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TASCAM Portacapture X8 Recorder w/ 32-bit Float Audio & Timecode

Photo Moment - August 02, 2022

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If you've ever ruined your audio because it clipped out of range, or you've ever struggled to get your audio in sync, then you want to watch this video!

⚠️ This video was sponsored by TASCAM ⚠️

Products Mentioned

TASCAM Portacapture X8 timecode displayTASCAM Portacapture X8 timecode display

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TASCAM Portacapture X8 AK-BT1 Bluetooth adapter for timecode supportTASCAM Portacapture X8 AK-BT1 Bluetooth adapter for timecode support

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📄 Full Video Transcript

Now, if there could be an option to auto start/stop recording on the X8 with the camera set to “rec run” timecode mode, that’d be dope (my camera barfs timecode out over HDMI and the Ninja runs its timecode based off that, which then runs the timecode on my X8—I have everything powered off a funky D-Tap setup and everything has its own idea about voltage so, with all of these converters, I get ground hum if I try running the X8 out to the camera, hence why I record separates).

I find it kind of annoying that I have to hit two record buttons when I do videos, but at the same time, this recorder has saved my bacon on so many projects that I just ended up incorporating it as my main audio source. Besides that, the R5 C has kind of a crappy internal preamp (my mic is unusably noisy on the cam in, but it sounds nice and crispy on the X8).
Yeah, I have looked at the MixPre, but I already bought the X8 so, ya know, may as well make the most of it (at least setting timecode is nice and quick, and this thing runs for a crazy long time even on only 256GB).

I’d prefer to have files along with the videos, but timecode syncing is FAR better than nothing at all (especially given the crispy audio this thing records with functionally everything being recoverable).
What you’re sayin if I’m reading correctly, and AFAIK that’s correct, is that the X8 doesn’t have start/stop with timecode, right? Yes that would be useful. I think the MixPre series does that.
Thanks. So no way to plug in to a time code generator? If I already have a time code system I have to buy 3 more devices to get time code with this, correct?
Are there any 32 bit field recorders, that you know of, that time code in an easier way?
hello Joseph, please speak with Tascam, we need native timecode that works with deity or tentacle devices. The system of Atomos sucks.
The tascam (at least this model) doesn’t have a physical input for timecode so Bluetooth is the only option. The ATOMOS BT can be tricky to connect sometimes; I’ve found doing a reset on the BT hardware usually get it working. Also make sure all hardware has the latest firmware updates.
aight, but why can't I find the AtomX Sync for my TWO ninja v recorders ANYWHERE?
Apparently they’ve been discontinued!! Shock to me too. Not sure what may replace it other than the ATOMOS Connect system.
can i use the app on the phone to listen the recorder?
No, but you can see the levels. At least… I don’t think you can. I’ve never plugged in headphones! But I’m pretty sure the answer is no.
Why the lumix cams have so noisy amps? dont no another brand cause i have the s5II only, but is pretty noisy in all kind of levels. thanxs
@@PS-ys9yg I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve done hundreds (thousands?) of recordings with lav and small shotgun mics on nearly every LUMIX camera made with dozens of mics and have never had a problem with the noise floor or SNR. Perhaps your camera had a fault. I would contact technical support in your region.
@@photojoseph i tried direct plugin a lavalier senheiser mic with the camera and the iphone. But i used to use the rode wireless go II
@@PS-ys9yg what mic are you using? And how are you connecting that same mic to your iPhone to compare?
@@photojoseph thanx for asking Joseph. I find the audio really noisy, i have to set in -18db for the less possible noise, but still i have important amount of noise. If i compare recording audio even with my Phone, i find i have better results in terms of noise base.
I’m having a hard time understanding your question. Are you talking about the audio pre-amps? Did you say you “don’t know any other brand” or that “no other brand has this”? I really don’t know what you’re asking. I’ve never found the pre-amps to be noisy but I’m no audiophile, and I’ve certainly never critically compared to other brands. You can get XLR input with the XLR1 accessory if that matters to you.
Hey Joseph, thanks for another great video and the informative knowledge about timecode. You just made the process all clear and simple. It's really interesting. And do you know Deity TC-1? As you explained that Tascam X8 used BT timecode. So is there a way to use Deity TC-1 with X8?
Thank you Leo. The X8 unfortunately only supports timecode through Bluetooth, so support for it has to be written in. I don’t think Deity is supported. They do make a nice setup though.
With the Ultra Sync One no longer being available, what's the best option?
So wait, If I got a canon R5c. And a Tascam X8. I would need 1 atomos ultra synch blue and 1 Ultra One? The ultra one would give timecode to the R5c and the Atomos blue would give timecode to the Tascam X8 through Bluetooth?? If thats the case how do you connect the tascam to the atomos blue through bluetooth? I know you'd need the Bluetooth card but how do you synch them together??
@@photojoseph Google says its a "BNC" port? That sound correct? And alright. So all id have to do is synch the blue and ultra one so they have the same time code (make one a master and one a slave) and then just connect the ultra one to the R5c and connect the blue to the x8 and sounds like that will work?
I looked up the R5c and see that it does have timecode input, but I can't quite tell what that port is. If it's mini-DIN, cool. If it's proprietary, then you should check with ATOMOS to ensure they have a cable that is compatible with the R5c. Start here To your question, yes you need two devices unfortunately; an UltraSync ONE for the camera, and the UltraSync BLUE for the X8. Connecting the BLUE and X8 is just pairing them through the X8's menu, just like you'd pair any bluetooth headphones to your computer, for example. I hope that helps!
When using 32-bit float, am I able to set the level on the recorder at any level I want (whether its the lowest or highest it can go) before recording or should I still play it safe and set it to what I usually set it at before recording? I know I can later adjust it in post, but I am not sure what the best approach is when you're first recording using the setting.
It’s always best to set it right while recording.
Thanks for this nice review. I do own a Tascam X8 and..during recording a choir one of the external mic clipped at some time. It was recorded in 32-bit float audio.If I understand the principle, I don't know which software are able to redesign the audio wave under a non tipping track. Thanks for your help. Best regards from Parma.
But will it work with tentacle sync timecode?
No, the system is designed for ATOMOS timecode. Different protocols I think.
Hey @photoJoseph, it's been a while since your last video... We miss you bud
Thanks mate. I’m still here… took off most of August and now working on three videos at once 😂
Very informative video, would you also be able to sync a zoom F2 BT over the Xsync or do I have to get the ultrasync blue? I would like to consider getting the F2 as a 32bit backup for my mixpre3. Thank and great channel, Subbed!
Announced today: “With the introduction of the V1.30 firmware update, the Portacapture X8 now has the capability to use 32-bit float point resolution when using the unit as a USB audio interface to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This facilitates wider dynamic range, higher resolution, and greater audio quality for better overall record quality. The 32-bit float technology enables audio to be dynamically controlled and edited virtually without limitations. Clipped audio segments can easily be corrected and, similarly, low level audio passages can be adjusted to a higher dB level.

Paul Youngblood, Director of Product Marketing at TASCAM, commented on the new features offered by the V1.30 firmware update, “The Portacapture X8 has proven itself to be a full-featured, powerful handheld recorder both on its own or when used in tandem with a computer. As a company, we strive to listen carefully to our users, as this enables us to learn first-hand how our equipment gets used in a wide range of applications—and the V1.30 update is a perfect example of this. We’ve taken the most requested capabilities and turned those into new features that make the Portacapture X8 even more versatile and useful.”
@@photojoseph Very neat. “The USB MIX MINUS function can now be used in the PODCAST app.
This can suppress the occurrence of echoes in audio from remote participants when capturing podcasts.”
Great job, Joseph. Best explanation of 32-bit float I've ever heard. Now I get it! Fantastic system.
Thanks Bob! Glad it was educational for you☺️
Very Well, very « pro » , thank’s a lot
Thanks for watching!
After camera upgrade advice please. A few years back I switched from Nikon D3300 to Panasonic G7W, Australian model. It let me upgrade to filming in 4K and really happy with what it can do. Great value also. If I want to upgrade, what sort of models would I be looking at? I would like to improve in these areas: No crop in 4k and larger sensor, especially interested in anything that is good value. Thank you!
@@photojoseph Will do, thank you for the advice 🙂
For best value, look at a used GH5. Now that the GH6 is out, you should be able to pick up a GH5 for relatively cheap. Great great camera, and a very solid upgrade to your G7.
Might benefit from de-essing your recording, this video is particularly harsh to listen to, too bad for an audio guide…
@@photojoseph not trying to make ya feel bad at all, but there's also a noticeable high-pitched hum noise in the background in addition to the harsh esses and other plosives. I'm only a little irked since you're literally explaining how to get good audio here.
You’re the first to say that. It is de-essed and I thought I did a pretty good job but I’m not an audio expert. It’s a challenge to be perfect at everything as a solo-creator.
Neat. Nice job keeping it simple 👍
Thank you kind sir ☺️
While the X8 is a great audio recorder, there is one big drawback that make it challenging to use with timecode. TC only works with the Atomos products. It does not have TC generator built-in so it must rely on something external. Unfortunately, the only option is bluetooth. It would have been awesome if Tascam made the Line Out 3.5mm port a flex port that allowed other TC devices to jam sync. I've been using the Tentacle Sync system for awhile and it's absolutely incredible. I sold my X8 and bought a Zoom F6 since it has a dedicated TC input as well as the ability to generate it's own if necessary. The only other issues I had with the X8 were the handling noise while recording and no option to record in polywav format. I guess we can't have it all, right?!! 🤣🤣
fair enough ☺️ I like a poly file, too.
Now if only we could get live streaming programs like ecamm to recognize and align timecode. I don’t know if that’s possible, I’m not a programmer… I’m tired of messing with delaying audio. It’s 2022 and timecode(s) have been around for decades.
Timecode for alignment would be handy for live, yes!
Wow, such a clear and concise video. I learned so much in so little time about audio. I’m looking at the Zoom F3 recorder but I’m unsure if it’s 32 bit float. Is this a viable replacement for your Tascam if 2 tracks is all I need? Thank you for such great videos!
It is float; I just looked it up! Enjoy; Zoom makes great hardware, too.
Would it be possible to feed the output into a RodeCaster Pro2?
Got it. As long as you record them on the X8, then you can still pipe it into the rodecaster and only use the backup if you need it.
@@photojoseph More thinking of it as like a backup for " That one guest " whose that has voice is so loud that there can hear it in the next show. , and you can go in a fix it up somewhat later.
if the Rodecaster has a line input, then yes. However you can only RECORD in float; the output will be limited. At least I’m 90% sure!
Just bought the Tascam a week ago. Thanks for showing stuff most others won’t. I was curious about version 1.20. I will definitely look into buying a time code device in the future. Curios would one of diety tc-1’s work in place of the ultrasync 1?
@@photojoseph Yep I get it as well.
No, it’s tied to the ATOMOS protocol. I’ve never used the Deity but I know that the ATOMOS and TentacleSync devices don’t talk to each other. Which is a shame, but I get it.
I love 32-bit float. And well, time code is an essential utility for any multicam recording.
It’s pretty great stuff isn’t it!
The timecode example with you at the creek dipping your feet is the best example. People don't think about how loud that water renders on a mic+recorder, ever. If dialog iss worth recording, it's worth isolating the environmental noise from those people talking.
I'm not taking away anything from the video, it's a great video! But I have to add, for situations like that, you'd use a clapper, that's what it's for. Obviously, timecode is more convenient, I'm just saying it's not essential.
Thanks Eric and I totally agree — I liked that one best as you could almost-sorta-kinda hear my dialog, but certainly not enough to match!
Having started editing before NLE's, I missed having time code. Nobody thought it was necessary. I am very happy it is making a comeback.
Timecode is THE BEST!
One other reason you may not record sound in the video file. When using an external recorder, some cameras allow you to remove the audio from HDMI/SDI to reduce latency in the video (Panasonic does this in select cameras).

Great topic BTW, powerful case for 32bit float.
@@PANAFRAZER huh… now that you say that I do recall that being mentioned by our friends at datavideo. Ok!
@@photojoseph actually, the S1H, BGH1, BS1H and a few others.
Really! I’ve not heard of that before. I guess you’re talking about Panasonic cinema cameras? And thanks!
Just had this problem. Thanks.
Hopefully now you have a solution! ☺️
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