Most portable recorders come with an array of physical buttons, switches and toggles. It’s part of what makes them practical and charming to use. But with its new Portacapture X8, Tascam wants to make the case for a touchscreen interface.
The X8 isn’t the first portable recorder to go down the smartphone route. Zoom’s H8 has a touchscreen display too, but it’s smaller and the interface isn’t as modern as the one offered by Tascam. The X8’s software has an emphasis on presets that the company says help to simplify the process of picking the optimal settings for a specific situation. You can also control the device remotely with your smartphone if you purchase Tascam’s AK-BT1 Bluetooth adapter.
The Portacapture X8 features two 14.6mm condenser microphones that support 32-bit float point recording. Since you can detach the microphones from the device, there’s the possibility Tascam will release optional capsules down the road. It’s possible to reposition the microphones in either an A/B or X/Y orientation. With four XLR/TRS inputs (and two mix tracks), you can use the X8 to record up to eight tracks simultaneously. You’ll also find a dedicated headphone jack on the device, in addition to external in and line-out connections. A built-in USB-C port also allows you to use the device as an audio interface.
Tascam hasn’t said how much the X8 will cost. But as an H8 competitor, we imagine it will fall somewhere in the $400 range. That’s a lot to spend on a portable recorder, but for prosumers, it comes with a lot of desirable features.