Tascam DR-40 Firmware – Independent Levels

Did Tascam just drop a bomb on the Zoom H4n? The more affordable Tascam DR-40 is a great little recorder, but fell short when people realized you didn't have the same independent audio track levels like a Zoom H4n. The new firmware released today (found here), now adds that functionality to the Tascam DR-40. It still may not be as full featured as the Zoom H4n, but it has enough features for the average shooter, and this little recorder is $100 dollars cheaper than the Zoom H4n.

find-price-button Tascam DR-40 4 Track Digital Portable Audio Recorder

32 thoughts on “Tascam DR-40 Firmware – Independent Levels

  1. Stephen Le Page

    The TASCAM DR-40 produces a very nice recording.

    The ability to swing the microphones out into A-B mode is highly desirable, and makes a stereo recording that is much more natural to listen to on headphones than X-Y. Incidentally, I think the arrangement of the microphones when in 'A-B' mode really should be called 'simplified binaural' as the spacing is similar to our ears like in a binaural recording, but simplified because it lacks the dummy human head. When I arrange a pair of RODE NT4 microphones in simplified binaural, just like the DR-40’s A-B arrangement, it provides a very sweet stereo recording e.g.: httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m38r9Z2oPSc

    The H4N lacks the ability to separate microphones to be more headphones compatible, and it more expensive than the DR-40, making the DR-40 my preferred device.

    The only downside is the lack of a USB audio interface, so I cannot use the DR-40 as a USB audio interface when doing audio overdubbing/commentary in NLE video editing software, requiring me to record standalone then import and sync the audio retrospectively, which is much more time consuming, but gives me higher quality audio.

    I am hoping that TASCAM will release a firmware upgrade that gives the DR-40 the ability to be a USB audio interface.

  2. andy

    When you plug in the H4n via USB it auto recognizes and asks if you want to use for Audio I/F (Interface) or storage.

    I also have the Dr-40 and cant find an I/F option...super disappointed I assumed it did. Unless I am missing it too would love to know if it does!

  3. Caue

    I am looking everywhere about using the DR-40 as an audio interface, as with the H4n.

    Does anyone know if it has that functionality also? Therefore removing the latency when using midi controllers to music production?

  4. Patrick


    How does one go about using the DR40 as a usb audio interface? I've looked everywhere and haven't found anything to that effect. What am I missing?

  5. Possibly one frame drift in hour test. Preamps are quiet and I believe the "preamp" noise some are discussing is external. Sweet recorder.

  6. @Eric Small: I did not test with different cards, but I can't imagine that would affect the sync. I don't have my DR-40 any more, but if you test different cards I'd be interested to hear if there is a difference.

  7. Gleb G

    Hello! I am looking into that Tascam machine and as I heard preamp are not so cool, especially using external mics.
    How do you compare Zoom H4n and Tascam dr 40 preamps? Very interested in usage of NTG-2 with one of them.

    And how about using this thing?

    Rode D-PowerPlug
    not sure if its still on sale. read somewhere that this guy solved the problem of unwanted noise for H4n user

    Or would you recommend any other inexpansive preams to use with Tascam or Zoom to get clear neat soung out of NTG-2?
    I just think this is a good deal to spend 150$ on tascam and invest some into preamps
    What do you think?
    Sorry for bad english, foreigner
    Thanks for help!

  8. @ Paul Kagawa just received my DR-40 and I am learning as much as possible since I will be using it to record for short films. I assume you are running your unit for 1 hour continuously when you record.

    I wonder if when you did your recordings you tested with different SD cards. In other words, could the make, model and/or class of the sound card have anything to do with the sound drift?

  9. Guys i am looking here at problems that i have not encounter yet, we recorded a video for over 2 hours ans recorded on the DR-40 and we had not porlems at all at the moment of editing.

    May be we just did not noticed, but belief me 4 frams out of sink is a lot. So in our experience the DR-40 have better recording quality, better options and a more robust unit, we will be shooting on the beach for a few days and I will take the DR-40 instead of the zoom.

  10. Paul Kagawa

    To follow up on the Tascam DR-40 -- It turns out the sync drifts a lot more than the H4n, at least with my setup. I did a test and after one hour the DR-40 was slow by 9 frames (noticeable echo), the H4n by 2 frames (not so noticeable) compared to the audio from a Sony HDR-AX2000.

    Here's the test: https://wp.me/p2gorK-1I

    I'd be interested to see if anyone else finds the same amount of drift, or if it's just my particular DR-40.

  11. Zsolto

    Great news -- and you still can't have a proper A-B mike config with the Zoom H4N as opposed to the DR-40. And the H4N will still have the audio drift problem, can't be powered via USB and I have not even realized you can use the DR-40 as a USB interface. Wow, that's also great news.
    The H4N has more inputs but costs considerably more. I think I will go with the DR-40.

    Great site, btw, thans for the bunch of info here 🙂

  12. Rob S.

    @Paul Kagawa You should try file recovery software to search for lost files. There are quite a few freeware versions that are made for removable media and they work great. Saved my butt on a couple of occasions.

    By the way, one of the reasons why you may have lost that file is because you interrupted a process. Like if you did something like turn the recorder off or open the card door while the recorder was writing to the card. Sometimes recorders will buffer that info so won't write to the card right away. If you interrupt the process, the file gets lost.

  13. Paul Kagawa

    Emm, the DR-40 can be USB bus powered too. I used it for a 4-hour shoot the other day and powered it with an iSound external USB battery & a mini USB cable. Worked great. The iSound can be plugged into AC too, so you don't need to buy a Tascam AC adapter.

    On the down side, one of the files didn't write to the card and I lost about an hour of audio. Could be I was using an unsupported (Adata 16gb Class 6) card though, so I'm not blaming the DR-40 yet.

    Sound quality on the DR-40 is excellent.

  14. Mohammad H

    Hi Emm, many thanks for the amazing site, I learned a Ton Thanks for sharing your thoughts & experience 🙂

    I've the Dr-40 + some mics
    I have some recording problems
    that's a sample


    is it the 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter Or the mics?? both mics I use are Stereo and the input jack is Mono

    + what's the things to look for -in settings- while recording...Mainly for HDDSLR audio stuff

  15. I seriously considered getting the DR-40 a couple weeks ago, but a couple of the reviews on B&H claimed it had problems with noisy preamps and something about this being related to a hardware problem on the unit. I picked up a Zoom H2n instead for $160 on Amazon, but I just noticed that B&H has the DR-40 right now for the same price.

    Having redundant recorders and XLR inputs would definitely be awesome, especially since B&H has it for $140 cheaper than the H4n. Anyone have thoughts?

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Frank Suero - I haven't used the Tascam DR-40 enough to say it's better, but I do hear that a lot. I believe the Zoom H4n has a few minor features the DR-40 doesn't, like to be powered via USB, used as a USB microphone to your computer, and other very minor features that DSLR shooters probably won't need.

  17. Doug Gander

    The zoom has 4 imputs(3 inputs one stereo) the tascam has 2 thats a big diffrence for those recording 4 line ins with a mixer

  18. to my experience EMM the DR-40 is a better recorder, I upgrade mine and made it even better now. What features are lacking form the H4N?

    Thanks any way for the post EMM and keep up the good work

  19. Travis W

    So you can give different levels for input 1 and input 2? Or different levels for input 1/2 and onboard mic? Doesn't the H4N only offer the latter?

  20. James Booba

    awesome got this recorder after owning the DR-08 for quite some time. reason been the better quality / preamps then the crappy H4N ... since im using 2 mono channel recording, thats a great update for me!

  21. sKiZZ

    Ya, what features does this lack compared to the H4n? I have the H4n, but looking for a cheaper one now...

  22. funny.. I just bought this earlier today $159 ebay. Lack of independent levels was the only thing that annoyed me before buying. Awesome to hear! the dual mode to save me in the field and now this, very exciting.

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