doesn’t work as expected with the Tascam DR-40X, it likely means you’ve got a bad cable. There could also be an issue with your microphone.

You’ll receive 48V with this portable recorder, although some condenser microphones operate on as little as 9V. If you use less power, you might see a decreased performance from the unit or audio degradation.

If you prefer to use a ribbon microphone with your DR-40X, you’ll need phantom power to have a successful experience. It would be best if you didn’t plug the mic into a preamp with the phantom power engaged to prevent damage.

Another common issue with ribbon microphones and phantom power involves an improperly wired XLR cable. It helps to match up the specs for each part of your recording structure to ensure that everything can work cohesively.

Specifications of the Tascam DR-40X to Review

If you’re interested in adding the DR-40X to your podcasting equipment, here is the information to review on its specs to see if it can meet your needs.

Recording Media: SD Card (Up to 2 GB); SDHC (Up to 32 GB); SDXC (Up to 128 GB)
File System: FAT 16 / 32, exFAT
Recording File Format: WAV / BWF (44.1k, 48k, 96k Hz; 16 / 24 bit); MP3 (44.1k or 48k Hz; 32k to 320k bps; VBR, ID3TAG, V2.4)
Number of Channels: Four (two stereo)
Nominal Input Level: -19 dBv (mic); +4 dBu (line)
Maximum Input Level: -3 dBv (mic); +20 dBu (line)
Playback Speed Control: 0.5 to 2.0 times in 0.1 increments with 44.1k or 48k only
Line Output Level: -14 dBV (nominal); +2 dBV (maximum) on 10-ohm load.

How Good Is the Tascam DR-40X?

You’ll find plenty of fun features to try for your podcasting needs with the Tascam DR-40X portable recorder. You can have up to two seconds of pre-record facility, and there’s a self-timer to let you prepare for the next segment before the recording process actually starts.

A limiter, an auto-gain corrector, digital EQ, split functions, and many other features let you customize the sound without hindering versatility.

Although it would be helpful to capture mono recordings, most podcasters will find this tool to be an essential item for their setup. When the benefits of the included phantom power are included in the mix, you’ll have many ways to add new content.