It’s a common issue if you’re on a budget — how do you capture quality audio when filming spoken-word subjects? Yes, a shotgun mic with a fluffy windsock and external recorder is ideal, but that requires another operator. The next best option is a wireless lapel mic system — of which there are several — but even the cheapest of these is out of reach to those of us just starting out.
Tascam’s new DR-10L squarely addresses the issue. At first glance it looks like a wireless lavalier, but the pack that resembles an antenna-less transmitter is actually a recorder. So it’s not a ‘wireless’ system at all, simply a lapel mic that plugs into a minuscule, single-AAA-powered recording unit. Of course this means you have to sync the audio to video later, but the upside is that the lack of any built-in RF tech translates directly to affordability. The DR-10L is expected to go for just $199. Another positive is you’ll never be ‘out of range’, perfect for when you’re shooting a Bear Grylls wannabe jumping out of a helicopter while narrating it (windsock advised).
The DR-10L records audio as 24-bit/48k wave files to microSD or microSDHC cards. Tascam states a recording of up to 10 hours on a single AAA battery. Other features include a built-in limiter, HPF, bright, daylight-friendly OLED display, and Tascam’s Dual Recording mode to warrant against clipping.