Equipment Catalog

Tascam HD-P2 High-Definition Solid-State Audio Recorder

The Tascam HD-P2 records 24-bit 192kHz uncompressed linear PCM audio to Compact Flash memory cards. The solid-state storage medium allows for faster media acquisition via direct file-transfer to any computer, using the Firewire 400 file-transfer protocol. The audio files can be imported to any NLE system, such as the Department’s Final Cut Pro, iLife, or Logic software suites.

The Tascam HD-P2 connects to audio equipment via mic-level balanced XLR, line-level unbalanced stereo RCA, or digital audio coaxial inputs. Additionally, the HD-P2 can also synchronize to external devices, either via female XLR Timecode-In, or BNC Clock-In, for dual-system recording set-ups – however, these features are not actively supported by the current F&DM Production Concentration program.

The Tascam HD-P2’s bundled kit permits a maximum allowable recording time of 1 hour at its highest recording fidelity.

Tascam HD-P2 Audio Kit

The F&DM Equipment Checkout Lab releases the Tascam HD-P2 High-Definition Solid State Recorder in an Audio Kit package.

This package includes:

  • 4GB CompactFlash Memory Card
  • PS-1225L AC Adaptor
  • UC-207 AC Cable
  • NiMH AA Batteries (16)
  • ULTRA Rapid-Charger
  • 6-to-6 pin Firewire 400 Cable
  • 6-to-9 pin Firewire 400-to-800 Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Protective Carrying Case
  • XLR Cables (2)
  • Manual
  • Quick-Start Guide
  • 1/4″ Stereo Adapter

NOTE: This audio kit does not come with an external microphone included! Production students are expected to reserve specialty and/or advanced external microphones separately, to be used in concert with the Tascam HD-P2 Audio Kit.

Technical Specifications and Settings

The HD-P2 is designed for the following audio connections:

  • Balanced microphone-level input, with Phantom-power (+48V) option — stereo-pair L/R XLR input
  • Unbalanced line-level input and output — stereo-pair L/R RCA
  • Digital-audio input and output — RCA coaxial

By default, all HD-P2 recorders are set to record in the highest fidelity setting: PCM Linear Audio, BWF .WAV format, 24-Bit 192-kHz.

External configuration settings include:

  • Line/Mic Level Switches, with independent Left Channel/Right Channel control
  • Mic Source Switch, selecting between Internal (Built-In) and External (XLR) signal-sources
  • Phantom Switch, turning the Phantom-power (+48V) option on or off
  • Attenuation Pad Switches, with independent Left Channel/Right Channel control between 0 and -20 dB (XLR inputs only)
  • Low Cut Switch, turning the Low Cut high-pass filter on or off
  • Limiter Switch, turning the automatic gain level control on or off
  • Stereo Link Switch, which links left and right channel levels together for uniform, rather than discrete, Limiter control

Generally, it is recommended to maintain manual control of the recorder at all times, and not to engage the latter two automated features listed above — as the recorder’s operating system may make undesirable choices adversely affecting the final recording quality.

For more details covering the various settings, please refer to the User Guide.

Channel and Connection Settings:

The HD-P2 allows a total of twenty different combinations of input settings. It is important to be aware that the channel-setting and the connection-setting can be defined independently of one another. If both settings are not taken into account, the user’s recording may wind up with unintended and undesirable results.

In summary there are four channel-settings to consider:

  • STEREO: The Left and Right Channel connection jacks function as a discrete primary input, recording the left and right signals into a respective stereo track.
  • MONO LEFT: The Left Channel connection jack functions as the sole input, recording a monaural audio track. Note that any signals connected to the Right Channel jack will not be recorded.
  • MONO RIGHT: The Right Channel connection jack functions as the sole input, recording a monaural audio track. Note that any signals connected to the Left Channel jack will not be recorded.
  • MONO SUMMED: Both Left and Right Channel jacks function as a combined mono input, used to convert stereo inputs into monaural audio tracks. The advantage of this setting being that converted signals will be properly summed together, without any signal-strength distortions. Recommended only for converting stereo signal sources to monaural.

By default, all HD-P2 recorders are set to record in stereo audio.

In summary, there are five different input-settings to consider:

  • INT MIC (Internal Microphone): The signal is recorded from the microphone built into the body of the HD-P2. Generally not recommended for use, as these microphone inputs are inferior in quality as compared to using a dedicated-purpose external microphone device.
  • XLR-MIC (External Microphone): The signal is recorded via the XLR inputs, from a mic-level balanced audio source — typically a condenser microphone.
  • XLR-LINE: The signal is recorded via the XLR inputs, from a balanced line-level audio source.
  • RCA-LINE: The signal is recorded via the RCA inputs, from an unbalanced line-level audio source.
  • S/PDIF (Digital): The signal is recorded via the RCA coaxial input, directly from a digital-audio source. This is not an audio recording so much as a direct duplication of the digital audio data file, from which the audio is generated, copied in real-time.
  • NOTE: The last setting is accessed within the HD-P2 internal menu system — not via external control. When the S/PDIF Digital In is selected, all other inputs are disabled.

    So, if a user wishes to use an external microphone, they should make sure to set the HD-P2 connection to “MIC” and not “INT MIC” — one such example of a common mistake.

    Other Details

    The Phantom-power option (+48V) for the XLR connectors should only be used for such type microphones. Engaging the Phantom-power option in conjunction with a battery-powered microphone may have particularly harmful effects, such as permanent damage to the connector due to voltage overload. Users should take care to confirm that the proper settings correspond with the microphones they are using accordingly. It is also recommended that the Phantom-power be switched off before connecting or disconnecting a Phantom-powered microphone from the audio recorder, so as to prevent any potential damage from voltage spikes and drops.

Additional Resources:

Access, Instruction, and Support

The Tascam HD-P2 High-Definition Solid-State Audio Recorder is provided for F&DM production students upon enrollment in one of the F&DM Department's production courses.

Access to the Tascam HD-P2 High-Definition Solid-State Audio Recorder, like all of the department's A/V production equipment, is mediated through the Equipment Checkout Lab in accordance with course allocation assignments, and granted on an individual basis upon meeting specific criteria.

Any and all problems experienced with the Tascam HD-P2 High-Definition Solid-State Audio Recorder should be reported to the Equipment Checkout Lab Specialist immediately; do not wait until returning the equipment to notify the Lab Specialist or Lab staff (See: Statement of Policies).